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Look at Me when I’m Speaking to You

BeamI live in the Boston area. Maybe you’ve heard what our weather’s been like lately. Last week we had two feet of snow and now they’re calling for another foot this week.

Needless to say, I’m ready for spring. I love to go out into the woods to hike and pray. It’s a great way to meet with the Lord.

Did you know that this was a large part of Jesus’ ministry?

At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Luke 4:42-44

Very frequently Jesus went off alone into the wilderness. Usually He would go to pray and to meditate on the Word while seeking the Father’s will for the days ahead. Many times He wouldn’t even tell anyone where He was going. This caused the people and especially His disciples to become annoyed on more than one occasion.

Most people don’t understand the power of solitude with the Lord. When you’re alone in God’s presence, you can see the way ahead more clearly. This is because there are less distractions around you.

I’ve been driving in the car with friends and talked with them the whole way to where we were going. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that those conversations aren’t very deep. I can talk and keep my eyes on the road if I don’t have to think very hard.

Intimate conversation, on the other hand, is very different. If what I’m saying is important, then I want you to make eye contact with me. I want to know that you’re giving me your full attention.

It’s the same with the Holy Spirit. We can pray and praise the Lord no matter what we’re doing throughout the day. That’s fine and it keeps our minds focused on Him.

But there comes a time when we need to enter a more intimate time with Christ – worship. This requires an undistracted heart. I’ve found that the outdoors provides just such an experience. It allows me to “make eye contact” with the Lord.

From the example of Christ, we see that walking in the Spirit is a lot more efficient than the trial and error method many Christians use.

“I’ll try going forward; if the door closes I’ll try another direction.”

When you spend quality time with the Lord seeking His will for your life, you don’t have to waste your time on all these dead end paths that lead nowhere. Jesus knew where He was going before He was surrounded by the crowd. Then they couldn’t sway Him from His path by their persuasive arguments. It’s that level of guidance you should be seeking from God.

If you’ve never tried it, spend some time with the Holy Spirit in the outdoors. Of course, you may have to wait until the weather breaks. Unless you’re like me and can’t wait. (I have a good pair of snowshoes!)

Find a nice solitary place that you can come undistracted into the Lord’s presence. You won’t be disappointed.

Question: Where do you go to seek God with no distractions?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Prayer, Times in the Wilderness, Worship

 

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Quartermaster Ministries – April Newsletter

Dedicated to walking in revival!

A New Life Begins

As many of you know, my church is no longer meeting on Sunday mornings. This means that I have now begun a new season in my life.

I took the month of January to pray, fast, and refocus my direction. I want to make sure that my steps are ordered by the Lord.

In February, I began to actively seek speaking engagements. I’ve contacted some pastors who I’m in relationship with and received a very positive response.

Because of church schedules, being what they are, I will probably begin going to churches around May or June. However, I’m available right now. Please pray for me that the doors of ministry will open up soon in these areas.

The unique message of revival that the Lord has given me is needed in our generation. God wants to prepare His people for a new move of His Spirit.

I’ve added a Speaking Page to the website. It explains the scope of my message, as well as my availability and itinerary.

If you want more information about having me speak at your church or group, you can e-mail me at Revzacc@comcast.net .

Prayer for the Ministry

Now that I’m walking in this new adventure, I’m in need of your help.

The first and greatest need is for you to come alongside us in the spirit, and pray for us. Pray for us to be effective in the field God has given us. Pray for doors of opportunity to open up for us to bring this message of revival to those who are ready to receive. Without the power of the Lord at work in us, we will never accomplish our destiny.

My New Book on Kindle

I have always been an avid hiker. I’ve had some of my best times with the Lord along the trail. As I’ve been out in the wild, meditating on the Word, I’ve received some beautiful thoughts from the Lord. That’s the subject of this book.

It contains nine months of daily devotions for hikers on the trail. Nine months is about how long it takes to walk one of the major long distance trails in the USA.

I want it to be easy for hikers to take it on their Pads or Smartphones. Or they can just print off a few pages at a time and use them on shorter trips.

Check it out on Amazon.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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 April 8, 2014 in Newsletters

 

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Meeting God in the Wilderness

BeamI don’t mind saying that with all the snow and cold that we’ve been getting in my part of the country, I’m ready for spring!  Then I can start one of my favorite pastimes again.  I’m talking about spending time in the woods hiking, praying, and meditating on the Word.

It’s always a lift to my spiritual life.  I believe that every Christian who’s physically able should try it.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Matthew 4:1-2

Since I’ve started hiking I have a new respect for the Lord’s physical condition.  Being able to survive in the wilderness for forty days, living on only water is quite a physical challenge.

