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Spiritual

The Power to Succeed

By Leadership, Spiritual

It was a Wednesday afternoon, and I was frustrated. We had been at worship band practice for two hours and had made no progress. Tension was high, and unity was low.

Finally, as a last resort, I said, “Guys, can we just pray about this? Practice is going nowhere.”

So all seven of us laid down our instruments, put on a worship song, and prayed that God would help us. And a switch was flipped. We played the next song with unusual accuracy and anointing. Afterward, we just stared at each other awkwardly smiling. We knew God had shown up.

I learned a valuable lesson that day — God gives you the power to be successful.

Although it was a new revelation for me, it had been God’s character since the beginning. In Deuteronomy 8:18 God tells the the children of Israel, “Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful…”

After living in bondage for 400 years, God was about to take the children of Israel into a new season of blessing. He had given them promises of land, natural resources, riches, and victory over the enemy — followed by a warning.

Don’t forget who made you successful.

And as history tells us, anytime God’s people forgot about Him they soon remembered the effects of difficulty and failure. The same is true for us.

God loves to bless you. But we must realize that His blessings come as a byproduct of a healthy relationship. We don’t worship God to receive a blessing, we worship God and become blessed.

Now would be a good time to mention that God knows the intentions of our hearts. He can’t be “used” as a tool for blessings. That’s not what this is about. It’s about inviting God into every area of our life.

When you invite God into specific situations in your life, your allowing divine power, authority, and insight to guide and assist you. Who couldn’t use God’s help?

This isn’t a highly spiritually activity either. It looks like a simple prayer and acknowledgment of need.

“God, would you help me focus on my studies today and retain the information I need to pass this test?”

“God without you I’m not very kind to people, would you give me the grace I need to treat people with love today?”

“God I don’t have what it takes to lead small group tonight. Would you give me a word of encouragement for those you have trusted me with?”

“God I don’t know how to navigate this business deal. Would you give me the wisdom to make a decision that is best for my business and family?

“God you gave me this sex drive. Help please.”

It’s almost supernatural the way we begin navigating once hard situations with grace when God’s hand is on our life. But He needs an invitation.

The power to succeed is only found in God.

How would things change if you invited God into that situation in your life that has been stressing you out? What would it be like to have the power of God on your side?

I want to encourage you to press into God. Take time today (and every day) to invite God into specific situations into your life and watch as He gives you the power to succeed.

– Daniel Maddry

danielmaddry.com

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How My Youth Ministry Tripled In Size

By Growth, Spiritual

Three months into becoming a student pastor my church asked me if the  youth were going to do a disciple now. They had always done a disciple now. I casually said I would pray about it and let them know by Friday. I had full intentions of doing a disciple now. Besides, they had always done a disciple now.

That Friday morning I was about to leave for work, and the thought popped into my mind, “you didn’t pray about the disciple now.” So I went to my room, shut the door, and quietly asked God about the disciple now. Almost instantly I had the idea, “do a student revival.” In 2012 and in my limited experience I had never seen a student revival. This was also before Hillsong Young and Free had released their “Youth Revival” album. But I decided to do a four-night revival service for students.

It was electric. 

Many were saved. Many were set free. And there was a lot of chatter in the schools about our church. Needless to say, we grew — a lot.

I’m a huge fan of strategy, excellent leadership, and amazing content but there is another factor that goes into growing a ministry. The x-factor.

What is the x-factor? The favor of God. 

Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”

I fear that sometimes we can get so caught up in building the ministry that we fail to ask God for His input. I’m convinced that, when invited, God brings divine ideas, strategies, and conversations into our meetings. 

Unless the Lord grows your ministry, it won’t grow.

When the hand of God is on your ministry, it’s unstoppable. So I want to encourage you, seek God. Pray and ask God directly about your series, events, and outreaches. You might not get a “word from God,” but the invitation is all He needs to help you reach more students.

-Daniel Maddry

www.danielmaddry.com

Fighting Conviction

By Spiritual

Fighting conviction is the art of ignoring God — one that if mastered will leave you lacking in destiny and abounding in regret.

It was 2012, and I was getting ready to go hot tubbing with some new friends I had made. As I walked out of my room, I distinctly felt the Holy Spirit telling me to stay home and spend time with Him. I ignored it, hoping the feeling would go away. But it didn’t go away. I got in my car hoping not to feel it. But I did feel it. I made it to the stop sign at the end of my neighborhood and knew I was fighting conviction. I decided to turn around and sent a text to my friends telling them that I couldn’t make it.

Later on, I found out that the night had gone differently than I had expected. Looking back, I’m glad I wasn’t a part of it. I’m glad I stayed home. I’m glad I followed God’s conviction.

