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Moving God's Hand
Aug. 15, 2008
When disastrous circumstances arise, will you know how to appeal to God in such a way so as to move His heart and hand to respond? Are there things you and I could be doing now?
Just the other day, someone called for prayer; only the greater need was for a strategy of appeal to God, a strategy to move His heart and
hand in blessing and benefit. As I provided that family in crisis with a strategy for their situation, I thanked God for you that enable
people to be helped by Mary Craig Ministries. After 15 years, this ministry continues to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, to lead people
to God, to teach people the ways of God, and to call people to live in harmony with God.
One of the greatest blessings to the Body of Christ is God's provision of strategies: for individuals, families, cities, and
nations. We need strategies before circumstances escalate to crisis.The most heart-wrenching times are those when we despair for lack of knowing what to do, how to do it, and where to go for help. As spiritual warfare increases globally, we must seek the Holy Spirit for these strategies because the Holy Spirit's heart is to bless.
Sending Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for sin that we might have eternal life was God's strategy for salvation. The love of God flowing
from a good heart moved Him to send Jesus Christ. God gave His Son, doing everything necessary and sufficient that we might be saved,
experience life to the fullest, and enjoy the health that comes when we live in harmony with our Creator. As Jesus walked this earth, He healed people, all kinds of people with every kind of disease and condition, both acute and chronic. In some cases Jesus took the initiative. In most cases, people did. In the instances of healing, we can see Jesus moved by compassion, responding to cries for mercy, answering faith, manifesting the glory of God, and, always, fulfilling Scripture.
What moves God's hand? I am told that you and I do not move our hands unless our hearts are moved first. God's heart is such that He desires to bless. He desires to save, to heal, to bring well-being, to move us into maturity, into the fullness of knowing Him. You and I do not naturally desire the things of God (1 Corinthians 2.11-14). Therefore, God moves upon the heart to appeal to His heart so that He can move His hand to do good and bring glory to His Name. In this process of heart and hand, He changes our hearts, conforming the desires of our hearts to His desires, because He has only good in His heart. Thus Christ is formed in us. This metamorphosis, if you will, occurs as God faithfully moves us into oneness with Him, harmony, and into His perfect order.
Thus we strive for meekness, surrendering to the heart, mind, and will of God without resistance, without rebellion, without resentment,
without rebuttal, and without regret. We seek God for wisdom.
God moves His hand as He conforms the desires of our hearts to His. The Bible calls this "repentance." The mind changes as the heart is changed by God. Patterns then change with God giving new insight, new revelation, new strategies for success. Romans 12.1, 2 exhorts:
I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
To move the hand of God, we must appeal to the heart of God. Every believer can appeal to the heart of God by yielding mind and heart to
the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in three activities of spiritual worship and service:
1. Pray. God responds with compassion to cries for mercy as we call
upon His Name and abandon all appeals to other gods, be they gods of our own making, demonic entities, human idols, our "selves," or idols of the heart. To appeal to God is to appeal to Him as the only Source and Sustainer of all life and blessing, to appeal to Him as the only true authority and source of all power, pleasure, provision, and meaningful presence. To appeal to God is to appeal to His Nature, to the way He is, with the expectation that He will act according to that Nature consistently, truly, and faithfully. Therefore, the more we know of God's Nature and His ways, the better will be our appeal in prayer. (Philippians 4.6; Matthew 21.22; Ephesians 6.18; 1 Thess. 5.17)
2. Praise. God loves it when we cheer Him on. His heart is moved as
we call upon His Name, praising Him for His mighty deeds, for His marvelous works, for the times when He has stretched forth His arm in power in the past. (Psalm 107, e.g.) Raise the Name and Nature of God high. Raise up His Banner and rally to it. It is a spiritual law that as we do to God and others, God will do to us (Obadiah 15). Do we desire for God to bless us? Then bless Him. Cease cursing the One holding life and death in the power of His mouth. We may not be powerful enough or have opportunity to carry out the words of our hearts, minds, and mouths…but God is and does. God knows hearts. We will never take advantage of Him. We will never "get one over" on God. We will never deceive Him, for He sees through every masquerade, every lie, every cover-up. We must put away all falseness, and be honest with God and with ourselves. (Ephesians 4, Colossians 3, Romans 13.13, 14)
Praise God that He does not deal with us as we deserve (Psalm 103), but is gracious towards us, desiring that we repent and come to the knowledge of the truth...about Him, about ourselves, about Jesus. Praise Him when He blesses others. In the ways He blesses others, He will bless us, too. He deals truly. Then we join to bless others that we might inherit the blessing of God as well. (1 Peter 3.9-11)
3. Purpose. Purpose to be made true through and through. Seek God for
a good heart, to be full of goodness. Purpose to allow the God of hope to fill us with all joy and peace in believing that we may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit and be full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able to admonish others (Romans 15.13, 14). Purpose to go where the Holy Spirit leads, be it taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth or across the street.
Purpose to give, which reflects the heart of God to others. We see the goodness of God's heart as you give, and it encourages us. We appreciate every gift! Through your giving to MCM, God is enabling the extension of the fullness of the gospel:
- Through world missions, as with the upcoming mission to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan November 2-18
- Through Barnabas Project distributions in South Florida
- Through media ministry, www.marycraig.org
- Through Craighouse®
- Through evangelism, home visitation, books and publications.
Your gifts demonstrate the love Christ has put in your hearts in response to His mind and will. Thank you!
Listening to His heart,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him;
And He will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3.5, 6
Trust in the Covenant Lord,
With all your heart,
Putting all your confidence and hope in Him;
And do not lean, rest, rely upon, or place your support
On your own understanding,
Your own knowledge or skills or worldly wisdom.
Do not rise up against the Wisdom of God
Or put a stumbling block in His way.
In all your ways,
Your mode of action as you travel on the journey of life,
Be skilled in knowing, giving respect to, and discerning
The wisdom of God;
And He will direct your paths.
He will cut a straight path for your feet
Proverbs 3.5, 6
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