Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Miracle of Partial Hearing



"As he (Jesus) went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"  "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.""- John 9:1-3

As I sat in the audience listening to Andrea Bocelli in concert recently, I closed my eyes and focused on the beautiful melodies of the symphony, while the most amazing singing voice I've ever heard belted out one incredible song after the next.  I thanked God for being able to have this experience, because it almost didn't turn out that way.

When I was a toddler and could start to talk, my parents would hand the phone to me to talk to my grandparents. But they noticed something strange - I would always switch the phone to my left ear.  They took me to an audiologist, who gave them the grim news: I was completely deaf in my right ear, and only had partial hearing in my left ear. After running multiple tests, they were told it was likely I was going to be completely deaf in my left ear too, so they needed to prepare me for life with no hearing by learning sign language.

My parents didn't accept the doctors' reports.  Having attended Oral Roberts University and believing for supernatural healing, they sent out prayer requests to ministries, family members, and friends far and wide. I was taken to local churches known for healing ministries and prayed over multiple times.

Sure enough, I did not see a decline in my hearing.  In fact, when I was taken back for additional follow up tests, the doctors were surprised to see that my left ear had almost "perfect" hearing, better than average and at levels they rarely see!  Fast-forward to today, and at 45 years old I have maintained these hearing levels and rarely notice any issues from being deaf in one ear.  And unless I make it a point to tell people, they would never know of my condition.

But what if my parents had not believed that healing is for today, as many churches wrongly teach?  What if they had not had the faith to petition for prayer, and do all they could do to ensure I was given a chance for supernatural healing?  I am thankful that I was born into believing parents who refused to accept what was seen in the natural, and believed God had a different plan for my life.

While I have always been grateful for my miracle of partial hearing, I used to wonder why I wasn't completely healed - if one ear could be restored, why were both not healed? I have sought prayer many times for complete hearing in both ears, walking into many healing rooms and alter ministries for prayer, with the faith and belief that I would walk away healed.  And my faith has been tested when I didn't get the result I expected.  But recently my church pastor told the story of a woman born with brown eyes, when everyone in her family and that part of the world had blue eyes.  Being seen as "different," she prayed every day for God to give her blue eyes, and was disappointed when her prayers weren't answered.  Later on though, she entered into the mission field in India.  She was able to sneak into temples where girls were being held captive as shrine prostitutes and rescue them, because she had brown eyes that would not give her away as a foreigner.  God then showed her that she was given brown eyes for just that purpose. It was during this story that God spoke to me and gave me the same insight, that there is a purpose for my partial hearing.

This story has two lessons.  First, I can testify from my experience that healing does happen today, that your current situation can be changed with the supernatural touch of God.  And second, even if you don't get the outcome you expected through prayer, continue to trust God, knowing He created you as part of His master plan, and that all things will work out according to His perfect will.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, 
who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com


Thursday, October 17, 2019

The King's Friend



"And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness" - and he was called a friend of God." - James 2:23

Imagine going to work and running into a new colleague in the hallway.  After introducing yourself and welcoming them to the team, you tell him or her that you work in the Accounting department.  "What do you do?" you ask. "I'm the CEO's Friend," comes the response.  Not surprised at the startled look on your face, he or she shows you a business card, and sure enough, it reads, "Friend of the CEO"!

Sound strange? Maybe so, but it's also a job held by Hushai the Arkite in David's list of the king's overseers. It took me by surprise when reading a passage from 1 Chronicles 27, which I'll paraphrase here:

Azmaveth was in charge of the royal storehouses.
Jonathan was in charge of the storehouses in the outlying districts.
Ezri was in charge of the workers who farmed the land.
Shimei was in charge of the vineyards.
Zabdi was in charge of the produce of the vineyards for the wine vats.
Baal-Hanan was in charge of the olive and sycamore-fig trees in the western foothills.
Joash was in charge of the supplies of olive oil.
Shitrai was in charge of the herds grazing in Sharon.
Shaphat was in charge of the herds in the valleys.
Obil was in charge of the camels.
Jehdeiah was in charge of the donkeys.
Jaziz was in charge of the flocks.
Jonathan, David's uncle, was a counselor, a man of insight and a scribe.
Jehiel took care of the king's sons.
Ahithophel was the king's counselor.
Hushai the Arkite was the king's friend.
Joab was the commander of the royal army.

