Monday, September 28, 2009


PART 5 of 8
SEEKING GOD’S HEART: The Courtship of God

The evening was a typically beautiful and peaceful night. A small breeze was blowing and seemed to be chasing a previous gust that had already passed through. David sat leaning against a tree trunk playing his harp and singing psalms to God and to his father’s sleeping sheep. His eyelids were getting a little heavy in the tranquility of the moment and he could probably drift off himself if not for the fact that the sheep were in his charge.

As David sang and played, he kept a vigorous lookout toward the surrounding area. Besides his playing and the sounds of the night, the only other thing he could hear was an occasional bleating from either side of the flock by a few sheep that struggled to sleep but nonetheless were quietly confirming the contentment of their status.

Minutes passed, when amid song, a lone lamb raised its head and began checking his periphery. David stopped playing. He could no longer hear the sounds of the night and it was like someone had turned off the switch to his hearing.

Something was wrong.

He put down his harp and looked about him. There was a rustling in the nearby brush. David stood and reached for his sling.

By this time, all the sheep were standing and huddling together waiting for someone to lead them to safety. The bleating was deafening. David prepared himself for any eventuality.

Then David saw him: a lion crouching low and stalking the perimeter. Should I do anything? he thought. The lion would only take one animal. Should I risk my own life for one lamb?

The Holy Spirit brought David to his spiritual senses and told him that David’s father was not willing that one of his sheep should perish[1] and that He would deliver the lamb out of the lion’s mouth. Hearing that and without a second thought, David loaded a good size rock into the leather pouch and prepared for an open and clear shot.

Without any warning, the lion sprung and as quickly as he had leapt, he had a lamb in his mouth and was confidently trotting toward the thickets. David would only have one try and he’d have to be quick and accurate, otherwise, a lamb would die, either from the jaws of death or by a misplaced stone. He began to twirl and at the precise moment, known only to him, he released the rock. It found its mark and the lion dropped to the ground. David removed the terrified lamb from the jaws of certain death and released it back to the flock.

Shaken and recomposed, the lion arose to recapture his dinner and perhaps an extra tid-bit for dessert by killing David. However, the Lord delivered David out of the paw of the lion and allowed him to grab the lion by the beard and slay him[2].

Like David, when we are in the center of God’s will and His presence, we too can slay the lions in our lives.

David Slays Goliath

Not only did David slay the lion and the bear but he slew Goliath as well[3]. Although God delivered him from Goliath and the Philistines, David only acted after he heard from the Lord[4]. (This is very important.)

It seems a little foolhardy that David would so quickly step up to fight the 9ft tall giant laden down with impenetrable armor and he with none[5], until we read 1 Samuel 17:36. This passage tells us that for David to boast as he did (in the natural), would not have been prudent. It is evident that the Lord had already told him what he should do. The will of God had sanctioned this battle and guaranteed David’s victory[6]. David immediately acted upon it and ran toward Goliath. Yes. . .ran. This was the proper response.

At one time or the other, waiting on the Lord is where most of us fall short because we all deal from presumption instead of hearing directly from the Lord before any of our battles, prayers, and supplications. We try and get ahead of God by speaking His Word and then expecting Him to jump and honor it. This is backward.

The Word of God is logos to us ‘all,' but the rhema word is to us ‘individually’ according to the will of God. As soon as we learn this truth, the easier, and the more victorious our lives will be. Although His Word will not return to Him void[7], God is not called to do our will but we are called to do His.

David, a man after god’s own heart

The secret to David’s[8] longevity and success was because he was in the center of God’s will. He had an intimate relationship with the Lord and he did nothing without the leading of the Holy Spirit. He knew that it could possibly mean his death if he did otherwise, as witnessed by the previous stories. David was, indeed, a man after God’s own heart[9], which begs the question, “How was he ‘a man after God’s own heart?’”

One only has to read the Psalms to know the answer to that question. David did not only love the Lord and depend upon Him solely but in every way he was agreeable to the will of God. He paid strict attention to, and never tried to change, any part of the Law. As David led Israel in the public arena, he acted according to God’s righteous mind, and fulfilled the will of God.

When David slew the lion, the bear, and Goliath, he was more than confident in his immediate actions because he had the leading of the Holy Spirit. He acted out of a condition response and there was no hesitation when the Lord told him to. . .go, that He would deliver him.

Today, when I look back on David’s harrowing exploits, I shudder. I shudder because I know the lineage from where Jesus came. What if the lion, the bear, or Goliath had killed David? There would be no Jesus. This may have been the last ditch effort by Satan to stop the lineage of Christ.

