Nothing is too hard for God!

Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Whatever limitations you’ve placed on yourself and others because of your current circumstances and life experiences, they are powerless to deny the truth of God’s nature and power. Abraham was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was 90 years old when they conceived God’s promised child, Isaac. This event is an historical fact that was the byproduct of faith in God’s promise. Faith calls those things that are not as if they already were and moves boldly towards God’s promise with assurance and conviction. God’s character is perpetually oriented towards goodness and his power to break natural law knows no boundary. Stop putting a full stop on God’s conversation with you and your situation. It’s not over till God says it’s over. God loves you, is with you and wants the very best for you. By faith, come into agreement with God’s promises over your life and prepare yourself to soon share another testimony of God’s faithfulness to you. Nothing is too hard for God. Selah!

Do All God Asks Of You!

Genesis 6:22 “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.”

Life is complex! Complexity seems to grow the longer one lives. Everyone at some point in their life feels overwhelmed by the complexity that exists, not only in our culture but in our personal lives. Noah, the great patriarch, found himself alive at a time when the complexity of man’s wickedness was at an all time high. Every intention of man’s heart was perpetually evil and God decided to hit the reset button of humanity and start again. However, Noah was an exception. Noah found favour with God and walked with him all the days of his life. Noah became the patriarch of a remnant that would begin the re-genesis of humanity but it required uncompromising obedience. God asked Noah to build a huge boat to preserve a remnant of humanity and the animal kingdom for the rebirth of the planet. Without any evidence of weather patterns pointing to rain or any historical context to aid his boat building directive, Noah did everything God asked of him and ended up saving the future of the world. Noah is the original superhero. The complexity of your life will only be eased when you settle firmly in your heart the Lordship question. Who is Lord over my life? Am I Lord or is God my Lord? When you surrender your heart to God and live for the audience of one, you resolve 10,000 problems all at once. Why? Because your hearts affections and directions are shaped solely around one primary thing, obeying God without reservation. Selah!

Leave Your Nets Behind!

Matthew 4:19-20 And he said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

We live in a culture where many people are trying to be first but Jesus call to follow him is an invitation to be second. Answering this call requires humility and a willingness to leave our safety nets behind. Before Jesus disciples could follow him, they had to let go of their nets. Some of Jesus disciples were professional fisherman, they earned their living from catching fish. Their nets represented their jobs and income. Jesus was asking them to put it all on the line because you can’t follow Jesus and still hold onto your nets. Everyone of us have have nets in our lives. They range from reputation to relationships to remuneration. What are the nets in your life, you need to let go of to answer Jesus’ call to follow him? Selah!

Here Am I, Send Me!

Isaiah 6:8-9 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people..”

God is looking to and fro across the earth for people he can use to accomplish specific assignments in the building of his kingdom. Before Isaiah became a prominent prophetic voice to Israel, he firstly was an everyday believer in God who made himself available. Availability is the first prerequisite for being used mightily by God. Isaiah 1:19 says, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land“. To answer God’s call on your life, you must be first willing and secondly obedient. Not only did God call Isaiah but he counselled him in what to say. Too often we are attempting to come up with something inspirational that will connect with people, rather than simply sharing out of the well of what God has already revealed to us. If you want God to call you and use you mightily, first examine your heart and ask, “Am I available? Am I willing? Am I going to obey what he’s asked me to do? Selah!

Not Everything that Glitters is Gold!

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!

Speak to the Rock!

Numbers 20:8 “Take the staff and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.”