Wait, back up one line.  We see a lot of jobs that make sense, but then we see that Hushai the Arkite was the king's friend? What does that job entail? I want that job!

Well, I have good news! That's the job the King of Kings wants to give to you!

I would imagine being a leader of a large population has its challenges.  People are coming to you constantly for advice, a decision, an emergency that's come up.  With all the stresses of the job, it must be nice to have a confidant, a friend that knows you better than anyone else, who just wants to hang out and keep you grounded in who you are at the core.

Amazingly, God's design for us includes a relationship in which He calls us friends.  He did this through His Son Jesus, who revealed the heart of the Father to the world, and therefore trusts us enough to call us friends, if we only believe and trust in Him.  In John 15:15, Jesus says, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

I have encountered some people who view God as a stern, distant Creator,  one that is to be feared rather than befriended.  Or there are some who say they are not so "vain" as to think that God would speak to them directly.  But you can't help but draw a different conclusion when you read the Bible and find the Truth.  While God is to be revered and respected as our Father and Creator, He also desires to be our Friend, one that we can have a real, personal, and individual relationship with.

And while we are also children of God, I remember a co-worker telling me that every stage of her children's development was better than the last.  Now that her kids are grown, she likes this stage the best, because now her children are also her friends.  God wants the same relationship with you, but it takes growing in maturity and closeness with Him.  Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, God can live inside you and guide you into a deeper relationship with Him, where He can call you not only a son or daughter, but also a friend.  And that's also who He wants by His side for all eternity!

Through God's amazing grace, we all have the opportunity to tell the world that we have the best job title ever - the King's Friend!

-Adam Gellert


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Do You Really Trust God?




"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." 
- James 1:5-8

Despite everything I've experienced, all that I've committed to in my walk with the Lord, and all the actions I've take to demonstrate my love for the Trinity, I've come to a startling revelation - I don't trust God.

How can I be at this point? How can I experience the dreams, miracles, and revelations of God and still doubt that He is good? That He has a plan for all of humanity, and each of us individually, that if left in His hands will be made perfect for all eternity?

I doubt because I refuse to see reality through God's eyes.  I allow my humanity, with all its imperfection and flawed perspective, to decide what is good or not good in my present situation.  I see an all-knowing God and can't understand why He is allowing me to get laid off from work, lose my children, the natural disaster to wipe out my city, or not answer my earnest prayer for a miracle in a dire situation.

The foundation of faith is a combination of trust and obedience, which go hand in hand.  I can't obey God's instruction and walk in His will if I don't trust Him during ALL circumstances, because I will make a different decision that makes more sense or feels more comfortable to my "rational" mind.  This is why James, in the first chapter of his book in the Bible, says that doubt causes us to be double-minded, tossed about in the waves of life as we sometimes make good decisions that work out, while other times we fall back into worry and despair when something goes wrong.

That's what has made me come to realize that I don't entirely trust God. When I have a good day or something goes well, I'm in love with God and thank Him for answering my prayers and giving me favor.  When something then goes wrong or not the way I expected, I blame God in His omnipotence for "punishing" me or not being good. And so we ride a roller coaster life of ups and downs, looking forward to the relief of an eternity where everything will be a smooth ride of perfection, instead of rejoicing in the peace, freedom and redemption Jesus won for us today.

Before you tell God you love Him, that you've accepted his Son Jesus as your Savior, and want His Holy Spirit to guide and comfort  you on life's journey, are you really ready to trust Him? If you say you love your spouse but don't trust him or her, can you really love them? Can you really be fully committed to that relationship?

Francis Chan has a message that I'll share here, that challenges us with that same thinking.  If we are worrying all the time about our lives, our children, our future,or our finances, do we really trust God? Do our children sit around worrying that we'll provide for them, that we'll do all we can to protect them, and that we are always looking out for their good, even when we have to correct them?

So what's the answer? How can we fully trust God? Like James says, we have to ask God.  We have to commit to dying to self, the humanity in us that wants control.  And when we ask God to take over our lives, we have to make the decision to trust Him completely, in good times and bad.  God knows we will have doubts - Jesus was constantly confronted by His disciples' lack of faith despite all they experienced. But He also died for each one of us, so we could be free to live in eternity with Him, and so that we could have the Holy Spirit dwell within us to transform and shape us into trusting, obedient sons and daughters.

