Posted by: matthewharri | August 4, 2008

Day 35 – God is my Dream

It has never entered into the minds of any man at any time in history what it is that You have prepared for those who love You and those who wait for You. My most ecstatic dream cannot compare to what really lies ahead for the ages to come. My greatest desires will be completely and fully satiated in You. The deepest longings of my heart will find their answer only in You. The deep well You are digging in my own heart is waiting anxiously to be filled with that wellspring of living water that springs up unto eternal life. Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is a literal place – and I’m going there, whatever it takes. I have no good thing apart from You for You have searched me and known me and know exactly what I need to live a life of fullness and satisfaction. Come to me, my God, open my eyes to the hope of my calling in You, to the things You have set aside as my inheritance that only I can obtain, and only through You, in Jesus’ name AMEN

Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,Nor have entered into the heart of manThe things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Posted by: matthewharri | August 4, 2008

Day 34 – God is my Potter

I’m nothing but a blob of clay, helpless to make anything of myself unless a hand from outside touches me, presses me, pushes me and stretches me. I would simply be spinning in circles if it wasn’t for Your hand that was patiently and continually lifting me and molding me into the very form and vessel of glory and honor You have ordained me to be. I see the tender heart of the Father softening the clay with the tears of delight that He weeps over each and every vessel He handcrafts. I am Your workmanship – Your ultimate masterpiece. You have formed me just as You desired, fulfilling the blueprints that were in Your mind before the foundation of the world. You have thrown me in the furnace of affliction and fired me. You have glazed me with unique and beautiful colors that set off my value and usefulness. I am destined to be set apart, holy unto the use of the King, established and shown-off in the house of my God. Take me. Break me. Mold me. Make me everything that brings Your pleasure in Jesus’ name.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Isaiah 29:16 Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, “ He did not make me”? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, “ He has no understanding”?
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.
Romans 9:23 that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy
Isaiah 45:9 “ Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?

Posted by: matthewharri | August 4, 2008

Day 33 – God is my Patience

Never has 40-days seemed so long in my life. It seems like an eternity and yet, when I think about and look at You, Abba, there You are still, the everlasting God who never tires or grows weary. Nothing phases You, nothing wearies You. 40 days is actually nothing, in all reality. Here is my petty attempt at doing something a little more zealously just to get more of You, trying to fulfill the vision You have over my life that I would be wholehearted and abandoned to You in love. And there You are, the One who never gives anything less than Your best, Your all – and that You do ALL the time, you never NOT do it that way. You’ve been loving and calling the human race to Yourself with al Your might and all Your strength and all Your mind and all Your heart for thousands of years now and here I am at day 33 – a heap of wet rags. That’s OK, though, Father. I do not put my trust in my patient perseverance but in Yours. You are slow to anger, rich in kindness and patience. You understand my weak flesh and You have sympathy toward me. Patient endurance is the order of the day. Reveal to me how patient You are, the long-suffering, the suffering long You show toward all of Your creation. How long did You wait from eternity past to begin Creation, to create for Yourself a being that You could share Your glory with? How long did You wait to reveal Yourself in the Person of Your Son after that? How long did You wait for men’s hearts to respond to Your beckoning? How long did You wait for me to respond? How long are You continuing to wait until Your So receives the glory that is due His name? You are patient. You wait for the response of voluntary love and will not awaken it until it pleases. Touch my heart, place Your finger of rest and patience upon me, that I would trust You in the timing of the coming to pass of Your plans in Jesus’ name AMEN

Luke 21:19 By your patience possess your souls.
Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Romans 2:7 Reward eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

Posted by: matthewharri | August 4, 2008

Little Eyes are Watching

I was taking a walk with our son who is only about 2 years one day. Without thinking, I bent over plucked an extra-long stalk of grass that was growing in the yard of an abandoned house. I kept on walking and took about 10 more steps.

When I turned around to see how my little guy was fairing, I saw him running to catch up with me, grimacing and carrying a confused look on his face. I noticed that something was dangling out of his mouth but had to wait until he got closer to make out what it was.

Apparently, he had seen what I did and proceeded to do exactly what he perceived I had done. He plucked up a blade of grass and shoved it into his mouth, mildly gagging himself and wondering why it didn’t taste any better.

It was both cute and sobering at the same time. It took no longer than half-a-second for me to reach out, pluck and plop in my mouth. But how easily young ones pick up the simplest activities, much less the more habitual ones. It makes me shudder to think of children who grow up in households where alcohol, smoking, perversions and filthy language are the norm. The wet concrete in their souls is taking the shape of their containers and is being written on by every action, every word that they experience in their small environments.

It’s a serious reminder as to the authority God has entrusted into His people to be examples of His character both to a dead and groping world and to our own children:

Imitate God, as His dear little children” -Ephesians 5:1

Posted by: matthewharri | July 31, 2008

The Christian Swim

Salmon are known for their great migration from the ocean to their spawning grounds, the place where they were hatched, that sometimes require traversing a distances over 1,000 miles. It is a journey littered with hardships and adversity requiring an incredible amount of determination and perseverance.

