Urgency in How We Walk

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…

Ephesians 4:1-2

walking away

It’s urgent that as believers in Jesus Christ that we take our calling very seriously. We must live our lives with such passionate dedication that we are willing to risk everything. We have a high calling and high are the standards that we must live by. These standards are not written laws but are conditions of the heart that we should live by through the Holy Spirit. I believe that in these two verses the Lord is showing us four primary points to living a life worthy of the calling we have received in Christ Jesus.

#1 – Humility

Our calling is to follow Him and to acknowledge Him as our provider and our God. Humility is the mark of a follower of Christ that is wholly abandoned to Him. We need to seek humility each day as we walk in our great calling to love God and to extend His love to others. Humility is not common in our society and is contrary to our own human nature. Our natural response is self-preservation and pride. When we practice humility it forces us to place our dependence on God rather than ourselves. To walk worthy of our calling we MUST depend on Him and not ourselves.

“They knew that apart from the presence and power of the Holy Spirit they would accomplish nothing.”

Rick Joyner – of those leading the Welsh Revival in 1904

#2 – Gentleness
Our actions towards others should always be done with a gentle manner. Humility shows our heart position towards God and others but gentleness is how we are to actually act towards them. Rather than being rash, abrupt and forceful we should be gentle and kind. When we display gentleness we leave no room to control or manipulate others. We can only do this when we really place our trust in the Lord. When we display gentleness we display our trust in God. Our calling is one that must be marked by a gentle spirit and carefull actions. We learn to be slow to speak and even slower to react in anger. Our live must be connected to God’s Spirit in order to display true gentleness towards others.

#3 – Patience
Humility is our heart position, gentleness is to be the mark of our actions towards others and patience shows how we react to others and to circumstances outside of our control. We must have a life marked by patience in this fallen world because not only will many people harm us and let us down unintentionally but some will also do so intentionally. In light of the cross of Jesus Christ and His shed blood we realize that we have no place in our lives to be impatient or harbor any bitterness. A patient life is one that is quick to forgive. When we display patience as the Holy Spirit lives through us we can live a life truly worthy of the calling of Christ. Patience is a must-have virtue for any true Christ follower.

#4 – LOVE
With all of the humility, gentleness and patience we are to bear with one another in love. Humility is our heart position, gentleness is the way we treat others, patience is how we respond and love is that package that all of these are wrapped up into. Each of these stem from a life filled with God’s love and His presence. These things are only possible through a life filled with God’s love. We must commune with our father in unceasing prayer and adoration if we want to truly walk in a way that is worthy of His calling on our lives. It all must be our of an overflow of Christ in us, who is love and is the hope of glory.

Of the 4 Characteristics which one are you strongest in? Which are you weakest in?

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Take the City

For this last year I have had the amazing privilege to lead a movement here in the Chattahoochee Valley area called, Take the City. It had been amazing to see racial and denominational lines broken as people from all over come together to share God’s love with their community. I wrote out a description with more information that will be handed out next week at an event in Phenix City and wanted to share it on here. If you would like to come and be involved then check out our event page for this month!

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In 1958 a young, skinny preacher by the name of David Wilkerson went to an unfamiliar city sent on a mission by God. His calling was to go and do whatever he could do to help the children involved in gangs and drugs in New York City. Little did he know that he would bring an entire city of churches together for one common purpose and spark a ministry that now has over 1000 programs worldwide that is in 96 different countries. From the very beginning the heart of Teen Challenge has been evangelism. The early days of the ministry began as ministry workers spent days and nights in the streets sharing God’s love with the least of these in that city.

Take the City is a movement that desires to spark the same momentum of evangelism and unity that David Wilkerson sparked in New York City. We believe that it is our duty to follow the commission that Jesus gave to us to go and to share the good news with anyone willing to hear. There are already countless stories of miracles and testimonies of entire families coming to Christ as the church went to where the people were.

take the cityOur passionate desire is to see the church in this area come together in unity and inspire people to get outside of the four walls of the church to reach the thousands of people in this area that are without hope. Many people may never enter a church and it’s our passion to go to them where they are and to share with them God’s amazing love and grace.

