Inquiring of the Lord—Posturing Ourselves for Success

When we seek the counsel of God, He gives us inside information and the edge on every situation we may encounter or find ourselves in. However, how much we inquire or whether we inquire at all is our choice to make. But to inquire of Him is the best way to go if we want to be spiritually successful. It is possible to live a life of victory, satisfaction, and divine favor—a life of miracle—when we inquire of the Lord and follow Him in all we do.
When we look deeply into David’s life and writings, we find an example (a road map, if you will) on how David postured himself before God and how we also are invited to live our lives. We were created and fashioned to succeed in all we do, having been made in the likeness and image of God—who has never and will never fail, because successful is who He is.
Most people are aware of King David’s shortcomings, sins, and failures, but fewer are aware that David was known as a man after the very heart of God. In Acts 13:22 it is said of David,
“[God] raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.'”
God certainly knew that David would fail, but He also knew that David would try again. He saw David’s sinning and was aware of every shortcoming (as He is for each one of us). But He also saw into David’s spirit and knew that David would run back into His arms—the arms of a loving Father—willing to do and obey all that He would command. God knew that David was a man of absolute faith and resolve in Him.
King David longed for many things, but he understood the truth of where true success and value would be found. He demonstrated it when he wrote and possibly even sang these following words as his own personal anthem.
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty . . . of the Lord, and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4 AMPC)
Yet as beautiful and descriptive as these words are, there is no instruction as to how David went about obtaining the answer—or is there? How do we obtain the spiritual guidance we seek? Is it just to simply pray those same words? Or is there some hidden mystery, some undisclosed truth that made David desire the presence of God all the days of his life? Exactly how did David run after the heart of God and obtain His favor? How did David gain this glorious success of beholding and gazing upon the beauty of God?
David’s example on how he went about obtaining his “one thing,” his “one request of the Lord” can be found hidden within the lines of his many Psalms. There we find a great road map, one that demonstrates David’s heart of prayer and pursuit of God in all things, sometimes despite his every emotion.
The following steps are just a few of the many golden nuggets David wrote that can be used to aid us in approaching the Lord to obtain answers and cause us to inherit a successful life in Christ.  
1.  We begin with assurance, knowing that when we, like David, call upon the Lord, He answers.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried to my God for help;
He heard my voice out of His temple,
And my cry for help before Him came into His ears. (Psalm 18:6 NASB)
2.  We live with a repentant heart.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great. (Psalm 25:11 NIV)
3.  We embrace humility. Inviting us to step into agreement with who God says we are, humility enables us to harmoniously follow our Shepherd’s leading and to grow in wisdom as we receive His guidance.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble His way. (Psalm 25:9 ESV)
4.  We must choose to trust. Trust is a valued character trait the world lacks, and because of this, many find it difficult to trust an invisible God. However, when we choose to lean into God by learning of His heart and His ways, we begin to rely on Him in every circumstance and in every area of our lives. And as we learn Him, we are able to remember His faithfulness, which increases our capacity to trust Him.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:7)
5.  We choose to love Him. David understood that the choice to love God comes from recognizing and agreeing with the truth that God is the one who gives us the strength to do so—and God’s strength never fails and never gives up.
I will love you, O Lord, my strength. (Psalm 18:1)
6.  We practice devotion. Being devoted to something means being focused on that particular thing almost exclusively.
I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8 NASB)
7.  We give God the recognition that belongs to Him. Praising God and giving Him the recognition due His name is best done when we wholeheartedly profess our faith and proclaim His marvelous deeds.
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works. (Psalm 9:1)
8.  We know that He is faithful.
Surely Your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life. (Psalm 23:6 NIV)
9.  We live obediently before Him.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart. (Psalm 119:34 NIV)
10.  We are intentional in our pursuit of Him. In Psalm 63, David pens the purpose for his existence—to pursue God earnestly as his one desire, his one delight, his one defense.
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You. (Psalm 63:1)
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:6–8)
We can achieve success despite life’s obstacles and challenges when we keep our eyes on the Savior and make Him, as David did, our one thing. He is the one who holds our course steady. And He will complete His work in our lives. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 reminds us of this truth, saying of the Lord, Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
When David wrote verse four of Psalm 27, he was responding to a lifelong call and invitation from God Himself to draw near and ask of Him. God is drawing us also. When Jesus is the primary focus of our desires and our lives, we ultimately experience victory instead of defeat and spiritual growth instead of stagnation.

This is my most recent blog: As an in-house writer for the International House of Prayer.
Be encouraged.

