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Operation: “Miracle”

Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me! Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.” “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

Matthew 15:21 – 28

A spiritual gap is the distance between the way things are and the way they should be according to the Word of God. This is what an intercessor works toward in their war room: they stand in the gap with prayer and use their faith to make up the difference between what is and what should be for someone else.

It doesn’t happen much any more, but there are those who will invest their time, energy and faith to see a miracle happen for another person. I am drawn to the story of the woman whose daughter was possessed by a demon.

There are a few things I noticed about this account. First, this was not the mother’s fight or for her direct benefit – but for her daughter who could not fight for herself. For this mother, her daughter was a spiritual prisoner of war by the enemy, and she was doing her part to organize the child’s rescue and liberation by seeking Jesus to set her free.

In this case, the daughter did not even realize that she needed help. How many times have we encountered people who are clearly bound by conditions or mindsets and they have no idea how bad off they are?  This is what was happening here.

A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”

Yet, this mother had enough compassion for her child to do whatever was required to get the help that she needed. This type of pursuit might not seem so farfetched for a parent-child relationship, but what about the believer – spiritual POW relationship?  Is there a believer willing to run into the heat of a battle for the random person, or maybe the not so random person who is in need of spiritual liberation?

This mother teaches us some things about how to intercede a miracle for another person.

One: she was a woman of faith. She would not have pursued Jesus if she did not have faith that He could meet her need. Question for you:  are you a person of real faith or are you merely role-playing the part of a believer to stay in a place of comfort?  If you are a person of real faith, then it will push you to attempt things that are outside of your sphere of ease. But, if your faith is latent, you will never respond to the urgent signals pushing you into action when opportunity meets expectation.

But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”

Two: There may be naysayers, doubt-talkers, and irrelevant people in the vicinity of your breakthrough, but active faith can filter them out and keep your focus on the one you are seeking and what you are expecting to obtain. Notice that the disciples were part of the woman’s blockade.  She had to filter them out as well.  When there are people in your path who don’t understand your plight or your fight, they can minimize your effort and potentially cause you to derail your pursuit.  Intercession can be this way at times.  People incorrectly assess your passion for someone else and reduce your travailing to nothing more than “being emotional”.  But, if you are going to intercede for a miracle, you have to shift beyond their lack of realization and keep pressing in toward Jesus.

Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”

Three: Even if it isn’t the right time, right place, right whatever – ask anyway. The woman was not an Israeli and therefore – at the time – she was not afforded the spiritual benefits that Jesus was providing. Her time to receive, and that of anyone not Israeli, was not until after He arose. Yet, this mother was willing to move out of her place of familiarity, blow past the societal norms of the time, cross cultural and dispensational ordinances to get to Jesus with the single goal of seeing her daughter delivered. Her opportunity and expectation collided as she acted in faith to ask for her child’s liberation.

But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”

Four: Non-response doesn’t always mean no. Sometimes it means press in further. When your faith is working overtime in high gear and your expectation is not being met based upon what you believe according to the Word of God, then your response should not be to give up and walk away. This is the time to position yourself closer to God. When the woman came to Jesus, she worshipped him. She advanced passed the external begging stage of her plea, passed the inhibiters in her way and shifted into Jesus’ personal space. When your need is critical and your faith is active, the mix will push you into Jesus’ personal space. And when you come before the throne, don’t mealy mouth your request: ask boldly.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16

Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”

Five: Be prepared to defend your case. Interestingly, Jesus pushed back again when the woman asked Him for help a second time. But the woman was relentless. Notice, she did not revert back to begging and pleading. This is often our error in intercession; we do all of the hard work to press in, yet when we get to the “ask”, we fumble it somehow by assuming that our emotional antics will take us over the edge for favor.

Most of the time, the emotions are real and appropriately released. However, if our position shifts from that place of faith we fought to enter into, to a place of emotional anticipation and effort then we will walk away empty every time. The two states are not interchangeable. I’ll go ahead and state the obvious: God cannot be manipulated. And, to her credit, the woman did not attempt this tactic. Instead, she had a coherent and lucid reply for Jesus’ response.

For this woman to be able to have an intelligent response to Jesus’ pullback implied that she was actually listening to the discourse Jesus was having not only with her, but also with Himself. How well do we listen when we are drawn into His presence?  Have we learned how to harness our emotions so that we can comprehend the conversation we are having with our Lord?

