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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | Wandering through Deserts

On “Reaching your World with Luis Palau” this week, Luis talks about the season in his life that he spent wandering in a spiritual desert. He shares with us the lessons God taught him that changed his life and set him on a course to victory and fruitfulness.

Walking by Faith Friday, September 28, 2018

My dad, an international evangelist for over 50 years, reminds me constantly. I can hear his voice saying it, “We walk by faith, not by sight,” reminding me of the Second Corinthians verse. It’s true that obedience to Jesus Christ is a faith journey from start to finish. And despite hearing that verse throughout my life, it’s still something I’m learning about – what walking by faith really looks like on a daily basis. It’s the journey of being a follower of Christ – to be obedient to Christ no matter what your calling.

Perhaps there’s somebody in your life who has modeled this for you. I can list hundreds of examples of how Dad has lived and continues to live by faith. Back to being a young man leaving Argentina when God called him as an evangelist, to today where he is enduring chemotherapy for stage 4 lung cancer. He takes each day as a new opportunity to learn from and trust God all over again, and I am so inspired by Dad in this way.

Maybe it’s that simple. . . Training yourself to wake up every day and learn to trust God all over again. And you’re in good hands. Psalm 91 says because you have put your trust in God ‘. . . no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near you. He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”                   

This is Andrew Palau.

The Sincere Hypocrite Thursday, September 27, 2018

When I attended Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, I had a professor named Dr. George Kehoe. He would begin every Spiritual Life class by quoting Galatians 2:20 — “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” At this time of my life, I was still wandering through the desert, searching for victory, fruitfulness, genuine fulfilment. I was surrounded by people who were living with Christ’s joy and freedom, but I felt thirstier than ever. I had experienced times of blessing and victory, and I gulped the living water in these times. But each drink made me feel thirstier.

I felt like a sincere hypocrite. I knew I was a hypocrite — I knew I was living two lives, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to be the person people thought I was. And I had Dr. Kehoe constantly reminding me that Galatians says the only way to a joyful and fulfilling life is giving up pride, crucifying our perspective to have Christ live within us. That was what I was missing. To stop being a sincere hypocrite, I had to give up not one, but both of my lives. I had to let go of who others thought I was, and who I knew I was, in order to be who Christ wanted to be in me. Then I could be a new person, filled by the love of God.

“Not I, but Christ living in me.” It changed my life; imagine how it can change yours.              

This is Luis Palau.

Grimly Determined Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sometimes in the desert of life, we run from the narrow path leading towards God to chase mirages that we believe will quench our thirst. Other times, though, we try too hard, thinking that we can find our way out of the desert through our own determination. When I was a teenager, some friends and I started all-night prayer meetings each Friday. We listened to sermons by visiting preachers. We rededicated our lives to Jesus. We served, and prayed, and read the Bible. We just about killed ourselves, we were so eager to be holy. My times of study and prayer and work became a cycle of grim determination, and the results never changed much.

I was on the verge of giving up – not because I saw any lack in God, but because I was weary of struggling and seeking to persevere through grim determination. Finally, I saw a film of Dr. Billy Graham preaching from Ephesians 5:18. Dr. Graham seemed to be looking at me and asking: “Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?” I wasn’t! I was trying to do everything out of my own power. Prayer, service, and Bible reading are important, but we don’t do these things because they are required. We do them so we can live with more joy!

So, in desert times, look for the Holy Spirit’s movement, and invite others to encounter that Spirit with you. It’s the surefire way to be refreshed and ready to continue reaching your world for Christ. 

This is Luis Palau.
 

Running Away Tuesday, September 25, 2018

When dry desert-like times come into our lives, and we find the joy of our salvation lacking, there are a few different ways that we can react: some of them good, some of them not so good. I can speak from experience! For example, one way I reacted to the desert times was by running from them to any cheap oasis I could find. I chased mirages through the desert, thinking one of them could give me the joy, the living water that I lacked. I cooled towards my God and my church, because I blamed God for my troubles. I blamed him for the thirst I was feeling.

As a young teenager, I became quite good at running toward non-Christian parties and soccer games and social clubs. I spent time with friends who would make fun of the religious people around them – religious people like I used to be. But as I ran from one oasis to the next, none satisfied me. I started to wonder what I was doing. There was no purpose in my life, nothing to look forward to. Finally, I realized I had to stop running. I prayed to God, “Get me out of this, and I will serve You and give my whole life to you!” That was the turning point for me. I turned to Jesus and drank from the living water He provides.

So many people turn to other things to satisfy them, but Jesus is the only one who can quench our inner thirst. Let’s point people to that one and only true fount of living water; their lives will never be the same.    

This is Luis Palau.

Wandering Monday, September 24, 2018

I became a Christian at the age of 12, and I grew up to become an evangelist, spreading the good news of Jesus to people all over the world. However, this doesn’t mean that every step of my 70 year journey with God has been easy. I have not always listened to Christ’s voice and been filled with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I found myself wandering through deserts, wondering if I was even on the right path anymore. As Jesus said, “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life.” Sometimes I wandered the wrong way when I was young.

Wandering often happens in the desert, when we feel far from God and the joy of our salvation. Many Christians feel this way. They’ve given their hearts to Jesus. They love Him. They show up at church. They serve and do all the right things, but they have little joy, little freedom, little fruitfulness. In a moment of honesty, they’ll admit they’re not really happy.

Desert times do come, but what matters is how we act in them. We must remember who we are: children of God, fueled by his power and confidence. In the desert, God is our water source, our sustenance. He is the source of our joy, and we can be content and fulfilled no matter what life throws at us. The path we walk is narrow, but others will see us walking well and want to join us, and we will reach our world for Christ.

This is Luis Palau.

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This Weeks Offer

Articles

Articles

Luis has many online resources available for you which can give further teaching and inspiration.  Our website is www.palau.org.  There, go to “Resources” and then “Articles.”  You will find such titles as “God’s Promises for You," and "Why I’m Excited for Heaven."

Reaching Your World: Next Week

Go Share the Gospel

Have you ever felt nervous about sharing the Gospel? This week on “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau,” Luis discusses why and how to share the Good News in our everyday lives.

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