If you can't say you trust God today, repent and ask God to give you the wisdom to fully commit to Him. Believe and don't doubt, and watch God open the floodgates of heaven with a life of blessing, confidence, freedom, and purpose!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6


- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Removing Your "High Places"


In the second year of Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel, Jotham son of Uzziah king of Judah began to reign.  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done.  The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there." - 1 Kings 15:32, 34-35

In reading through the Old Testament recently, one thing the Lord pointed out to me from the history of the kings of Israel was the differences in how closely they walked with the Lord, especially with removing the "high places."   Even those kings who were described as doing right and serving the Lord were called out for not removing the high places.  Here are some examples:

  • "Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places." - 1 Kings 3:3
  • "Although he did not remove the high places, Asa's heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life." - 1 Kings 15:14
  • "In everything he (Jehoshaphat) followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.  The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there."- 1 Kings 22:42-44
There were some kings that did take the step of removing the high places, including Hezekiah:
  • "He (Hezekiah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.  He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.  He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan).  Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel.  There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him." - 2 Kings 18:4-5

And what about the New Testament? Even the devil understood the significance of high places when he tempted Jesus in the desert: "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world." (Luke 4:5)

So why are the high places so important to God and in Scripture, where they are mentioned 117 times? And how can this apply to us today?

The "high places" were originally a tradition from the previous inhabitants of the promised land, and when the Israelites entered the land, God commanded them to "destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods." (Deuteronomy 12:2) Keeping the high places or setting up new ones meant turning from God to worship idols, which constituted adultery and a lack of full trust in God.

King David was the gold standard in having a heart devoted to the Lord.  But starting with his son Solomon, who buckled under the pressure of foreign wives to build altars to their gods, Israel spiraled downward into a black hole of idol worship and setting up altars on high places throughout the land.  And while some kings over the course of Israel's history turned from the evil ways of their fathers and grandfathers and made an effort to serve the Lord, very few had the courage to make the full effort in removing the high places. And because of this decision, God was not able to fully bless them as He did David, or kings like Hezekiah, who did go "all in" with their commitment to the Lord.

Why did even the "good" kings seem to struggle with this one area? I believe they knew better, but felt the pressure of the popularity of these high places in their culture, and they were afraid of losing favor with the people in making what would have been an unpopular decision.  There were likely many influential priests and other leaders who benefited from these high places and the many people that visited them. So what's the harm in keeping them around with all the other good they were doing for the Lord?

Does this sound familiar in today's world? While we don't have physical "high places," the world puts pressure on us to follow popular culture in failing to stand against the things that set themselves against a holy God.  We all have an opportunity through reading the Word, accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior, and following the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to lead a life that is fully committed to the Lord.  But we also all have "high places," some more obvious and some more subtle, that keep us from being a David or Hezekiah and making the hard choices in removing these high places from our lives.

So what are examples of today's high places? While many are obvious, the more subtle ones can be the priority we place on our children or family, our careers, our ministries, or our standing at church.  It is also not taking a stand against the world views of today around sexual orientation/gender identity, a focus on money, and other areas of popular opinion that may impact your reputation or popularity.  The first commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and a high place draws us away from full devotion to the Lord.

What high places do you have in your life? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal this to you, and seek for understanding in the Bible.  Let the Trinity help you remove these high places, so you can live a life in closer relationship to the Lord, with full obedience and commitment to Him!

"Therefore God exalted him (Jesus) to the highest place 
and gave him the name that is above every name..." - Philippians 2:9

- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Why is God Hidden?


"Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.  And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." - Matthew 24:30

One of the questions we have probably all asked at one time or another is, why doesn't God just make Himself known to the world in plain sight? With so many people having different belief systems, or not believing in God at all, why doesn't He just swoop down in all His glory and settle it once and for all? Why is God hidden?

C.S. Lewis explained this well in his insightful book, Mere Christianity, which I just discovered recently.  I would recommend this book to anyone who has questions about the Christian faith, no matter what you currently believe. This was his answer:

"Another possible objection is this, Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil?  Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when.  But we can guess why He is delaying: He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely.  

I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side.  God will invade.  But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does.  When that happens, it is the end of the world.  When the author walks onto the stage the play is over.  God is going to invade, all right, but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else - something it never entered your head to conceive - comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?  

