The Minister’s Mistress – By Thomas Koester

Do Not Worship the Anointing or Fall in Love with Your ministry…

Do you remember the days when you desired to know God and abide in him? Well, this must exceed your desire to serve him and abide in your giftedness. Too many well-meaning men and women of God have been taken out by this mistake.

In simpler words, do not worship the anointing or fall in love with your calling.

God wants a man or a woman to chase after Him, rather than chasing after ministry.

Some might be tempted to say:

“You can take my calling and…,”

…well, you get the meaning. This too is self-worship and idolatry. They find out that this god-business is too much for them, and the energy of propping up a false pretense each week is exhausting. Duplicity, after all, is only fun until the real man becomes overpowered by the false man, and when you have lost your courage to be real.

The danger escalates when the ministry becomes your mistress and you believe all that flattery stuff.

If you have to, take a vacation and pursue your First Love, until you’ve become captivated with the Lover of your soul. Otherwise, what you call “light,” will become darkness; for then, how great will your darkness be! Matt. 6:23

To be known by God, and for you to intimately know his ways and his heart for you, is your antidote against self-delusion and ministry worship. In other words, check yourself before you wreck yourself and your family. Stay humble by being transparent and honest with a few good men.

Better to be known by your true humility then to be praised by thousands for your many talents and earthshaking ministry.

Abase yourselves, even in front of your congregation, so that God’s people may know the way to true greatness, that is, through your true humility. I have seen it happen, and it is beautiful!

It may be that you suffer from a lack of humanness. You know, your super-saint persona, how others perceive you in public may not match how you act in private. Maintaining a glittering image is costly, because it robs you of brokenness and being approachable. This is one of the reasons why so many pastors and ministers suffer from loneliness.

Only you and God know how well you can fake it, well, maybe your wife too. But, all the while you can still bring God’s house down in applause, even with unconfessed sin in your heart, the anointing still flows. (And that’s pretty scary stuff.) But, if you’re not going to be true, but just sit there with your mouth opened and your heart hardened; then it will be your own house, which will be brought down, and how terrible its fall will be!

Those that worship worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. Jonah 2:8

Don’t forfeit God’s grace because of pride, trust in Him — in do time, He will lift you up. He is near the brokenhearted and will surely hear your cry for help.

“The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Repent now, and not later. Fall into grace or fall into hell. Decide now, while you still have a choice. I guarantee people will follow you to either place — after all, you are the Pastor!

Break your love affair with ministry and become true to the Lover of your soul again.

Your greatest identity is not “Pastor,” but God’s beloved son. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.” Maybe you’ve forgotten that. Maybe, at some point, and in some way, you stepped into the role as messiah and went straight into giving your life as a ransom for many.

The acclaim and burden is too much for you — it’s time to stop this and save your heart and soul. It belongs to God.

End the affair now. Better you decide before God does.

The Superman Pastor – By Thomas Koester

Are you exhausted, running on empty and your physical and spiritual odometer cycled over too many times?

If so, you may be a Superman Pastor.

Your identity and significance must be in your sonship and not your pastorship. Never use your intimacy with God as a vicarious impetus for others to synthesize. In doing this, you and your congregation will both become lost and distant from God. People will hunger for your intimacy at the sacrifice of their own connection with God.

Rather, reveal the heart and passion of God for them, until their Father-hunger for God surpasses their father-hunger for you.

Won’t this lighten your load?

Won’t this save your marriage?

Won’t this free you up to be your children’s daddy?

If not, maybe your cape is showing!

As some of you have retired, or have left the pastorship, you may find yourselves lost, because you’ve been trapped in a service and performance role with God and others. This was never God’s doing, but the writ of men and the corporate structure of many churches.

Did you know that the word “religion” actually means to “re-bond” with God? The Latin word is made up of to parts, “re” meaning again, and “ligare,” meaning to bind or to bond.