Therefore, as long as we have the faith and Spirit of God in us, and be men and women after His heart, nothing will be impossible[10] for us to accomplish. We too will act without hesitation. . .as long as we wait on the Spirit of God[11] and not act presumptuously.

Peter acted presumptuously when, just before Christ’s Crucifixion, he told Jesus that He would surely not die[12]. I am wondering how many of us would have probably told Jesus the same thing. I fear that I would have said something similar. However, as the Bible indicates, the Lord’s physical survival was not in God’s plan[13]. Christ came to pay for His Bride with His own Blood.

This is why it is so important to be in the center of God’s will and to know His Word, so we don’t get ahead of the Holy Spirit. In the natural, I can understand why Peter said what he did but knowing what we know today aren’t we glad that Jesus saw through Satan’s charade.

Courtship of God’s Heart

When we seek the heart of God, we are in a “courtship” phase of relationship. Our wooing leads to romance and that creates a relationship. In turn, this produces intimacy and puts us right in the center of God’s will.

When we are in the center of God’s will and desires, we are looking to fulfill the desires of God’s heart, not ours.

During our courtship, we reciprocate God’s love by giving Him our devotion, our obedience, our worship, and our love. Just the simple act alone of giving to God and others benefit us because those acts themselves automatically bounce blessing back to us and builds our character. We (should) do this with a personal decision and without any prompting of the Holy Spirit. Then God blesses us again because we unselfishly gave unsolicited help to Him and to others.

Seeking God’s Heart

When we seek the heart of God, it is going to Him and asking, “What can I do for you today Lord? What’s on your heart today? You know where I am going and who I am going to run across today Lord, so is there something that you want to do in my life today to touch and reach those who will cross my path? Is there something that you’d like to say Lord? What would you like Father, or do you just want me to sit with you today God?”

Approaching God like this we become a man[14] after God’s own heart and depending on our relationship with Him, we will go into His presence. Getting into the center of God’s will and in His presence provides revelation, healing, deliverance, sanctification, victory, and supernatural power. Going into His presence with any pretense and the pretense will find you out.

Seeking God’s heart is when we live for God’s purpose and is where we exchange all of our plans, our hopes, and our dreams for the dreams, the heart, and the longing of God. He so saturates us that we will become the heart of God. His heart will so birth in us that we will literally cry when traveling down the street wondering how many of these people do not have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

If people called by His name will not only seek His face[15] but seek His heart, our hearts will come together and beat as one. This will be the heart of the Bride and it will be beating loudly for all to hear.

The Bride’s heart will beat so loudly that our relationship with God will emanate from out of us and begin to change the atmosphere one heart at a time. People around us will sense and feel our commingled heart and the power of the Holy Spirit and will say, “I want some of that.”

In essence and in the final analysis, seeking God’s heart is the simple act of literally giving Him ours!

The number one purpose and desire of God’s heart is that we know Him and make Him known to others. It is what He longs for us to do. Let’s go a little deeper still by Seeking God’s Purpose.


[1] Matthew 18:14 Obviously, I took some license here with this Scripture but is not God the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is just my interpretation of the event.
[2] 1 Samuel 17:37; David, the lion, and bear story 1 Samuel 17:34-37
[3] 1 Samuel 17:49, 50
[4] 1 Samuel 17:36; 1Samuel 17:45
[5] David removed the armor that Saul gave him because he knew that the battle was the Lords and that Saul’s armor (unbelief) would not defeat the giant. David had the armor of the God of Israel, which were His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. David didn’t need any armor protection because the Lord had told him that He would deliver him from Goliath and the Philistines. If all David had in his pouch was 5 olives, he still would have gone mano a mano with Goliath and God would have still delivered him. David was so sure of the outcome that he ran toward Goliath and the Philistines.
[6] 1 Samuel 17:37
[7] Isaiah 55:11
[8] Other than Jesus, the longest biography in the Bible is that of King David. 1 Samuel 16:13b all the way through 1 Kings 2:10. 1 Chronicles 12-29. David even wrote at least eighty-five of the one hundred and fifty songs in the Psalms.
[9] 1 Samuel 13:14
[10] Luke 1:37
[11] Psalms 27:14; Psalms 37:34; Proverb 3:5, 6
[12] Matthew 16:22
[13] Mark 15:25
[14] Man is a generic term for mankind and means man AND woman.
[15] 2Chronicles 7:14

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


PART 4 of 8
SEEKING GOD'S FACE: The Characteristics of God

My divorce was an extremely hard time in my life and if I ever needed God, it was then. At that time I was living in a one-bedroom apartment and I’d just made a new commitment to pray with God for one hour each day. Therefore, at 4:00 AM, I crawled out of bed, got dressed, and went to the front room to fellowship with the Lord.

