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This revolutionary book will explain what God wants for and from us when we petition Him for his will to manifest “on Earth as it is in Heaven,” and how to understand the difference.
Do you ever feel as if, despite your spirituality and faith, something significant is missing? Most teenagers and college students, as well as tens of millions of adults, are still striving to figure out the purpose and meaning of their lives.
The natural struggle for faith in something intangible can be compounded by incorrect teachings and contradictory explanations of the workings of God in our lives. How does “free will” really work? What does it mean to ask for God’s will? When things happen in life, how do you really know whether that is God’s will? Is there really any point in praying for His will if we can’t influence it?
These haunting personal questions became the genesis of PUSH as Matthesius sought answers. Now, he unpacks the powerful biblical truths he learnedthe result of deep revelation from discovering God and constantly seeking to know him with all his heart.
PUSH is about helping you discover God’s dream for your life so you become the blessing you were meant to be. It is about helping you truly embrace the power of prayer and understand what that means instead of simply treating it as a platitude you offer when someone is struggling. This book will instill confidence and promote vision. PUSH will stir you to take action, to remain vigilant, and Pray Until Something Happens.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Jurgen Matthesius is the founder of C3 San Diego—a thriving, life-giving church in two locations (soon to be four) in the heart of San Diego. He is the author of God in Hollywood and Walk on Water. Jurgen is a frequent speaker and has consulted leading businessmen, celebrities, and athletes. Pastor Jurgen and his wife, Leanne, serve together in San Diego, where they live with theirdaughter and three sons.
Read an Excerpt
Pray Until Something Happens
By Jurgen Matthesius
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Jurgen Matthesius
All rights reserved.
Intercession is truly universal work for the Christian. No place is closed to intercessory prayer. No continent, no nation, no organization, no city, no office. There is no power on earth that can keep intercession out. —RiCHARD HALVERSON
Recently I received a flyer about a new place in town that offered a Zero Gravity experience. The advertisement read "Experience weightlessness, float like an astronaut, fly like a superhero ..." Wow, I thought, who doesn't want to float like an astronaut; who doesn't want to fly like a superhero? Who doesn't want to experience the euphoria of weightlessness? It was a ZERO-G experience similar to the ones used to prepare our astronauts for flying into outer space.
As I thought about how much fun it would be, I felt God impress upon me that this is specifically what prayer is meant to achieve, experiencing the weightlessness that is accessed through the power of prayer alone.
We are called to cast all of our cares upon Him (Christ) for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). In other words, we will have cares but God says, I don't want you to be weighed down by those things; instead, I want you to experience weightlessness on a regular basis. I've got this! We are to feel the Spirit's power lift us up so we float like an astronaut and fly like a superhero through all of life's ups and downs. Weightlessness in the midst of our challenges is the end result of prayer.
The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, "Rule in the midst of your enemies!" (Ps. 110:2 NIV)
I awoke with a jolt, like when you have one of those freaky dreams that you're falling. My foot had slipped out from underneath the covers, waking me to the reality that I was in the southern regions of New Zealand on a very crisp, cold winter morn. I had just finished ministering at a phenomenal youth camp for one of New Zealand's premier churches, and to say I was completely spent would be an understatement. I was exhausted but satisfied from seeing so many young people respond to the gospel of Christ! It's the only way I know how to minister. I like to give everything I have and leave nothing on the table. Indebted to a Savior who gave His all for me, the least I can do is give the young people entrusted to me by my Savior a "boots and all" gospel presentation.
Youth camps are notorious for many things, sleep deprivation being one of them. After debriefing with the youth pastor and chatting well into the early hours of the morning, I was zonked and ready for bed. So it was no surprise after waking up with a freezing foot that I was keen to bring my limb back under the covers where it was nice and warm. I desperately longed to get back to sleep since I had to be up by seven in order to make the flight home to my wife and children. But I was woken again not even an hour later, not by an exposed limb, but rather by the Holy Spirit prompting me, Get up and pray!
You have got to be kidding! was my response. Surely you have someone else who can get up and pray? I mean, there are more than six billion people on our planet, and while I am flattered that You have come to depend on me to be Your intercessor, surely there is at least one other person You can find who will get up and pray at this hour! My reasoning was that I had poured out and given my all, from early in the morning until late at night, for the entire weekend. I just wanted to sleep—no, scratch that—I needed to sleep. I was heading home and wanted to give my family more than an empty tank, more than a husband and a father who was spent and had nothing left for them.
But the Holy Spirit was persistent: Get up and pray. Get up and pray. I thought, I'm never going to win an argument with God—the Bible says He neither sleeps nor slumbers, so if it comes to a battle of endurance, He has an unfair advantage right there. Okay, I'll get up for fifteen minutes, pray, get it over and done with, make Him happy, then get back into bed. This little "obedience test" of His will get me another pass and keep me in His good books.