At one point I tried a two-day fast while hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail.  I remember barely making it. The hunger was intense.  I felt weak.  It got to the point where it hurt just to put one leg in front of the other.

I promised myself I would never do that again.  I can only imagine what Jesus felt like after 40 days.

There is a hunger, however, that I want to hike with.  That’s a hunger of the spirit.  If we can go into the wilderness with a hunger for the presence of the Lord, then we’ll come back from our journeys a changed person.

If we can see the outdoors as a meeting-place between God and us, we’ll take our wilderness activities to a whole new level.

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:3-4

Once you decide to use the wilderness to achieve spiritual goals, it will transform your whole experience.  The outdoors will become a place where you must sometimes face your own personal demons.  In Jesus’ case it was from the outside.  In our case it’s usually from within.

The wilderness gives God a chance to confront us on His terms.  There’s nothing to fall back on; no distractions to hide our thoughts.  God can throw a light on all the issues we’ve been sweeping under the rug for so long.

What I’ve found is that there’s no place to hide.  I can’t “remember” that phone call I need to place.  There is no TV program that I have to watch right now.  God can have my undivided attention.

It’s an awesome thing to go into the wilderness to hear from God.

Be prepared.  It’s not always what we expect.  He’ll set the agenda, and there’s no way out.  Change will happen in our lives, if we give the Lord an opportunity.

Think about spending some time in a wilderness setting with the Lord.  I guarantee that it will be life-changing.

Questions: Have you ever spend time praying in the woods?  What did you take away from that time?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Prayer, Times in the Wilderness

 

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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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God of Creation

Romans 1:20-23
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

The first part of this passage is why I love the outdoors!  To see the beauty of a mountain vista, fall colors, lake, sky, and wind.  They all combine together to give a sense of awe and wonder.  All of Creation seems to cry out that it is the work of someone vastly more intelligent and powerful than you or I.

This verse reminds us that not everyone credits God for His work.  There are those who see a vastly different picture.  Evolution and chance are the gods of this world.  There are many people who overlook the obvious in order to avoid giving account of themselves to God.  The fact remains that God has revealed Himself in the context of His Creation.

What about God’s people?  How should we respond to the world that we see around us?  One thing I do know is that we must not be found guilty of the sin of ungratefulness.  Never take the majesty of the Lord’s Creation for granted.

Make sure that you give God praise today.  Thank Him for the beauty of His Creation.  Thank Him for allowing us to share it with Him.  And thank Him for His marvelous presence that helps us to enjoy His handiwork all the more.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Great Outdoors

Job 38:8-11
“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt?’”

God created the seas, rivers, and lakes all for us.  He made the world a beautiful place for us to enjoy.  Many times I have thought myself blessed as I sat and meditated by a peaceful lake – knowing that only about a hundred people a year even see this sight.  Who was there watching when He established that body of water for His pleasure?

We serve a very creative God.  He loves beauty and variety.  He has made each lake and stream different.  Sometimes we need to just stop and look around at the details that make each scene unique.

I don’t know how close you live to green outdoor areas.  Hopefully there are parks or other type places nearby where you can go from time to time.  In any case, don’t ever get to the point where the outdoors is just a place to play.  Never lose your fascination with the sights, smells, and sounds of the green spaces around you – it speaks volumes to us about who God is.

We must be sensitive to the beauty that is around us.  Don’t just take it for granted.  Even a small garden can be a place of rest and refreshment in your spirit.  Give God thanks today for the glory of His Creation.  Be thankful that He allows us to share in the enjoyment of what His hands have done.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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My Help

Psalm 121:1-4
I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Whether you are talking about the Rockies or the Appalachians, mountains and hills are a majestic sight.  I can spend hours praising, worshiping, and praying to God when I am in the presence of such beauty.  When I look at their splendor I cannot help but sense a power far greater than my own.

It is an awesome revelation that the God I am in relationship with is the Creator of those mountains.  Greater still, He also created the stars I see wheeling over those peaks.

Yet, in spite of all that power, He wants to help me.  Now that is a humbling thought!  The God of the universe wants to be a part of my life.

Praise the Lord!  He is my source and my strength.  It is He who upholds and sustains me.  I can rest in Him knowing that the path of my life is safe and secure in His loving hands.

Even though I get tired and fall asleep, the Lord does not have that weakness.  That is a comforting thought.  He is always awake and alert, watching over my life and helping it to conform to His Word.

Take the time today to thank God for His unfailing help and protection in your life.  Give Him praise for His majesty and strength.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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