I was praying the Lord’s Prayer and had just hallowed His name. I stood there waiting on His response. When in the distance, a small speck materialized in my mind’s eye. It was like looking at a movie scene filled with theatrical smoke, only in suspended animation.

Suddenly, in one fluid motion, the whole scene seemed to come at me until I could finally distinguish what it was. Although it was still fuzzy in appearance, it continued to grow until there was no question as to its identity, it was the Cross.

The next thing I could see was the face of Christ. He was looking toward heaven. His face was not in the distance, but up close and personal. He was all I could see. Then something happened that I will never forget. It changed my life.

In slow motion, Jesus turned and pivoted His head until He was looking me straight in the eyes. He said, “I love you, Jim.” The presence of God was vibrating in me as I stood there with my eyes closed and looking straight into the eyes of Jesus Christ. Jesus was touching my spirit and His voice reverberated in my soul as I stood there basking in His presence.

As quickly as He’d come, His image began to fade. Then. . .He disappeared. I do not know how long I stood there; I only know that Cecil B. DeMille could not have made this scene any more real than the one that I had just witnessed. How could a face so covered with blood and pain, shine with so much love and compassion? You call it love, love as only God can give.

When we seek God’s face, we are at a “personal” level of relationship. To seek God’s face is not so much to seek what He can do for us but to look at His character and attributes to know who He is on the inside. We are beginning to go into a deeper relationship with Him

After my divorce, I felt lost, alone, and unloved. I knew of only one place where I could get unconditional love: I needed to seek God’s face and tap into His essence; I did not need any provision. All I needed was some understanding and compassion, and maybe a little validation, to know that I was okay and that I was worth loving.

I needed the love of God to cover me, manifest in me, and engulf my being. That morning in my front room, Christ had revealed His face to me big time by telling me something that I really needed to hear amidst my situation – “I love you Jim.

Although God is understanding, compassionate, and validating, when we seek His face, we really begin to see who God is. When you start seeking the essence of somebody, this is where the relationship really begins to grow. Seeking the essence of God is no different. In retrospect, it is okay to seek God's hands because when we aspire to seek God’s face, we realize that much of who God is. . .IS what He wants to do for us. However, He is so much more.

Not only is God understanding and all those things, but He is our righteousness, our sanctification, and our peace. He is our healer, our provider, our banner, our shepherd, and one who is always there. He is the creator of Earth and the universe; He is the all mighty and powerful God, and the all-sufficient one. Yet, this is still not all of who God is.

He is our resurrection, our savior, our advocate, and the Alpha and Omega. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the Door for the sheep. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is a Father of mercies and God of all comfort, the Prince of Peace, The Bright Morning Star, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is our Lord and our God, He is our life, He is faithful and true, our Maker, and our heavenly Father. He is our hope of glory, our redemption, our foundation, and our Bridegroom. This is still not the full essence of almighty God.

However, in essence, God is Love. Can you imagine not only being a God of love, but actually to be Love? Now, imagine further that you have nobody to love. This is the reason why God created man in the first place, so that Christ could have a bride and the Godhead could have someone on which to lavish their love. You could write a book about who God is. Oops, thirty-nine people already did that. It’s called the Bible.

God’s Word says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

When God comes to heal our land, He does not necessarily mean geographically, although it could mean just that. More times than not it means anywhere you happen to be at that moment, either spiritually, emotionally, physically, or socially. So, when you make yourself available to God’s will (humble yourselves), and pray, He will come and heal you no matter what your status or location, albeit, according to His will.

Remember that God appearing to you in a vision is not necessarily a prerequisite to seeking or knowing who God is. God just blessed me with that experience during a hard time in my life. However, and who knows, if you seek that blessing, He may bless you in the same way. God is no respecter of persons.

If we don’t seek His face and tap into whom God is and not just His provision, then we will lose out on the fullness of God and everything that He has to offer us. Therefore, now that we not only know that God can provide for us and that we can also minister to Him through our works, but we also know part of who God is. Let’s go deeper into our relationship with Him by seeking His heart. This is where true intimacy with God begins.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


PART 3 of 8
SEEKING GOD'S HANDS: God's Provision

Not long ago, I went to the beach for some much-needed R&R. I checked into The Proposal Rock Inn at Neskowin, Oregon, unpacked, and immediately headed for the wet hard sand.