For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature.  It will be too late then to choose your side.  There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up.  That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.  God is holding back to give us a chance.  It will not last forever.  We must take it or leave it."

This view is supported in the Bible - as we see from the verse above from Matthew 24:30, "all the peoples of the earth will mourn" because they will realize the truth and where their decision fell, or where their loved ones' decisions fell.  We are in an urgent situation to spread the truth of the Gospel to all peoples!

If this strikes a chord with you, make the decision now to choose God's side. You know deep down that there is a choice to be made.  If you have been uncertain up to now, I hope this encourages you to get off the fence, to make the decision to follow Jesus Christ, surrender your life to Him, and ask Him to fill you with His love.  Then, like C.S. Lewis,  you can look forward to the day God reveals Himself to the earth with joy and anticipation!

"Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me,  you have believed; 
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." - John 20:29


-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Enjoy Your Life!



"All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, 
'If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!'"- Numbers 14:2


One of the most impactful things God has said to me occurred during some quiet time a few years ago. It was this simple request: "Enjoy Your Life!"  

Why would God say something this obvious - of course I want to enjoy my life!  But even though this seems like such a simple and easy thing to do, in reality it's very difficult.  We burden ourselves with the anxiety and stress of work, money, family, health issues, and the like, and before you know it, you can get sucked down a rabbit hole of negativity and complaining about your life and all the things are "going wrong."

I remember the time in my corporate job when the sales team I worked with conducted a program from an outside consultant called, "The Happiness Advantage."  Based on the book by the same name, written by Shawn Achor, we studied a fable called "The Orange Frog," about a frog who was the only orange-colored frog in his community.  He was also the only frog with a positive attitude, despite being made fun of for being different. As his positive attitude infected others around him, soon the rest of the community of frogs turned orange, symbolic of a happy and positive attitude.

But what I took away most about the program was how unfortunate it was that we had to pay someone to deliver that kind of program in the first place, that there is now so much demand for programs about how to be happy.  Why is this such a struggle?

Because it's in our human nature - all the things we are chasing to make us happy, are really just "sugar highs" of the world - the promotions, the new car, the beach house, retirement - all come with the promise of something better, but that also wear out quickly as we look for the next "fix."  I recall a recent article written by someone who retired in his 30s, who warned that after six months of the sugar high of financial freedom, he defaulted back to his previous state of unhappiness.  Why? Because his happiness was built on the wrong foundation - an expectation that money and financial freedom can provide true happiness and contentment.

The only way to true happiness, or joy, comes from Jesus Christ, because the joy He provides is everlasting and unbreakable.  When you put your trust in Him, you receive the gifts of peace and joy, promised by the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is unaffected by the short term highs and lows of this temporary, earthly life.  Jesus himself says "in this world you will have trouble" (John 16:33), so we know that nothing we do will totally erase the challenges we will all face on this earth.  We ultimately have a choice in the attitude we have during whatever circumstances we face.  By putting your trust and hope in the Lord, you are building a foundation of joy and peace that outlasts the negativity that the things of this world will consistently and constantly challenge us with.

So I say to you again, "Enjoy Your Life!"  You will always face challenges that can derail you from living a joyful life, but by choosing to live a life of trust and obedience to God, you can hold fast to Jesus' promise to always be there in the storm with love, peace, and joy that can never be taken away!

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." - 1 Peter 1:8-9


- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Showing It All - The Value of Discretion



"Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses - the silver, the gold, the spices, and the fine olive oils -  his armory and everything found among his treasures.  There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them." - 2 Kings 20:13

My parents used to call me "Mr. Reporter" - I just had to share everything that I had heard about or done with everyone.  It was difficult for me to keep secrets, because I loved being the one to tell someone else about something they didn't know about, and being a source of news and gossip.  I'm also a very transparent person, so most of the time I don't see the harm in sharing things with others.

On the other hand, my parents have been successful entrepreneurs their entire lives, building up and selling several businesses.  They are much more closely guarded with what is going on with their businesses and personal lives, and the successes (and failures) they have had.  We lived in a nicer area of town growing up, but they didn't like telling people where they lived, and they never wanted my brother and me to talk about it either if they knew we were doing it for the wrong reasons.  They have always had a quiet humility, which has led them to live a life of Godly influence with people from all walks of life.