In John 17:20-21 Jesus prays to the Father, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” We believe that as the church comes together the unbelievers will without a doubt know that God has sent us to share the amazing news of the Gospel.

We believe that God wants to revitalize and heal our land as we humble ourselves and seek His face. Our hope is that you would join us in the effort to see this area transformed by the love of God expressed through His sons and daughters. We would love for you to join us each month as we have people come together from various churches

We have gatherings where people from local churches meet each month and go do outreaches all over the city. Here are a few of the things we typically do on a monthly basis:

  • -Street Ministry
  • -Homeless Ministry
  • -Kids in Lower income neighborhoods
  • -Retirement Homes
  • -Prayer Team that will stay back and pray for our teams

Leading out of Exile – 3 Lessons from Great Leaders

The first great return of Israel back to the promised land from Persia is an amazing story of redemption. The story of the return from exile is split into three different waves of return and has three primary leaders that lead each wave. Today the Lord brought me to the book of Ezra and Nehemiah and showed me a few things that I really thought were important for all leaders to remember. Everyone is in a place of leadership over others or in a place that they somehow influence others. Leadership is not always a matter of a title but simply impacting the lives that are naturally around you. Everyone is a leader in some way.

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1. Don’t try to do it alone

The first wave of the Hebrew nation had returned to Jerusalem and as they began to rebuild the foundation of the temple. In Ezra 3:9 it says that many of them “joined together” to help supervise all the work that had to be done. It’s important to remember that whatever God has called us to do will always require that we partner with others. There are no lone-rangers in the Kingdom. Instead God disperses the gift in various people throughout His body so that we learn to work together.  When we come together in unity to build the Kingdom, the unbelieving world sees Christ in us and God is glorified by the accomplishment of not one man or ministry. We can’t do it alone and need the support of others.

2. Devote yourself to the Lord

The second wave of Israelites had arrived in Jerusalem and Ezra comes onto the scene in Ezra 7. Ezra was known as a man with great favor from the Lord and it is even said, “the gracious hand of his God was on him.” The source of all of this favor and blessing is revealed in Ezra 7:10. Ezra was a man devoted to studying the Word of God. He was a man of deep devotion and commitment to the Lord. It can be safe to assume that from the way verse 10 is written that the favor on his life was a direct result of the great devotion he had for the law of the Lord. As leaders we desperately need God’s favor and blessing on us in order to attain the God-sized goals he has placed in our hearts. We need to be known as people that are fully committed and devoted to Jesus who is the Word of God (Jn 1:1). This devotion is the key to our success. If we want to see the realization of our dreams then we need to be pursuing God with reckless abandon and studying His word day and night.

3. Stand up for Justice

Nehemiah was the leader that brought the 3rd and final wave of Israelites back into their promised land. He helped to rebuild the walls of the city and stood in the face of much opposition. As leaders we can all expect opposition. Leaders exist because the current situation or condition needs to change in some way. Leaders are meant to take things somewhere new, which can sometimes be scary. Leaders also must be prepared to stand up and confront situations that are unacceptable. We can’t be scared to face confrontation. In Nehemiah 5:9-13 you can see a story of Nehemiah standing up for an injustice that was being done to the people of Israel. This was probably not a comfortable situation for him to confront but he knew that he had to do something. As we lead we may see things that are in desperate need of change. We may have to confront a person or a group of people about this which can cause a lot of discomfort. We as leaders need to have the courage to stand up for justice and confront event the hardest issues.

There are many more examples that can be found from the leaders in these two books but I just wanted to take time to mention three important ones the Lord has shown me. I would highly recommend reading these two books looking for insight into being a better leader. The Lord has given us an amazing instructional manual in His Word to help us become the leaders he is calling us to be.

Out of these three examples, what’s the one that you struggle with the most?

Our Great Calling

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So much of my walk with Christ I have believed the lie that my greatest calling was what I might accomplish or do for God. I always thought about the great vision that God has given me and of all the ambitions He has placed in my heart and thought that these things were my ultimate and great calling. This last year or so I have been coming to a new realization that has brought so much freedom into my life and has really allowed me to live so fulfilled and excited about each day. My realization is that my great calling has nothing to do with what I am doing but who I choose to be. My great calling is contained in the greatest commandment (Matt 22:37-38). My great calling is to let God love me and to respond to Him by giving Him all that I am. My calling is not what I do or where I go but is to ultimately abide in His amazing love (John 15).

I wrote out a prayer that I have decided to do myself today to make a commitment to this. I wrote it out and even signed it in a way to really formalize my commitment to the Lord to not place all these other things before Him but to really commit to abide in His love and to love Him with all of my heart, mind, strength and soul. I wanted to share it so that if you feel lead, you can also join me in making this commitment. He makes it clear that our first focus should be vertical (towards God) and then secondly our focus should be horizontal (towards others or our ministry). Let us commit together to love Him with everything…

Father- Today I commit to make my greatest calling and focus the first commandment. I choose to set all of my heart, all of my mind, all of my strength and all of my soul on loving you. I choose to love you with everything I am. I find my identity in how I love you and not in all that I do. My great purpose is to abide in your love and to love you with everything I have. I repent of placing idols before you. I choose to put all of my passions, my ambitions and desires for success behind my desire to love YOU. I put you first today. Thank you for your love and for the freedom that I gain from loving you with all of my heart. I give you permission to take all of me and to place me anywhere you choose. You are my joy and my delight. Today I step into my great destiny and choose to love you with all that I am. I choose to believe that my success comes from receiving your great love which leads me to love you in return. I choose to believe that my success is not based on my accomplishments. I receive the truth that, I am loved by you; therefore I am successful. In Jesus name, Amen!

I would love to know what your thoughts are on this subject and especially if you made the same commitment I have…

Matthew 7:8

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matt 7:8)

knocking at the door

I love the simple words of Jesus. I love the simple truths that fill the gospel accounts of His life. He is the perfect portrayal of how the Father acts and feels. In his verse I feel like he puts a bit of responsibility on us to seek more of Him and to search for answers. I really feel a challenge from Jesus in this verse questioning how far I am willing to go and ho hungry I really am.

God is not looking for a large group of passive people with lukewarm hearts. He is looking for people that are filled with passion that are burning with desire. He challenges us to live our lives in a way that we will ask, seek and knock. This verse doesn’t sound like he wants us to just sit and wait for something new to happen but more like he wants us to run after him and pursue him with reckless abandonment.

If we are not willing to ask we may not ever receive. If we aren’t willing to go looking around then we may not ever find anything new. If we aren’t in a place that we can come with humility to knock at His door we may miss out on all that he has for us just behind the door. He is calling us to a life of searching and a life that is filled with desire for more of Him.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” This is such a profound verse when we begin a life of searching and asking for the greater things of the Kingdom of God. It is only when we first allow him to give us a taste of His love that we begin to crave more. We need to know that there is something behind that door that is worth pounding on it for. He let’s us taste and see that He is good so that we will live a life of pursuit in the deeper things. Let us live our lives always asking, always seeking and always knocking at the door.

Haiti 2013 Trip Recap (Part 2)

In my previous post I was able to talk about my first full day while in Haiti and the amazing experience of returning to a place I have grown to love so deeply. I want to try and cover my experience from Haiti in a few posts and what my experience was like in going with Help4Haiti.

On Saturday I woke up on the roof top to the sound of all the neighborhood roosters crowing, one after another in the hilarious neighborhood competition of who could crow the loudest. The odd thing is that they love to start this competition around 3am each morning. To say the least I barely slept that second night but I really enjoyed the cool breeze of the roof and the millions of stars that hung above me. Finally the sun began to creep up around 6am and I found a chair to sit and pray. There is something that I encountered sitting there on that roof that was so unforgettable. As the sun came up the Lord spoke to me so clearly that morning from His word and filled me with such an amazing peace and energy. I was excited for the new day.