I stood there in awe and overlooked the ocean as the tide slowly but surely encroached on the land, devouring it inch by inch only to recede leaving the shoreline looking as though there was never an invasion of water.

For centuries, the sea has drawn many men to her bosom, beckoning them to “Come...come to me.” How many dreamers have stood on her shores and asked, “What lies beyond the horizon?” Only the brave have dared to venture out leaving the comfort and safety of land behind to see what lay ahead and out of the grasp of civilization.

I had come here spiritually to rest. I wanted to be alone with God and write; no housework, no TV, no stereo, and no computer...just God.

I didn’t have a place at home in which I could write that was conducive to the creativity bottled up inside of me. The ocean provides that environment and atmosphere for me.

I’d never dedicated four days just to be with Him. I said, “Father, it’s just you and me for the next four days. I want my writing to make a difference, so I need the words to be from you Lord, whatever you have for me, I’ll receive.

Although the cool evening breeze continued to blow in from the ocean, I felt warmth in my Spirit. The Lord had just confirmed His presence. My sandals scooped up the sand with one-step and deposited it with the next as I walked and waited on the Lord to speak.

After about ten paces, I stopped and closed my eyes, trying to shut out every semblance of the world. I wanted to be totally alone with God. I must have stood there motionless and quiet for what seemed like twenty minutes--but was probably only a minute or so--waiting on a response from the Lord.

Then it hit me. Even though I’d made this trip to be with Him for fellowship, the first thing I did was to seek His provision. Was my trip a pretense? I didn’t think so because my trip had a two-fold agenda. Is this why God wasn't answering me right away? Did He want me to figure that out by myself. Or was it even a problem.

I said, “I’m sorry Father. I’ve come to fellowship with you and get closer and the first thing I do is ask you for something. Please forgive me. I love you Father but I want to do right by you with the mandate that you have given me.” What I had just said sounded like an excuse, but without thinking, I spoke it from my heart and mind.

Deep from within my spirit I heard, “I know you love Me son for I look on the heart. It's okay to ask Me for things, for it is My good pleasure to give you the desires of your heart.”

I slowly opened my eyes and looked out over the water. I couldn’t help but thinking how the ocean was a perfect representation of God: the vastness, the greatness, the power, the deepness--all perfect examples of the awesomeness of God--and He’d just called me son!

Like the wayfarer answers the call of the sea and sets sail toward the horizon, so do we answer the call of the Spirit and set sail on the boat of faith to begin and develop a relationship with God.

As we embark on that relationship, we learn that He is no respecter of persons. What He does for one person, He’ll do for someone else. If we have the faith to believe that, we will please Him, for it is impossible to please God without faith.

In the early stages of developing a relationship with God, probably ninety percent of our prayers involve soliciting His provision for our lives or to put it more direct, we need something from Him. However, like the Father personally told me earlier, “...It’s okay to ask Me for things...” His Word says, “ have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2),” and to Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

When I first asked Christ into my heart, I knew that I needed a savior. As a new believer and coming from a messed up past, I was a needy person with a new found caretaker for my life, and I quickly learned that He loved me. In fact, He died for me, and nothing is impossible with Him.

Mark 11:24 declares, “. . .what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” So as I grew, I prayed for guidance, protection, deliverance, healing, financial matters, and a host of other needs. Here I was, treating God like my own personal butler instead of treating Him like my personal Savior. I sounded like an opera star warming up: mememememe.

When we seek God’s hands, we are at an ‘I need’ level of relationship. When we pray for His provision, we are praying for what He and His hands can do for us. What we need is to become like a little child and wean ourselves from milk to meat.

I came to the realization that all I was doing was just ‘taking’ of His provision. God gave me the desires of my heart but I was not giving Him the desires of His heart. Although I tried doing things for Him through the church and for people, I was like Martha with her many works. I did not seek the good part. There is a give and take in any relationship or marriage, without which, it cannot last long. God understands this but He does expect us to grow. Relationship is a process.

Is God’s provision all that there is in a relationship with God? To have a relationship with another person, in the natural, it is prudent to find out who that person is and who they are representing themselves to be. Seeking a relationship with God is no different because natural relationships release insights into our spiritual relationship with Christ. It goes full circle because Christ is the one who teaches us how to have a relationship with others in the first place.

Seeking God’s hands can be a one-sided relationship if that is all we seek of Him. However, by seeking God’s hands, we learn that what He wants to do for us is much of who He is. It pleases God when we ask for His provision instead of seeking the world's provision for our lives. . .but the goal here is to go deeper.

Let's go to a deeper level of relationship and find out who God is by Seeking God's Face.