The Only Way To Move Forward
“And the disciples were continually filled [throughout their souls] with joy and the Holy Spirit.” — Acts 13:52 AMPC
When we are being continually filled with the Spirit, we are stronger than if we are just living on an empty tank. If you have an empty gas tank in your car, that car is not going anywhere, and you will not be able to accomplish your goal — simply because you are not moving!
You can have a beautiful Lamborghini, but if it is not filled up with gas, its potential and beauty are pointless. And if it is not driven, it will become rusty! The same is true in the Spirit. We have to be continually filled (the Greek indicates we are to “be BEING filled”). It’s a process that will never stop. We go from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). I’m talking about our daily relationship and walk with the Lord. We have to be continually filled!
King Saul was anointed and did some wonderful things, but through an act of disobedience and refusal to repent, he stopped developing his relationship with the Lord (see 1 Samuel 15:10-24).
After this moment, we see Saul going to worship only once, and it was not to repent but to show off in front of the army.
“Then he said [to Samuel the prophet], ‘I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.’”
- —1 Samuel 15:30 NKJV
There is a very powerful statement in this verse that reveals Saul’s heart. He said, “Let me worship the Lord YOUR God.” It is very possible that Saul never fully surrendered to the Lord; he still had his own agenda. It appeared that Jehovah was Samuel’s God, but not Saul’s!
Friend, you and I need to seek God not only when things are bad, but simply because we love Him.
I believe that God could have still used Saul in a powerful way if he had not been so stubborn and full of himself. But God ended up telling Saul, “I will tear the kingdom from you.” God didn’t say, “That is end of your calling. You will never be able to accomplish anything else in life.” Even though He was going to remove Saul as king, I believe God still could have used Saul and blessed him for the remainder of his reign if Saul had humbled himself!
There were several other cases in which God changed his mind because of someone’s repentance.
“Then God saw their works, that they [the Ninevites] turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.”
- —Jonah 3:10
God did it for the Ninevites!
“‘Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.”’”
- —2 Kings 20:5-6
God did it for King Hezekiah!
By looking at these examples, I can see that God has changed His mind considering judgment, but He only did it because He saw hearts that were willing to repent.
I also believe that the reason David and Saul became so close was so Saul’s heart could get right with the Lord — so Saul could see David’s relationship with God and imitate David’s faith! This would either bring Saul closer to the Lord or cause him to be jealous. The anointing on David’s life would either cause Saul to get his relationship with the Lord right or cause him to drift even further because he refused to change.
Through all of this, I can see that God was merciful to Saul, but Saul chose not to receive that mercy — and that is when Saul’s life truly became difficult. Saul was living on an empty tank. “Living on empty” will cause you rot from the inside-out, so to speak — and this is exactly what happened to Saul.
At almost the end of Saul’s life, he hit rock bottom when instead of running after God, he consulted a witch to get spiritual help (see 1 Samuel 28:8)! It is honestly a very sad story! It’s one of an anointed king chosen to lead the greatest nation in the world, yet he failed because of wrong choices that he deliberately made on his own, independent of the Lord.
When a lake has no movement in it, it becomes stagnant. All life that was in that lake dies and the lake begins to stink. It no longer brings life, but death! Similarly, we must not allow our relationship with God to become stagnant. It must be a spring of life for everyone who comes in contact with us. And the only way that is going to happen is if we are constantly being filled with Holy Spirit every single day.
You might be reading this today, and you’re being encouraged that your life is teeming with life in God and is being spread out to others. Or you could be reading this and receiving it as a warning and a discipline from the Holy Spirit to come out of your stagnant lifestyle and consume yourself with the Word of God. The choice is up to you — so choose life and not death!
Go With God,
My Prayer for You Today
Father, I thank You that You will help me use every opportunity in my life that I can for Your glory. I will not squander my time! I will not be offended. I will be devoted and focused on You, Lord! I will be continually filled with Your Spirit and ready to serve at any time. I understand that if I am not full, I could lose my calling just like King Saul. I make a decision to live a different life than that! I expect You to show me Your glory, and I will be continually satisfied in You! Thank You for moving me forward, Heavenly Father. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
My family and I love you and will continue to pray that God’s blessings flow into your life in abundance! I am praying that God’s treasures will be released into your life.