We Protestants are constantly harping against other religions that faith in God is not a religion, but a relationship. But, in tossing out the word religion, we’ve tossed out the significance of the word. Rather than truly encouraging and leading people into intimacy and sonship with God, they’ve learned by our actions as pastors and enter into performance roles, as presented by the World’s false religions.

So many pastors have lost their intimate bond with God because of the performance and service trap, and so, they end up helplessly modeling burnout, depression, and, believe it or not, loneliness.

Many pastors feel they must keep up the role as pastor at all costs; that is, he must appear spiritually diligent and vivacious when in the public view. And, if he’s especially talented, he will maintain this exhaustive role even in front of his family.

What happens to a man when he calls his darkness light?

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness—how deep is that darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23

When a pastor calls his darkness light, he cuts himself off from God and others, and the duplicity becomes more, and more costly.

If a pastor, and for that matter, any of us, satisfy our father-hunger with God and not with ministry, we will grow as true sons and daughters of God. It will therefore be the fruit of our lives, which will benefit others, and encourage them to bear their own fruit by connecting to the True Vine, Jesus Christ.

A successful pastor is not one who can maintain a pastor’s schedule or demands, but can bravely, and yes, with some cost of reputation and notoriety, allow his humanness and frailty to be seen by others.

In other words, take on the humility of Christ and the burden of Christ. Did you know that bearing your cross is a very public affair? Jesus bore the weight of his cross in public, and, at the moment where he had lost his strength, a simple man aided him and carried his cross for a distance.

Being a good pastor is not a sprint, and it’s not meant to be a solo act. It’s team work; it should involve the aid of good men and good women of faith. After all, the ministry of the Church is meant for the Church and not because of the Church. By each of us, you and me, joining in the ministry, we will grow in our faith and collectively reach maturity in Christ as a healthy body.

In so doing, we can spare the good men of God, which pastor because of the call of God on their lives in a more healthy way.

There is so much more to talk about on this subject. But, until then, pray for your pastors. Become more involved. Give them grace. Take better care of one another. Visit one another. Pray for one another. Support your pastor, and not just with tithing, but with your time too.

After all, aren’t we all children of God?

Only in DC Comics will you find a Superman.

Hard Fought Happily-Ever-After – By Thomas Koester

Love is worth the battle — You are worth battling for. Don’t surrender, your story is not over!

An adversary and a battle always precedes a happily-ever-after. Not only is this true for every romance and marriage, but it is also true of our faith. Storytellers and movie-makers are consistently using this theme over and over again.

What kind of romance, marriage or faith would there be without an adversary and without a battle? Wouldn’t a movie or story be boring without an adversary and without battle?

After all, adventure, battle and beauty is within our DNA–within the very depths of our hearts and souls.

Matter of fact, the themes of an adventure, battle and beauty is actually borrowed from God’s story of his crowning creation, that is Adam and Eve. First he creates them, then loses them to the Serpent’s craftiness. Then, God pursues his creation until he later rescues mankind back from the Adversary by sending our Champion, Jesus Christ the Righteousness One. Not only does God rescue those he lost, but his Son delivers a death blow to our most wretched adversaries, Sin and Death!

“Will I ransom them from the power of the grave? Will I redeem them from death’s hold? Death, where are your diseases? Grave, where is your victory? – Hosea 13:14

“Death’s sting is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. Thanks be to God, who gives us this victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” – 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

“But the LORD says, “The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children.” Isaiah 49:25

And, for those who believe, this is not quite the end of God’s story — not by a long shot! He is preparing a place for us, our happily-ever-after. A place where all adversaries, including sin death, disease and the devil; where all loss, decay and brokenness, and even our tears, will be forever vanquished.

So, don’t despise hardships and adversities, with it comes a life worth living and a God who, not only loves to come through for his children, but trains us through our adversities and battles, to come through for those whom we love, including strangers that God brings across our paths.

“A song of David. Praise the Lord! He is my Rock. He prepares me for war. He trains me for battle.” Psalms 144: 1.