It felt like I was stepping outside into the cold as I slipped out from under the duvet and began to pray. I was so tired, and after about ten minutes of prayer, I knew there was something burning on God's heart, and I knew it would take more than five minutes to get this one across the line. But I ignored the burden I could feel in my spirit, did my fifteen minutes, then climbed back into bed. Ah, the euphoria of getting back into the warm bed, under the duvet and out of the cold—it was like falling face-first into a giant cup of happiness.
But before I could go to sleep, the Holy Spirit came again and said, Get up and pray! Now I was annoyed.
You've got to be kidding! Come on! Surely you can get someone else? Please, I just want to sleep!
He just repeated Himself. Get up and pray! I could sense there was an urgency in His request, but I was done—starving kids in Africa, war in the Middle East, a lost puppy, I don't care—someone else can pray! So I petitioned God, What is sooooo important that I have to get up and pray right here, right now? You are God—why can't You find someone else to pray for this burden? What is it that's sooooo flipping urgent? I was beyond pleasantries and for the life of me couldn't figure out why I needed to get up.
Then it hit me like a punch in the face from Mike Tyson: Get up and pray. Something's wrong with your plane! Now you've got my attention. My plane? I'm not afraid of flying; it doesn't scare me one bit. Crashing is what freaks me out.
I was up and praying with more gusto and fervency than a finalist on The Biggest Loser. For the next seventy-five minutes a knot in my stomach prevented me from slipping back into bed or yielding to fatigue when my vocabulary began to run out. I knew I needed to pray, and when all my English and memory verses ran dry, I yielded to allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through me in my heavenly prayer language.
By the time the knot in my stomach dissolved, it was ten minutes before seven. No time for bed; it was time to shower, have breakfast, and make my way to the airport.
After we arrived at the airport and checked in, the youth pastor suggested we grab coffee. We sat at a large picture window overlooking the runway and had a full view of the planes, specifically my plane. I remember sitting there sipping my cappuccino and thinking to myself, There's nothing wrong with that plane; it looks completely intact like all the other planes! Then, Am I going nuts? Did I just waste a perfectly good night's rest because of fear or anxiety? Was it just mental exhaustion? The thoughts raced through my mind like bananas in a blender.
I looked at my watch; it was 9:15. The boarding call would come momentarily. But it didn't. Nine thirty came. Then 9:45, and then our flight time of 9:50 came and went. Something was not right.
I saw two engineers dressed in navy blue overalls walk under the plane and go inside the fuselage. After about fifteen minutes they emerged, walked back toward the gate, and disappeared out of sight. Then a voice came over the intercom: "Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately there is a mechanical problem with this flight, and the plane is not fit for service. We apologize for the delay, but we are going to have to fly another plane up from Wellington to get you to Auckland." The announcement was met with groans of disappointment and frustration, the passengers obviously upset that they would now be late for their appointments, their meetings, or their loved ones waiting for them.
The airline decided to move the plane from the gate. But just as the engines were fired up, BOOM! One of the engines on the wing completely erupted into flames! Fire trucks arrived to put out the blaze. Little children excitedly pushed their way to the windows with "oohs" and "aahs." The elderly folk, not to be outdone, also crammed their way toward the glass to observe and provide their own commentary on the unfolding activity.
A shudder went through my body like an electric current. What if I hadn't prayed? What if I had stayed in bed where it was warm and ignored the voice of God? Could God have gotten someone else up to pray? Yes, quite possibly, but they would have had to be very faithful to His leading and promptings, as this wasn't their flight; it was mine. I realized then that everything that happens to bring about the perfect will of God on the earth does so on the backs and labor of the faithful. If that engine had exploded and caught fire midway through our flight, what would have been the likelihood of the pilots landing the plane somewhere safely? It seemed more likely that crashing and fatalities would have been the outcome, as I'm not sure how much a pilot can do with one engine completely gone and a wing on fire. I knew my decision to get up and pray—and pray fervently, until the knot in my stomach relaxed—was probably the best decision I had made in a very long time.
Two hours later we were in the air on a brand-new plane, and I couldn't help but laugh to myself as I heard the other passengers around me complaining about how late they were going to be and what an inconvenience it all was. All I could think was, Well, people, if someone hadn't prayed this morning, maybe we wouldn't have the ability to complain; being inconvenienced is always better than being dead! I immediately saw just how important obedience is in accomplishing God's will. It was an incredible lesson, one that lingers with me to this day. God is able to perform powerful miracles when He is able to find someone willing to put his or her comfort second to His call. Remember, the only ability God looks for in man is "avail-ability"!
Prayer is the conveyor system that transports things from one dimension into another. God's will in heaven travels into the terrestrial realm here on earth through the medium of prayer. A baby is not born into the world without some push taking place. Likewise, for us to go from a small, confined place into a larger, brighter one, we need to learn how to push in prayer.
