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.
In the centre of the compass is God. My relationship with him is the epi-centre of my life. God impacts my identity, character, ministry, finances, relationships, activities and everything in between. God is on the throne of my heart because out of my heart flow the springs of life.
True North on my compass is my Family. My family is always in my focus. Everything I am and do impacts on my family and I want to protect the integrity of my relationships with my closest loved ones. If it doesn’t work first at home, it simply doesn’t work.
East is my Health and Fitness. Apart from time, my health and well being is the most precious commodity I have. If my health goes, everything goes with it. Nutrition, Sleep and Training make up the core ingredients of this pillar.
South is my Ministry. From preaching to writing to studying a masters degree and mentoring others, my working life is super busy but I love the opportunity to be used by God to change someone’s life through my gifts.
East is Finance. This has come into greater focus for me the older I get. What you do with your money can make or break you in more ways than one. I think God cares more about this than many of us care to acknowledge. From savings to giving to investments to expenses, this is a must in my compass.
Does the compass metaphor work for you and if it does what would you include as your north, south, east and west?
‘He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church.’ (1 Timothy 3:4-5)
Family is a gift from God and yet it is the most often neglected and abused entrustment in our lives. I think God takes how we treat our families far more seriously than we even appreciate. We are often focusing on ambitions external to our family relationships and justify the pursuit of them at the expense of treating our loved ones with true sacrificial love and respect.
God’s wisdom for public ministry begins with private victory. This means you’re only as good in public as your family life is in private. It lacks integrity when you treat other people better than you treat your own spouse and kids. Could it be that God withholds blessing in the public arena because of the immaturity we react with in our private lives?
1 Peter 3:7 says, ‘Husbands live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman… so that your prayers may not be hindered.’
God is looking at how we treat those whom he has entrusted us with. We will never rise any higher than our faithfulness in the matters of our household. My ministry begins at home. If it doesn’t work at home then why would I hop onto a platform and tell anyone else to pursue something I’m not totally pursuing myself?
I want to leave a legacy to my children’s children that is of the highest order. I want them to see the consistency of my faith, my love, my hope and integrity and ultimately grow up in the healthiest, God-centered environment that I can provide. I reckon if we gave as much energy to the cultivating of our family unit that we often give to lesser things, the world would most definitely be a better place.
Join me in building strong families and watch what God does in every other arena of your life. The scriptures challenge us, ‘He who neglects his family is worse than an unbeliever.’ Don’t neglect your primary ministry, your household!
My family and I are on the precipice of a whole new season of ministry. This Sunday we have our farewell service as we celebrate seven fruitful years of ministry as the founders and pastors of Activate Church.
Lots of memories, emotions and thoughts fill our minds and hearts as we have navigated the decision to answer God’s call to step into a full-time itinerant preaching and prophetic ministry. Stepping out in faith into this new venture has meant that we have had to let go of the privilege of leading Activate Church into the future.
It was in May 2012 that God spoke, definitely, into my spirit at Lilydale Lake, that 2012 was to be my last year as the senior pastor of Activate Church. Since that time God has confirmed over and over again in numerous ways his hearts intention for us and our future. We have wrestled, cried, shared and prayed our way through this process but have seen God’s hand of provision, peace and power make a way both for us and the church.
We are excited to be commissioning Ps Ben and Sarah Fagerland as the new senior pastor of Activate Church in just over a weeks time. This will be a great time of passing the baton to my spiritual son, whom has served God, me and the church so faithfully over these last 4 years.
But for the next 24hrs it’s about honouring what God has done in the past and recognising the labor of love my wife and I have embraced in establishing Activate Church. Activate Church will always be a community of faith we speak into, pray for and cheer on as it moves forward and grows into its future destiny, under new leadership.
As for us, we are embracing a new assignment of preaching, writing, mentoring and ministering prophetically across Australia and overseas. Following Jesus is never static, it’s always dynamic. To go up into the call of God, you must first give up that which God has released you from. It’s not easy but it’s necessary. Please partner with us in prayer for our future ministry and Activate Church as we all transition into a new season of life.