I have to admit that I've butted heads with them on how they approach their lives in such a secretive way, but as I've grown older, I've come to appreciate and learn from their approach.  The key issue or question is, why should something be shared with others, and what is the motivation behind it? Is it to edify God or others, or edify yourself?  Sometimes it's an issue of pride, or if you're like me, you may be too trusting of others who won't properly handle what you've shared with them.

Hezekiah fell into the trap of pride when he showed everything in his kingdom to visitors from Babylon.  In 2 Kings 20 we see that after he did so, Isaiah the prophet confronted him about it:

"The prophet asked, "What did they see in your palace?"  

"They saw everything in my palace," Hezekiah said.  
"There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them."

"Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.  Nothing will be left, says the Lord.  And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon." - 2 Kings 20:15-18

We live in a transparent, open society today, where we love to share with the public through social media and other mediums our accomplishments, failures, business dealings, and family and personal issues.  I'm constantly amazed at how much people are willing to share about their lives in public forums.  Like Hezekiah showing everything to people from a distant land, who might you be sharing too much with? And do you run the risk that someone might use that information to take what you've worked so hard to build, like your business or reputation?

Years ago, someone shared a prophetic word that God would share secrets with me.  While there is much that God puts on our hearts that we should be sharing with others, there may be some things that are just between God and us.  As you grow in deeper relationship with Him, I would encourage you to confirm with God what secrets are reserved for just the two of you, so He can trust you with even more revelation about who He is.

Are there areas of your life you are too transparent with others about?  Are there things you are too quick to share with others?  Is Pride the root of this transparency?  Ask God to give you the discretion and wisdom to keep private what needs to be private, and walk in humility knowing the only one you really need to be sharing everything with is the only one who can make sure it's handled with the care it deserves - your heavenly Father.

"Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, 
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered." - Proverbs 11:13, ESV

- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Jesus' Signet Ring


"'On that day,' declares the Lord Almighty, 'I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,' declares the Lord, 'and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,' 
declares the Lord Almighty." - Haggai 2:23

During some morning worship time last Saturday morning, I listened to a song and raised my right hand into the air in praise.  Since seeing a vision of God's throne room a few years ago, I often imagine His throne room when seeking to hear from God, and He has shown me some amazing revelations.

This time, when going to this place, I saw Jesus reach for my raised right hand, and put a ring on my finger!

I understood it to be a signet ring, like the ones kings gave people in the Bible when they were granting them their authority as king.  Researching further, I learned that signet rings have been used since the Old Testament times as a personal signature or symbol of family heritage.  Ancient kings used signet rings to designate authority, honor, or ownership.  For example, there are several Bible references to signet rings:

  • Genesis 41:42 - "Then Pharoah took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger.  He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his check."
  • Esther 8:2 - "The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai.  And Esther appointed him over Haman's estate."
  • Haggai 2:23 - "On that day," declares the Lord Almighty, "I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel," declares the Lord, "and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you."
  • Luke 15:22 - "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him (the prodigal son).  Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.'"

What an empowering feeling to know that God has given me His signet ring, as a symbol of His authority, honor, and ownership of my life as a bride of Christ.  All who accept Jesus as Lord are given this same ring, and like those who were given signet rings in the Bible, there is an expectation that we are to do something with that authority!

What are we supposed to do?  In Matthew 10:1, "Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness."  And Matthew 28:18-19 says, "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.'"

We are called to GO, and with rings on our spiritual fingers, we are recognized as members of God's family with His authority as sons and daughters of the King.  The next time you are nervous about talking to others about Jesus, or praying for someone's healing, imagine that ring on your finger, and the authority it represents.  You are a child of the King - hold your head up high and show the world what that means!

"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." - John 14:12

-Adam Gellert

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Visit From God: A Message From A Watchman



"Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.  At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'  But they all began to make excuses.  The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it.  Please excuse me.'  Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out.  Please excuse me.'  Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'  The servant came back and reported this to his master.  Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, crippled, the blind and lame.' 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' Then the master told his servant, 'Go out into the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.  I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet." - Luke 14:16-24


Last night I had such a vivid dream with an important message for everyone, that I had to share in the hopes this touches someone.