Prayer is a conversation, not a monologue. Supplication is not just an opportunity to “dump” on Jesus (although He will relieve us of the load we carry). Rather, prayer is an opportunity to meet and obtain the counsel of the Kingdom of God. And intercession is an occasion to make a coherent, lucid case about a circumstance, need or situation on behalf of someone else.

Would you walk into a business meeting and burst into tears or start yelling incoherently and seriously expect to obtain resolution to your original objective?  I think not. So, why do we approach Jesus with this mindset and then live bewildered about why things are not changing in our lives?  Selah moment.

“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

I found it interesting that this woman, who had not been schooled in the “way” to pray or even given the spiritual right to approach Jesus with a request, understood better than most how to intercede for a miracle on someone else’s behalf.

Five: There is one final point I want to highlight here. When the woman made this case, her faith moved the hand of God out of a dispensation of time to answer a request that she was not even “rightfully” sanctioned to ask. If this woman, who was not a Christian at the time, was able to negotiate a miracle with her faith, then how much more should we as children of God be able to intercede and call forth what is needed for someone else?

Bottom Line: Is your faith active? Is your worship effective? Have you made a qualified case for your need according to the Word of God? Are you willing to exercise aggressive faith on behalf of someone else? Now is the time to re-evaluate your approach if you want to obtain the result that you are expecting.

Are you prepared for Operation: “Miracle”?

©2012 LR Rodgers All Rights Reserved.

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The Fountain

Fountains of Joy
We can use our praise to create fountains of joy in our own lives to refresh and encourage us. With praise, God has given us a unique secret weapon to ensure victory in our life battles.

“Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation.  Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

Isaiah 12:2-3

God is my salvation.  He is The Fountain of my strength, peace, hope, joy, my song and deliverance.  In Jesus, The Messiah, we have wells–plural–of salvation.  The implication in this verse is that in Him, we have endless ways for which to find and draw from what He supplies to us.  It is with joy that we draw, because we have confidence and assurance that He is able to provide whenever we come to Him.

This is why praise is so important.  Praise is the container that we draw with from The Wells of Salvation.  Our praise should not be circumstantial or even dependent upon what is currently happening in our lives.  Praise has to be ever present–always ready to reach into the presence of the Lord to receive whatever is needed.

“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.”   

Psalm 16:11

My mind is drawn to the Fountains of Bellagio at the infamous grand hotel in Las Vegas Nevada.  I’ve never been there, but to me it is a beautiful exhibition and example of how to continually draw water joyously from the endless wells of water that supply them, and to create exquisite fountains of joy.

In the same manner, when we are sick, we can draw out healing from The Well that God has made available to us.  Therefore, when we are bound by the cares of our existence, we can draw out deliverance. When we are tormented by fear, worry or doubt, we can draw out peace.  Provision has been made available to us through Jesus Christ.  The joy that we draw with is held steady by our confidence that He will supply our needs according to His riches and glory.

Often times we view praise as something that we do in church when the music and singers are leading us.  Corporate praise is important and should not be neglected, because there are many blessings that can only come through a unified front of magnifying God.

However, nothing can replace the unique breakthrough power that is available through the release of your own praise.  That being said, your praise is a key to breaking many of the chains that have entangled you in your own life.  No one has the anointing that you do for overcoming the specific obstacles that you face.

With your own praise, God has armed you with one of the best secret weapons for victory in this life.  He made each our praise “patterns” unique, and therefore it is exclusively tailored for war in your own battles with the enemy.   The specific sound, the distinct release, the peculiar affect, and your “way” in praise is your signature weapon to war against the adversary.

So, when you use your joy to “draw” from The Presence of the Lord, what you draw out is something particularly reserved for you.  How powerful the gift of praise is that God has given you.

As ministers, we can use this vehicle of expressing our praise and it carries the same signature that is unique to you.  There have been many times when I felt like walls were closing in all around me from the pressures of the world.  The struggle was a fight that was specific to me at the time.

“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”  

2 Corinthians 10:4

Secret Weapons
Your praise is a signature weapon against your adversary. God has equipped you with a personal artillery to use in the spiritual battles of your life. These weapons are brandished through praise.