And I wish all my stories ended this way.

Maybe you have a distorted view of conviction. Perhaps, you believe that God’s conviction prevents you from having fun. When in reality, God’s conviction protects you from getting hurt.

You have a good Father. One that knows you better than you know yourself. He also knows your destiny and can see into your future. When you rely on conviction to be your guide, you’ll always experience blessings — even though sacrifice is usually required.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.‘” — Jeremiah 29:11

Maybe you are currently fighting conviction. As you were reading this article, the Holy Spirit was prompting an area of your life that you have been holding back.

I want to encourage you; conviction is an invitation to live your best life — obey it.

— Daniel Maddry

This One Truth Will Help You Make Better Decisions

By Spiritual

Several weeks ago while I was traveling, I went to a coffee shop to get some reading done. Once I got seated, a book on the shelf caught my eye. I wondered over and picked it up. Turns out, it was The Cross And The Switchblade by David Wilkerson.

I sat there and read almost the entire book. Nestled between the pages of this book was one of the most incredible stories I had ever heard.

While David Wilkerson was having less than impressive revival services in downtown New York for gang members, he asked one of the notorious leaders to take up the offering. Everyone laughed knowing good and well that the gang leader would take the money and run. But something happened. Right before he was going to leave with the money, he realized that for the first time in his life someone trusted him. And that trust empowered him the young gang leader to not steal the offering. And to listen to the message. And to give his life to Jesus.

His name is Nicky Cruz, and he’s now an international evangelist.

That story of trust made me evaluate my own life.

By nature, I don’t like to be controlled. And I realized that when rules are given to me, I can easily break them, but when trust is given to me, I can’t betray it.

There in the coffee shop, I felt God say to me, “I trust you.

From that moment I felt empowered. Anytime I’ve had to make a hard decision, “I trust you” comes to mind. Anytime I face temptation, “I trust you” comes to mind. Anytime I’m handed responsibility, “I trust you” come to mind.

Consequently, I’ve never felt more empowered to make good decisions and protect the heart of God. I think this is what relationship is all about.

I want to encourage you today. Whatever hard decisions or situations you’re faced with God trusts you, and so do I.

Praying Practically

By Prayer, Spiritual

“I’m giving you $630.00 over the next three weeks…”

I stood there amazed by God as she walked away. My hand was clenching what would be the first installment of the money she had promised. More than money, I was holding the answer to a prayer I had been praying over the past week.

See, our church was going through 21 days of prayer and fasting and one seemingly small prayer I had consistently prayed was that God would help me buy tires for my car. It’s not that I had no money. But new tires would definitely have to come out of my savings.

It turns out, after returning my tithes to God I had just enough for the new tires. Thank you, Jesus, for another answered prayer.

I want to set a foundation for this blog.
• God is good and He loves you.
• God enjoys answering prayers.
• No need of yours is too big or small.

Armed with that knowledge you would think that more people would pray regularly. But they don’t. I think it’s partially because praying seems complicated. What do I say? How long do I pray? How do I know He hears me? So I want to give you three keys to praying effectively.

Three Keys To Effective Prayers

1. Pray Privately

Matthew 6:6
6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

If the only time you pray to God is at church and before meals then it’s no wonder you feel defeated. More than not being seen, praying in private allows you to connect with God in a more intimate way. Fruitfulness in your public life stems from intimacy in your prayer life.

Praying privately postures you for honesty and vulnerability, which is the best soil for a true connection with God.

2. Pray Short

Matthew 6:7
7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.

Another reason why I think so many people give up on praying is that they spent an hour or two praying about everything once and didn’t see anything change. Because of this, they come to the conclusion that prayer is time-consuming and ineffective — a lie from Satan.

Praying short allows you to clearly communicate your needs to God while not carrying the burden of having to carve out a huge chunk of time.

3. Pray Consistently

Matthew 7:7
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

This one is the most important of all.

I grew up in the country which means we didn’t buy firewood, we cut it ourselves. The process of cutting firewood isn’t easy, it can be exhausting and defeating. Until you learn a better way. If you strike the wood at the same place long enough it will soon split open with ease. The satisfaction of the split almost seems to cover the labor it took to get there.

Praying consistently creates a rhythm of faith and expectation that allows you to see prayers answered. It also seems to diminish the accumulated hours it took to find resolve and breakthrough in your prayer journey.

I want to encourage you. Don’t buy into the lie that prayer doesn’t work, it’s complicated, or it’s not worth it. Prayer is a privilege and it’s to our advantage to connect with God in an intimate way every day.