Darkness cannot overcome Light!

John 1:4-5 “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

God is the source of life. All things were made through him and for him. God’s life is the light of all humanity. God breathed his spirit into the void of man’s body and brought us all to life. The light of God’s presence shines so bright that no matter how dark it gets in the world, darkness cannot overcome it. The darkness of man’ sin and Satan’s agenda will try to smother the light of God’s glory and goodness but darkness can never overcome the light of God from the earth and all creation. This is a reassuring message at a time in the world when all humanity appears to be shaking under the weight of darkness. People are groping for meaning and life but unfortunately looking for it in all the wrong places. God is the source of light and life itself. Everything about him exudes and promotes the fulness of life. Whatever darkness you may be facing today, internal or external, run to the light of God’s grace, goodness and presence. You will discover like many others that the light still shines in the darkness. Explosive Insights!

What Offends God?

livebyfaithTherefore when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel, because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power. (Ps 78:21-22)

Recently, I was running on an isolated trail and I found myself in a torrential downpour of rain, which turned into a minor storm. All of a sudden, I saw and heard a bolt of lightning hit the earth, cracking a tree only 50 meters from me. The crack of the thunder went through my chest and for an instant I was captured by the fear of God as I came face to face with his awesome power. Needless to say, I increased the pace of my run. As I ran for my life, I was reminded of the reality of God’s power. Like Israel did in the past, sometimes we too forget the awesome power of God and his deeds amongst us (Read Ps 78). This often leads to a weakening of our faith and a lack of trust in his capacity to provide and move in our lives. This offends the heart of God. God delights in showing off his awesome power in our lives, just as he did for his people in the wilderness, thousands of years ago. When we refuse to believe in him, despite his awesome deeds, we grieve his heart and offend his nature. Don’t take for granted whom God is and what he has done in your life. Tread carefully around his throne room with a grateful and believing heart.

What God Starts, Never Ends!

2 Chronicles 5:13 God’s steadfast love endures forever.

What is started in the flesh has to be sustained by the flesh. What is started by the Holy Spirit is to be sustained by the Holy Spirit. If God is the author of your ministry, then he knows how to perfect it as well. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith, the beginning and the end of everything. Too many of us start things based on good ideas, rather than God ideas and we wonder why we don’t have more fruit to show for our labor.

God is a master of momentum. The Prophet Isaiah declared, ‘Of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end’ (Is 9:7). People may come and go out of your life but God’s promise and purpose will remain. That’s why we need to get out-of-the-way and let the Holy Spirit have his say.

I’ve discovered my biggest problem isn’t someone else, it’s me. Your biggest problem isn’t finance or criticism, it’s you. At the same time, your biggest opportunity is getting out-of-the-way, so the Holy Spirit can have his say.

I talked to a church consultant several years ago whom commented on the challenge for pastors to not try to control what God has started by his sovereign grace. What God starts, never ends. If we corrupt the momentum by adding our good ideas to what God has started, then we abort the process of what God is trying to achieve in our lives.

What has God started in your life? Don’t fret, nor fear cause God intends to bring it to pass. The present day Church is the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham thousands of years ago. What God starts never ends.

The Oracle! 

What Time Is It?

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ‘For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.’

God has ordained a time and a season for everything. There are seasons in the natural and the spiritual. Each season carries value and purpose. Winter seasons are about what’s happening under the surface, rather than what’s above the surface. Are you as animated and engaged in the winter seasons of life as you are in the summer seasons?

It’s so important to discern and identify the season you’re in. You’ve got to align the right expectations for the season you’re in right now, not the season to come. When I was a ministry intern, my church launched their first leadership conference. I was asked to speak at a breakout session and I wanted to sell some tape recordings (yes, a long time ago) of my sermons but my Youth Pastor at the time commented, ‘This isn’t your season to sell sermon tapes’. I was cut at the time but thank God now. I didn’t know back then, what I know now.

A lot of us are trying to do more than the season we are actually in. Every season carries certain restrictions. Too many of us over-project what we can do in 1 season and under project what we can do in multiple seasons. Paul said, ‘I have learned in whatever situation I’m in to be content. I’ve learned the secret… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Phil 4:10-13). It’s your contentment in the season you’re in that determines people’s attraction to you.

There are 2 dimensions of time God has ordained: ‘Chronos’ and ‘Kairos’. Chronos time is the ticking of the clock and the turning of the calendar. Kairos time is the God appointed window of opportunity that you must see and seize if you’re gonna possess what God has for you in the season you find yourself in.

We know God is sovereign over the affairs of men and we often pray for God to sovereignly move on our behalf. He can and does but if God only ever moved sovereignly in our lives and ministries and never involved us in the process of what He’s doing, we would never learn his character, his heart and his ways. God wants a relationship with you, not a robotic automaton. When God includes us in the principle of what he’s doing and how he operates, we learn far more than if he just did it without us.

God is a God of seasons. Every season in God has a purpose and if you can discern the season God has you in, align your expectations accordingly and act in alignment with what God’s revealing to you now, you will not only maximise the present time but be prepared for the season to come.

The Oracle!

Providence of God in the life of the Leader!

In April 2012, Activate Church will be 6 years old. This is a great achievement and testimony to Gods grace when you consider that stats suggest up to 80% of church plants don’t survive past 2 years. As I look back over the journey of Activate I am struck by the power of Gods providence and sovereignty in my life and the life of the church.

In 2009 and 2010 I went through a ‘dark night of the soul’ where I asked a lot of deep questions about God, faith, myself, the world and people. One of the greatest theological insights that marked my life was the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men. As I read and reflected on the richness of the Scriptures and helpful books (see picture) I came to be in awe of God’s providential plan and purpose for planet earth, let alone for my life.

Providence says, that God is the power guiding and sustaining human destiny and is actively involved in moving creation to his eternal goal. History is being moved toward a pre-determined end. Jesus is the guarantor that God’s providential goal is salvation of his people, not destruction.

Providence is God guiding and sustaining human destiny!

Providence doesn’t mean we resign from life and sit on the sidelines but it does mean we have God’s grace to endure and overcome difficulties, as we understand that the big picture of our lives is on God’s hands. Unfortunately, We often only see God’s providence in hindsight through the rear-view mirror of life.

When I went through my dark night of the soul, God’s providence was at work teaching me that He isn’t just trying to do stuff through me but in me. One of the instruments God allows to sanctify us is suffering. While not all suffering is God’s will for us, he does use it to produce the peaceful fruit of righteousness in our lives and become more like him. If Jesus, as our Lord and saviour, learned obedience through what he suffered, how much more will we, considering the biblical truth that no servant is greater than his master?

One of the greatest examples of providence in the bible is God’s grace at work in Joseph’s life

Joseph was called to lead but arrogant in his approach. He, like many leaders, faced a season of suffering. He was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, falsely accused of sexual crimes and forgotten about. Yet, through it all, God’s providence was at work and it resulted in God’s calling on Joseph coming to pass, with Joseph being appointed to Prime Minister of Egypt and his brothers turning up for food. Joseph responded with God’s providence at the forefront of his mind and heart. Genesis 50:20-21 reads,

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So fear not, I will provide for you and your little ones.” (ESV)

As Joseph had experienced God’s providence, he extended grace and providence to his brothers in need. God’s providence in the leaders life is not just about them but for those they lead. Don’t misperceive God in your suffering as a leader, particularly in difficult seasons. Continue to trust in God’s sovereignty that what the devil means for evil, God will turn into good.

Where is the providence of God in your leadership journey?