2 Chronicles 25:2 “And he (Amaziah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart.”
The book of Chronicles lists the names and exploits of the Kings of Judah and Israel post King David. It reads like a Game of Thrones episode filled with betrayals, assassinations and uprisings. King Amaziah began to reign in Judah when he was 25yrs old and he was described as someone who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart. It’s possible to do things by the book but your whole heart not be in it. It’s possible to tick the box but not own it where it counts. What has God asked of you, that you are skimming the surface on, but not really committing to? This is the difference between good and great ministry. Good ministry does the right things but great ministry does the right things with a full heart behind it. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and soul and strength (Mt 22:37). Doing what’s right in the eyes of God, yet not with a whole heart leaves the door open for inevitable compromise. It’s living with a Plan B lurking in the background waiting to pounce. Shut the door on compromise and say goodbye to Plan B. Don’t just tick the religious box and settle for surface level obedience. Live life with a whole heart. Own what God’s asked of you, embracing it in your heart. Clear your conscience and dive completely into God’s will and purpose for your life. Live from a whole heart. Selah!
Philippians 3:13-14 But this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
About this time of year, the passion of New Year’s resolutions and goals begin to wane, as the rush of everyday responsibilities consume us. I want to encourage you to not let the busyness and routine of everyday life crush your hopes and dreams for 2018. 2018 can and should be your best year yet, regardless of what circumstances may be threatening to steal your peace. Having the best year of your life doesn’t mean you’ll never have to face challenges or difficulties. It comes back to your focus on what God has spoken into your heart, as well as sticking to your core convictions. What you choose to focus on is what will impact your life in 2018 more than anything else. There are some things in life we cannot control. There is no point allowing your focus or peace to be distracted by these things. What you must focus on are those things you’ve been entrusted with and can take responsibility for. I’ve learnt that if I will play my part and give 100% to what I’ve been called to do, the rest of my life takes care of itself. Take heart, God is for you and he has anointed you with talents, abilities and responsibilities that require your attention. The arena you will see the most reward from is connected to you focusing on those very gifts and strengths that God has entrusted you with. Stay focused. Explosive Insights!
Genesis 16:1-2 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, ‘The Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.”
I love the story of Abraham and Sarah’s journey of faith because it mirrors what many of us go through in our own lives. When we face the delay of Gods promises being fulfilled, most of us take matters into our own hands. This is exactly what Sarai and Abram did after 10years of not seeing the fulfilment of God’s promises. When Abram should’ve kept listening to the voice of God, he listened to the voice of doubt and retreated from the life of faith. When we can’t see in the natural what we are expecting from God in our timeline, we often look for other options to bring the promise to pass. Unfortunately, our efforts to secure what God wants to secure for us indicates our lack of trust for Gods timing and purposes. 2 Corinthians 5:7 calls us to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith hears the rhema inspired word of God and stays focused on it regardless of what the natural circumstances might be indicating. When Abram took matters into his own hands, he only delayed what God always intended to bless him with, the promised son Isaac. Whatever your Isaac is, God wants you to trust him with the timing of the promise. Guard your heart from doubt and run back to the rhema word of God. Your Isaac is coming your way. Explosive Insights!
Song of Solomon 2:15 Catch the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyard. I ran from Sydney to Melbourne and raised $160k for my local church in 2008. It was a monumental challenge and was not helped by my little toe on my left foot turning black and getting pancaked for 1,172km. It didn’t matter how fit I was, the tiniest thing became my biggest issue. The same principle applies in life. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference and if you don’t pay attention to them, they will take you out. The challenge is many of us think we can take shortcuts with the little things and get away with it, however, you ignore them at your own peril. What are the little foxes in your world stealing the fruitfulness from your vineyard of life, work and health? Identify them and catch them before they spoil your vineyard.
Philippians 3:13 But one thing I do..
Remove the distractions and unclutter your life! One of the greatest blessings of modern day life is the increase of options which brings with it the curse of increasing distraction. All of us know the feeling of setting our minds and hands to a task, only to find ourselves wandering off into some seemingly pointless pursuit of social media or TV watching. What is it that is getting in the way of what God has created you for and called you to? It’s time to unravel yourself from the complexity of life and focus in like a laser point on the one thing you are here for. Everyone of us have the same amount of hours in the day as the president of the USA and other seemingly high capacity people and yet what are we doing with the precious gift of time Gods given to us. Resolve in your heart that you are not going to let life pass by you any longer and take hold of that which God has purposed you for. This one thing I do!
Philippians 4:13 “This one thing I do.”
One of the greatest challenges facing our generation is distraction. Many of us are weighed down by the burden of carrying too many roles, responsibilities and interests. This results in fatigue, stress, sickness and a lack of fulfillment. This is birthed out of saying yes to too many things and looking for superficial things to satisfy deep insecurities. Many of us are over stimulated and under prioritized. I encourage you to clear the clutter of your life and remove the distractions. Don’t weigh yourself down any longer with unnecessary clutter from media to possessions to time wasting tasks. Your time, energy and purpose is too valuable to waste on the trivial.
John Maxwell once said, “If we could kick the person responsible for most of our problems, we wouldn’t be able to sit down for weeks.” Life is an invitation to get out of our own way, so that God can have his way through us. The economy isn’t my problem and the devil isn’t my problem, I am my biggest problem. Too many of us are committing self-sabotage and blaming it on external circumstances. What you can’t see, you can’t guard against or prepare for. We need to ask God to gently reveal to us areas in our character that are blind spots and apply Gods grace to whatever he reveals to us. The more out of the way you are, the more God will have his say through you.
Catch the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyard. (Song of Songs 2:15)
It’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference. Life is the accumulation of little things, little thoughts, little words, little actions and little choices. The pathway to your destiny begins with a little thought. God has appointed you to a vineyard of gifting and responsibility. Ultimately, it’s not the BIG things that threaten the fruitfulness of your vineyard, as it is, the little things along the way that if you don’t catch now can undermine you later. What are the little foxes in your life that are derailing your hopes and dreams? Identify them, catch them and do something about them before they take you out.
Life tends toward complexity. Complexity is tiring and overwhelming. Most of us are already overwhelmed with more information and demands than we can handle. It seems like every week we need to take stock and cut out, afresh, the complexity from our lives. Simple, on the other hand, is cool. Simple is better. Simple is more effective. Simple is attractive in this day and age. Simple is refined. Simple is leaner and meaner (in a good way). Simple is possible. What complexity do you need to cut out of your job, relationships, finances, health, schedule and faith? There’s been no better time than right now to get simple, get clear and feel more effective in life.
Don’t live on the periphery of what God has put you on the planet for. Live in the Bullseye. Too many of us settle for far too less than what God intended for us.
Imagine a blank A4 piece of paper folded a dozen or more times into a very small square and placed in your pocket. You carry it around with you day after day, year after year until finally you die. Imagine standing before Jesus and he has in his hand that little screwed up and folded up piece of A4 paper in his hand. Jesus then proceeds to unwrap the tiny A4 square piece of paper until it’s completely unfolded to a full piece of paper.
He looks at you in love and says to you, ‘You settled for this little square corner of life, when I called you to stretch, grow and live and contribute far more than you could have imagined.’ How do you think you might feel in that moment. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking, ‘Oh Crap’.
The pain of regret is the worst pain of all. It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to pursue that dream. It’s never too late to say sorry or forgive or believe again. But you’ve got to make a decision to stop living on the periphery and start living in the bullseye of what God has really called you to.