Not in Vain


Probably our greatest hindrance in doing the will of God is the fact that it involves sacrifice.

The Christian life seems to be a strange experience in this way, and many people (even believers) today either choose to gloss over the uncomfortable component of sacrifice or ignore it altogether.

Even during the joyous celebration of Christmas, as believers, we should not overlook the fact that the baby in the manger was destined for the cross. The truth remains that our salvation, God's free gift to us, was not without cost. read more

Wrinkle-Free Bride


Have you ever heard the expression "going to hell in a handbasket"? Doesn't it sometimes seem--at least, judging by our leaders--as if that's what the body of Christ is doing? We have high-profile charismatic preachers divorcing their wives to marry someone else, evangelical pastors falling prey to Internet pornography, mainline denominational priests sexually abusing their congregants' children and, more recently, a homosexual priest being raised up to the position of bishop. As a Christian journalist, I hear the reports--and I cringe.

But I have learned that if we focus on what we see, we can easily become discouraged. So I choose to keep my eyes on Jesus, the magnificent Bridegroom, and my heart anchored in His Word, which tells us that Christ gave Himself for the church "that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27, NKJV, emphasis added). His plan is for us to be a glorious church--a beautiful, wrinkle-free bride. read more

Surviving the Drought


One morning several years ago when I was thanking God for the delight of His presence, I heard a voice say, "If you seek Me for the way you feel in My presence, it is no different from any other soul-realm passion." I had never thought about my relationship with Him in those terms before. God was saying that if I pursue Him simply for the pleasurable experience I have when He makes Himself known to me, then my enjoyment of Him is dictated by my feelings.

After this encounter I experienced a season of dryness--called a "dark night of the soul" by 16th century mystic John of the Cross--during which it seemed as if God was not there. This season was especially difficult because for years prior to it I had walked in an almost continual awareness of His presence. Now, suddenly, I sensed nothing.

During my "dark night" I realized that on our path to spiritual maturity, we don't go from mountaintop to mountaintop. We have to walk through valleys as well. Even after we have arrived in our "promised land" we may experience spiritually dry times. read more

Securing the Future

Like Mama Bears who fiercely protect their cubs, rightous women can become a powerful force in safeguarding America's destiny.

On a beautiful May morning in our nation's capital, the sun was streaming into the ornate reception room just off the floor of the United States Senate. Usually this is a very busy room, noisy with the hustle and bustle of senators scurrying on and off the floor or meeting with their constituents and staff.

Sometimes this space is filled with the well-heeled lobbyists of industry or a civics class visiting the Capitol. Often I listen to the echo of my own footsteps as I walk these halls or stand here alone, waiting to talk with a senator. read more

The Nature of True Devotion

Performing religious duties at set times is not a sign of true devotion to God; we must live each moment to please him and give him glory.


Devotion is neither private nor public prayer; but prayers, whether private or public, are particular instances of devotion. Devotion, in the fullest sense of the word, signifies a life given, or wholly devoted, to God.

The devout man, therefore, is one who lives no longer to his own will or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God; who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all the parts of his common life parts of piety, by doing everything in the name of God and under such rules as are comformable to His glory. read more

Why The President Needs Your Prayers

HERE ARE SEVEN AREAS FOR TARGETED INTERCESSION FOR OUR NATION'S LEADER.


Not long after the multiple tragedies of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush was asked what he would like Americans to be praying. His reply was revealing. He said, "That there's a shield of protection, so that if the vile ones try to hit us again, that we've done everything we can, physically, and that there is a spiritual shield that protects the country."

Clearly, Bush is a man who understands the power of intercessory prayer. He recognizes that there is a realm beyond the seen, a spiritual realm, that influences human events. He knows that prayer has power in this realm and that a praying people erect a "spiritual shield" that can withstand attacks of every kind. read more

Pray With Desperation


NOBODY IN MY FAMILY watches Desperate Housewives. My wife and I are raising four teenage daughters, so the last thing we need is a sleazy prime-time soap opera about suburban women who consider adultery an acceptable way to cure boredom.

No thanks. I'll change the channel.

On the other hand, I do want my girls to grow up to be desperate. Not like the women who live on the fictional Wisteria Lane, but more like Hannah--the Bible's original desperate housewife. We could use a big dose of her desperation today. read more

Are You Praying for Leaders?

If you are especially burdened to intercede for governmental authorities, it's possible you've been anointed for a special assignment.

Who can forget the memorable Wednesday night in January 1991 when television viewers watched with astonishment as the Gulf War unfolded before our very eyes? The war appeared to be a struggle over Kuwait's crude oil. However, oil is symbolic of power, both physically and spiritually.

Saddam Hussein did not count on the fact that God's people would gather throughout the land to pray. Not unlike the prideful Goliath, Hussein was swiftly defeated and made the laughingstock of the entire world. God honors the prayers of His government intercessors! read more

God's Interceding Forerunners


In obedience to Jesus' explicit command, 120 believers waited in the upper room for the promise of the Father, and while they waited, they travailed in prayer. For 10 days they gave themselves to intercession.

Luke records their steadfast spiritual labor: "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14, NKJV). This is a key fact that reveals that intercession was an integral part of the birth of the church.

In that miraculous moment, the Holy Spirit fell in power. Peter preached Christ, and suddenly 3,000 souls believed, repented and were born anew (see Acts 2:37-41). The travail of the 120 brought forth new life for many. This is the calling of God's interceding forerunners everywhere. read more

Subcategories

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit