Are We Ready to Experience God?

Recently I was talking with several pastors of dying churches and they were discussing how they got to where they were. We all remembered reading the statements printed below…
• The church refused to look like the community. The community began a transition toward a lower socioeconomic class thirty years ago, but the church members had no desire to reach the new residents. The congregation thus became an island of middle-class members in a sea of lower-class residents. Read more…


Randy Stonehill a Spiritual Legacy

As a brand-new Christian in 1983, I was finding my way in the world and learning to trust the compass of the Holy Spirit as God directed me to other Christ-Followers who shared my love for Jesus.  It was these friends who introduced me to the Jesus Music that had been born out of the 70’s Christian Music scene.  I had grown up loving the music of the Beatles, James Taylor, Jim Croce, and Cat Stevens; great music that had shaped my life up to this point.  Read more…



The Power of Reconciliation

Reconciliation between God and man is necessary, in order to have reconciliation between man and his fellow man.

We hear a lot about the need for reconciliation.  Believers should make this a matter of priority; and, being believers, we should practice this at home, at our workplace, in our neighborhoods, and especially in the church. Read more…



Is it Worth It?

I’m looking forward to 2017.

We are possibly living in one of the most challenging times for the New Testament church.  Recently I had a conversation that began to really open my eyes to the reality of the world’s current situation. What was so revealing?  I was asked, “How far do you want to go to help this person?  Are you really going to risk that much time, effort, and possibly even personal finances to help someone that acts like they don’t care at all about life?”

This really made me wonder, “Is it worth it?”
Read more…



The Anointing Needed for the Culture Clash

Recently I have been consumed with leading Royal Haven to be successful in the eyes of Jesus.  Most people make sure they do important things in their final days of living; Jesus did that. 

I was reading about Jesus’ final hours in Gethsemane and something jumped out that I had never seen.  Jesus got up from praying four times to check on his disciples.  Three times he stirred them to get ready for the ordeal, and the fourth time he came to tell them it was time to face the crisis.  Read more…



What Do These Stones Mean?

Joshua 4:21-22  “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’  Tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’

 

The story goes, that a gifted and talented professor arrived at a speaking engagement.  Two days early, his dates were wrong in his calendar.  He had checked in to the hotel, got his keys and then realized what had happened.  He quickly checked out and visited friends who lived close by for a couple of days.

Read more…



Be Strong

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong – 1 Corinthians 16:13

 

We have a relationship that can never be changed:

we are children of the Most High.

 

We have a righteousness that can never be tarnished:

the very righteousness of Christ himself.

Read more…



The Call To Be Fruitful

As I read the bible I always ask God to reveal his intentions behind the word he has given us.

Lately I have been consumed with what God considers “successful”.

God sent his son Jesus into the world to save the world, and to teach disciples to follow a pattern of that discipleship.

Jesus told his disciples to “bear much fruit” John 15:8

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” – John 15:7-8

The Apostle Paul spoke of the same thing….. Read more…



God Is Doing a New Thing

New Thing

Behold I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up! Do you not perceive it? – Isaiah 43:19

The imperative of following God’s leadership is Experiencing God.

It is important for us to recognize how the lord is working.

Because in the last days we will see the evidence of his spirit guiding us into His perfect will.

It is important for us to stay grounded in the word of God.

I believe in the rhema word of God. That is where God will speak to us at just the right time and in just the right place for “such a time as this.”

But I also believe that any rhema word of God, that we receive, will be grounded in the written word of God, the supreme revelation from God himself that he gave by inspiration to the writers of the bible….

One of the most popular teachings to come to us in several decades is Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God. It got the Christian community’s

attention with a well thought out God given message for our time.

I have actually lived by the principles he taught, since I heard him teach it while attending seminary over 30 years ago.

The realities he spoke of are:
  • God is always at work….He never stops working.
  • Find out where god is working, and join him is his work.
  • God works through his followers… He still chooses to use humans.
  • To get the job done… there is always a crisis of belief.
  • To really join God in what He is doing means we have to make djustments.

 

Now let me read how the dictionary defines, “Experience”.

As a noun: Practical contact with and observation of facts or events.

As a verb: To encounter, participate in, be emotionally moved, learn by.

So when we say experience God, we must ask:

  • Are we having practical contact?
  • Are we observing the facts?
  • Are we encountering, participating in, being emotionally moved by, and learning by…

 GOD?

We have lots of commands in the bible regarding how we are to relate to God.

  • We are commanded to love him….with all our heart….
  • We are commanded to obey him….
  • We are commanded to trust him….

In 1 Peter 2:17 we are told to fear God. This is a reverent fear.

But the bible really does not instruct us to experience him.

Our feelings really should not be the deciding factor on whether God is at work or not, because if His timing is different than ours and we dont get a “feel good ” experience about what we are involved in, that does not mean that we are not right in the middle of God’s plan. We could very well be at the very junction of that crisis of belief that is actually necessary to….OBEY what God is saying, so that the thing that God is doing, takes place.

So I have changed my way of thinking….

When I speak of “experiencing God” I really mean participating with God.

This makes me focus on my obedience.

See there is a possibility that people can do things for God and not even have God as a part of their life.

We see something that needs to be done… we work at it… we get a good feeling that we have accomplished something… and not one time have we said or even thought to ask God about what HE thinks.

The things we do should be based on participating with God, not on working for God.

Some the greatest things that God ever allowed me learn came from a crisis of belief:

  • Salvation
  • Redemption
  • Grace
  • Mercy

These things literally set me free from the bondage of guilt, and shame and made me realize that even in my disobedience God wasn’t finished with me yet.

God says “There is no reason to be discouraged, or to be cautious, or to wonder, I’ve got all it takes to accomplish everything I want done.”

There’s no way we can out dream God.

We don’t stop working or dreaming, because what is happening doesn’t look like it did before.

We must stop looking in the past, for our future.

Old preachers say, “Oh for the days of D.L. Moody!”, “Oh could we just long for the revivals we had in the past?”, “Could we just do what we did before, and ask God to bless?”

Not really having any faith that what He is really trying to do is a new thing.

Whoever has ears to hear; let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:22
~ Pastor Rick


RHBC is Going Live!

Webutton live streamll , Exciting things are happening. As part of the Vision 333 plan, we will be testing out a “live stream” of the Worship Service starting this Sunday March 1st. This doesn’t mean that you can just stay home now and watch it alongside NASCAR (read: Rich Bruckhoff). Read more…