That day was Saturday and after breakfast we ended up jumping into the cars to drive over to the main church to set up a sewing room and play with the local children in that neighborhood of Delmas 33. When I went to jump in the van, all the seats were filled and one of the Haitian boys had seemingly taken the one seat that was reserved for me. Lucky for me I got to jump in the bed of the truck and ride in the back with two other haitians, one of whom was mostly deaf and mute. The whole ride to the main church/ school was an experience that I had yet to have since coming to Haiti. Riding out in the open allowed me to see the streets in a totally new light that the protection of windows and air-conditioning seem to hinder. I got to ride through the streets of Port Au Prince in a way most common Haitians would on a daily basis and I absolutely loved it all. The sights, the smells and the feeling that I wasn’t separated from this third world population but was intricately woven into all of it. The experience was a blast!

That day we taught the children how to play the game “duck, duck, goose!!!” We had so much fun hearing them in broken english trying to say goose and then how they would all scream “gooey gooey gooey!!!!!” as the children ran around the circle. It was such a fun morning to bless the kids with little gifts and get to share the love of Christ with each of them. I didn’t want to leave the kids when we finally had to go!

Haiti mission trip help4haiti

That afternoon we went back over to the new city called Onaville where Help4Haiti is helping to build a new orphanage for the children that have no where else to go. We stayed there until sunset just getting to know the people there and playing with all the kids there. A friend and I actually went and walked around the neighborhood to pray for people. At one point a baby goat run up underneath me and I actually got to pick it up and hold it! Also we got to pray and minister to many families even though we had a huge language barrier. Love and compassion is something that the Holy Spirit can communicate through us as we live in obedience to Him. Love can be communicated in spite of any language barrier. It was fun to see this fact demonstrated as God’s love was poured out in powerful ways.

On Sunday we woke up at 4am to go to a sunrise service back in Onaville. The church meets in a little room with no power, no bathroom and at the time no roof. This is a big difference than last year as they were meeting in an open field twice a day to sing and to pray for their city. It was amazing to go and see the exponential growth of this church body. One thing that really impacted me while in Haiti was this church gathering. They had nothing but a little casio keyboard with a few batteries that helped them lead their songs. They had no visual aids, no AC, no microphones, no windows and not even a roof but the I felt the presence of God that morning more powerfully than I have encountered at the hundreds of churches I have visited all over the US in the last 3 years. The worship there was so raw and was so real. People were there for one reason, Jesus.

After that service we headed over to the main church where my amazing uncle Jimmy Chalmers preached. It was so great to hear him preach and to see the passion and fire that God has given him. When we left there we headed home for lunch and then got to rest up that afternoon. I took a short nap and went to pray in preparation to preach that night in Penier church where I had shared a year before. While in prayer the Lord reminded me of an exciting vision I had last year concerning that specific congregation. This reminder confirmed what I knew the Lord wanted me to share and I couldn’t wait to return to this church I had grown to love so deeply last year.

On the way to church we had made a stop at a Haitian senators home for a new years celebration that our pastor wanted to stop in at. Our team was able to pray and bless this senator. It was exciting to think that we got to make an impact and bless a man that has great authority and clout in the government of that nation. I pray that he would be one that would stand up for the cause of Christ and be a man that would fight for justice.

When we arrived at church that night the worship had already ended. I had to use the bathroom really really bad when we showed up so I found a place next to this concrete building. It was funny because a little kid came over and used the bathroom right there too. It was such an uncommon place to find myself right before I was about to go in and preach! I was so glad to be back in Haiti. I love that place so much.

Andrew Chalmers PReaching in HAiti

After our group got up to greet the congregation the pastor had me come up to share. We only had one microphone but I needed him to translate. It was an unexpected problem but we totally figured out how to make it all work and I was able to share what God had given me for that congregation. My prayer is that Jesus was made more famous that night in that city than it was before. I pray that He was glorified and not me or anyone else. We saw people touched by God and I know of at least one man that was physically healed. It was exciting to see the first-fruits of what I believe will be a full blown revival in that church.

As I told the congregation, I believe that the common people of that church are going to begin to see miracles and have powerful encounters and that Penier is going to be turned upside down. I am so thankful I was given the amazing privilege to share God’s word there again. Afterwards the Pastor asked me if I would be willing to take the position of Associate Pastor of that congregation and commit to come back through out the year to preach revivals. I have no idea if it would even be possible but it is really cool to have this opportunity before me. I love the hunger of those people and the blessing that they have been to me each time I have visited. I am so blessed by them all.