Happily-Ever-After is worth the scars and setbacks, for life and true living are their reward.

“But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.” – Hebrews 10:39

Stand your ground. Cling to your faith. Be brave and upright. Hold to the truth. Love fiercely and never give up on others.

“For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the coming glory that will be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

“What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Engage your battles as a victor and never as a victim. For you are a true Child of God after all and your Heavenly Father, well He’s the God of the Angel Armies!

God is your happily-ever-after. He fights for you!

The Greatness of God Is Your Greatest Strength – By Thomas Koester

While your suffering is sacred before God, He is greater than what you suffer.

God’s faithfulness is Greater than our faithlessness.

‘“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”

Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided —“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!'” Thomas Chisholm – 1925

For the believer (one who responds in faith and obedience to God’s purpose and will), there is no circumstance, trial, hardship, sickness, disease or even death, whereby it touches us or even comes near us that is not so ordered by God, and which has been planned before our very existence.

In other words, God is never surprised; never taken off guard, thwarted, undermined nor defeated in any event, good or bad in or about our lives. He cannot be manipulated, coerced, threatened or successfully conspired against, by any force, any power, whether invisible or seen; in earth or space, in past or present, whether by gods, demons, angels or men. Simply, God has no “plan B” and absolutely no competitor, period, end of story!

Otherwise my dear brothers and sisters, He would not be God and certainly not worthy of our praise or our worship, our trust and our salvation!

So if you think you know God then kill god, for the god you think you know, is not the God who Is, but a god of your finite imagination. For the God who Is, is far greater and infinite than anything, or anyone, or that any power can imagine, create or conjure.

Whether your faith is tiny or great, new or old, it can never define our God, but only give you the slightest glimpses into a fraction of His infinite greatness and unknowable person and unending character.

Now compare our Great God, with your worst day, most deadly disease, and most grievous loss. They are all trivial to God. God loves a stacked deck against himself and you. Why? Because our God loves to come through! He is The Overcomer from ancient of days and until the death of this planet and beyond.

Our belief and faith in the One True God changes absolutely everything. If it does not bring change in your life, mind and heart, then you’ve not seen Him nor encountered the True Living, Eternal God. He’s only a prayer away and the those of the smallest inkling of the smallest faith shall find Him.

Just because you can lift your hand towards the sun and block out its incomparable brightness with your little thumb, changes not the sun, nor its power and existence, it’s only your perception which changes. Our sicknesses, diseases, problems, marriages, betrayals and all manner of challenges, trials and losses, they’re all like your little thumb, which may block out God’s incomparable greatness, but can only change your perception and not the reality of God.

Nothing changes God. Let me repeat that; “NOTHING CHANGES GOD!” He is changeless, unstoppable and immoveable and, “…is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

So, move your little thumb away from your eye, and all your problems too, and allow them to be consumed in the bigness and greatness of our God who allowed all your problems in the first place. He’s just training you to trust him and causing all these things to produce a harvest of righteousness in and through your life.

You see, your suffering is sacred before God, just as Jesus’ suffering was sacred before His Father. Because of the humility and suffering of Jesus, we have access to God and have a sympathetic and understanding Saviour.

If you want a relationship with God, well, no person can come to the Father, except through the Son, that is Jesus Christ The Lamb of God.

Just believe in Him and you’ll have the Father also, and He’s no deadbeat Dad, He is God Almighty and The Great God of Heaven and Earth. His greatness is your greatest strength!

Jonah-itis – By Thomas Koester

I was at a restaurant with my wife in Pacifica California many Sundays ago. We sat at a beautiful table ready to enjoy dinner, our table faced directly towards a floor-to-ceiling plate glass window. On the other side, less than 100 yards was the Pacific Ocean pounding the surf. The sun finally broke through at about 6:00PM. Beautiful, majestic; our hearts filled with praise and gratitude towards God.

Outside, slightly to our right, were fisherman casting their lines into the surf. Suddenly, one of the fishermen caught what looked like a 30-pound striped bass. Awesome, praise God! What a catch! Several minutes later, another large bass. All this beauty, a gift from God.

