Romans 4:20-21 “No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”
The Apostle Paul writes of Abraham’s relentless faith in the face of contradiction and delayed fulfilment of God’s promise to him. God was more than able to do what he had promised Abraham but for Abraham to receive the fulfilment of the promise, he had to hold steadfast his conviction in God’s goodness. God doesn’t promise you something if he doesn’t intend to bring it to fulfilment. If you’ve received a promise from God, hold steadfast to your conviction and do not waver. Press through the obvious obstacles in faith and keep giving glory to God, being fully convinced of his goodness toward you and his faithfulness to His word in your life. Selah!
Genesis 3:6 “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”
In a culture of shallow spirituality and surface level living, it’s easy to be deceived by the appeal of the glitter and sparkle of vain things. Our original mother, Eve, found herself in a conversation with Satan on such matters and listened to the voice of deception, rather than the voice of discernment. She looked at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and approached the fruit in 3 ways: 1) She saw it was good food for her stomach; 2) It was a delight to her eyes and 3) It was a fulfilment of the desire of her heart. Eve failed to trust in God’s goodness to provide all three for her, took matters into her own hands and acted independently of God. If we aren’t discerning of the lies of Satan , we will end up distrustful of God’s goodness and grace in our lives, and become victims to the deception of sin. Not everything that glitters is gold. Ask God for greater discernment in your spirit and sharpen your spiritual awareness through God’s Word, and you won’t fall prey to the lies of the enemy. Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Selah!
Matthew 12:34 “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Jesus’ teaching is simple and yet deeply profound. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees about the connection between what’s in their hearts and what’s coming out of their mouths. Our words are a direct reflection of whatever is going on in our hearts. A tree is known by its fruit. Whatever the condition of the tree, so shall the fruit of the tree be. Our words are the fruit of the health or sickness of our hearts. It’s no use trying to control our tongues (James 3:8) if we first aren’t allowing the Holy Spirit to change the condition of our hearts. If we want the quality of what we say to improve, the health of our hearts must become our primary priority. This requires us to become heart conscious, not just word conscious. Many of us attempt to keep up appearances with our words but neglect the weightier matter’s of the heart. Ask God to change your heart and your words will take care of themselves. 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.
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.
Judges 13-16 gives an apt description of a person’s life that ended so badly when it started with such promise and favour.
Samson had a massive calling on his life and was anointed for great influence, however, the wheels started falling off very early in his journey. He was a powerful and strong individual on the surface but lacked real substance under the surface.
His immaturity spiralled out of control and was on display for us not only to observe but to heed the lessons of his life. Samson liked the ladies too much. He was impulsive and hasty. He lacked self-control and discernment of people and their motives. He didn’t control his appetites and was prone to extreme exaggeration. I believe he acted in this way because he fundamentally underestimated what God had entrusted him with.
Samson had everything going for him – anointing, favour, calling, strength, looks, influence, miraculous provision BUT he blew it all because he thought his strengths gave him the right to have whatever his eyes saw and whatever his heart desired. Wrong conclusion.
He became so distant from God that he didn’t even know God’s anointing had left him. What a tragedy! Hot tip. Don’t be like Samson. If there are any tendencies in you similar to Samson, get real with yourself and with God and with a mate and repent. Life’s too short and the anointing is too precious to waste on lesser vices.
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.