The nation of Israel have congregated at the waters of Meribah and there is no water to be found for them or their livestock to drink. They complain to their leaders, Moses and Aaron, regretting they ever left Egypt. Moses and Aaron are humble men of God and they throw themselves on their faces and cry out to God for his intervention. God directs Moses to speak to the rock, with a promise that water would gush out from the rock for the people to drink. Instead of obeying the voice of the Lord, Moses is fed up with Israel’s complaining and he reacts in anger and frustration, striking the rock with his staff and cursing the people as he did it. God does intervene, the rock does yield its water and the people do drink, however, Moses and Aaron are brought under God’s judgement for their disobedience and eventually die in the wilderness. Like Israel, everyone of us face circumstances that threaten our peace, well being and survival. It’s easy in those moments to panic, make rash judgements and question God’s faithfulness to us. If we humbly seek God, he will provide strength and sustenance through his word. We must be careful to obey all that God’s word calls us to, not only for our sake but also so that we don’t misrepresent God’s heart to those around us. Notice a fresh supply of water didn’t automatically gush forth, Moses had to partner with God in the process of the miracle. This takes faith and without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Moses took matters into his own hands, showing he didn’t have faith in God’s word. God in his grace, intervened but God’s holiness and character was misrepresented to Israel. My encouragement to you is the next time you seek God for intervention into your challenging circumstance, follow his instruction carefully. Don’t allow your own emotions to dictate your response. Not only will you receive God’s gracious blessing but you’ll have witnessed to the world around you of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Selah!

From revelation to dedication!

Acts 17:21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Our culture loves new. Our economy thrives on us consuming the new gadget and product that is coming next. What was cool yesterday is obsolete today and what’s relevant today is being replaced by something new tomorrow. We are much like the Athenians who reveled in what was new but never actually embraced what was true. We can bring that same sort of consumer mentality into our relationship with God. We can delight in hearing and revelling in the new insight we’ve heard but never actually do something with it and outwork it in our everyday lives. Every fresh revelation requires a new dedication. It’s not enough to get a new revelation, if we’re not going to dedicate ourselves to its truthfulness in our lives. Are you being obedient to what God has already revealed to you? Some of us are more educated than we are obedient and we hear more than we are putting into action. Dedicate yourself to the revelations Gods showing you and the fruit of your life will speak for itself. 

Shaping the Future!

It’s interesting to consider the factors that shape our future. It’s easy to let the currents of life move us through the ebb and flow of each day, without us really stopping to take note and consider where we are really heading. I think there are several factors that shape our future in an intentional way.

Gods Sovereignty – The heart of man plans his way but the Lord orders his steps. God is sovereign over the affairs of the universe and although you may seriously question the reality of Gods Sovereignty, due to the overwhelming amount of pain and suffering in the world, I find myself believing even more readily in the involvement of Gods Sovereignty in the trajectory of where the world is heading. A cursory glance of Scripture will give you a big picture perspective of Gods Sovereignty involved in the affairs of mankind both in past history and in future events.

Prayer – I think we underestimate the place of prayer in shaping the future. I see Gods partnership with humanity in prayer and His willingness to at times limit himself to our intercession or lack of. Prayer brings us into the mind and heart of Gods intentions for us and is the key communication tool in our relationship with God.

Obedience – 1 Samuel 15 gives us a classic insight into the importance of obedience from Gods perspective. I don’t think it’s what you do that ultimately matters but what you do out of what God has revealed to you to do. My own future has been shaped more so by hearing and obeying God than anything I’ve attempted in my own flesh.

Relationships – Life is a matrix of relationships and the people we are connected to shape so much of our personal future’s. Who you relate to and connect with speak volumes about you as a person and what’s important to you. Ultimately, our relationship with God or lack of is the critical piece of the relational puzzle that must be firmly fixed in the centre of our lives, for anything of significance to be positively shaped in our lives.

Prophecy – Prophecy is Gods revelation of the intention of his heart and mind for people, churches and nations. Each prophetic word from God is pregnant with possibility and must be kissed by a heart of faith for Gods intention to manifest in our reality. Prophecy can warn us of impending events sent to derail us. Prophecy can lift our vision and set our hearts soaring with faith in the midst of a valley experience. Prophecy needs to be tested, understood, interpreted and applied with wisdom for it to be useful in our lives, otherwise, we get defiled by it or lose the potential of it in our lives.

These are some of the key factors that shape our future more than most things. Can you add to the list? What would you say has been key for you in the shaping of your future? Dialogue welcomed.

Grace!

Do what God asks you to do!

Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

I could talk about this subject all day, not just because there is so much teaching in the Scriptures on it but because I am a walking illustration of both the blessings of obedience and the consequences of disobedience. You need to understand something really critical to your walk with God. Obedience does bring a blessing and disobedience does bring a curse upon your life.

