Today Neil Carston teams up with Perry and Shawna for a celebration of the grace and power of Jesus. Neil is from Holland and works with Big Life, a ministry that empowers disciples like you and me to make disciples. (www.big.life) First Neil shares his story of growing up in the church, how he was trying to save himself through his own moral efforts and how Jesus showed him the crushing weight of his sin and his need of a Savior. Then we show how religion and the gospel are polar opposites. Next, a great question to ask ourselves and others to find out who we are trusting for salvation is: When we stand before God and he asks us why he should let us into heaven, what will our answer be? Then Neil shares a story of a West Michigan woman who recently was freed from demonic control and brought into the Kingdom of the risen Lord! Next Neil reminds us that we just need to be faithful to follow Jesus and do what he asks us to do and leave the results to him—we need to be OK with stepping out in faith and failing! Then Neil shares about his wife’s mission field—the public school as a teacher and the unique way she is able to share the gospel with her students—Our mission field is right where God has planted us! Finally Neil shares the story of a young man who was willing to swim across a river with bibles into a country hostile to the gospel at the risk of his life. And the challenge with this story is: What river do we need to cross today?! Check out this powerful Freedom Friday!
I think surrender gets at the heart of what God is after as we wrestle with him. Today Perry and Shawna press in more to what it looks like to wrestle with God and what happens in us through the wrestling. First Perry shares how achievement has been his drug of choice to deal with his shame. But as God has wrestled with him, emptying him of pride, he’s learning to achieve because he’s loved, rather than achieve to get God’s love. BIG difference. Next, one of our listeners, Jody, shares about wrestling with God through cancer and how Jesus used that dark place to bring her to a place of complete surrender. Then on the lighter side we share about some scuffles we had as kids that thankfully didn’t scar us for life! Finally Shawna shares about two friends who were blindsided by life—One who lost a fiancé in war and the other who’s not yet had the daughter she longs to have. When life doesn’t go the way we plan, it can thrust us into a wrestling match with God. And there are only three choices that we have when we wrestle in this way: We can run from God. We can complain (it’s OK to do this when you’re wrestling). Or we can trust that God is who he says he is and that he’s got us in the palm of his hand.
Encouragement for you to take the next step in your journey with Jesus.
We continue the conversation on wresting with God. First Shawna shows us that God wrestles with us to show us that we already have as a gift what we so often try to earn: The favor of God. Then Perry revisits the story of Jacob wrestling with God to show us that our wrestling with God brings us to the end of ourselves, to the end of all our efforts to earn his blessing, and into the realization that blessing and favor with God comes only when we own our sin. And then we have some fun with this: You’re in an alley with your back against a wall. A man with a knife is demanding all your money. Who would you want to have your back? And finally Shawna shows us that God wrestles with us because he’s a good, good Father. Wrestling with him enables us to offload the crushing burdens of life so that we can live more deeply into the light of his love.
Dean Vander Mey of Set Free Ministries joins Perry and Shawna to wrestle with wrestling with God. There is no easy path to spiritual depth—the only way there is through the pain, through the seasons of struggle with God. Wrestling brings us to the end of ourselves and to the beginning of God. First we take a stab at defining wrestling with God, what it looks like in real life and why we have to wrestle. And then Dean shares what he learned from almost dying (twice!) in 2018 after contracting malaria. Then Dean shares what he and his wife learned from the death of their first child—the beauty that came out of the indescribable agony of that loss. Then Dean shares the story his friend who was pregnant and chose to forego chemotherapy so that her child would live. Dean and his friends were sure she would be healed after making such a noble choice, but she wasn’t. Find out what Dean learned in that season of crying out to God “Why??” And finally Dean tells us about his friend Todd who was living the American Dream without a care in the world, including any care for God. But then he was diagnosed with ALS. Everything was stripped from Todd’s life but Todd was able to say “Dean, I’m so thankful for ALS, because I would not have come to know Jesus any other way. www.setfreemin.org
We kick off a week of conversation about wrestling with God. Wrestling with God transforms us, recreates us. Shawna kicks off the conversation with the story of God wrestling with Jacob from Genesis 32. All lifelong Jacob had maneuvered to get what he wanted, he lied, he deceived, he conned to get his way. But still he was restless, unfulfilled. All he maneuvered for didn’t deliver. And then he wrestled with God in the flesh, all night long. And in that wrestling match he realized the foolishness of trying to get God’s blessing through his own efforts. He realized that pain and weakness and surrender is the path to blessing. And he limped away from that wrestling match a new man, with a new power and confidence flowing out of his weakness. Then Perry shares how long seasons of darkness and wrestling changes us, purifies us, gives us more of God and his love and prepares us to bring blessing to our world—and all this we discover from the darkest Psalm in the entire book of Psalms, Psalm 88. And finally Shawna picks up the story of Jacob again. Jacob who stole his brother’s birthright, who lied, who cheated, who deceived. To get what he wanted. But left him wanting. Until his all night wrestling match with God. And he limped away from that wrestling match with what his heart really longed for—God himself.
Perry LaHaie is a radio host, singer, and songwriter with a passion to see the Great Commission completed in our generation. He was born and raised in northern Michigan, earned a degree in communications, and later a graduate degree in cross-cultural communications. Music and ministry have taken him all over the world. He served at Family Life Radio before serving with Frontiers, a worldwide ministry to Muslims. Perry and his wife, Teresa, have two children, Kali and Taylor.
Shawna Beyer has been a business owner, homeschool mom, church planter, project lead for a management consulting company, and church staff member. Born and raised in Southern California, she has been married for 25 years and is the mom of four. Shawna loves to help others discover a personal relationship with God that shapes how they think, feel, and live for Jesus daily. She loves being surrounded by her family and a good cup of coffee.
Perry and Shawna Mornings brings you the usual morning show lineup with great music, weather, traffic, news, and sports—and then takes you deeper. Join Perry LaHaie and Shawna Beyer for music, interviews, and listener conversations that remind you of the Gospel and help you become a blessing to our neighbors and to the nations.