I will write about the last few days as soon as I can. Thank you all SO much for you prayers and for your support. Without many generous gifts and faithful prayer warriors I would not have had the chance to go because my budget would not have allowed. It was such a privilege to go and I am thankful for each of you!

Strengthen your Net

God has given each of us passions and desires for bigger and greater things so that we never remain stagnant or feel like our lives are without purpose. He has placed things inside each of us that are much bigger than any of us could accomplish without His help. There is an amazing story from the book of John that teaches us a bit about being prepared for those dreams that he has given us. God does give us great vision but only wants us to step into that when we are actually ready.

In Matthew 4 Jesus begins to call the disciples. In return for laying down their fishing nets He told them that they could come with him to fish for people. After his resurrection there is also another amazing story centered on fishing that is recorded in John 21. In this story the disciples are found fishing after Jesus has risen from the dead. They did not recognize him at first but after following his instructions their nets began to fill with probably more fish than they had ever caught at one time in their entire lives. When they obeyed Jesus they experienced a supernatural favor and blessing.

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When they return to the shore (John 21:10-11) the Disciples were asked by Jesus to bring their fish to Him. We are always meant to bring the things that Jesus blesses us with, whether resources or people, to Him. All of it is meant for HIS glory and never for our own. We get to partake and enjoy of this amazing abundance but we need to remember its always intended to be handed right back to him.

When they got back to the shore their nets were completely filled with fish but for some reason the nets did not break. The verse mentions an exact number, 153, that they caught. I believe the number was mentioned because had there been 154 the nets would have broken. The number is significant because Jesus only allowed them to catch what they could handle. What would have been the value of this blessing had they gotten to shore and as they pulled the net out of the water it busted and all the fish just swam back into the sea? He never intends for us to catch more than our nets can handle.

The number of fish in this story can represent each of our dreams and passions. They represent what God may entrust us with whether it may be people, possessions or some great position.  God may have given us vision for a huge ministry, or a thriving business but what I believe he wants us to focus on is the NET and not the quantity of fish. He wants us to be sure we have the capacity for the vision that he has placed in our hearts.

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The disciples were called in an instant to follow Christ and become fishers of men. But before they could catch the fish they had to make their nets. They had to take their time sitting and sewing each piece together and tying different places together. They had to invest time day after day to ensure that when the time came they would be able to handle whatever catch God had planned for them. Most people want to focus on their huge ambitions and make a nice looking plan of bullet points of how to get there but few want to go through the grueling work of preparing their character to be in that position one day.  Radical encounters with the Spirit of God can propel us into our destiny but only intentional effort to grow can give us the discipline that will ensure we are capable of withstanding the pressure of all that God wants to place in our nets.

Some people feel like their grand visions are vain or are something that they should not express so they choose to never talk about them or focus on them. This can sometimes be a person practicing false humility. The enemy wants to pervert our dreams and make it all about us. He wants us to forget that the whole reason we catch the fish is so that we can pull them out with our nets and take them to Jesus. We need to embrace our grand visions with great humility and set our hearts to let the Holy Spirit give us the character we need to achieve them.  In the same way that God gave all of creation natural sexual desires to ensure pro-creation, so did He give us these dreams to expand and grow His Kingdom. We have the ideas because God has placed them in each of our hearts so that we will pursue them with great passion!

Instead of asking Jesus for more fish, we really need to be asking him for a stronger net. We need to ask him for more patience, more character, more holiness, more desire to fast and pray and for more integrity. When we ask God for these things then we don’t have to worry about working to achieve a greater anointing or to grow our ministries. The growth will come quite naturally as we sit and sew our nets. The increase will always come as we abide (John 15) in the love of Jesus and allow him to mold us and shape us. We don’t have to strive or try to force it to happen.

Then one day Jesus will look at each of us, when he knows our nets are ready, and ask us to throw the net in one more time. We may have tried already many times with not much success but at this moment we will step into His shalom. We will enter into His peace and prosperity as we walk in maturity and obedience. One of my greatest fears is that I will walk through life with such a weak net that God never sees that I have the capacity to handle anything greater. Let us all be sure that we will have our nets strong and ready so that we can handle the amazing plans that He has for each of us.