“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
- —Isaiah 45:3 NIV
The enemy’s slip-ups can become your victory!
“I will send my terror ahead of you and create panic among all the people whose lands you invade. I will make all your enemies turn and run.”
— Exodus 23:27 (NLT)
In First Samuel 30, David was returning home to Zigzag from battle at the time. To his surprise, his home had been plundered and his wives and children had been taken away. The wives and children of his men were also taken. This situation was so bad that 600 men in David’s army were considering stoning him. Everything David had worked for since he left King Saul had been destroyed! (See vv. 1-5.)
This was a very bad day for David, but instead of blaming the Lord, David decided to talk to Him! He humbled himself and asked for direction: “Should I go after the Amalekites who did this? Will I defeat them?” (see v. 8).
This shows so much spiritual maturity. I think the natural response would have been this: “I couldn’t care less what that Lord says — I will kill these heathen and take my revenge. They took everything from me and my men, including all our wives and children. Now it’s our turn, and they will pay!”
The fact that David even asked these questions of the Lord implies that if God had told him, “No, don’t go after them,” he would have obeyed! This shows that David was not moved by revenge, but by obedience to God. Even when it would seem the answer was so obvious, David still inquired of the Lord. His men were fueled by revenge, because they wanted to kill David — but David was driven by obedience to God. David not only had faith to believe God for the victory, but he had wisdom for how to approach God and follow His plan. David wasn’t going to rush into anything — he was ready to wait on the Lord.
The other amazing moment that I find in this story is that David had no idea where to find the Amalekites once He received the go-ahead from God — he was trusting the Lord. I believe because David had this kind of attitude, God revealed to David a mistake the enemy army had overlooked, which in turn became their downfall.
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat —
12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.
13 David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?”
He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago.
14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”
15 David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?”
He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.”
- 1 Samuel 30:11-15 (NIV)
Something that amazes me in this passage is that if that master had not kicked out this Egyptian slave (see v. 13), David would have had a much more difficult time finding the Amalekites. The enemy army made a mistake, and their slip became David’s victory.
The biggest slip-up in history was when the devil thought, If I could just kill Jesus, then I have won. This was the biggest mistake the devil made because the Cross and the resurrection has become our victory in the face of every obstacle of life. We are covered by the Blood!
Contemplating this fact just blesses me!
David and his men found the Amalekites and recovered everything that they lost, including their wives and children. In fact, they recovered even more than they lost because they also recovered the treasures from other cities of Judah that the Amalekites had plundered.
This story truly demonstrates Proverbs 6:31 (NIV): “Yet if he [a thief] is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.”
Whatever the enemy has stolen from you, he will have to give it back seven times over! Instead of breaking down on the inside when bad things happen, we must inquire of the Lord as David did, and God will give the strategy that will bring us seven times as much as we had before. God’s faithfulness is truly amazing! With God, a day of bondage can truly become our “Independence Day.” God won our independence on the Cross, and He will not allow anyone to take it away! He is fighting for us, so who can successfully come against us! With God, every day can be our Independence Day!
My prayer for you today.
God, I know that my friends and I will all go through trials and problems, but I pray we all make the decision today that no matter what, we will inquire of You, asking You what we should do. May we trust in You and lean not on our own understanding, but on the Holy Spirit! I know that because of this, the enemy will return to us seven times over what he stole. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for teaching us. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
What God did in January!
January was a full of ministry in the church in Tulsa, where I am worship pastor. It has been a beautiful and powerful orchestration of the Spirit to see lives changed this month — people delivered from chains that had bound them for long periods of time.
Watching God form a team that can really release the sounds Heaven has been powerful as well. This year will be a year of propulsion. It is a year of God pushing us forward. I pray that God continues to move you forward, just as He is doing in the church here (Millennial) and our ministry as well. My family and I continue to pray for you!
