Prayer Is The Window Through "Impossible!"

Prayer is the window

Too often we confuse magic with prayer. Magic is instant. Magic is showy, we just kind of wave a wand and it happens -but that's not supernatural!

Prayer is for THROUGH and not around!

Prayer is the window through, but we want around! So many of us, on our journey, have been stopped by Satan because we prayed about something and God didn't lead us around. I gotta tell you, God rarely does around!

God does through, and this is what we see in all of the life of Jesus!

Have we missed the heart of how God works? God is not an around God, He's a through God! Go back and read Luke 22:39-46, and look how Jesus had to go through every moment of the crucifixion.

You can't get to the resurrection without going through the cross!

You can't get to heaven without going through the hardship of a broken world!

And the truth is, we need to come back to through and understand that Daniel had to go through being dropped into rocks in a stinking cave in Daniel verse 6:16. And I know that because in the end, it tells us they had to lift him up out of the cave!

Daniel prays: and God's salvation and deliverance is not to have the king change his mind or to have Daniel avoid being dropped in a hole! Daniel's prayer didn't resolve impossible before he faced it, but as the clock ticked, moment by moment, through, through, through -Daniel prayed!

Then after all of this comes the question of the ages: “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel 6:20

Guys, at some point and 100 times over, you're going to have to decide in your life -Is God able? Is my God able? Will I trust him and will I pray "through?"

Will I believe that the impossible isn't?
No matter how things look to my eyes?
No matter how things sound to my ears?
No matter how things feel to my senses?

No matter how huge the storm is on my emotions, I will open the window of prayer and see through it all and see my Savior, Jesus Christ, who showed that the way through impossible is to a resurrection! -Dr. Drew Shofner

For When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong.

For when I am weak then I am strong

When we stop living for our own glory, we stop being limited by our own abilities and our own efforts and we begin to live by the power of God - the Holy Spirit inside of us! That's very clearly what the scripture teaches. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Apostle Paul asked God three times to take away the thorn in his flesh and God said,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 
 
When we see God as infinite, our small is irrelevant! I believe that's exactly the meaning of the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in Matthew 15:29-39. It's not a random event that occurred 2,000 years ago that makes you happy-- for some people who got a free lunch! There's so much more to the story. In the story, Jesus had compassion for these people, they had been with Him for three days and had nothing to eat. 

The truth is, most of us live in a drought of true love and true nurture in our lives, and when you live for a thirst and a hunger for love, it's very difficult for hungry people to feed hungry people! But when you have been filled with the love of God, it is not only easy, it is absolutely inevitable that you will pour out in love for other people! 

So, the God of the universe who took on flesh and walked among us, filled with all the infinite love of the Father, looked around at all the broken people and said 'I have compassion on these people, they are hurting, they have needs and I'm going to give my life away to meet their needs!' (Paraphrased)

Having compassion - Do we even see the brokenness anymore or are we so overwhelmed by all the brokenness and all of the evil and all the wrong in the world that we can't even look at it anymore? Jesus looked at people and He had compassion. Jesus wasn't bound by earthbound thinking. In Luke 18:27, Jesus said, "What is impossible with man is possible with God."  

Who are we to tell God what is and isn't possible?
 
The reality is that we as a church ought to be a church that has compassion on this broken world around us! If we don't engage the brokenness in our neighborhoods, in our families, in ourselves, in Baltimore City, in Curtis Bay and Brooklyn Park, I don't think we've got a God at all! Because the Jesus that broke the bread that night, saw His life torn apart and given to God so that God could make it infinitely more than it would have been had Jesus kept His life for Himself!

We don't want to just be a bunch of religious people sitting our backsides in seats each week, checking a box thinking we've done something! We've done nothing until we've taken the love that God has given us, and we are poured out into a broken world, loving people who are like us and unlike us and loving people who are near and far from us! 

All that I can give away does not leave less for me, it's just a matter of God pouring more into me, I cannot out give God, you cannot out give God-- it is impossible! The way that this works is that we let ourselves be broken and offered to the world, to the glory of God, just as Christ did! 

We serve God the infinite! Not God the weak and God the small and God the ignorant and uncaring! We serve an infinite God who is infinite in all of His attributes. His goodness. His mercy. His compassion. His wisdom. His grace and provision -they're all infinite in every direction! The size of this galaxy amidst a universe that is even bigger, is not even to scale of the size of our God -He is infinitely bigger in every direction!
 
Jeremiah 32:27 says, "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" You in your own life, the struggles of the needs not being met in your own family or your own finances. You need to ask yourself that question - is anything too hard for God?

Let your small be BIG in somebody else's life! We start where we are with what we have, we don't wait until we're ready! Our lack of resources and abilities all goes out the window when you stop living for your own glory. Get busy giving your small to the world that God loves in Jesus' name. God's glory is built upon our surrender, when we see God as infinite, we touch broken with glory!