In my dream, God himself came down to earth and "held court," inviting everyone to come to a specific location and meet with Him. He was looking forward to "checking in" and seeing how each of His children was doing.  It was not the end times or final judgement, just an opportunity for anyone who wanted to meet with God to do so.

The interesting and sad thing was, many people did not want to come, and did not come.  They were too embarrassed or ashamed to face God, for a variety of reasons.  They didn't want to face Him given their shame and lack of repentance for their many sins.  They didn't want to face Him because of a lack of relationship with Him, or having to admit during their check-in that they hadn't been obedient to God's calling on their lives.  Others had not done all they could be doing to share the message of the Gospel and bring others into relationship with Him. I was also somehow aware that members of my own family chose not to go.

Even I was hesitant to go, for the same reasons.  But I mustered up the courage to face God.  I made my way to a large parking lot, where I could see many people walking into a large building.  The glory of God emanated brightly through the roof and beamed like a beacon into the sky.  I could begin to feel God's presence, in the same way I met God in a dream years earlier.   And among the crowd, I somehow perceived that many people from my church were there. And then, before the dream went any further, I woke up.

The dream was not really a joyous one, as I was saddened to think about the many people, known and unknown, who chose not to meet their Father and Creator when the opportunity arose.  I believe it was a message of urgency, as Jesus is coming soon to bring His people into the promise of eternal life at any time.  And when He does, will you be prepared (and excited) to see His coming, or will you be ashamed, fearful, or regret that you didn't have a chance to do all the things you could have or should have done during your lifetime?

The good news is, this is not a message of condemnation or judgement! The message of Jesus is one of redemption and forgiveness.  The simple solution for being able to face God with confidence, is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and through His blood and sacrifice, you are forgiven of your sins and put on a white robe of righteousness in God's eyes.  You don't have to live in shame or fear of judgement for your sins, because "all have sinned and fall short" (Romans 3:23), but Jesus wipes us clean. As Romans 8:1-2 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."

And if you are saved and still couldn't face God because you aren't living in obedience to His will, it's not too late to get back on track.  We are all called to tell others about the Good News of Jesus, and the harvest is ripe.  This isn't about performance and we don't have to bring others to Christ to be saved, but all who know Him understand the desire that is placed in our hearts to share the Good News with others, and walk in obedience to His will.

In one of the documentary movies by Darren Wilson and Wanderlust Productions, a pastor said he wanted to be able to face Jesus at his death and entry into heaven and pick up right where he left off on earth.  If Jesus is your best friend, I imagine that first moment in heaven to be the same reaction that a child has when he rides a roller coaster for the first time - he jumps off the coaster and excitedly jumps into his father's arms, saying "That was awesome, can we go again!?"

If you don't think that will be your reaction to your relationship with God, and his Son Jesus Christ, now is the time to make a change.  Ask Jesus into your heart and surrender your life to Him, and pursue a deeper relationship with Him in obedience to your calling and God's will for your life. And you'll jump at the chance to see God if He came today and invited you into His loving arms!

"Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These words are the true words of God." - Revelation 19:9


-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Women of Noble Character



As I was seeking guidance from the Lord recently on direction and purpose for my life, He led me to read the book of Proverbs.  While I was reminded of some great wisdom like not making hasty decisions, the value of hard work, and the pursuit of "ill-gotten treasures," the last chapter is what God really intended for me to see:

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character (Proverbs 31:10-31)

   A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
   Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
   She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
   She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
   She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
   She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
   She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
  She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
   She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
   In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
   She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
   When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
   She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
   Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
   She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
   She is clothed with strength and dignity,
she can laugh at the days to come.
   She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
   She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
   Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
   "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
   Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
   Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
 
I have to admit that it broke from my view of the "traditional" role of women during Bible times, and it revealed to me that I don't have to bear the burden of making life decisions or providing for my family alone.  God intended for my marriage to be a partnership with a strong woman of "noble character," which I fortunately already have with an amazing wife who is doing everything Proverbs 31 describes!

My wife works full-time, waking up "while it is still night" to get everyone ready for work and school, before she heads off to work herself.  She is an incredibly hard worker who is always productive in everything she does, and helps guide me in making good decisions for our family.  And in my selfish focus on what "I" need to be doing with the next phase of my life, I had forgotten that with a wife of noble character, I don't have to do it alone. I need to take advantage of God's gift of a spouse and partner who has strengths I don't have, and I should be a better steward of the "earnings" she is bringing into the family, whether it's a job or the work she does at home.