Untie The Donkey, The Lord Has Need Of You

by Selenia Vera  
“Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them.” (Matthew 21:2–3, NIV)
In Jesus’ time, a donkey was a valuable possession for the ordinary middle-class family. On the day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus instructed His disciples to head into the city, untie a colt from its post outside a certain house, and then bring it to Jesus for His use. The only explanation that the disciples were to give to the owner was that “the Lord has need of them.”
Many folks, much like the untied donkey in Matthew’s gospel, feel as though they have come to the end of the road. Waiting. Never really discovering what for. I have found it even more common for those of us in our fifties, sixties, and seventies to play the conversations over and over asking ourselves, What’s next? What now?  As ones who have absorbed life’s blows, endured the wounds of failure, enjoyed our accomplishments, and relished in our successes, we find that we still wonder. We converse with friends, we seek counsel, we pray, and we search for that which matters. We long to know about our significance. If this is you, I have good news! The human spirit will always cry out for more—God created us this way. And because of this, He calls out to us and draws us to Himself. He is coming after us!
We are certainly not donkeys, but I’d like to submit that our relationship to this story may be this: many of us are tied up. And like the untied donkey in the story in the gospel of Matthew, one of the hardest things to come to terms with when we face transition is our usefulness.
Allow me to pose these questions, Are there ropes holding you back, keeping you from knowing which direction to take? Are there ropes that keep you stuck? Have you accepted the lie, agreed with the argument, that life is over and there is nothing left? Do you hear the whisper, “I’m too old, too much time has been lost”? Do you wonder where to start? Do thoughts of starting over overwhelm you?
Jesus knows this, beloved one, and as the Anointed One in your life, He comes to untie the ropes that are holding you back, to break every yoke, and to declare to you that your life is not over. There is still much to be done. The Lord has need of you! He is in the business of untying donkeys—of breaking people free from that which holds them back.
You were not created to stay tied up on the post of the city gate. If you feel ordinary and insignificant, I submit to you that He uses ordinary people, strengthening them in the significance of relationship with Him—all for the advancement of His kingdom.
My friend, the Master is waiting for you, and the time to flourish has just begun. Don’t you see you have been untied from interruptions, work duties, deadlines, and obligations?
Or are you tired? Run down? To you I say,
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding. (Isaiah 40:28, NLT)
You no longer must bear the burden; the time has come to meet the burden-bearer Himself!
Father God who made us has planned a wonderful future beyond the certainty of growing old and ending our days on earth doing nothing. His purposeful, significant plan is just ahead—eternity with Him. But for it to be accomplished, He has need of you!
He is looking for men and women who will stand in the gap as intercessory catalysts, people who proclaim His promise, whose lives are patterns to be followed, who pave the way for younger generations, whose prayers invoke His presence, and cry out for His return. He is calling those of us who are in our fifties, sixties, and seventies, proclaiming there is yet much to be done, “I, The Lord, have need of you! Will you partner with me?”
You don’t have to spend your latter years in the shadows of yesterday’s accomplishments—there are many new and glorious ones ahead. Indeed, the Lord has need of you!
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing. (Psalm 92:14)
“Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4)
Yes, the Lord has need of you for there is yet another triumphal entry He has planned—one that will not happen until the spirit and the bride say come.”
May your heart be stirred like the man Simeon in Luke 2:25–35,and may you hear and answer the call to partner with Him in your latter years. Join a generation that is crying out for the glorious return of Christ!
Find more information about our three to six-month Simeon internships for individuals who are 50 and older, and how the Lord is strategically using this generation to prepare the way for the Lord’s glorious return.

Selenia Vera

  • IHOPKC Staff Writer
Selenia resides in Kansas City. She enjoys writing and is the author of Go Quickly. She is on staff with the International House of Prayer where she serves in the Marketing department. Visit her blog:

It's watermelon season again. 

It made me think of a Facebook post I wrote on my page back on July 2, 2016...

     The watermelons were on sale today, I love watermelon! I was so excited I scooped up two and hurried to the checkout counter.
     As I was standing in line I had this thought,"You never used to eat watermelons." I didn't really like. In fact, most of my life watermelons grossed me out. It was connected to a repulsive memory. When I was a little girl my mother would buy watermelon and cut them into really fun slices. She would call us in from outside and talk about how wonderful and sweet the watermelon, she would call us in and talk to us about how sweet wonderful and sweet the watermelon was and as she was calling us in we would hurry inside. Once she served us the watermelon, she would then make us go to the back porch where we had to stand in front of this giant metal garbage can.

Those were hot summers in Chicago. We had no air conditioning and on the really bad days, the humid days, there would be no breeze and the sweat would just drip down your back. Just imagine that scenery and being told you cannot come in the house because the watermelon would make a mess.

She would make us lean over and into the garbage can to eat the watermelon all while inhaling fumes of garbage that of course was several days old. (garbage pick up was only one day a week)

Now picture the flies as they swarmed around your ears and face. It was a revolting experience, to say the least, one felt as though they would vomit. I am certain you can imagine. The fun of eating watermelon was soon diminished or as in my case, removed altogether.

You might say, "Why didn't she just send you outside?"