God, like a good Father and loyal battle partner, would always lead me back to praise and worship to “reset” my own atmosphere.  He would show me how I could “draw” refreshing and release through the specific ministry that He had given me.

The Lord taught me how and made me skillful with the weapon that He armed me with.  I learned that God had equipped me with a personal arsenal of artillery to use in the spiritual battles in my life.  Ultimately, all of those weapons were ignited by my praise.

“Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, [and] my fingers to fight.” 

Psalm 114:1

As a minister, this principle has the potential to work in your life as well.  However, it is your responsibility to “draw” from what God has made available.

Will you allow yourself to dive into the wells of water that God has provided in Jesus?  Can you lose yourself in His presence and become skilled in the use of the secret armory that God has prepared for you?  Why is this so important?

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” 

John 4:14

When we understand what Jesus has given us through the miracle of salvation, we realize that The Well is endless, timeless, boundless and ever flowing.  What does this mean?  Everything we need is in The Well! Healing, peace, joy, rest, restoration, refreshing, forgiveness, deliverance–everything that Jesus died to provide for humankind is in The Well that He has placed in each of us.

Life has its own way of throwing us into a tailspin. It would be an easy allowance to let circumstances weigh us down and dictate how we will react and feel.  Sometimes we don’t have the strength to stand up against what we have to deal with in life.

Yet, if we learn that our praise is the reboot button for our strength in God, our secret weapon against an adversary who does not play fair, the “way” in which we draw from The Presence of the Lord, then we can always be prepared to get what we need to progress.

God has made a way for us to be refreshed, and it is through our praise.  Praise on our lips, in our hearts, and in our dance.  Use your own praise to continually draw from The Wells of Salvation, so that you can create beautiful fountains of joy in your own life.

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”                                             

Revelation 21:6

© 2012 LR Rodgers  All Rights Reserved.


Beauty for Ashes

He will dress my wounds and beautify me…
The fire that comes in life is sometimes so great that all that remains from our experiences are the ashes from the blaze. The heat can greatly wound you and cause a pain that only God can heal.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

He will heal my wounds and beautify me…The fire that comes in life is sometimes so great that the only thing that remains from our experiences are the ashes from the blaze.  The excessive heat generated from navigating through this world can greatly wound you and cause a pain that only God can heal.

But we have confidence in knowing that our Father has already prepared the appropriate exchange that we need for restoration and sustainability.

Many of us have experienced our own personal pits of hell, and we wear the scars to prove that fact.

Still, it is important that we allow God to heal the broken places in our lives so that we can continue to move forward in Him in a healthy manner.

“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.”                                              

Psalm 147:3

The passage in Isaiah speaks of so many things that God has prepared and is ready to give to us, if we can receive what He is offering.

First, He has given us an anointing to preach Good News.  What’s that I hear you say, “I am not a preacher, I’m a dancer!”  I choose to differ on that statement.

Despite all that we have been through, God has given us a balm that can heal brokenness not only in our own lives, but particularly in the lives of others.

“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy above your fellows.”                                              

Psalm 45:7

Even through the ministry of dance, we are able to tap in to this anointing flow and allow it to become a salve and ointment to heal anyone who can receive what you share through your expressions and anointed movement.

Believe it or not, your dancing has the potential to preach Good News, if you know how to use your ministry correctly.  When you are ministering in dance, you have a captivated audience that is waiting to experience God in a unique and fresh way.

Since you have this opportunity, what you say to them in order to bind broken hearts, proclaim freedom, bring those bound in darkness to the light, to declare and decree the favor of God is so vitally important in ministry.

We can minister with an assurance that God will avenge all for the pain that they have experienced at the hands and devices of the enemy.  This is indeed life and healing to those who will receive what you share.

“Rejoice, O nations, with His people;  For He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people.”                                              

Deuteronomy 32:43

When all has gone awry in our lives, God is the one who comforts us and ensures that when we experience loss and grieve from that, we will also have what they need to persevere.  Because God knows how heavy and challenging life can be for us–on an individual level–He has prepared a unique covering to empower us to overcome all that we must face.

This is a covering like no other, for God has adorned you Himself.  This is how much you matter to HIm and the act underscores the love that He extends toward His people, over and over again.