The Holy Spirit spoke into my Spirit one day, “I will not bless you at the expense of disobedience.” In other words God’s blessing isn’t cheap. God also said to me one day, “If I ask you to do something, it isn’t law, it’s my will for you that I want you to obey me in”.  

Don’t call Jesus your Lord, if you aren’t going to do what he tells you to do. I think we are kidding ourselves if we think we can follow Jesus but not do some of the things he asks us to do. The chief indicator of Christ’s Lordship in our lives is our obedience to his commandments. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments”. Even the Great Commission outlines the process of making disciples includes, ‘teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you’.

For several years God has asked me to get up at 5am every day and spend quality time with him. While I’m a morning person, I have never taken this seriously enough to warrant a change in my lifestyle to action what the Spirit of God is asking me to do. I saw this as ‘Law’ rather than obedience and so procrastinated on it and dismissed it . However, God has repeatedly asked me to obey him in this area and went so far as to inform me that my disobedience was bringing a curse upon me and my ministry. I can tell you that when I began to hear the word of the Lord, a healthy fear of God came upon me. I asked God, “Why are you so intense about me getting up at 5am?” He said to me, “I want you to know that apart from me, you can do nothing. I want you to know that the blessing and success I give to you hasn’t got anything to do with you but comes from me and my grace in your life. If you are going to bear much fruit, you are going to do it my way, not your way.” Needless to say, I’m now a regular riser at 5am because I know the issue isn’t about 5am, it’s about my obedience in the context of my relationship with Jesus.

Too many of us are concerned about the outcome of our lives (results, fruit, success) rather than our obedience to Jesus. God said to me, “Obey me and the results will take care of themselves.”

What has God asked you to do that you have been procrastinating on? Stop bringing a curse against yourself and just do it. The blessing of God follows obedience. This isn’t a teaching of ‘law’ but a fundamental part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Either Jesus is Lord of your life or he isn’t.

Insight!

Power of God’s Word

Luke 5:4-6 “And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.’ And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.”

God always speaks on purpose – God doesn’t do random, he only ever does intentional. When Jesus spoke to Simon, he wasn’t suggesting something to do because he thought things were getting boring, teaching the crowd. Jesus asked Simon to do something because he not only wanted to bless him but give him a deeper understanding of Simon’s call. Scripture repeatedly shows us that God never wastes a word, he always speaks with purpose and intention.

Don’t let your past experience dictate your response to God’s Word – Simon was very quick to inform Jesus that he had toiled all night and not caught anything. After all, Simon was the expert, professional fisherman and Jesus was… well… Jesus. Too often, we hear God’s Word and let our personal experience dictate our response to it. Do we really think that God isn’t aware of what our past experience has been? When you let your past experience dictate your response to God, you get caught up in becoming a professional explainer of why that won’t work and this won’t work because supposedly you know better than God. When it comes to God’s word, we need to get over our training, logic and experience and:

Just Obey God’s Word – Simon ultimately responded to Jesus with, “But at your word I will let down the nets”. Just obey what God is asking you to do. What a novel idea. Develop the habit of reading or hearing what God’s saying and just do it. A revolution will start in your life when you act upon what God’s asking you to do.

Obedience is the key to fruitfulness – Simon obeyed and the haul of fish was so great, the nets were breaking under the weight of the catch. Simon had toiled all night and caught nothing but obeying one word from God changed everything. I remember asking God long ago what the secret to great fruitfulness in ministry was and he simply responded with “Obedience.” The prophet Samuel said to Saul, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifice as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams” (1 Sam 15:22).

Watching God’s Word in action will humble you – When Simon saw the results of his obedience, he and the other fisherman were astonished and very, very humbled. They realised that compared to Jesus, their expertise, pride and best efforts were as filthy rags. When God shows up in miraculous ways, it casts light on our doubt and unbelief and humbles our expert opinions. God always knows best.

Our obedience to God’s Word opens the door to our true calling – If Simon hadn’t have obeyed Jesus’ word, he wouldn’t have received a revelation of the call of God on his life to be ‘Catching men’ from that point on. Our obedience today positions us for our calling tomorrow. God sees our faithfulness in private and rewards us accordingly. What are you procrastinating on that God has asked you to do? Don’t delay any longer, obey God’s Word and watch the blessing of God follow your life.

Insight!