The table to our right were seated with two men, one man slightly older than the other. I could tell that it was their first date. As their conversation carried into our booth, I was annoyed, angered and critical! My wife could sense the tension and change in my attitude.

Suddenly, beauty faded. Gratitude left. Praises ceased. My sense of awe dwarfed into awfulness.

What are “they” doing here?

God, their soaking up and wasting all this beauty. GOD… …the beauty, the ocean, the sunset is being lavished on them. Do something!

Judgment rose within me. They are “those people” who are bringing God’s judgment on us all. I tried to block them, ignore them; wish them gone, hoping they’d finish their meals and leave. Then, it hit me. Yea, it shouted from inside my mind:

“I want; no, I can’t wait for God’s judgments on ‘those people,’ they’re destroying our country!’”

Then a voice inside me said:

“This is My time of grace for the Lost…”

His Spirit touched my heart and immediately He gave me insight and the grace to see my sin.

He continued:

“…My Grace comes for the Lost, even the vilest sinner; yes, even for those two men, whom for a moment were by my choosing, your neighbor.

I lavished them with my glory, the works of my hands, and my breath over the waters that they may see the mighty waves pound the sand. I hooked those great fish to those lines that they too might see that I provide. I, not you, broke through the clouds, and at just the right moment, displayed my splendor and majesty to the crowd.

And you, my dutiful son, did not lift one finger to welcome, or even offer a “good evening gentlemen.” You, my son, are lost. You’ve so easily forgotten the depth from which I drew you; the vileness of your own sin, which let me remind you, has been fully pardoned and atoned! Should I not have compassion on those whom I choose?

You’ve forgotten I came not for the righteous; I came for the sinner. I came not for the well, neither the well-to-do nor the do-gooder. I came for the lost, the vilest the better. I’m not too weak to save the homosexual or even the promiscuous heterosexual. I see no degree, no difference between the sins of men.

You’ve questioned my judgment! You want me to withhold grace for judgment on those whom you choose? There already exists an appointed time of judgment for the rebellious, the coward, the unbeliever, the faithless, and the murderer, those who love to live a lie. But, it is not now. I have my “Grace Agents” all over the world, commissioned to seek and to save all the lost.

You suffer from Jonah-itis! You think you can sit comfortably beneath my heaven, waiting for judgment to fall on the unrighteous? You are on the wrong team. You’re cheering for judgment! I don’t know you, because you don’t know me. You’ve lost touch with my heart. You better draw near; you better search me out, humbling yourself and repent from your wicked bout.

You’re correct about one thing; judgment is coming, it’s nearly here. The world, and yes, even the United States will get a taste of what’s near. But this judgment is not for the lost, the homosexual or adulterer, not for the murderer or thief, liar or cheat. It’s coming for you. You, who call yourselves by my Name, who refuse to say “good evening gentlemen” or hello neighbor. You, who are amazed by my amazing grace, only to keep it hid, and selectively gracing only the attractive and well dressed; the sinless and smell-good-people.

It’s the people who attend my Sunday worship services, raising their hands in awe, lowering their heads in sweet repose, singing me “love songs” of sweet devotion, and giving such melodic lip service. You can sing and worship all you like. I want your obedience, and not just your sweet “I love you Lord.” You’ve sat too long in those cushiony pews. You’ve basked in my presences long enough! Now, GET UP. GET OUT. Ask me for my heart and eyes, and I will place them into my tabernacles, into your hearts!

Then, once again you will remember. You will feel what I feel and see what I see, and cry for the lost sons and lost daughters. You will no longer see homosexuals or prostitutes, murderers, adulterers, liars and cheats. You will see the lost and hurting, broken and the needy. Let me unveil something new to you, “repentance with action,” yes righteous deeds will only revert my day of disaster against my Church. Stop your prim and pose services, your judgments and stingy hording of grace.