Let’s begin at the top.  It is interesting, that crowns are typically given to two types of people: those in an authoritative position of ruling or those who have reigned victorious in a challenge or triumph.

A Royal Priesthood…
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

 1 Peter 2:9

The Word of God teaches us that Jesus Christ has given us power and authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and all powers of the enemy (Luke 10:19).

The fact that this passage in Isaiah highlights that God bestows or honors those that have endured the flames of this life will be rewarded with His crown of beauty to offset the ashes of tribulation and pain is a testament of His enduring and gracious love.

“You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

Isaiah 62:3

These verses also speak of an anointing or oil that will be powerful enough to overcome the mourning and grief of all things lost and unrealized.  This oil will bring a “shine” to the countenance of all who have received His love.  This oil radiates in the form of gladness and joy in the visage of His people.

The final accoutrement in God’s array of adornment is a garment, or robe, of praise instead of a weighted spirit of despair.

Your praise and your praise attitude should be a visible example of God’s goodness toward you in the eyes of those that you have the potential to impact.   An outer garment such as a robe, is particularly meant to be eye-catching and appealing.

This characteristic should be so detectable by anyone, not just “church people”.  The combined effect of these pieces should cause a bright reflection of the grace that God has bestowed upon His people.

It is interesting that the comparison of the people of God to oak trees is quite meaningful.  In most cases, oak is a symbol of strength and endurance (many of them can live for hundreds–some even thousands of years).

Indeed this is the hope for the people of God, that they remain resilient throughout the ages, and that they stand as monuments of the splendor of God.

Walk as children of Light…
Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you we formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Ephesians 5: 7-10

Here’s the reality:  God want to put you on display, in spite of your scars, wounds, and past brokenness.

I believe that this is why He adorned us with garments and apparel of majesty, to show forth His ability to heal, restore and re-establish those that have been wounded in the past.

As a dance minister, this is relevant for you also.  When you dance, this is one of the ways that you can show forth the magnificence of His mercy towards you.

Through your ministry you can display the beauty that He has exchanged for your ashes of pain, you can exhibit the anointing that He has given you to break chains of bondage for the sake of gladness and joy, you wear your praise like a garment, but that is expressed through your movement.

This is your adornment as a dance minister. God considers it a splendorous exhibition.  Are you willing to put yourself on display to reflect the beauty that God intended when He replanted you?  Are you willing to share all that was exchanged for you to appear before His people with glory?

“Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the LORD, or can show forth all His praise?”

Psalm 106:2

The same fire that brought the ashes, is the same fire that purifies and shows forth the glory that God has adorned you with for His own pleasure.

“The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.”

Isaiah 43:21

To be an effective minister, you have to be willing to share a bit of both sides–one for connection and one for deliverance.  One of the most difficult things that you may have to do as a dance minister is the show both your beauty and your ashes.  This is what will keep your ministry relevant.

There is a glory that shows forth when you praise.  Your worship generates an ember of the flame that God has ignited in your heart and spirit.  The burning now, is not from pain, agony or sorrow, but from the joy, love, forgiveness and gratitude that you have toward the gracious God who had mercy on you.

Trade your ashes for the beauty that God wants to adorn you with and experience His love personally.

© 2012 LR Rodgers  All Rights Reserved.

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Battering Ram

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But, when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Luke 18:1-8

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.  “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people.  A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!'”  Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge.  Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

Luke 18: 1-8 

The woman in this passage was demonstrating what our prayer lives should look like. Her unrelenting persistence in pursuing her request with this judge reflects the work that should go into the way we pray and approach the throne of God with prayer. Interestingly, Jesus points to the key of her persistence and the effort behind her pursuit in the last verse of this passage: “But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

In Israel, there is a national monument called The Western Wailing Wall. This wall stands as a reminder of the battle that took place at that location for some and as representation of the prevailing Presence of God for others. Visitors to this site often present prayer requests by slipping them into the cracks and crevices of the wall in the belief that those prayers will be answered. These same requestors visit the site three times a day in order to reinforce their prayer and faith for the answer to be delivered speedily.

In this same manner, the woman’s faith was the driving force behind her consistency and resilience to not give up on her request of this judge. She refused to let up until she received the attention and answer that she sought from him. We can take a lesson from her and establish the same mindset in our own prayer lives.  But here’s the thing: prayer is work.

