Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Favorite Day Of The Year

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,  for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity

Today is my favorite day of the year.  See You At The Pole.  I also absolutely love that my kids love it as much as I do.  They want to be there and will sacrifice sleep to get there extra early.  There will be a special worship time around the flagpoles of schools.  It is student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led.  It is an awesome display of Christian students stepping up and taking a stand for Christ. 

See You at the Pole began in 1990 in Burleson, Texas.  It started as a challenge by Texas youth ministers at a conference in June.  Students who wanted to pray for their schools together were encouraged to meet before school on a specific day that September.  In order to be able to find each other, it was decided that the flagpole was the best choice since every school has one. 

More than 56,000 students on 1,200 campuses in Texas and three other states were documented at the first See You at the Pole in September of 1990.  Now it is an international event. 

For me, there is no greater joy than seeing my own children worshipping God with such abandon.  That is what I love so much about this day.  This is their day.  They own it and the rights to worship with reckless abandon.  Today they give themselves permission to let it go and worship led by their heart.  Today they have their music, their speaker, their own style of worship.  Many of them worship this way all the time but to see so many and one time is wonderful. 

Tonight the worship center will be filled with enthusiastic youth.  They have been waiting and looking forward to this, some for a whole year.  I have too.  If you want to be blessed, be there.  If you want to worship with reckless abandon alongside the youth of Parker County, be there.  If you want to witness God moving in the lives of many young people, be there.  It may just become your favorite day of the year too!

Be in prayer today for the youth that will attend the rally tonight.  Pray that God will move in a mighty way in their hearts.  Pray for the communities in Parker County.  Pray for the churches in Parker County.  Pray for the parents in Parker County.  Pray for the schools and teachers in Parker County.   The world is changing.  It will be harder for them as Christians in the future than it was for you or me.  Pray for God to strengthen them and ready them for what lies ahead.

Scripture to Claim:
"Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

Fear has been with us from the beginning, not as an infrequent visitor but as a constant companion. Fear may be the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind.  It is the first human emotion referred to after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3.  After they disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, God came looking for the first couple to take their customary evening walk together.  Adam’s response to God’s inquiry about their whereabouts was: “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (v.10).  For the first time in their lives, fear gripped the hearts of Adam and Eve because of what they had lost and the One they had to face.

The source of their fear arose from disobedience that brought about danger, disconnection, and desperation. 

Danger:  Safety was lost outside of Eden. Once evicted from the friendly confines of paradise, the man and woman were forced to face a world fraught with danger and increasing hostility (Genesis 3:14-19; 9:2-6).  The apostle Paul described an internal struggle with fear that was provoked by external dangers threatening him: “We were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within” (2 Corinthians 7:5).  Fear was born when man was no longer under the full protection of God.

Disconnection:  Also, Adam felt vulnerable because he became separated from his Provider God. The death that he experienced immediately after he sinned was the loss of his vital connection with God.  He knew he was at risk.  He was naked, but it was much deeper than that.  He was emotionally, relationally, and spiritually cut off from his life-giving God.  Whenever our sense of well-being is threatened, we experience the same shudder of fear that Adam felt.  We feel alone and vulnerable.  Our disconnection from God fuels our fearful struggle with insecurity, inadequacy, and self-doubt.

Desperation:  Adam lost control of his world.  He was banished from the Garden, estranged from his wife, alienated from his God, and desperate to figure out how to survive in a hostile environment.  We all hate to feel out of control. Dan Allender wrote, “Different people fear different things with different levels of intensity, but all of us fear what we cannot control.  Fear is provoked when the threat of danger exposes our inability to preserve what we most deeply cherish.”  Fear invades our most cherished relationships because we have no real control over another person.  People are free to make their own choices.  And where there is freedom, there is fear.  Some spouses fear betrayal; others fear being ignored or unloved.  Parents fear that their children won’t turn out okay.  Employees fear that the company will downsize.  A sense of desperation comes when we lose control.

The truth about life is that all of the above are the experience we live in every day.  Therefore, fear can become the natural state in which we live.  The damage of such a state is profound.  Many physical issues, emotional issues and spiritual issues emanate from a spirit of fear.  But this is not God’s desire.  He offers us courage, wisdom and guidance to offset our fear.  All of these are found in a vital relationship with Him through prayer, Bible study and worship.

Scripture to Claim:
THE LORD is my Light and my Salvation--whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? …Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident. Psalms 27:1&3 

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