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!
Joshua 21:45 “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”
Everyone of us knows the feeling of wanting to give up on a delayed word God has spoken over our lives and into our hearts. We don’t see the reality of it in our expected time line and we conclude its not going to come to pass. Israel must have felt like this for hundreds of years. Centuries before Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land, God spoke to Abraham about the land of Canaan being given as a possession to the nation that God would raise up from Abraham’s seed. Several generations had passed since that word, including 400 years of slavery in Egypt, and yet towards the end of the book of Joshua we read of God’s faithfulness to his promises to Israel. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to Israel failed. They all came to pass. God is true to his word. Heaven and earth may pass away but his word remains forever. Whatever promise God has given to you and however long ago you received it, it will not fall to the ground empty but will accomplish what God has sent it to you to perform. Stand your ground, hold onto God’s promise and trust in God’s faithfulness. Every word will come to pass. Explosive Insights!
Genesis 16:1-2 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, ‘The Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.”
I love the story of Abraham and Sarah’s journey of faith because it mirrors what many of us go through in our own lives. When we face the delay of Gods promises being fulfilled, most of us take matters into our own hands. This is exactly what Sarai and Abram did after 10years of not seeing the fulfilment of God’s promises. When Abram should’ve kept listening to the voice of God, he listened to the voice of doubt and retreated from the life of faith. When we can’t see in the natural what we are expecting from God in our timeline, we often look for other options to bring the promise to pass. Unfortunately, our efforts to secure what God wants to secure for us indicates our lack of trust for Gods timing and purposes. 2 Corinthians 5:7 calls us to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith hears the rhema inspired word of God and stays focused on it regardless of what the natural circumstances might be indicating. When Abram took matters into his own hands, he only delayed what God always intended to bless him with, the promised son Isaac. Whatever your Isaac is, God wants you to trust him with the timing of the promise. Guard your heart from doubt and run back to the rhema word of God. Your Isaac is coming your way. Explosive Insights!
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..”
Faith is often seen as a GIFT but not necessarily as a FRUIT. A gift is given freely by God whereas the fruit of the Spirit is cultivated into the character of a person over a long period of time. Faith as a FRUIT is cultivated into our lives through faithfulness. Faithfulness is a product of a decision of our will to trust God and be found trustworthy by God. To attain the best of the fruit of faith, we must cultivate trustfulness through the investment of time, skill and labour. To the degree that we cultivate trustfulness in our character is a good measure of our spiritual maturity. Faith as a fruit is a steady, unwavering trust in the goodness, wisdom and faithfulness of God. The outward expression of this kind of trust is stability and reliability in not only our hearts but everyday lives. We can’t say we have developed the fruit of faith unless our practical lives bear the resemblance of stability and reliability. I encourage you to be intentional about growing in the fruit of faith and develop a robust trustworthiness that God can entrust with greater and greater Favor and kingdom responsibility. Explosive Insights!
Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Many of us want to increase ‘much by much’ but for the majority of us, this isn’t the reality of how we grow. Most of us experience increase in life one increment at a time. It’s the day in and day out of pursuing the basics that brings ultimate increase and fruitfulness to our lives. Little by little may not be sexy but it works. As the old adage says, “you eat an elephant one bite at a time.” Break your big goals down into small steps and tackle them little by little. Whether it be a financial goal, like purchasing your first house or a fitness goal, like running a marathon, you have to begin with the end in mind and then work backwards, tackling your goal, little by little. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish by doing little by little, day in and day out. You will build momentum and what may seem slow at the start will eventually become an avalanche. Don’t be hasty and don’t be impatient. Focus your energy on building your life little by little!
John 15:2 “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes.”
This is a challenging statement from Jesus. His words are a call to be proactive about our personal growth. A dead branch doesn’t produce anything worthwhile to anyone and will be removed. A fruitful branch will be cut back and pruned in its season in order for more fruitfulness to come. Either way, we’re going to get cut. We may as well get cut for bring fruitful and not for being fruitless.
I refuse to be fruitless. Refusing fruitlessness means I intentionally position myself to grow. Someone once said, you only grow according to the books you read, the places you visit and the people you meet. I think there are other ways for growth to occur but these three are a great starting place. What books are you reading? Which new places are you visiting and studying? And who are the people you are posturing yourself in front of to receive from? God is committed to your fruitfulness and the extension of his kingdom. Be intentional, be prepared for pruning and be ready for greater fruitfulness in your life.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. (1 Cor 3:6)
God hasn’t made you responsible for the outcome. That’s his responsibility. But He has made you responsible for the process. Often we work harder at trying to control the outcome rather than just putting the right ingredients into the process. Paul was the initiator of the process by planting and Apollos continued the process by watering what God had initiated through Paul. Planting and watering in all it’s forms made up the process but God was the agent who gave the growth. When you stop trying to control the outcome, you are freed up to give your best to the process and maintain peace along the way. Having to control the outcome is stressful and not in our job description. God says, “Trust me with the outcome by not leaning on your own understanding and focus on the process of what I’ve asked you to do and watch what I do with the outcome.”