Archive for September, 2013

From One Pastor to Another: A Personal Testimony

There is nothing more powerful than a personal testimony. I am always cautious about sharing what God is doing in my life due to the fear of being misunderstood. With my peers, I am even more cautious.

By no means do I ever assume what God is doing in me needs to be done in others. God walks with us personally. His work in me may or may not have anything to do with what He is doing in you. At the same time, there are moments when what God is doing in the lives of others has profound impact on me.

The Work of God has been Building

For the past several months, the work of God and His Spirit in me have been building. I have sensed He has been taking me up to a place to meet with Him intimately. By faith, I just kept walking, following this journey I sensed I was on with God.

As fellow pastors, you know the enormous challenge we face daily of continuing in these kinds of journeys God has us on personally, while the demands of ministry continue to call upon us. In fact, many times they distract us from the very thing we believe God is doing in us.

But in these past few months, my focus was strong. I really felt God was moving me toward Him personally in every way. I had a growing anticipation that led me forward toward Him.

The Work of God Recently

Then the moment came through my daily time with God, that I sensed His deep call to a season of prayer and fasting. I notified Jeana and I began the journey with the Lord. This time, I had no idea how long God wanted me to walk with Him on this specific journey.

By faith, I recorded several things I believed God wanted me to pursue Him about. I needed His perspective. I needed to see what He sees about them. I needed to be in the Word with Him even more, talking with Him about these matters.

The journey continued for twenty-one days. Uniquely, Jeana was away all last week, staying with her Mom while she underwent a procedure for a pacemaker. This eliminated our normal Friday together. Therefore, on my day away from office responsibilities, I spent most of the day with the Lord in His Word. It was rewarding and powerful, but exhausting. God’s timing is always perfect. I needed this time. I needed confirmation about many things I was sensing God had declared to me in His Word, and clarity regarding the length of this fasting journey.

At one point, I was not sure the release was given. This journey was so rich with the Lord, quite honestly, there was a lot of me that did not want the time of fasting to cease. I was more than willing to continue to a forty day stretch, but late on Friday, God released me. So sometime after 8:00 p.m. on Friday, I broke the fast.

The Work of God Through Me

God’s Word was so strong in my life during this journey. The Holy Spirit awakened me to several things in His powerful Word. I have no idea how much any of this will ever become public. At times, God keeps His work in us private. Other times, when He has worked in us privately, He takes that work public. I leave all that up to Him alone.

Here is what I do know. The past three weeks, especially this past Sunday, God has been working strongly in our church. His hand has stayed on His church uniquely. One of the reasons I was compelled to draw aside with the Lord was over a prayer ministry I unveiled to our people on Sunday. It is called the Cross Church Circle. When I called for commitment from our people, the response was as strong as anything I have seen in several years. God was in the House at Cross Church this past Sunday.

Another matter weighing upon me strongly is our upcoming, A Call to Prayer for Revival and Awakening: A Gathering for Senior Pastors.” As of today, we have 143 Senior Pastors attending from 23 different states in our nation. The response has been amazing and if flights were more reasonably priced, I believe this number would be staggering. Our goal all along has not been great numbers, but that God would show up in this prayer gathering and create a spiritual movement within us. I am praying that if He chooses to do so, God would use this gathering to become a catalyst for the next great move of God in our nation. This burden was upon me, and is still upon me, and moved me to walk up the mountain with God during those 21 days of fasting and prayer. Oh, how God so moved upon my heart about this through His powerful Word.

And there are other matters, much more personal for now and perhaps forever. It is all in God’s hand and I trust Him. He is more than worthy to be trusted. I share all of this with you to encourage you, and do so with complete humility.

My Testimony Today

My testimony to you today is this: God is up to something. He is preparing His men like us and His bride, the church. I really believe we are entering, and perhaps have already entered, a “kairotic” moment, a special moment, a season where God moves powerfully.

So what do we do as leaders of His church? We get before Him. We stay before Him. We live in the Word of God. We prepare ourselves. We let His Spirit do whatever He wants to do in us. We abandon ourselves, releasing ourselves to follow King Jesus wherever He leads us.

Wherever God wants us to go, let’s go. Let’s march together in Jesus’ name with the Word of God in our hearts and the Holy Spirit as our power.

Yours for the Great Commission,

Ronnie W. Floyd

The Greatest Love in the World

Love-Rusted-letters.jpgThere may be no more misunderstood concept in the world than that of love. Boys and girls who know only feelings whisper “I love you.” Teens in the midst of raging hormones say “I love you” with little thought to the weight of the words. Even some adults entering marriage have confused love with infatuation. Abused women endure wave after wave of physical assault because, “He says he loves me.”

Music and movies do us no favors in navigating these all-important waters. Characters fall in and out of love while lyrics too often confuse love and sex.

God’s Love is Different

Love is a basic theme of the Bible and a far too important concept to leave to uninformed definitions. When we read, “God loved the world in this way” (John 3:16, HCSB), is it the kind of love that is emotional, logical, or hypocritical? Or, is it different than the love we see portrayed in pop-culture?

We are not left to guessing as to the “way” in which God loves the world. Romans 5:6-8 describes it:

“For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person – though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!”

God’s love is giving. It is sacrificial. It is provisional. As Ben Mandrell has written, “The love of God is more than sentiment. Objective, historical evidence of God’s love presents itself in the cross of Christ. Jesus put Himself in harm’s way and endured the incredible pain of the crucifixion. This reveals the ocean-sized, other-worldly nature of His love.”

We cannot speak of God’s love – the greatest love in the world – without acknowledging its generous and sacrificial nature. God gave His Son for us. This is no small thing.

Why Does God Love People in Such a Way?

  1. Because it is His nature to do so. God cannot love in any way other than that which is generous and sacrificial. To love in a lesser way would cease to be like God. This is how God’s love is described throughout the Bible.
  2. God loves people is this way because it took this kind of love to provide the ground for salvation. The Bible describes people without Christ as “lawless” (Romans 4:7), “corrupt” (Psalm 14:3), “evildoers” (Psalm 14:4), and “lost” (Luke 19:10). We were far from God, separated from Him and unable to make things right on our own. When we were unlovely, unloving and unlovable, God loved us.

This is the greatest love in the world.

Bible Studies for Life: Do Over drives this home. We will never know God until we have accepted His love fully expressed in Jesus. We cannot save ourselves and no one else’s love can save us. Only God’s love can, and He has made the way.

Yours for the Great Commission,

Ronnie W. Floyd

Senior Pastor, Cross Church

General Editor, Bible Studies for Life