My single “With Me” is gaining influence and is being played on radio. We are receiving a lot of feedback on it. One organization, Louder Than Music, sent it out to their mail list of 12,000 members.
Here is the article: http://www.louderthanthemusic.com/document.php?id=6492 (louderthanmusic.com — Interview: Renner Worship, January 19.)
Together we can build and further God’s Kingdom!
The following are projects and trips the Lord has assigned to me that I believe are good ground to sow into!
I am working on my first book (Worship With No Limits) — $500 (this phase).
My guitar that I constantly use needs repair work — $200.
I am working on another music project (“Captured by Your Love”) — $2,000.
Several ministry trips within the U.S., including to California.
Ministry trip to Seoul, Korea.
Ministry trip to Armenia.
Ministry trip to Russia.
Thank you so much for your prayers and your giving! God is moving us all forward as we press into Him and His plans!
Go with God,
It’s such a joy to come to you once again to let you know what God did in our ministry in the month of September! But first I want to share with you something important that’s on my heart that I believe will help you in times of despair.
What do we do when we find ourselves in the pit of despair? Jesus said that in this world, we would have troubles — but to be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world (see John 16:33)!
The psalmist David said, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by” (Psalm 57:1).
Let’s look at that for a moment. David wrote this Psalm when he was in the cave of Adullam (see 1 Samuel 22:1). David was running from Saul, but he didn’t run far away. He was only 13 miles from his hometown of Bethlehem! This cave of Adullam was not geographically the place where David defeated Goliath, but on his way to this cave, David had to pass the field where he had taken down the giant. What a vivid reminder that would have been to David that God had been with him! Perhaps the thought crossed David’s mind, He fought for me then; He’ll surely fight for me now.
Still, David was on the run, fighting for his life. So many other thoughts no doubt passed through David’s head:
- I was anointed to be king. Now I’m the top criminal in the nation, and King Saul wants to kill me!
- I used to have a real friend (Jonathan), but I will never see him again!
- I lost my wife!
- I lost my pride and reputation!
- In fact, I have lost everything! And my own father-in-law wants to kill me!
- What has happened to my call? Am I already washed up and “done for”?
All of these thoughts would have been true from a natural standpoint, and we can see some of these thoughts in Psalm 57. In this Psalm, David was asking God to be merciful to him. He was declaring and speaking the truth to himself. David was encouraging himself in Lord as he declared, “…In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.” We could say, “Until these struggles, troubles, storms, or even catastrophes have passed.”
Did you catch that? David had confidence that “these calamities” would pass! Instead of falling down on the inside, David made a decision to speak to himself from the inside, from his heart, believing that the outside circumstances would change. Yes, David was one who spoke out his emotions to God. You can see this in Psalm. 57:4: “I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey — whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.” But David also spoke his faith — His belief and trust in God — because he wanted to experience God’s outcome, not what his enemy had in mind for him!
As I read Psalm 57:4, two things could be true. He could be literally talking about lions around since he was in the wilderness where wild animals lived. David could also be talking about people who were against him and who were hunting him down. He talks about “tongues that cut like swords.” That sounds a lot like people cutting others with their tongues through gossip. Just imagine the lies that Saul was spreading about David! And because there are many people who just love to listen to gossip about others, I’m sure there were many who believed every word spoken by Saul!
Every lie spoken about David was destroying his reputation. So I believe both are true in Psalm 57 — David was in danger of being harmed in the physical wilderness, but he was also in danger of being hurt by people. This is part of the calamity David was referring to in Psalm 57:1.
Next David talked about another trial: “My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it” (Psalm 57:6). Because of what we know about David’s life, we can be confident that this was indeed a royal conspiracy. David ended his thought by saying that those who dug the pit for him would fall into it themselves. Whether David realized it or not, he was prophesying because years later, Saul would die in battle.
David didn’t say these things because he was against Saul or was pronouncing a curse on him — it was Saul who had set himself up against David! David was simply speaking out in his time of despair what the Spirit of God was reminding him of. In Genesis 12:2, God said to his covenant man Abraham, “…I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you….” David was encouraging himself in the Lord as His Defender and putting himself in remembrance of His Word.