If you recall, Jonah’s sailing companions were fearful and terrified of the sea’s great fury! They feared for their lives and prayed in a hurry. Only finding Jonah a sleep in the hull, they shouted and roused the man of God from his slumber; “What have you done, and what god have you angered?” “I serve the Lord God, said Jonah; God said I must go to Nineveh and preach all over. But the people of Nineveh are vile and sinful, said Jonah. They’re undeserved of God’s grace, so I’m off to Tarshish after this nine-day-cruse, for some rest and some peace. I know this God who chases me, turning up the seas and bringing you to your knees. He thinks I’m not smart or wise to his ways, if I go to Nineveh, he’ll forgive and he’ll save! So why should I bother and upset my vacation plans, if the sinners go unpunished, why save and heal the land?

Your disobedience and running is threatening our lives, you, not we have brought God’s judgment to light; here cast in your lot and let’s see if it’s so! The lot fell to Jonah, and they tossed him over the bow, he hit the water sinking to depths far below. No prayer could be heard, no pleading was pled, he sternly and steadily held in his head, no confession, and no repentance to bring change to his dread. He hits bottom, surrounded and tangled in seaweed and mire, he offers a faint cry, higher and higher; a great fish appears, swallowing him whole and entire.

The wayward prophet calls out to God;

“When my life ebbed away I remembered you Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”

O Church, wake up! You’re asleep in the light God’s anger is coming, but not for the lost. We’ve been headed in the wrong direction! The world cries for a Savior and we cry for a heaven. We spend dollars and hours prettying our sanctuaries, staining our stained-glass-windows, and tuning our instruments. We Christianize our music, our cars and our shops. We invent new ways to heavenize everything we touch.

We think we can vote in morality by Christianizing our politics or change our Nation’s future by “born-again-and-again-and-again” candidates. We’ve forgotten that God appoints the rulers we deserve according to our righteousness, then His judgment will swerve.

You say, the homosexual, the transvestite, the tattooed and the pierced; the thief and robber the liar and cheat have brought us Katrina, Northridge and Ike. The earth shakes and quakes because the sinners are unrighteous? No. We’ve got it wrong! The earth shakes and quakes, rumbles and floods; becomes hotter or colder because we’ve left things undone! Judgment is coming because the righteous practices unrighteousness.

It’s because the sin of “omission.”

We’ve omitted God’s grace from our neighborhoods, schools and market place. We’ve omitted God’s grace from our downtown, uptown and the lowdown; from the down-and-outers, underachievers and meat-eaters; from our dinner tables, family rooms, boardrooms and horse stables. Grace can’t be found, not because sin abounds, but because we want judgment to fall down against the unrighteous! We yearn for the rapture, “operation-rescue.” Christ Jesus, he yearns for a victorious and triumphant bride! Her beauty and brightness is her righteous acts and deeds.

Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”

“Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”

Then the LORD said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” Jonah 4:9-11 (NLT)

Should we be angry that sinful people flourish? Or shall we feel what God feels and offer them Christ in us, their only Hope and glory?

God heal us from our Jonah-itis!

How The West Was Lost – By Thomas Koester

Narcissus: “a youth who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool and wasted away from unsatisfied desire, whereupon he was transformed into the flower.” Greek Mythology

Several months ago I watched a movie “The Giver ” with my wife, Toni. While this movie was about a futuristic society, it is very relevant and a wake up call for all of us today. We are quickly becoming the society depicted in this film as emotionless, colorless and vaccinated against thinking and reason. Yes, the film depicts families performing daily and routine vaccinations before leaving their “family units” for predetermined vocations in behalf of the Collective.

I recommend watching the movie trailer before reading on…

We have allowed ourselves to become programmed by the programmers. Whenever we accept “truth” from others without research and discovery we enter into another level of being programmed.

Not only are we losing our critical and analytically thought processes, but we are losing our language, and therefore our ability to communicate clearly and creatively.