Many times people lose the victory in their prayers because they are unwilling to exercise their faith long enough to see a breakthrough. In short, they give up too soon. But, if you will see effective results in your prayer life, you will indeed need to put in the work required for victory. This work is not so much sweat equity, but faith equity, consistency and the patience to be willing to wait for as long as it takes to see the Kingdom response that you are expecting.

Prayer is a labor intensive exercise. The perspective of prayer for many people is like that of a wish list that they send off to “Santa” God and then they cross their fingers with hopes that they have been good enough to receive what they have asked of Him.

This is a sad but accurate analogy. It is no wonder that people often do not see more effective results in their own lives. So, then there is no stretch of understanding to realize why many Christians have a hard time praying for someone else. If they can barely get their own prayers organized, it is an even less likely expectation that they would be effective in praying for someone else.

Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:16

Intercession, which is an intense prayer of supplication on behalf of another, is the effectual fervent prayer for a person that should avail much.

When done properly, intercession should be like using a battering ram on a target that you are trying to take down or penetrate. What is a battering ram? It is a heavy beam or device that is used to break down a fortified entry point or door.

Many times when praying for others there are long-standing fortified strongholds that need to be broken down before breakthrough, healing or deliverance can take place.

The most difficult part of getting beyond those exterior walls that have been built up is the entry point.

As with battering rams, one uses intercession in this manner. It is a repetitive “pounding” on this entry point until the barred area is broken down. What is the “pounding” I’m speaking of?

“And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”

Mark 9:29

This is the battering ram in action.

The same will be true in your own life. Your persistent work through prayer and fasting will facilitate breakthroughs in the lives of others as well as your own life.  But you have to be willing to put in the work to see the breakthrough happen.

You should not always expect that your “one and done” prayer is enough to breakthrough years of strong and fortified barriers.

Sometimes you will need to persevere in your prayers and efforts over a season to see results.

This “pounding” that needs to take place is the work with which you will exercise your faith. God has blessed each of us with the weapon of a battering ram, but it is up to us to put it to work to see powerful results in our prayer efforts for others and for ourselves.

In ministry, this is what our consecration prayer efforts are doing. Our job, even prior to suiting up and ministering before the people of God, is to do our due diligence in making sufficient cracks in the fortified areas of the enemy’s camp.For it is here where our brothers and sisters are being held captive and in bondage behind the mortared walls of sin, guilt, condemnation, depression and abuse on so many levels.

A battering ram’s effectiveness comes from the repeated pullbacks and thrusts of the weapon. This is the way your prayer and fasting should be also. There are times when you are pulling back, and this is just as effective as the forward thrusts.

It may seem counterintuitive to pull back from your prayer effort, but doing so is an important strategy.

When this action is occurring, you have the opportunity to reevaluate, assess, gain more momentum to thrust forward again against your target. When thrusting your ram, you are pressing hard into prayer and fasting, actively engaging your efforts and directing them with purposeful study and Word immersion to intensify your spiritual impact.

But, the pullback, gives you the time to check your efforts, understand the impact your strategy is having on your enemy and adjust as needed when the plan calls for re-calibration.

Intercession is a repetitive process, but it doesn’t have to be a random one. Strategy is always important when facing an opponent. Strategy ensures that you have a goal to achieve with your prayer and fasting. During your “pullback” is the time to make sure that your strategy still makes sense.

This might seem a bit unorthodox, because we may have learned in the past that we should just pray and wait. However, God has made us intelligent and capable of coherent reasoning even during heightened spiritual activity.

As believers, we should be able to discern the impact of our efforts and hear what the Spirit of God is saying to us. This is not an automatic capability, but as with anything, the more that you “exercise” in this area, the stronger and more “agile” you become. The idea then, is to make intercession a regular part of your life.

A final point to be made about intercession is to pray specifically for those who appear to be adversarial toward us.

We should remember that sometimes we will be in a position to pray for our enemies, and it is important that we do not ignore this if we want our effectiveness in intercession to become stronger.

“But If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  And if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Romans 12:20

Thus, the use of intercession as a weapon is a pounding exercise that is intended to break up fortified places. This is true for our own lives as well as that of others–even those that mistreat us and persecute us. Love and forgiveness are critical elements in honing your strategies and efforts.