So, the turning point is: That we see human need with a divine compassion in the world around us. When we refuse to be stopped by earth-bound thinking of what is and is not possible and when we stop living for our own glory, we become limitless! -Dr. Drew Shofner

It's our weakness that reveals the strength and power of God!

God doesn't ask us to do the impossible

All those reasons why we can't do this or we can't do that, the truth is, every single one of us who are believers in Jesus Christ can live the message and God can beautifully reveal Himself to the world in ways that are life changing because it is God Himself speaking through us - all you have to do is let it happen!

The Kingdom has come, but it's still in the process and we still live in a broken world, and so you will be opposed, but the truth is that you will also be blessed with the clarity to reveal the message.

In Matthew 10:19-20, Jesus went on to say "When they arrest you , don't worry about what you will say or how you will say it, at that time it will be given to you what to say" and I love verse 20 of Matthew 10, "For it will not be you speaking but the spirit of your Father living and speaking through you."

If you think you're all that and you've got all that, then there's no room for God in you!

But, if you're broken and your on your knees and you say "God I'm empty," then you're in a perfect place to live all of your life with God filling you up with living water and you'll be splashing life on people for the rest of your life! We as the body of Christ are called to live the message of Jesus at any cost and we are to live the whole message!

Here's what I want you to do, to live the message creatively given all you've been given no matter how small it seems to you! You may think you've got nothing and that there's no way you can make a radical difference in this world and I'm just telling you you're wrong! It's our weakness that reveals the strength and power of God! -Dr. Drew Shofner

It's time for us to trust God and to believe the impossible again!

Severn Run Wooden cross

Seventeen and a half years ago when God let me have the privilege of becoming the lead pastor at The Church at Severn Run, we had a real decision to make. The decision to make was to stay where we are and ignore the need of the world around us and pretend like somebody else will reach those people, or continue the tradition of this amazing church and attempt the impossible for God. We wanted to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel, so we began a journey to say, "We believe that nothing is impossible with God!" We believe that God's supply will always meet our need and we are going to give our all to trust God!

It really is a big decision to decide whether you're going to trust God with the impossible or whether you're going to pull back and just exist. I can't tell you all the times that we stood in places of great need and made the decision--do we trust the supply of God or do we not? When we stood at places perhaps where we got a little comfortable and then looked around at our world and said, "Are we going to answer the need of the broken world and take the gospel to it, or are we going to act like it's not there and somebody else would do it?" This (church) property was somebody else's property and we had looked for land for years. Our own realtor quit and would not look at this property because they already had a two million dollar contract on it. The truth was, there was no hope of us buying this property...but we know God!

After he left, I went back to my desk and I wrote a letter casting a vision of a church that could change the world in this area. Of a church having a generational impact on the lives of men and women and boys and girls. Of a church that would take the gospel message of Jesus that answers the brokenness of the world, that puts marriages back together, that gives the hopeless hope, that helps young people in middle school and high school find a reason to live, and journey toward their purpose instead of deeper brokenness! And casting the vision of a church that could do that, the owners of this property said, "We want to talk to you!"

So we gathered and we prayed. The only thing that was on this property at one point was a wooden cross and we gathered and prayed and saw something where there was NOTHING! It's time for us to trust God and to believe the impossible again! -Dr. Drew Shofner

What will you give? (The Road Ahead)

what will you give

The truth is, God gives everything to those who give everything to Him. The church at Severn Run has to get on the road to impossible in order to live the future of God! We have to make 'impossible' our regular way of living. I'm telling you, 17 years ago when God called me to this church, God put in my heart and in the heart of others--the impossible. I believe with all my heart that He whispered and said, "I want you to lead 1,000 disciples toward me." When we were small and didn't have much of anything, this impossible task was what God called us to and now we're a community of 1,200 disciples! Guys, we have to live toward the impossible all the time, or we're not living in faith!

When Jesus said "Come and follow me," He said "I will send you out!" So you and I know that it is impossible to be a follower of Jesus without being sent out 'on the road' to change the world! I want you and I to be a people who live believing the impossible from God, in all of our heartache and all of our circumstances; I'm not minimizing any of that. I cannot imagine all of the fiery furnaces and giants that you're facing, the red seas in front of you and the armies behind you! I cannot imagine the situation of lack and need, where you have two loaves with 5,000 mouths to feed, but I'm just telling you that God has given us an answer and His name is Jesus! 

And when we give ourselves away completely for Jesus, we live believing nothing's impossible and then we attempt the impossible for God! I want you to live from this day forward believing the impossible 'from' God and then Iive attempting the impossible 'for' God; in your life, in your marriage and as a church community! God will fill everything with His infinite provision as far as your faith allows! What will you give?- Dr. Drew Shofner

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