Well, there were lots of children in the neighborhood and we were poor. There wasn't enough watermelon for everyone. I suppose my momma meant well, she wanted to treat us to something special like "A watermelon that was on sale."

As I stood in the line waiting for my turn to check out, my thoughts were drawn to how the Lord redeems things in the lives of His children. And as I waited I began to thank the Lord or watermelon and how much I loved it now.

I was trying to recall when it was exactly that I changed from hating watermelon to loving it. It had to be sometime when I was in my early thirties when the conversation came up and a friend said to me, "Well, you're not on our momma's back porch anymore."

They were right! My location had changed and I now had been given the luxury of air-conditioning and the ability to make the decision of how and when I would eat watermelon. And so, I ate watermelon and I loved it!

Suddenly, I was free from the memory of those early years.

As I continued to wait in line, I began to thank Jesus again for watermelon. This time I could hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me, He said, "You know, your being able to eat watermelon today and not have it connected to the emotions and experiences of your childhood is so likened to how Father God restores 'original design' to his children."

He heals us and restores us to the person he created us to be, with the characteristics he designed us to have.

He breaks the strongholds off of hearts that prohibiting us from living our lives to the fullest. —He invites us to come off the back porch.

He heals the injustice. You know, those things that happened in our lives that aren't necessarily considered "bad," but were incidents that the enemy used to twist our perception and rob us of joy—The Lord removes the garbage can.

The enemy comes to distort, to warp, to muddy up everything that surrounds our character and our purpose. He comes to make us feel putrid and undesirable— So the Lord causes the flies to go away.

Yeah, the enemy strikes against your soul, your original design, your purpose.
But watermelon was created to be refreshingly enjoyed in fun celebratory surroundings and so were you!

The Lord is always very simply and sweetly coming to us to say, "You don't have to stay on the back porch anymore. I can change your location. allow me to serve you. When I'm around, the watermelon is always on sale."

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Peculiar Pine Cone

  I enjoy scrounging around thrift stores and second-hand shops in search of treasures, sometimes, the treasures I find are not material but spiritual. 

Yesterday, as I was out on one such excursion, I noticed a lady scooping up all things “pinecone." Candles, pictures, decor, etc. It caught my attention because her cart was very full, I thought, she must be working on a project or event of some sort. I moved on without a second thought and eventually made my way out of the store, I turned the car radio on and it was news reporting on the fires in California; I listened as the broadcaster spoke about how the beautiful pine trees were being destroyed. My thoughts wandered to the lady at the thrift store, and well, you know, pine cones...
When I returned home I looked up pine trees of California and read this on the internet:
That the Lodgepole Pine tree with its 3–7 cm cones often need exposure to high temperatures (such as from forest fires) in order to open and release their seeds...) Throughout California and Oregon forest fires are burning out of control in this brutal August heat. To give you some perspective, the U.S. Forest Service is spending $100 million a week to fight the fires! It’s devastating.

And yet, as these raging fires consume the forest, I learned something that is quietly going on to prepare for renewal. You see, this unusual species of Evergreen, called the Lodgepole Pine, that grows in great numbers throughout Northwest America most especially in Yellowstone Park, has the fascinating aspect of the uniqueness of its pine cones.
Lodgepole Pine cones stay on the tree for years before they fall off and even when they do fall, they will not open to release their seed, until they are in the presence of intense heat! What could explain this remarkable ecological foresight?
The answer? But God.
God, designed nature, even in its fallen condition which includes devastating forest fires, has providentially prepared for their renewal by designing a Pine tree whose reproduction requires the agent of its own
As I thought back to the lady at the thrift store, it seemed the Holy Spirit was inviting me into a conversation about “seeds of Resurrection” by the simple act of allowing me to see this lady gathering pine cones, and then hearing about their destruction on the news…He was sharing a hidden mystery of His heart and ways…

You see, even as trees, wildlife, and all living things are being destroyed in a forest blaze, seeds of life are also being released for the "resurrection" of forest life...because, of course, their seeds are only released in the fire, the Lodgepole Pines are the first to grow in an area that's been burned.
Each of us, have areas in our lives that have, need to be, or are already being burned up -- consumed by the "Refining Fire" of God's Holy Spirit.
Yet God has also provided the renewal for us...a "seed" something brand new, which can only be birthed by intense heat.
This new seed, however it manifests in our lives, represents the resurrection life of Christ, which will only emerge in the presence of His purifying fire.

The Lodgepole Pine stands as a prophetic declaration: “I am the resurrection and the Life!” I am Hope and promise in the midst of fiery trials, pain and sorrow.
Be encouraged today with strength, might, hope and the joy that as you endure, you will be renewed with resurrection life. Though unseen, God is divinely intervening.
My friend, If you are walking in what feels like a desperate and destitute place, might I encourage you? Look to the Lord instead of your circumstances today. He's working on your behalf.

"When God seems furthest, He may be laying the foundation of showing His greatest faithfulness."
David Platt.”