In a similar way, we are losing our spirituality. Rather than connecting directly to God, through Jesus Christ (The Word) and the Holy Spirit (Teacher, Comforter & Convicter). We limit our connections to the Godhead by extensions of corporate worship of 15 to 20 minutes per week. We’ve abdicated our inherent right as sons and daughters of God to personally hear His Voice, not as “new revelation,” but rather a deeper intimacy. We value pastors as how well they can hold our brief attention, rather than learning to feed ourselves on the Word and voice of God.

There is no process to practice ministry, as ministry has become nothing more than spectating and being ministered too. There is little to no outlet for functional ministry being practiced by the ministered!

This reminds of the days long ago when the government removed wood shop, metal shop, mechanic shop as well as home economics from public schools. Children being left with no physical application, or the opportunity to learn a trade. Many Churches have done the same thing. They’ve removed all of the application and ministerial outlets for members to exercise their gifts as they learn truth, therefore become perpetual students and not masters of ministry, and service to others.

Many teachers, not all, have become programmers also. They dispense pre-selected and government approved curriculum to the masses. Classrooms are no longer a place of free thinking; of free ideas and ideals. God is not welcomed there also. Excellence is shunned and replaced with fairness, and high standards lowered to mediocrity, so no one fails.

Common grammar school literature of the 16th Century could not be read, nor comprehended by the average high school student of today!

Progressively, technology and the internet is replacing fundamental human contact and interaction. Technological corporations are sanitizing the meaning of life, and are reprogramming the masses to “living” for pleasure and consumerism. Our lives and interests are becoming nothing more than algorithms, measured by an impersonal machines, reported to corporate mongrels who fight for a greater market share of our existence!

Our divine purpose and uniqueness has been replaced by political usefulness; mere polling data for those in power to gain greater control over our individualism, until it too vanishes.

Utopianism is impossible in a fallen world. As soon as it is politically achieved, it immediately turns into despotism. But the tyrannical of every generation wants it’s opportunity to do it better; with utter disbelief in past failures, and abandoned hindsight they press forward with backward thinking and demonic ideology. Their deranged ideology creates a deranged society and a warped and selfish culture.

And so, are there any humans out there? Do you feel anymore? Do you love people, or only the device, which you use to connect yourself to them?

Is your skin stained with enough ink yet? Do you have anymore natural skin left? Are your pierced enough? Are you satisfied with all your selfies plastered throughout social media? Are your relationships about what you can get, until you can’t get anymore?

It would appear the more technologically we’ve become as a society, the more primitive we,’ve become as a culture. It seems that technology, as wonderful and useful as it is, is diminishing our humanity towards one another and to nature.

The amounts of tattoos, piercings, abortions and Botox is not an indicator of a progressive technological society, but a society that is regressing into tribalism and primitivism.

Are people, you know, humans, are they disposable? The unborn, infants and the elderly? How about relationships? Are you a dumper, or are you a dumpee?

I think we truly have become the society of tomorrow, today, and its not colorful at all, but drab and grey.

People are challenged to dump ice-cold buckets of water on themselves and others, or to ingest Tide pods, or dance outside their moving vehicles, are appearing more and more unintelligent. I challenge you to think and act for yourselves, so that you may act wisely and think kindly towards others.

Our humanity is at risk, and if it is lost, our humaneness towards one another will end. Our loss of humaneness always starts with a loss of saneness.

Narcissus: “a youth who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool and wasted away from unsatisfied desire, whereupon he was transformed into the flower.” Greek Mythology

Our culture is fast becoming a collection of “flowers.”

“She looks at herself instead of looking at you, and so doesn’t know you.” – Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black) by Marie-Henri Beyle

As a society, we cannot peer into the mirror for too long before we’ve become wasted and unsatisfied. When we spend too much time looking at our own images, we don’t look at others, and instead foster shallow relationships. The over adornment of tattoos, body piercings, self-obsession, and body emphasis is proof that our culture is transforming into nothing more than flowers.

And this is how the historians will say the West was lost.