Prayer shifts things from one dimension to another, but it also does something even more magnificent: it leverages the power of God in our lives. Prayer is direct access to the most powerful being in the universe. No one is like Him. None compares to Him, and there is none beside Him. PUSH prayer is the invitation of God to access His strength in our lives for whatever we face. Much like a young child asks his father to help lift a weighty object too heavy for his small frame, we are invited to come to our heavenly Father and access His unlimited strength!
Your Time Is Up, Mr. Suharto!
Let me take you back to the year 1998. The location was Jakarta, Indonesia. President Suharto enjoyed uninterrupted power as the nation's president. However, his regime had slain more than a million people who voiced opposition to his leadership at some time or another. The country of Indonesia was in financial ruins largely due to the gross corruption and misappropriation of federal funds that Suharto made his personal treasury. Add to that government corruption, unabated consumption, and mounting foreign debt, and inflation soared to the point that most of Indonesia's citizens couldn't afford even the most basic staples. Suharto then squandered much of a $43 billion bailout given by the IMF to help the struggling nation, using the money to line his and his family's pockets. Meanwhile the nation continued to suffer, but with the national military placed firmly in his back pocket, resistance seemed futile and change did not look forthcoming.
As gas and oil prices continued to rise, the pressure of staples being well beyond the reach of the working-class citizens created a murmur among the young, especially the students. But who were they against a tyrant with the full military might at his beck and call? In power since 1966, Suharto's New Order party seemed certain to remain in that position, and most foreign journalists and political commentators believed that Suharto would certainly die in office. However, in May 1998, hundreds of thousands of students protested, occupying the parliament building and other capital city centers throughout the country, calling for the resignation of Suharto.
Suharto had formed a strong, centralized, military-dominated government, with soldiers stationed in every city instilling a deep fear of authority throughout the 3,000 square miles that make up Indonesia. Even though orders were given to the army to disperse the protestors, the young students chanted for change, demanding an end to the corruption and dictatorship. On May 21, 1998, seeing no other recourse and realizing his complete loss of power over his nation, Suharto succumbed to the demands and resigned. Cheers and celebrations filled the streets, and awe filled the news media around the world.
For good to triumph and corruption to end, the students of Indonesia had to unite and push. In fact, every revolution in history has this element associated with it. Nothing shifts unless push is present.
I have written this book out of a personal conviction that the perfect will of God requires us to push against opposing forces, because it does not automatically happen in our lives. I believe that God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), and yet this is not sufficient to see everyone turning to God in repentance. I believe that God's perfect will requires acceptance, engagement, and specific activity on our part. I believe our will must be engaged first before we can see God's perfect will come to pass.
I also believe that there is a great battle and resistance for "God's will in heaven" to be done here on earth! You are in this battle whether you like it or not. There are no bystanders in this game, and these forces around us are playing for keeps.
I believe that the earth infrequently sees glimpses of God's perfect will coming to pass. These are the moments that fill us with wonder and cause us to be overcome with amazement, thankfulness, and praise. We often call these moments miracles. But are these the result of divine intervention alone, or are they the result of intercession and prayer? Does God do what He likes without regard or communication? Sure, He doesn't need to ask anyone for permission, but He did give man dominion over the earth; so does He involve man in His plans or operate independently? This book will answer that.
I once heard someone say, "I don't believe in miracles, I depend upon them!" I have come to adopt this as my own personal mantra for how I do ministry and life. I believe that as you read this book, it will bring you into a place where the miraculous becomes much more commonplace in your life. God's power is not only available but also reliable. Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father" (John 14:12). In twenty-eight years of following Him, I cannot catalog in one book all the miracles I have seen and experienced. God is good. Always.
Jesus, a Perfect Picture of God
When we look at the life of Jesus Christ—God incarnate—we see God's perfect will in operation. Jesus, unlike other religious figures in history, did not merely speak about the will of God; He actually performed it to the minutest detail. His life, leadership, and example are unmatched in history, stamping His identity as the Son of God beyond the impotent claims of skeptics.
Not only was the life and death of Christ a perfect fulfillment of the will of God but it also delivers great hope, boldly declaring that no matter what we are facing, no matter how dire our circumstances, if we can succeed in engaging God we can see amazing things take place in our lives. We find ourselves no longer just believing in miracles but depending upon them!
Jesus Is Our Example
Jesus constantly had the people of His time marveling and praising God. They saw the dead raised to life. At a wedding they experienced ordinary water turned into the most extraordinary wine. Large crowds witnessed five loaves and two fish turned into a super-sized feast for some five thousand men plus women and children. Blind eyes were opened, storms were calmed, the sea was walked upon, and miracles took place everywhere He went.
Excerpted from Push by Jurgen Matthesius. Copyright © 2014 Jurgen Matthesius. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Zero Gravity 1
2 Inception 13
3 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 25
4 The Fight Club 57
5 The King's Speech 81
6 The Silence of the Lambs 89
7 The LORD of the Rings 101
8 Battlefield Earth 127
9 Battle Royale 141
10 The Lion King 167
11 Ocean's Eleven 187
12 Gladiator 207
Closing Thoughts 221
About the Author 227