We hear a lot about what is called the “Christian walk” but I want to draw attention to it in a different way for a moment.

There is a current of our culture that aims to sweep us away from everything that is God – the experience of God and the knowledge of God in a personal way. The current is swift. The expressions and tastes of the current vary greatly. It is pleasurable to the flesh. It is perpetual and relentless. And it always takes us away from where we want so desperately to go.

Sometimes we can get a little disheartened when we see most of the church just being swept away by this current, not resisting it and barely noticing that they’re in a current at all. Other times we can get a little heady and prideful when we make a little effort to resist the tides of the times and see that not everyone else is doing the same. But we must understand this:

Simply swimming up-stream does not guarantee us anything. Even if we swim against the current, if we don’t swim at a faster pace than the current, we will not get anywhere. It takes a hefty amount of violence to swim all that distance against the tide – it would take a hefty amount of violence to get there at all, with or without a current! (When was the last time you traversed a few thousand mies on foot without stopping to get anything to eat?)

Jesus was explaining the ministry of John the Baptizer, this crazy social outcast and wilderness-wanderer in the following quote:

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” -Matthew 11:12

What the violence Jesus was speaking of here, I believe, was John’s violent inner swim up the river of his culture of the day. He was not at all going to get swept up in the all the political games, the religious jockeying for position, the rat race for money. He knew the call of God that was on his life and he knew what he had to do it order to fulfill it.

God is raising up an entire generation of John the Baptists, forerunners who will, with the same spiritual violence, take back from the realm of darkness what rightfully belongs to God’s glorious kingdom. They will refuse the good in order to get the best. They will deny the permissible in order to get more of God. Technology does not sway them. Current events do not shake them. Pressures and denunciations will not alter their convictions.

God give us grace to live in the wilderness. Strengthen us with Your might in our inner man to wage violent warfare against everything that keeps us from knowing and experiencing You, encountering You in our daily lives. I don’t want to swim only fast enough not to get swept away. I want to get HOME! Empower us to swim Swim! SWIM! upstream until we rest in Your glory. in Jesus’ name AMEN

Posted by: matthewharri | July 31, 2008

Prayer Pothole #6 – I’m Starving!

A desperate man does desperate things.

A man stranded in the desert will do anything to get a drop of water to touch his tongue. A starving man will do anything to get a crumb of break into his stomach. The same is true in the spirit.

Hunger and thirst are some of the greatest gifts we could receive from God. When we ask for more of Him, many times His answer is to give us a greater longing, an unquenchable hunger and thirst for more. This poses a problem:

What are we willing to do in order to get more of God? Being too satisfied by the things of the world stifles our hunger and thirst for the only drink and the only food that truly satisfies. It’s like a starving man gorging on candy – his stomach may get full of stuff, but he will still eventually die of malnourishment. We need food with real spiritual sustenance. We need drink with real life-giving properties. This comes only in the Person of Jesus and by His Holy Spirit.

God will starve us out of our prayerlessness and call us higher, call us deeper, call us further. These calls come from beyond the fence of our comfort-zone and beckon us there. The wilderness is the only biblical place of encounter. Moses. Israel. John the Baptist. Jesus Himself. All of these men encountered God only in the pace of dryness, barrenness and solitude before the LORD. This is where most people settle and step back, away from God. This is where the decision is made subconsciously, “I cannot be abandoned to God. I cannot love Him wholeheartedly. It would be best for me to just settle here, enjoying the little bit of God that I have but being tormented by the knowledge that there could be more.”

Rather, we should seek God for the grace to love Him with more fervency, in utter abandon and with all of our hearts, minds, strength and soul. We should ask Him to fill us with the courage we need to step into the places He is calling us to. Then we should be ready to respond accordingly.

Only hunger and only thirst will drive us out of the place of comfort, keeping us moving forward in the grace of God. It truly is one of the most precious and genius gifts of God for our souls.

Posted by: matthewharri | July 31, 2008

Prayer Pothole #5 – But I Wanna Do It MY Way!

Strong people do not pray – at least not for very long.

Only the weak, needy ones pray – not because they are the only weak and needy ones, but because they are the only ones who recognize their weakness and neediness.

Prayer at its’ core is a declaration of one’s own inability to do anything on their own. It’s essentially a cry for help. It’s basically saying, “I cannot do this on my own. I need an Outside Source to help me do this.” Although this is wonderful because it is always God’s intention to answer these prayers so that we experience His hand in our lives, it is also terrible because it murders everything of strength in us, everything that would want to stand up, cinch up the bootstraps, grit our teeth and do it on our own.

God is looking, right now!, for people who are willing to do it His way at the expense of doing it their own way. This is a death of an ultimate kind and one of the premier hindrances to God’s people living a lifestyle of prayer. He insists that we do things His way. We can continue to insist on doing things our own way, He will allow us to, but there will come great harm and hurt in time.