The next verse that David wrote was the turning point — it was his breakthrough word! He said, “Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song” (Psalm 57:8 NLT).
David was telling himself, “Get up! Don’t you fall down. Get up, get your instrument, and get your praise on! Praise God all through the night if need be. Awaken the dawn with your praise!”
From this verse on, there is no more negativity (see vv. 9-11). David got his breakthrough through praise. He was ready to praise God all through the night and “awaken” the dawn with praise. Also, through praise, David awakened the dawn — experienced a breakthrough of light — after his night season of troubles and despair!
David found his victory through praise, and that is where you will find your victory too. Ask yourself the question, Am I ready to awaken the dawn with praise?
Your breakthroughs come through speaking God’s Word from your heart and through praising Him and expressing your thankfulness to the Lord and your confidence in Him (Psalm 57:9). Talk and sing about His faithfulness and unfailing love (v. 10). Exalt His great name over every other name (v. 11)!
Whatever it is you’re going through today, your breakthrough is in your mouth! It’s in your heartfelt words of faith and in your praise! So get up and refuse to be down, discouraged, or defeated. God is on your side, and He is waiting for your faith to arise and be demonstrated so that He can show that He is the God of the breakthrough!
A Confession (and My Prayer) for YOU!
“Father God, I understand that my breakthrough comes through praise. I will not stay where I am. I will open up my mouth and declare that You are faithful, loving, glorious, and that Your name is above every other name. Your name is higher than sickness, calamity, or any situation. I will praise Your name and see Your glory manifested in my life and in the lives of those around me. All will see that I serve a great God, and people will be asking questions about my God. I will testify and speak of Your goodness and mercy. My breakthrough is already here because you ‘broke through’ for me on the Cross! Thank You for teaching me to praise You, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
What God Did in September
This was a month of new connections and travel. I really enjoyed the time I spent in Atlanta, where I had the privilege of being apart of a TV program called “Atlanta Live.” It is a local program that is aired in Atlanta, but the segment in which I sang and shared my testimony will be re-aired on a national level. I believe that God will use this program to encourage people to reach forward and grab hold of their destiny and call.
In Chicago, I had a wonderful time as well. I met with the worship leader of Moody Bible College. This college has thousands of students all from different backgrounds. I was really blessed by this young man’s heart and desire for worship. Our hearts connected, and I believe it was a point of contact for the future!
As I was leading worship at Millennial Church in Tulsa one Sunday, the anointing was so strong. As guest evangelist Adam Smith and Pastor Paul Brady started to pray for the sick, words of knowledge began to manifest, and God’s power began to move through the congregation, but also in the online presence. There was a young boy who was watching the service online, and one of his eyes that he previously could not see out of became completely clear. God did a miracle in that little boy’s life!
This teaches me that miracles happening in the church take cohesion. In this instance, the evangelist, pastor, and worshiper were all working together to see this miracle take place!
This month, I also had a great opportunity of leading worship on the streets in downtown Tulsa with Feet on the Streets (the Millennial outreach team). As the team played music on the streets, people were being ministered to. One person was about to commit suicide, but the worship touched her heart, and she gave her heart to the Lord right there on the street. God is good, and He is doing great things everywhere His people are willing to be His hands and feet!
Please pray for my trip to Russia. I will be ministering in the Moscow Good News Church. It will be great to be back “home”!
I am working on the release of my first book Worship With No Limits. I am very excited about it! Please pray about the release of “With Me” to radio. And watch for the new lyrics video!
We Are Praying for You!
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. I am able to share the Gospel everywhere I go because of you! Please pray and ask God whether you should sow into the book I’m getting ready to publish that I believe will be a great blessing to worship leaders and the whole Body of Christ. Also, please pray about sowing into my trip to Russia or into the radio release! Every gift you sow is a huge blessing and is valued and appreciated. My family and I are praying for you. We know God is moving us all forward!
Your friend in Christ,
Because of David’s courage, three things happened as a result.
