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!
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 6:34 “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
The future is filled with uncertainties. Many people fear the future and live with anxiety over the unanswered questions of what tomorrow may hold. Truth is, your future will be a reflection of what you are sowing into your life today. Today is the day God has made for you and I encourage you to live it to the full and be mindful of the moment that God has you in rather than anxiously waiting for tomorrow. The key to making the most of your tomorrow’s is maximising the opportunities that are infront of you today. Many of us suffer from destination disease. We’re so desperate to get to a place called there, that we miss the place called here. I understand for some of us, life may be so painful today that we’re just holding on for tomorrow, hoping it will take away the pain we feel. But God is not only in your tomorrow, He’s in the pain of your today. He wants to bring you closer to himself and he wants to speak words of life into your spirit that will give you strength for whatever it is you are facing today. Don’t believe the lie of anxiety about your future. The same God who’s with you in your today will sustain you in your tomorrow. Time is the most precious resource we have. Focus your attention upon Jesus and make the most of today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Explosive Insights!
Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
A new year brings with it new hopes and resolutions. The truth is by Feb 1 most people’s new year resolutions are discarded for the onslaught of everyday demands. Don’t let this be you. The bible exhorts us to put off the old self and put on the new self, patterned after Christ. If you are going to embrace the new you in 2015, you need to pay attention to your thoughts. Where the mind goes, the body follows. What is your mind predominately preoccupied with? Faith, hope and love or doubt, fear and hate. The bible exhorts us to focus our minds on the things that are above and not on the things that are below. Millions of people are unhappy and unfulfilled because they only ever look horizontally around them at the things this world is preoccupied with but God is inviting us to get a vertical perspective on life by looking heavenward and seeing life from Gods perspective. Don’t struggle in your strength to put off the old self but ask for Gods help to empower you to be the new you in 2015!
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.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:3)
The great god of our age is ‘THINGS’. Our fallen nature covets THINGS at the expense of God. God gave us THINGS to use and enjoy but instead we use God to obtain and worship THINGS. THINGS are anything other than God himself. THINGS aren’t bad, they are just not God and they can’t satisfy the craving of the human heart for God. God made us for himself alone and our hearts are restless until we come to a place of self-surrender and rest in God. The Self-Life is what gets in the way of our pursuit of God. Anything to do with life that emanates from self = self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, self-admiration and self-pity, to name a few, will make the pursuit of self the holy grail rather than Jesus. What is the cure for such a malady? The cross. Denying self and allowing the cross of Jesus to kill off in us a desire for THINGS will redeem our affections for God and his glory alone. After the cross comes resurrection. The new creation in us will rise again to a place where God becomes our everything. We may have many THINGS or few THINGS but no THING possesses us except our love and devotion to Christ alone!
Adam and Eve’s first day of life was a Sabbath day of rest, not a work day. Modern life is frantic and we seem to be applying more pressure to an already over crowded schedule. A Sabbath day is not just a good idea, it’s a necessity, if you want to stay healthy and sane. Gods program for life is found in the beginning pages of the bible and when life feels like it’s spiraling out of control, I go back to the beginning and get Gods perspective on what life is about and how it should look. Our bodies, our minds and our wallets need a Sabbath on a regular basis. It’s part of building into your life a sustainable rhythm. Sabbath is when we turn technology off, look after our health and refocus ourselves on God and the most important relationships in our lives. Do you have a sustainable rhythm. God created you to fulfill purpose and enjoy him. You won’t do that if you are constantly moving. Time to refocus your life by building into your schedule a Sabbath day of rest.
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.
Having the form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Tim 3:1-5
We’re living in difficult times. The day and age we live in can be summed up in the fact that we love ourselves more than we love God. The more infatuated we are with ourselves, the more difficult our times will become, because self-centeredness produces death, whereas, God-centeredness produces life. The bible records that in difficult times, people who carried the power of God rose up to penetrate the darkness with God’s light. Pharaoh had a form of power but Moses had God’s power. Goliath had the form but David had the power. Ahab had the form but Elijah had the power. Sadly, in our current day, some of the modern church has a form of godliness but not the power of godliness. We have the ritual but not the relationship. We have the ‘want’ to change but not the ‘will’ to change. Our Gospel has become way too polished, as if we’re ashamed of it. We are all dressed up with no power to show. A form of godliness isn’t going to bring lasting change. We need the power of godliness. Paul said, ‘The kingdom doesn’t consist in talk but in power.’ Don’t settle for an imitation of power, pursue intimacy with God and you’ll possess the real thing.
Genesis 28:16 ‘Surely, the Lord is in this place and I did not know it. How awesome is this place.’
Too many of us are always thinking about what we lack rather than what we already possess. It’s so easy in our culture to allow lack and discontentment to rule our lives rather than thanksgiving and gratitude.
Could it be that you are right in the middle of your miracle unfolding before you but because you are so distracted by your perception of lack, you are, unfortunately, missing out?
In the bible, Jacob, son of Isaac, was on the adventure of his life but it took a dream from God to wake him up to the fact that he was in the middle of a miracle, the Promised Land.
What does God have to do in your life to wake you up to the truth that his presence is with you and that your miracle is unfolding before you? Never judge your life by circumstance alone but realise that there is more happening behind the scenes than what you can see with your natural eyes.