Our pride is slaughtered in the prayer closet. This is wonderful – at least from eternity’s perspective. It’s horrible for the present time. But as we ask God to send Jesus back to the planet, for His will to be done an His Kingdom to come, it is actually us who become transformed in the asking. We will begin to desire the very things that have been on His heart the whole time and our hearts will connect to His will on a whole new level. This is what we want. It’s called “sanctification” and it’s called “renewing our minds” so that we have the “mind of Christ”.

I think God sends us to our prayer closets so that no one else will see us as we throw our temper tantrums before God.

Posted by: matthewharri | July 31, 2008

Day 32 – God is my Judge

I need a Judge! I need someone that knows the law better than my enemy, for surely, Satan, the enemy of my soul traffics in the law and I am found guilty and accused every time. Your law is the law of grace and life in the Spirit and it has set me free from the law of sin and death. Satan wants to give me the death penalty but You desire that none should perish, that I would be tried, examined and set free, released into Your joy, peace, life and light. Everywhere I turn, I am being condemned about something, accused of something, convicted about something. I do not know what to do except run to You, place my trust in the kindness and mercy of Your heart towards me and in the power of Your Blood, Jesus, to set me free from that internal bondage. My Egypt is in my own mind and I cannot escape it without the supernatural power and provision of Your Holy Spirit’s deliverance. Make a way of escape for me. Open up the door of revelation by the Holy Spirit through which I will be confident in the atoning and cleansing and purging work of the Blood of Jesus. Vengeance belongs to You, Jesus. Only in the revelation of Your perfect recompense, Your perfect judgment (“right dealings”) with my enemies, can I ever succeed in loving my enemies, even turning the other cheek. I refuse to take any retaliation into my own hands knowing that You will require a perfect account of my enemies. Help me to give my case to the heavenly defense Lawyer who acquits the innocent and convicts the guilty. Be my freedom. Reveal to me a greater revelation of my freedom in Christ – the there now is no condemnation – in Jesus’ name AMEN

Deuteronomy 32:35 Vengeance is Mine
Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
Psalm 94:1 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs—O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
Isaiah 61 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God
Jeremiah 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood
Jeremiah 51:36 Therefore thus says the LORD: “ Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you
Ezekiel 25:17 I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I lay My vengeance upon them.”’”
Revelation 18:20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”
Revelation 19:2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”

Posted by: matthewharri | July 31, 2008

Day 31 – God is my King

You are the Architect and King over all of known creation – and over a whole lot more that we do not know! It is Your rightful inheritance to obtain ownership over everything that exists. My pride desires a kingdom of my own, to rule and to be in control of every sphere that concerns me. Help me to realize that taking control into my own hands is a very bad idea and that giving lordship and rulership over to Jesus is a very wise thing to do. I consistently prove my lack of concern for others. Yet Jesus, You did nothing out of selfish ambition and always esteemed others as better than Yourself – even giving Your very own life for them. What kind of King would do such a thing? Every other king who has known enemies subdues and kills them so that they can live. But You do just the opposite! You lay Your own life down even for Your enemies that they may be won over and invited to take part of Your Kingdom. What kind of love is this? You are the Eternal Sovereign. You are the King and the LORD of glory. You alone are worthy of all power, riches, wealth, glory and honor for You were slaughtered like a helpless ram in order that we may be with You where You are, in eternal glory and delight. Reveal Your rightful kingship in my life, in Jesus’ name AMEN

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead
Psalm 89:11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Deuteronomy 10:14 Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it.
Revelation 5:12 saying with a loud voice: “ Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness,The world and those who dwell therein.
1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness,The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all.
Psalm 24:8 Who is this King of glory?The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.
Psalm 145:11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,And talk of Your power

Posted by: matthewharri | July 31, 2008

Day 30 – God is my Bridegroom

John said that he was a friend of the Bridegroom and that when he stood in the place of the wilderness, he heard Your voice and that his joy was complete. It was what his soul was made for. I come to You, Jesus, my passionate Bridegroom, knowing that Your delight is toward me and for me. I know that You have invited me to come and search You out and that You will never, by any means, turn me away. I can never get too close to You. The further and more intensely I seek after You, even as a bride would seek to obtain the affections of and to show her affections toward her bridegroom, the more You reveal them to me. There is no end to the affections of Your heart towards me. The desire of Your heart toward me is an unquenchable ocean ready for me to dive deeply into – as deeply as I would ever want. Even judgments that are directly from Your hand are the products of Your desire to obtain love from the hearts of Your human bride. You will allow nothing to stand between Your heart and the objects of Your affection. Your zeal will remove everything that hinders love from being received by me. You come back, again and again, to simply love me. Everything in my life works out for my own benefit because it is You who loves me Who is working to form complete and mature love in my heart, love for You and love for other people. Set my heart on fire with the unquenchable fire that resides deep inside of You, in Jesus’ name AMEN

John 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
Proverbs 6:34 For jealousy is a husband’s fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Jeremiah 9:24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
Isaiah 62:3-5 You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah,[“My Delight is in You”] and your land Beulah;[“Married”] For the LORD delights in you, And your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

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