The battering ram that your prayer and fasting creates is an effective weapon against the devices and tactics of the adversary. Our ability to remain consistent and faithful to exercising the use of the spiritual ram is critical to the impact of our ministry. If we lose the power of this ram, then all that we are left with is a dance with no impact. Your consecration matters, remember this in all of your doing for ministry preparation.

© 2012 LR Rodgers  All Rights Reserved.

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A Miracle In Your Worship

Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped [them] with the hair of her head.  “You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which [are] many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 7:44 – 48

I am always blessed by the wonderful song of worship by CeCe Winans titled Alabaster Box. When I read this scripture passage and consider that song, I am reminded of the impact that my own personal worship of the Lord has on me and an atmosphere.

A ‘remedy’ is a “medicine, application or treatment that relieves or cures a disease; something that corrects or counteracts; the legal means to recover a right or to prevent or obtain repayment for a wrong. So, when this definition is coupled with worship, it is interesting to observe how God uses your own worship to remedy and heal many of your own wounds. There’s a miracle in your worship of God–for you.

If you study many of the people in the Bible who sought the Lord for their own healing or deliverance, then you will notice that their breakthrough came as a result of their own supplication and worship. Realize that this specific kind of miracle typically does not come from the result another’s worship of God. You must participate in your own deliverance.

…this is the extraction place…

As a worship minister, understanding this principle is critical to your effectiveness in preparation and delivery in ministry. When you have not consumed the ‘remedy’ that your worship provides, then you will devalue the importance of the time that you spend alone with God in fellowship and devotion. You will make the mistake of assuming that the “prescribed” efforts that you are putting forth are unnecessary and seemingly unrelated to what you have to do in ministry. This is a serious error, because this is the extraction place of your own anointing.

Many times I have experienced powerful release and deliverance when ministering to the Lord in dance privately. I can minister with songs that speak specifically to where I am, and I pour out my soul to the Lord and Him alone. There are no audiences, no one to offer a critique of my dance, no steps to remember, no choreography to execute–just whatever my heart can pour out, I offer it to the Lord.

There is a certain transparency needed in His presence and also when ministering to others. You have to open yourself up to God and allow Him to deal with the broken places in your life that need healing.

Through this genuine place of worship, Jesus ministers back to you in a way that only He can. He shows you what you need to see, tells you what you need to hear and reminds you that He is always there.

He shows you what you need to see, tells you what you need to hear and reminds you that He is always there.

Interestingly, the ability to “enter in” at any time comes from that personal time that you invest in worship. This is why it is important make the time to worship at home, in your car, in the shower–where ever you can find a place to isolate. Your ability to hear God and speak to Him in a manner that is natural for you is birthed from the time that you sow there.

Now, can you break open your own alabaster box for the Lord? Are you willing to share the precious anointing that can only be produced from your specific style of ministry? Are you willing to release the fragrant aroma of your worship? Can you let yourself go with Him and not feel scared, ashamed or fearful? He seeks for people to worship Him like this. Will you be one to spare no expense and pour your worship out for Him?

The worship that you lavish upon the Lord in your own time is the balm that He uses to heal your own wounds. Then, when you stand before the people of God to minister, you can do so from a real place of healing as opposed to some sympathetic idea from which you cannot relate. The same way that you received a miracle through your own worship, is the same place that you draw from when you minister to others. There is a miracle in your worship, both for you and for those who receive your ministry.

© 2012 LR Rodgers  All Rights Reserved.

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The Fight for Authenticity

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Sticky Note Moment:



Sole Profit or Soul Profit?

What to say about the unique challenges for the Christian business owner?  It would seem to go without saying that ethics would not be an issue for them, right? How subjective is their perspective when the line of separation between morally right and socially right is blurred?  How does a Christian businessperson weigh out the choice between using their skills for a client with a substantial wallet but abhorrent practices and a client with limited resources and honorable intentions?

