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Monthly Archives: September 2012

You Can Camp With God

In Scripture we read about how different men and women encountered God in the wilderness.  Did you know that this is still something we can experience today?  In this post I want to describe it to you.

The Bible is full of accounts of the people who met with God in the outdoors.  Here is one such encounter.

Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.  When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!”  So he named that place Mahanaim.
Genesis 32:1-2

The name Mahanaim means double camp.  Jacob acknowledged that there were two camps where he was staying.  There was his camp and the camp of God.  This is important because now that Christ has risen, we are in a “double kingdom.”  We live in the world, yet at the same time we are in the kingdom of God.

Wherever we go, whatever we do, we take this heavenly kingdom with us.  Whether we realize it or not, we have access to God’s kingdom at all times.  Our problem is usually the distractions that keep us from seeking the spiritual.

I just returned from a camping trip.  I spent a night, alone, in a nearby state park.  I set up my tent at a secluded site and settled in.

The purpose was to get alone with God for a while.  You might think that this sounds a little extreme.  Maybe it is, but I’ve found that I can hear from God better without all of the distractions in my familiar settings.

When God gets me by myself like this, He can (and does) get my undivided attention.  There are times He deals with me about things I may have been neglecting.  Sometimes it’s about God teaching me something new, or giving me insight into the Word.

This trip I can truly say that God showed up in the camp.  There were some things that He worked through with me and I received an “extreme makeover.”  Looking back, I wouldn’t have missed that time with the Lord for anything else.

If you read through the Gospels you’ll find that praying in the wilderness was a major part of the life of Christ.  I believe that this is one of the secrets of His intimacy with the Father.  I want to follow His example.

The good news is that this type of encounter with God is available to every one of us.  If you are able, I encourage you to give it a try.  Go out with a tent and other supplies. Bring your Bible and a notebook.  Then expect to meet with God.

I believe that He honors our desire to seek Him intimately.  The Lord loves the quality time we spend together.  Then He can deal with things that take time to work through.

I can truly say that spending alone time with God in the outdoors is an incredible blessing.

Question: Have you encountered God in the outdoors?  Could you share about it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Prayer, Times in the Wilderness

 

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Follow Me – Book Review

“My neighborhood is in total spiritual darkness and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Have you ever felt like that?  Do you see the enemy’s kingdom taking over your town, your schools or your local businesses?  Do you feel helpless?  There is an answer.

I was having breakfast with a friend of mine by the name of Dr. Randy Sprinkle.  During the course of our conversation, he told me about a book he had written.  The title was Follow Me – Becoming a Lifestyle Prayerwalker.

I knew about prayerwalking.  My church had been involved in it for a couple of years.  We talked about it for a little while.  Later on, he gave me a copy of his book.  I thanked him, knowing that part of his ministry was going to churches and teaching on prayerwalking.

I must admit that the book lay on my shelf a while before I began to read it.  Now that I’ve read it, I wish I had done so sooner.  The book is absolutely life-changing.

It’s one of those “must read” books.  Every believer needs to grab hold of the principles taught in these pages.  That is especially true if we want to see the power of God manifest in our cities.

The book is just over 120 pages.  But don’t expect to get through it in one sitting.  It wasn’t designed for that.  It’s written in the form of six weeks of 5 daily devotions.  That’s why it can change your life.

Each day it starts with prayer.  Then it’s followed by reading the Scripture, meditating on it, and getting some teaching.  Next, it helps you to plan how you are going to implement what you just learned as you go throughout your day.  The last part of each daily segment is an evening reflection that asks you think about what you did during the day.  It’s a very powerful plan.

This book is well written and keeps you interested.  Dr. Sprinkle gives teaching, examples, testimonies, and encouragement.  I looked forward to my time in this book each day.

The fact is that we need to be a people of prayer.  Not the “hands off” kind that keeps a safe distance from the ones in need.  We need to be out praying on our streets.  That’s how we win the spiritual battle for the souls around us.

We need to stop looking for someone else to do the work.  Wherever you live, you are called to intercede.  This book will equip you with everything you need to bring spiritual change to your area.

In Dr. Sprinkle’s words, prayerwalking is a “strategic, world-transforming activity that calls believers out of church buildings to intercede for the work of the kingdom while quietly walking through local neighborhoods and mission fields around the world.”

The book is available on Amazon.  Click here to order Follow Me: Becoming a Lifestyle Prayerwalker.

Question: Have read this book?  How has it helped you?  Have you seen any results?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links”.  This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will help my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Book Reviews, Prayer, Spiritual Warfare, The Church

 

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The 5 Warning Signs of Legalism

Many Christians are bound by legalism.  Are you one of them?  The trouble is that legalism can be very deceptive.  You can be caught up in it and never know it – unless you see the warning signs.  I hope this will be both a challenge and a blessing to you.

1. Elevating works over position.  Do you worry about what you can do to please God?  The correct answer is – nothing!!  It’s the blood of Christ that makes me acceptable to God.  Nothing I do can make Him love me any more or any less.  While works can affect my rewards and blessings, they will never change God’s love and acceptance of me if I’m in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

2. Seeing yourself more of a slave than a son.  Yes, we do serve God and are expected to obey Him in all things.  But the way we obey is as mature sons and daughters.  As spiritual children we learn servanthood.  It is the training ground for our growth in Christ.  The purpose of servanthood is so that we can walk in maturity.  The Lord desires sons and daughters to represent Him to the world.  (Galatians 4:1-7)

3. Relying more on your confession than God’s grace.  I believe in the confession of Scripture.  Rehearsing and memorizing it is an important part of the believer’s life.  Just as important is the reason we do it.  The purpose of confessing God’s Word is to increase our faith in Him.  But ultimately, it’s not my confession, but the power of God that will bring about the changes that I need.  (II Peter 1:3)

4. Giving more time to studying Scripture than to intimacy with Christ.  Scripture study is very important – it is one of my passions.  I couldn’t live without it.  But, spending quality time with the Lord is even more so.  Jesus rebuked the Scribes and the Pharisees for diligently studying the Scriptures, yet not going to the Christ that they pointed to.  It’s not enough just to know about Christ.  I need to have an intimate, personal knowledge of Him that only comes from time spent in His presence.  (John 5:39-40)

5. Being confident more in the comparison with others than abiding in Christ.  Comparison is a deadly trap.  the problem is that I can always find someone less committed than me.  It gives me a false sense of security because I’m no worse than anyone else.  On the other hand, I can spend my days feeling worthless, because I look at others who are farther along than me in the faith.  I can’t base my self-evaluation on someone else’s life.  My goal is not to be better than you, but to be like Christ.  (II Corinthians 10:12)

Question: Have you battled with legalism?  How have you overcome it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Legalism, Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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