Philippians 3:13-14 ‘But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’
This thought has gripped me the past few hours, ‘What legacy am I going to leave my kids?’ As I pondered this question, I thought about the legacy my parents have passed onto me. Here is a list of things:
- A faithful marriage that endured the storms of life
- Personal relationship with Jesus Christ
- Life must include the fun factor
- Passion for Gods presence
- Commitment to the local church
- Love for the Bible
- Ability to preach
- Ability to connect with people
- Faith in God’s sufficiency
- Love people not based on performance
Wow! As I pondered this list, gratitude filled my heart and made me appreciate my parents investment into my life. I love them loads. I realised that much of the same list of qualities my parents have passed onto me would be what I want to pass onto my kids. I have added a couple of things to my own list but it does show you the impact your upbringing can have on you.
Proverbs 13:22 ‘A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.’
We carry into our own parenting what our parents have instilled within us. Being a parent is one of the most sacred responsibilities God could entrust to someone. I pray everyday that God would make me an honourable father to my 3 kids. I love them so much.
So, it’s time for you to do some thinking and write down your own list. What legacy was passed onto you and what legacy do you want to pass onto your kids or the people closest to you?
Genesis 16 is the account of Sarai, Abram and Hagar. It’s got a plot line that would rival any episode of ‘Days of our lives’. Sarai and Abram have received a promise from God many, many years before but they have grown impatient and frustrated with God’s apparent memory loss of his promises to them. Due to their impatience and impetuosity, Sarai comes up with a bright idea, to help God’s promises to come to pass. She offers her husband, her very own maidservant as a wife. Just brilliant! Of course, Abe being a red-blooded, half moron male decides it’s a brilliant idea as well and ends up sleeping with Hagar and ‘kaboom’ ‘WW1 the prequal’ begins in the centre of the household. Some principles that emerge for our benefit today are:
- Don’t misinterpret delay as denial – We live in the space-time continuum, God doesn’t. He exists outside of it. His purposes are established in alignment with his timing which is, in the grand scheme of eternity, perfect. God makes everything beautiful in its time. Some promises of God come to pass quickly, some take a lot longer to come to pass and we being finite, impetuous human beings want everything the moment we conceive the idea or hear God’s word to us. When God’s promises delay we conclude that we heard wrong or that God is not interested in us anymore because we must have done something wrong. To conclude this would be to conclude wrong.
- When you misinterpret God, you try to accomplish in your own strength what can only be achieved in God’s strength. That which is born of the flesh must be sustained by the flesh. That which is born of the Spirit must be sustained by the Spirit. Too many of us are tiring ourselves out, unnecessarily, because we are pursuing things, God has never sanctioned or ordained for us. Attempting short-cuts to get close to God’s promises only ever ends up in conflict and frustration. It causes conflicts in relationships and it actually delays what God wants to do anyway.
- Cutting corners on God’s promises leads to bitterness and more pain. The ‘Hagar Highway’ only ever takes you into bitterness and more frustration. Near enough isn’t good enough. Good enough isn’t satisfactory from God’s perspective. God has plan A and he intends to bring plan A to pass. Don’t settle for short-cuts when deep down you know you are just being immature, impatient and finding it difficult to trust in God (Prov 3:5-6).
I know exactly what delay feels like, because I have lived in delay most of my ministry. Trust me, shortcuts never provide the answers you are looking for. They are simply a mirage. Instead, run to God. Ask him the hard questions, remind him of his promises. Do what he’s asking you to do right now with what he has put into your hands. Stop complaining to others and start complaining to God. The funny thing is, he can take it from you way more than you think he can. He may even give you the answer you are looking for.
One of the best investments I have personally made this year is a goal setting book from Kikki K (stationary store in Melbourne). I have been setting goals for many years but never have I been so intentional about it as I have been this year. I read a quote recently saying, “The results of this coming year will be determined by the intentionality with which you live your life.” To help you become intentional, I encourage you to set goals with the following suggestions in mind.
Create 5 Categories – I set goals under the following 5 categories:
- Personal development (Includes spiritual goals)
- Family and Relationships
- Career and Finance
- Health and Fitness
- Life Dreams
Define Goals – Under each of these categories define some goals. Don’t have too many more than 10 goals in each. Your goals should be:
Set a DATE you want to achieve them by – Include a little completed box next to it, to tick when you have accomplished the goal.
Answer 2 questions of yourself:
- Why do i want to achieve this goal?
- What are the obstacles holding me back?
Define the steps to get there – Include in this the date to be achieved, the details involved in the step and the reward you will give yourself once you have taken that step.
After completing this exercise for the different areas of my life, I feel more confident and focused than ever before and I have a real strategy for getting closer to my goals. Put these principles into action and I hope you will be able to say the same.