Archive for March, 2019

Prayer For Hope

Posted: March 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

I remember the story of Jason Terry getting a tattoo of the championship trophy on his arm like it was yesterday. Being a tremendous fan of the Dallas Mavericks I kept up with the team as it won its first NBA championship in the decades of the franchise existence. You see Jason Terry got his trophy tattoo before the parade, before the celebration and before the championship season began. His teammates thought it was a joke, according to news sources. Yet Jason Terry had a feeling of hope in his heart after falling short more than ten seasons, that this was the year. To step out and get a tattoo before the season began, despite the snickering, was pretty bold and a great illustration of hope.

Hope is more than our everyday vocabulary of a wish. “I wish it would stop raining”, “I hope it stops raining”.

We see illustrations of Biblical hope being the joyful anticipation of God’s goodness before the circumstance changes.

Zechariah 9:12 

12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;

    today I declare that I will restore to you double.

Zechariah prophesied the new covenant and coming of Jesus almost 500 years before it happened. This word encourages us as believers of the new covenant today, we are prisoners of hope. We can’t escape hope! When people think our life is a joke, despite the snickering, we are not imprisoned by the fear of man. Our hope is found in the stronghold, Jesus Christ.

The Lord uses the “double restoration” to take something that was broken and not just bring it back to its original design but double the increase. A double portion was often a birthright for a firstborn in the old testament (Deuteronomy 21:17). Think of it this way, the original design of the garden of Eden was for man to walk with God intimately and take dominion of the garden. Under the new covenant, a man can now walk with God in Him intimately and take dominion of the earth. One was a visitation of God, the greater is a habitation of God. A greater stronghold of hope! Are you needing your circumstance to change? You don’t have to wait for it to change to have hope.

Brandon Pollard

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The prayer for boldness.

Posted: March 19, 2019 in Uncategorized

So my heart sunk in my stomach when I realized my wallet was missing. Pretty sure I dropped it in a parking lot full of thousands of cars. An hour passed and no success in locating it. A man walks up to me and says “Is this your wallet?” Someone found it in the parking lot and handed it to me. This wasn’t the first miracle of the return of my wallet and probably won’t be the last. I have had a stranger call me late at night saying they had found my wallet in an abandoned baseball park before. Grateful, I rushed to where they were and picked up my lost wallet. Just to clarify, these quick miracle stories are not about faith, because my heart was pounding each time my wallet was missing and my mind was swirling with worst case scenarios. No, these stories are about my desperation of finding what was lost. Each time I bowed my head and asked God to rescue me from my stupidity (Hall of faith prayer).  Maybe you are not as forgetful as me and have never lost your wallet. Have you lost a credit card? Did you count the credit cards that you had and say to yourself, “It’s okay, I have plenty of cards, the one that is lost doesn’t matter to me anyways.” Of course, you didn’t. You were probably very interested in remembering the one you lost more than the ones you currently had.

The early church in Acts 4 had two leaders, John and Peter released from prison for preaching to the lost. They were having one of the first church prayer meetings. Did they pray for the imprisonment to stop? Did they pray for more of God’s presence in their meetings? No, they actually prayed for more boldness to share to the lost what they already had been given, the gospel.

When we ask God to take us, a possible introvert, and help us be bold to speak up and share the gospel to the lost, we are asking according to His vision and will. The unsaved matter to Jesus. You and I have been given the responsibility for His will on earth. Ask the Lord for more boldness today to share the gospel with those you come in contact with daily!

Acts 4:29-32 NLT And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness. 32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.

Brandon Pollard

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In Charge Or In Control?

Posted: March 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

The enemy will always want to answer the question, “What is God like?” The world wants to answer it as well. The question we should have God answer for us before we listen to anyone else is, “Is God in charge or in control?”

We read from the gospel of John to know that when we see Jesus we know what God is like.  Jesus said to Thomas,

6  “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

So Jesus was giving glory to the Father and the Father was giving glory to His son and there was unity. God was not controlling Jesus, yet Jesus submitted to the Father’s authority and Jesus was not controlling His disciples, yet they submitted to the authority of Jesus.

Jesus never tried to control his disciples but chose to empower them to do greater works than Jesus did while on the earth. John 14: 12  “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

Many Christians today have been taught in absolute sovereignty- the belief God holds absolute control over the events of the world. The doctrine of absolute sovereignty implies if God is in control of everything, then when evil happens He is in control of that, too. 

At funerals and church growing up, I would hear, “God works in mysterious ways” or “God really needed that person with Him”

This creates a bipolar picture of God who provides, blesses, protects, heals and yet would also be in control of rape, sex slavery, abortion, murder, war, and every other evil. Absolute sovereignty teaches that tragedy and evil are part of HIs foreordained plan. Which implies even Satan is a puppet of God’s sovereign will. So resisting the devil is essentially the same as resisting God according to a belief that God is all controlling.

Logically there is no wrestling principalities, powers, wickedness and rulers in high places if they believe God is orchestrating the evil. 

So why is this such a dangerous belief that God is in complete control? Because many Christians have been paralyzed on the earth in hopes that a controlling God will rescue them from their circumstances of discomfort and responsibility. By the way, a fruit of the spirit is self-control. So why would God be trying to control us? It does make us sound more spiritual when we say God told us to abandon a relationship or to move on from a difficult circumstance. I think if we were being honest, we would realize we have a choice every day.

Jesus prayed this prayer and revealed God’s character in John 17:15

15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one

So many Christians are praying to be removed from pain/responsibility and deny the power of the Holy Spirit not just in them but through them.

Psalm 115:16 (NKJV)

16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s;

But the earth He has given to the children of men.

God is not trying to control us on the earth but has given His children management opportunity with the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Apostle Paul was not waiting for God to control Him but submitted to the authority of God and was faithful to manage the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 4:2-5 NLT

   2Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns.

Three finals things to think about from this scripture. Number one, we can choose to be faithful to the vision of His kingdom, surrendering unto the authority of Jesus.  Number two, Just because our conscience is clear doesn’t mean we are right. Number three,  Jesus is returning for His bride and we were not asked to make judgments of her before then. own_the_vision-title-1-Standard 4x3