David killed a giant (Goliath).
The people were encouraged and fought with new confidence.
Israel became politically and economically stronger after the battle.
You could say that David caused a chain reaction of courage, confidence, and strength. Since God did that for David, He will do it for you as a New Testament child of your Father. Your actions based on your faith and trust in Him will cause faith to arise in others.
After everything David did that day, the thing that amazes me is the question King Saul asked him.
As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.
“WHOSE SON ARE YOU, young man?” Saul asked him. David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”
1 Samuel 17:57-58
By asking the question, “Whose son are you?” King Saul was basically asking, “Who taught you to do that? Saul knew that David’s father had taught him well.
I believe that Jesse was probably strict and that he disciplined and trained David from an early age.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I’m not sure about David’s home life growing up, but the fact that he was not invited in as a member of the family when the prophet came to Jesse’s house poses some questions. Was David too young in Jesse’s eyes to be considered a candidate for kingship? Did duty call in the fields so that David was simply not able to leave his responsibilities to participate in the prophet’s visit?
We don’t know if Jesse was a loving or strict parent — or both loving and strict — with his sons. But we do know that David had learned the characteristic of responsibility or his father would never have trusted him with the family business (the sheep). David was definitely a disciplined individual!
Jesse did teach his son well, and Saul recognized that in young David. But what King Saul failed to consider was that it was not just David’s physical father who taught him. David received instruction — and courage, confidence, and strength — from his Heavenly Father. In fact, everything David didn’t receive from his natural father, the Heavenly Father stepped in and completed what was lacking, giving David so much more than any mere man could give.
I personally believe David did not feel a great deal of acceptance from his father and brothers. But I believe as he tended those sheep, He received all of that and more from God the Father.
Saul didn’t realize the countless hours David had spent playing his instrument and worshiping the Lord while he tended the sheep. David received the kind of courage he displayed in battle because he spent time in the secret place of worship when no one was watching. Because of this devotion to God, the whole country of Israel benefited.
Saul realized that David had been mentored by a great father, but did not realize that David’s spiritual upbringing and training for leadership was also due to his Heavenly Father. That kind of supernatural courage could only be taught by a supernatural God.
This is true of David. God taught him and led him — and our Heavenly Father will do the same for you. I believe that when you make a stand for Him and His Word in any arena of life, He will cause you to do great things. And you will cause the people around you to rise up in faith. Even those who ridiculed you in the past will be fighting by your side.
This happened with David and his brothers and fellow soldiers. And it can and will happen for you if you will put your faith and confidence in God.
Like David, you will:
Defeat any giant in front of you.
Cause people to be encouraged and fight alongside you for God’s cause.
As a result, blessing will be on you and anyone you come in contact with. That anointing will be contagious.
God wants you to start a spiritual epidemic for Him! Hold on to God and you will cause some serious damage in the enemy’s camp! You will plunder his camp and be victorious. And afterward, people will walk up to you and say, “Whose son [or daughter] are you? Who taught you to walk and talk that way? I want to be able to do that!”
And you will reply, “My Heavenly Father teaches me. I have been adopted into God’s family. I am no longer an orphan, no longer a slave to sin. I have a new authority that I walk in through Jesus Christ.
“God is so good! You want what I have? I’ll tell you all about it.”
Friend, let your life be a witness for Him in everything you do. You can defeat any giant of fear, inferiority, lack, or sin that tries to stand in your way because you have a Heavenly Father fighting in your corner. He will fight battles for you, and He will teach you how to defeat all the giants in your life. Spend time with Him like David did, and He will teach you to overcome every day. And others around you will take courage and rise up to obtain victories in their own lives.
My Prayer for You Today
God, I understand that I am Your child — a child of the living God — and I repent for forgetting about that from time to time. I know who I am, and I will act it and live like it. Everyone around me will see that I live with authority from my Heavenly Father. And when people ask, I will not hide my light, but I will boast about You and Your goodness. The best is yet to come, and I am excited for You to continue to teach me. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for teaching me the authority I must walk in, to Your honor and glory. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.