The more we look at, and emphasize ourselves instead of each other, the less we know one another.

We can only rediscover our original humanity in the Creator and the Christ, For God created us in his image, which time and time we’ve lost, but Jesus Christ restored that image for us.

Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3 (NLT)

If we can do this; if we can become less distracted with ourselves, we can become more attracted to God and to one another. If we feed ourselves more on what God is saying than on what others are texting or tweeting, maybe, just maybe we can win the West once again.

Abba’s Child – By Thomas Koester

Sometimes its the simple prayer of a desperate heart that changes everything!

I know my Heavenly Daddy has me where he wants me, in his capable hands. But sometimes I forget. Its not always easy to place my life and my prayers into his hands, but when the struggling is over, and I rest in who he is, I find peace and the assurance that he hears my prayers.

I can, and do at times, recount the prayers in which he’s answered. Since, in most times my prayers are about major issues, they indeed are worth remembering and thanking him all over again. But those desperate, little prayers are just as meaningful too and worth remembering. This is why the first word His Spirit teaches us to say is “Abba Father,” which actually means “poppa” or “da-da.” He wants that kind of trust and that kind of familiarity from us, he invites us to call out to him as an infant, frail, dependent and trusting.

My favorite title in all the world is “Daddy.” It was my precious daughter, Tessa who’d call daddy, while my boys would call me dad or pops. Daddy is the title that would melt my heart and soften my face.

I truly believe that our Heavenly Father loves us to call him “daddy,” “poppa” or even da-da.” I think he wants to hear that name and title from you too. I believe that Abba may be God’s favorite name also.

One lonely and rainy morning I was traveling to work. It was still dark, as I headed to Vasco Road in Brentwood, California. I had been prayerless for weeks, as I had drifted from God. I desperately wanted to pray, but I had lost my words and was filled with shame.

I remembered a simple prayer that I read in a book by Brennan Manning, titled: “Abba’s Child.”

I began reciting the words:

“Abba-Father, I belong to you…” …Abba-Father, I belong to you!

Over and over again this prayer bubbled up from my desperate and lonely heart.

With the rain pounding my windshield, tears began streaming down my face, making it harder to see.

With more than a few dozen cars ahead of me, I came to a stop at the dreaded lighted intersection of Camino Diablo and Vasco Road. While traffic was inching along, I kept desperately praying that simply prayer, Abba-Father, I belong to you.

In my desperatness, I added “I am my beloved’s and he is mine, his banner over me is love, taken from the Old Testament book, Songs of Songs.

I finaly made it to the intersection, as one by one, each car navigated their turns. In the pouring down rain, I completed my turn onto Vasco Road, heading towards Livermore, still crying and praying with all my heart.

As soon as my headlights lit up the car in front of me, I could read their license plate frame. It read:

“ABBA’S CHILD.”

I had to wipe my eyes, just to confirm what I was seeing was real. My heart became instantly alive again. My soul began to soar! I heard God, loud and clear, in the depths of my heart.

God had heard my simple, but desperate prayer. He reminded me in that moment at Camino Diablo and Vasco Road that I am still his child.

I am Abba’s Child! God’s miraculous reminder changed me in an instant and restored my soul.

God hears our prayers! Even when we’ve brushed him off, or drifted far away from him. Abba-God, rushes back at the sound of our cries — at the sound of our awkward prayers, he comes back into our lives just as a real daddy does.

I ask you to look at the photo above of those two sets hands and imagine your little hands in God’s capable hands. Now, release your fears, worries, concerns; your sicknesses and diseases; your loss of love or marriage; your suffering and finances, and let it all go into God’s strong and sure hands. Take a deep breath, relax, …let it go, he can handle it all.

“The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path]. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand and sustains him.” Psalm 37:23-24 Amplified Bible

Now thank him and sleep well tonight, and when you wake up, remind yourself of this little prayer:

“Abba Father, I belong to you.” “…Abba Father, I belong to you.” “I am my beloveds and he is mine, his banner over me is love.” Amen