As Proverbs so rightly says, having a woman of noble character brings honor to her husband, and he should be honoring her for what she is doing to prosper the family.  If you are stuck in your purpose or what's next for you, what women in your life can you be leaning on for guidance and support?  I'm thankful for the many women of noble character that God has blessed me with, including my mother, mother-in-law, grandmothers, cousins, aunts, co-workers, and friends who have given me wisdom and shown me the value of hard work, and in some cases doing all the work, to provide a good life for their families.

Are you honoring and seeking wisdom from your "women of noble character'?

-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Friday, February 8, 2019

Discounting Your Children



"When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands before the Lord.  But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  -1 Samuel 16:6-7

When my oldest son got into his preschool years, we started getting feedback from teachers that he was behind developmentally.  As a parent we typically see nothing but the amazing things our child is doing as he or she grows, and how "brilliant" they appear to be for their age.  But then reality can sink in when they are grouped with other kids, and teachers who have seen hundreds of kids come through their classes see their strengths and weaknesses, and paint a more realistic picture.

Year after year, we had somber meetings with teachers and staff, as they expressed concern over our son's development, both academically and socially.  He was held back in kindergarten, and even then his scores were lower than average.  I had always done well in school, so this whole experience was foreign to me.  I was just happy to see him get a passing grade on a test, much less an A or B.  Instead of eagerly anticipating reports from school on his academic and social achievements, I was relieved if we didn't hear anything for a period of time, because no news was good news.

One night a few years ago, as I was thinking about my kids' futures and resigning myself to my oldest son's mediocrity (at best), God said to me, "Don't discount your son.  I have special plans for him too!"

It was both an encouragement and admonition as I realized that I had discounted my son. It didn't mean I loved him any less or that I wasn't going to do everything I could to give him the best life possible.  But I had given up hope for a bright future based on how the world saw my son, and I had accepted it.

Thankfully, his Creator, the One who gave my son life and an exciting future filled with a powerful destiny and amazing adventures, never discounted him.  As much as a parent can (and should) have a positive influence on a child's life, and God wants us to steward our children well, He doesn't need us to fulfill His purpose for our children.  We can look at examples of people from all walks of life, with both good and bad parents, easy or hard situations, come into God's purpose for their lives because of the individual relationships they pursued with God, and more importantly, God's pursuit of them.

Since that message from God, I'm happy to report that my son is doing great in school, and socially with many friends, as he is developing into who God created him to be.  And last year he asked to be baptized and accepted Jesus as Lord!  I can't say that I'm doing much if anything to contribute to his current success, so I know that God is at work in my son in ways I'll never know.  And I'm comforted knowing that a Father who knows and loves my son even more than I do is in control of his destiny, and I'm just here to help steward him on the journey.

I hope this message serves two purposes - first, to make sure you don't discount your children. If you see your kids the way God sees them, you wouldn't ever have a need or desire to do so.  And secondly, if you grew up in a home where your parents discounted you, or favored another sibling over you, know that your future isn't determined by your earthly parents.  It's determined by God your Father, His Son Jesus who saw so much value in you that he chose to die for you, and the Holy Spirit that is excited to fill you with His presence and guide you into your destiny as a child of the King!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters." - Romans 8:28-29


-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com 


Friday, February 1, 2019

The Dangers of Significance



This article was originally posted as a guest blog for John W. Nichols, missionary and author of GOD is HERE: Finding God in the Pain of a Broken World.  Thanks to John for allowing me to contribute to his blog!


"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." - Psalm 139:23-24

Let's start this blog with a quiz.  Which of these four postures of relating to God is the right one:

A) Life Under God - God is happy or mad, depending on my performance.
B) Life Above God - My way is better than God's.
C) Life From God - I want God's benefits, but I'm not really interested in Him.
D) Life For God - I have a need to be significant and to do something great for God.

(Taken from the book, "With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God"  by Skye Jethani)

When I was first asked this question in a training session I attended at my church, I knew the obvious answer was D.  After being "activated" into more with God and experiencing incredible healing miracles, connections, and spiritual encounters, I was on fire for God. I was on a mission to tell everyone I knew about this amazing God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that had transformed my life, and I couldn't wait to return the favor by doing important things for the Kingdom.  I was going to be a general in His army, sharing the gospel and making God proud of me.

