God is Able!

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

Whatever you can ask, think or imagine, God can supersede it immediately. God is inexhaustible. You can never come close to the limits of what God is capable of. That’s why he is God. In fact He is without limits. But there’s a key to receiving Gods exceeding and abundant power and it’s found in his power already at work in us. You can acknowledge Gods power from a cognitive perspective but never experience it personally in your heart. The measure of Gods power operating in your life is commensurate to Gods power working within your heart. Our heart revelation of who God is often determines whether we are recipients of his experiential power in our everyday lives. God is able but whether his ability is accessed by you or not comes back to the faith and revelation at work in your own heart. Declaration alone with our mouths isn’t enough, we must believe it in our hearts and ask God to reveal his power at work in our hearts.

From Battler to Blesser!

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them and said “Be fruitful and multiply.”

One of the unhelpful results of the fall of mankind is we tend to battle our way through life. Unfortunately too many of us tend to cope with life rather than conquer in life. Because of Jesus’ restoration of dominion through the cross we can not only be more than conquerers but we can be blessed. In fact we are told in John 15 that God chose us an appointed us to bear abundant fruit. Blessing is the birthright of the believer. Being blessed doesn’t mean we won’t face resistance but it does mean we are positioned to choose victory in the face of resistance by faith. God doesn’t want you to be a battler but to be a blesser of others. To do so you must settle in your heart that blessing is yours today through Jesus Christ.

Buried Blessing!

new-life“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7)

Everything in God’s creation, He created by the words of his mouth with the only exception being us. He created us by reaching down into the dirt of the earth and forming us in his image. Thus, every one of us have God’s fingerprints all over us. Dirt doesn’t seem very appealing but when you plant a seed in it, that seed will eventually produce life. God has planted seeds of blessing in every one of us. You may not be able to see the blessings God has planted on the inside of you but the seed within you has potential within it to produce life. It’s just buried at the moment. You need to water it, nurture it and have the courage to let God bring the seed forth out of the dirt of your life.

The 2nd Mile!

ClinicalTrialsInProgressRoadIf someone forces you to go one mile, go with them two. (Matthew 5:41)

Too easily we look at the problems in the world and throw our arms in the air, exclaiming, ‘What difference can I make?’ Its the 2nd mile that makes the biggest difference. Whats the 2nd mile? In Jesus day the Romans legislated a practice they borrowed off the Persians to subjugate the people they had conquered. If a Roman soldier saw a Jewish person, he could command them to carry their burden for up to a mile. Most Jews wouldn’t carry a Romans burden 1 inch further than the law required. Jesus said, ‘Go the 2nd mile’. Do more than what is expected of you. Give people more than they expect to receive and God will bless you with more than you expect to receive. The 1st mile is the legalism mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the love mile. The 1st mile is duty mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the devotion mile. The 1st mile is the service mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the intimacy mile. The 1st mile is the convenience mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the sacrifice mile. The 1st mile is the performance mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the worship mile. The 1st mile is the mundane mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the miraculous mile. Jesus went the 2nd mile on the cross and called us to go the 2nd mile for others.

The Curse of Youthfulness!

I planted Activate Church in April 2006 with a core group of young, passionate and visionary young people. We had energy and drive but very little material resources. We had passion and vision but only a little wisdom. We had faith and were willing to sacrifice but we lacked the seasoned perspective of more experienced campaigners around us.

We grew quite quickly, by God’s grace but we also expended a ton of energy. Sometimes, we discussed things and wrestled with issues that really were more of a distraction, than it was a help. Since then, I’ve become very focused on making sure that my energy and the energy of the team around me is directed to what’s most important. It’s the leader’s job to work out what’s most important, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Growing up a pastors kid and spending several years on staff at a number of churches, I thought I had the goods to get the job done but little did I know there is a big difference between being a member of a team and being the point leader of the team. There is a drafting effect when you are working in the slipstream of a point leader that does make it easier, but the moment you take the lead position, the weight and wind resistance increases exponentially. There was a definite weight-shift that took place when I took the lead pastor role and it only compounds the further you go and grow.

Youthful enthusiasm brings energy and momentum to any organization, especially a church. At Activate we have a 6pm service Sunday nights that has more than doubled in the last 12 months and with it has come new Christians hungry for the word and passionate in their worship of Jesus. I value youthful enthusiasm but I have come to appreciate the wise sages around me who have given very helpful advice at much-needed times.

I’ve come to learn that wisdom trumps enthusiasm. Passion, energy, drive and enthusiasm needs the focus of wisdom to direct it to the right target. Not only do we need to bring wise and experienced campaigners around us but we also need to grow in wisdom ourselves. Wisdom comes from 3 primary sources:

  1. Fear of God (Proverbs 1:7) – Until you fear God and weigh most heavily in your life, you will remain an undisciplined fool.
  2. Wise Counsel (Proverbs 15:22) – Point leaders need the right information from the right people at the right time. Your job is to build a team of the right people around you, who can not only do their jobs but give you the counsel you need, when you need it.
  3. Applied Experience – It isn’t enough to just have an experience, you need to apply it to your life by reflecting and possibly journaling on what you have learnt from the pain or success of the experience. Some people live the same experience 50 years in a row and never learn from it. Don’t be that person. Learn, don’t make the same mistake twice and grow.

The curse of youthfulness is impetuosity and to be honest I had buckets full of it. On the one hand, I had an action orientation that lends itself towards quick results but sometimes, only temporary results. Our generation wants everything done yesterday. In fact I don’t know any leader who doesn’t want things moving more quickly. However, wisdom gives you the needed discernment and perspective to help make the best use of the opportunity that’s presented before you.

Impetuosity moves quickly but spends energy unnecessarily. Leader, you aren’t just called to make any old thing happen, you’re called to make a specific thing happen and to steward what God has entrusted to you. This requires both capacity and wisdom.

We must obey the biblical exhortation to proclaim to the coming generation the glory of God (Psalm 78) but we must also exercise wisdom in how we lead ourselves and the young people around us into God’s purposes for the future well-being of the church.


The Call is about others!

Don’t make the call about you. God’s call on your life is a blessing from God intended to benefit others. God blesses those who pour themselves out for others (Isaiah 58:10). I’m a big believer in the truth, “If God can get it through you, he can get it to you.”

God doesn’t want us to be a dam or reservoir that contains the blessing but more like a channel and river that passes on the blessing. We are blessed to be a blessing to others. All the gifts and abilities, opportunities and relationships we have are not about us. They are to be stewarded for the benefit of others.

I’ve observed many people live in a state of continual discontentment and want. I think one of the reasons for this is we can get too easily preoccupied with ourselves, and as long as our eyes on ourselves, we will find reasons to be dissatisfied. The moment you get your eyes onto others and start serving them and pouring yourself out for them, you don’t have time to be concerned about what isn’t perfect in your life.

Your call is not about you, it’s about others. I’ve never seen anybody help someone else up in life without being helped up themselves. What you sow is what you reap. God gives grace, favor and influence to individuals for God’s purposes of extending his kingdom in more people’s lives. The more we make our call about us, we are limiting what God wants to do through us to affect change in people. Keep the call pure and keep it focused on Jesus and others and you will be an incredible blessing to others.