Seems like a no-brainer, right?  Christians always choose to the right thing, correct?  Things get interesting though, when checks or even cash are presented in exchange for the Christian’s anointed skillset or ability.  The challenge is real and many Christian business owners reason themselves in and out of this scenario hanging on to a specific scripture:

A good [man] leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. (Proverbs 13:22)

I find it contemplative that this scripture is often twisted in order to justify questionable practices in business when the profit to be gained from the venture is substantial.  The idea is clenched that “God is blessing” the business owner with the wicked person’s wealth through their dealings with them.

My contention is that “good” and “righteous” are not necessarily synonymous in this verse.  Good, here, could reference a man who is agreeable or one of intellectual understanding.  Surely, a good man is agreeable and understanding of the importance of leaving an inheritance or strength to future generations in their lineage.  So, the value in this effort is duly highlighted and not to be dismissed as frivolous.  It may be that this perspective does not necessarily imply that the “good” man gained or built the inheritance scrupulously, just that they realize that their future generation should be strengthened by their gain.

But what is to be made of all that is stored up for the “righteous” person?  Righteous here implies “just in conduct, character and cause”.  This means that, the one who chooses to be just in these 3C’s, stands in position to receive the strength (wealth) of the sinner.  Well then, who is the sinner?  In this verse, it refers to the one who has missed the mark, who has wandered away from what is right, the one who has chosen to forfeit what was right. This could happen to any person, even a “good” person who knows what is right and what is right to do, but choses to do otherwise.

I know, I know.  When we think of sinners, we think of those who cuss and chew and run around with those that do (among other things in this day and age).  But, this vantage point also suggests that the sinner, could also be the embodied “good man” who has chosen to lay aside what they knew to be right, in order to solely lay hold of gain or profit.  Herein lies the possible juxtaposition of this amazing verse.

Now, back to that business question: How does a Christian businessperson weigh out the choice between using their skills for a client with a substantial wallet but abhorrent practices and a client with limited resources and honorable intentions?  The businessperson has to decide if they will merely be a “good man” solely for profit or  “righteous” for the profit of the soul.  It is here where the promise of this verse is likely realized.

As a Kingdom Builder, your decisions in business have to go beyond the fence of “me, mine and ours at whatever cost” solely for profit and shift to “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” for soul profit.

The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. (Psalm 37:29)

©2012 LR Rodgers   All Rights Reserved.


The Gift of Forgiveness

Then came Peter to Him and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  Till seven times?”  Then Jesus saith unto him “I say not unto thee, until seven times: but until seventy times seven.”  

Matthew 18:21-22

Isn’t it interesting that Peter’s question about how many times forgiveness should be extended to a person, would later be the same grace he needed after denying Jesus three times?  It is clear that Jesus was trying to express to Peter the extent of forgiveness, but also that He was setting this disciple up for the promotion coming as an apostle and pillar of the Church.

Forgiveness was and is a critical point with Jesus because that is what He offered and gave freely to those who now believe in His Name.  It is one’s ability to be able to “release” others from their wrongs that makes one walk in this characteristic of Christ.  It is also the inability to forgive or release others that keep people bound and stagnate in their growth as a believer.  One cannot progress successfully with “baggage” weighing them down.  When a person chooses not to forgive, they remain “tied” or “bound” to the “wrong” and the person who committed the “wrong”.  If they continue in this manner, all of those people become “weights” they carry, severely hindering their progressive growth in the Lord.

Often, people don’t experience breakthroughs in their lives because they have yet to “release” someone from a wrong committed in the past.  Therefore, they cannot be healed or move from that place.  They are “tied” to it.  If you could do a “spirit check” and actually see all of the people who are still “bound” to you because you have not forgiven them, you may get strong clarity as to why you cannot get to the next level in God.

Here’s the key: God commands that we forgive.  And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

How can we freely receive that gift from Him and not freely give the same gift to another?  It is likely at this very place where many believers get stuck in ruts.  What they fail to realize is that the only way out of the “rut”, is to drop the weight.  Forgiving or letting go of people and the wrongs they have committed “unties” or “looses” you from that place, giving you the opportunity to move on in God.

So, as you make preparation to go to the next level in Him, do a spirit check to see who is still “tied” to you.  Are there people in your past or present that you need to forgive?  Give them the gift of forgiveness and let them go.  This is your first step in getting to the next level in God.

Sword Sharpener: Luke 7:27-38

©2012 LR Rodgers   All Rights Reserved.

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