The problem is none of these postures are correct, even the desire to live a life for God.  Because if I really searched my heart, I was motivated by what these significant accomplishments were going to do for ME, either in this earthly life or as a reward in heaven.

God's greatest desire is just to be WITH us.  And when you think about it from a parent's perspective, it makes sense. If one of my sons asked me what he needed to do for me to love him more, I would quickly say, "Nothing, I already love you unconditionally."  If my kids spent their life feeling a need to do something significant to achieve my love, I would tell them they have it all wrong  If a flawed, earthly father feels this way, how much more does our perfect heavenly Father, who gave his only Son to be with us for eternity?

Pastor Robert Morris from Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, put it another way in a recent sermon.  He talked about the four stages of spiritual maturity:
  • Give Me
  • Use Me
  • Search Me 
  • Make Me
Our earliest stage of faith involves prayers that look more like wish lists.  Our relationship may look like that of our young children, who from my own experience are constantly asking me to buy them things.  Even though the second stage, Use Me, may appear to come from the right place, this is the same stage mentioned above; we are asking God to use us so we can be significant, and have an impact that's motivated more by selfish ambitions and desires. It's only by moving to the stages of Search Me, and finally Make Me, that we learn to totally surrender to God's will and direction for our lives, and realize that freedom comes from releasing ourselves from the pressure and human desires for significance and importance.

It's also important to note that being at various stages of spiritual maturity is not an admonition that you are doing something wrong.  I don't criticize a two year old for what they do at that age; I just help guide them into maturity at their pace of development and do my part to accelerate their maturity where it's needed.  God's view of where you are in your walk is no different - He wants to see that you are making an effort to grow in maturity, and will step in to guide you when it appears you need help.

It's human nature to focus on ourselves, reinforced by the world's view of having to do something important or significant to achieve success, to be liked or admired by others, or to have a following.  Fortunately for us, we can be free of this pressure and released from the dangers of significance by surrendering to God, making Jesus the Lord of our lives, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us into spiritual maturity.  Chase after the heart of God, and you'll find the only thing of real significance - relationship with Him.

Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself
Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else
Make a name the world remembers
But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams
I got lost in the light when it was up to me
To make a name the world remembers
But Jesus is the only name to remember

And I, I don't want to leave a legacy
I don't care if they remember me
Only Jesus

From the song "Only Jesus" by Casting Crowns

-Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Saved Just For You



"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." - Jeremiah 1:5


When I wrote my first book, "Activation," the title came to mind as the best way to describe what happened to me when God flipped the switch on my life and "activated" me for service in the Kingdom.  As a reminder, the definition of Activation is:

  • The process whereby something is prepared or excited for a subsequent reaction
  • To accelerate a reaction, as by heat
  • To set in motion
  • Making active or effective
  • Putting an individual or unit on active (military) duty

I named my ministry the "Activation Movement" as I wanted to create a movement of others experiencing the fullness of relationship with God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. And since that time, I've seen others in ministry using the word "activation" to describe the jump start for more that we should all desire as we seek our Triune God.

Later in the journey as I was on a walk one day, I was thinking about my ministry and how it could be used, when I heard God say, "I saved that name for you!"  It blew me away that God knows each of us intimately and saves assignments, business or ministry names, our spouses and children, and more, just for us!

To confirm this message from God, I met Robby Dawkins, a well known pastor and author, who happened to move to my neighborhood in Texas.  When I told him about my own book, he was blown away, as he had told his publisher that he wanted to call his book, "Activation"!  His publisher recommended a book title that was better aligned to the titles of his other books, allowing me to have a book and ministry with a unique name in the Christian community.  God really had saved that name for me!

So my question for you is, what opportunities, businesses, ministries, relationships, and more does God have planned just for you?  We are all unique in God's eyes, with a special purpose in the grand unfolding of history.  God planned for our creation and existence in the world at the exact, pre-planned time that He intended.  Ask God what unique opportunities He has placed in His plan for your life, and take advantage of the blessings that God has saved JUST FOR YOU!

"My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be." 
- Psalm 139:15-16

15 

- Adam Gellert
adamgellert.com