Is the Church still the Pillar of Truth?

1 Timothy 3:14-15 “I’m writing these things to you so that you may know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”

The Apostle Paul identified the church as a ‘pillar and buttress of the truth‘. If there is any group of people on the planet that needs to know and represent the truth of Jesus Christ well, it’s the people of God. Representing the teachings of Jesus well doesn’t mean selecting a few verses out of the gospels that suit your position on the latest social issue but requires understanding the whole context of the bible, including the Old Testament, the epistles, as well as the historical and apocalyptic literature that make up the New Testament. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a shift away from truth as the bible reveals, within the church, because of pressure from the surrounding culture. The antichrist spirit is gaining momentum across the media and culture at large, making it easier for fence sitters in the church to choose the broad pathway that leads to death instead of the narrow pathway that leads to life. More and more believers are using Jesus name to justify ideologies that aren’t even in the ball park of what the Scripture teaches. This demonstrates poor exegesis and a growing ignorance of the fundamental teachings of the Word of God. It appears that some believers are basing their beliefs on feelings to suit their conversations with family, peers and voices in the media rather than on the solid rock of God’s Word. It’s becoming a case of the blind leading the blind. The universal church, by and large, has held onto essential orthodox beliefs for 2,000 years because the truths underpinning these beliefs have been painstakingly clear in Gods Word for 2,000 years. It’s only been in recent times that we are now seeing such liberal views of Scripture infiltrate the church on a mass scale. This is a time for the church to be revived in its passion for God and truth, and not only for people and grace. This is a time for the church to be revived in its belief in the authority of Scripture, interpreting it and applying it in a way that honours God first and foremost, whether it’s popular or not. Explosive Insights!

Don’t be like Samson!

thumb.phpJudges 13-16 gives an apt description of a person’s life that ended so badly when it started with such promise and favour.

Samson had a massive calling on his life and was anointed for great influence, however, the wheels started falling off very early in his journey. He was a powerful and strong individual on the surface but lacked real substance under the surface.

His immaturity spiralled out of control and was on display for us not only to observe but to heed the lessons of his life. Samson liked the ladies too much. He was impulsive and hasty. He lacked self-control and discernment of people and their motives. He didn’t control his appetites and was prone to extreme exaggeration. I believe he acted in this way because he fundamentally underestimated what God had entrusted him with.

Samson had everything going for him – anointing, favour, calling, strength, looks, influence, miraculous provision BUT he blew it all because he thought his strengths gave him the right to have whatever his eyes saw and whatever his heart desired. Wrong conclusion.

He became so distant from God that he didn’t even know God’s anointing had left him. What a tragedy! Hot tip. Don’t be like Samson. If there are any tendencies in you similar to Samson, get real with yourself and with God and with a mate and repent. Life’s too short and the anointing is too precious to waste on lesser vices.

The Oracle!

 

 

Live with Confidence!

images-8All of us at some point lose our confidence. It could be through a hurtful comment, unwarranted criticism, unrealised dreams, disappointing performance or overwhelming circumstances.

Truth is, we don’t have to stay in that place of insecurity and doubt. We can live with confidence in every arena of life regardless of how life may look right now. It comes back to our convictions in God and his Word in our lives.

I find such confidence from knowing that God has spoken into my heart specific things for the details of my life. I can live with a fresh and joyful outlook on life because I know that God is for me and not against me. I can enjoy each day knowing that God has already gone before me and made a way even if I can’t see it nor understand it all.

Confidence comes from knowing God and who you are in Him! Leonard Ravenhill once said, ‘He who is intimate with God will never be intimidated by man.’ How can man or circumstance be intimidating when we come into a deep realisation of who our Father really is.

My prayer for you is that you would know the hope to which God has called you and you would encounter the reality of who God is at the core of your being. Out of that place of revelation you can live with an abundance of humble confidence.

The Oracle!

The Devil is a Liar!

From Genesis 3, back at the beginning of creation, the devil has been lying and casting doubt on the truth of God’s Word in our lives. His strategy hasn’t changed and he’s still undermining people’s faith with his constant condemnation, negativity and hopelessness.

Satan’s whole agenda is to steal, kill and destroy anything that resembles the life of God’s Spirit in you and at work in our world. Never has there been a more important era of human history than now to know, think and speak God’s truth about ourselves. We are bombarded daily with hundreds of mixed messages. Deciphering God’s truth can be a challenge without being intentional.

Satan is an anchor that is always pulling you back down from heading out into the adventure that God invites all of us onto. If you entertain the negative thoughts, words and opinions that weigh you down too long, it will become your new norm and limit your capacity to believe for God’s impossible to work in your world.

The challenge is if we haven’t undergone a renewed mindset then we don’t so easily distinguish between the lies of the enemy and our own thoughts. The truth of God’s Word really does set us free and we need to immerse ourselves in a daily diet of God’s truth so that we will not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Pay attention to the messages you entertain in your brain and heart on a daily basis. As you think, so you are. What negative self-limiting ideas have you allowed to preoccupy your thinking? It’s time to uproot and replace with God’s truth!

The Oracle!

Follow the Cloud, Not the Crowd!

white-clouds

Exodus 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Wow! I love this verse of scripture. Here is a beautiful picture of God leading his people through night and day seasons by going before them in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. The people weren’t left without a witness to follow and this must have been so encouraging for Moses in his leadership of what sometimes was a group of very difficult people to lead.

In our lives, we can too easily get distracted by the opinions and voices of the crowd. The crowd can have far too much influence in our lives than what God wants or intended. There will always be someone out there who thinks they know best for you and who has a wonderful plan for your life.

It’s in these moments, that you and I need a conviction that heaven has spoken and that God is going before us to make a way in both dark and light seasons of life.

What about you? Are you following the crowd or the cloud? God loves you and wants to lead you in such a significant way. Stay focused on the cloud before you.

The Oracle!

Live in the Bullseye!

Don’t live on the periphery of what God has put you on the planet for. Live in the Bullseye. Too many of us settle for far too less than what God intended for us.

Imagine a blank A4 piece of paper folded a dozen or more times into a very small square and placed in your pocket. You carry it around with you day after day, year after year until finally you die. Imagine standing before Jesus and he has in his hand that little screwed up and folded up piece of A4 paper in his hand. Jesus then proceeds to unwrap the tiny A4 square piece of paper until it’s completely unfolded to a full piece of paper.

He looks at you in love and says to you, ‘You settled for this little square corner of life, when I called you to stretch, grow and live and contribute far more than you could have imagined.’ How do you think you might feel in that moment. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking, ‘Oh Crap’.

The pain of regret is the worst pain of all. It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to pursue that dream. It’s never too late to say sorry or forgive or believe again. But you’ve got to make a decision to stop living on the periphery and start living in the bullseye of what God has really called you to.

The Oracle!

There are no shortcuts with God!

Screen-Shot-2012-04-02-at-10.54.09-AMGod’s saved you, loves you and favours you BUT he is not into letting you take shortcuts at the expense of your character and relationship with him. Too many of us presume upon God’s grace and see it as a license to get away with stuff that others are accountable for.

Thank God for his grace, favour and love but don’t think this means you don’t have to take practical responsibility for your life, health, relationships, finances and work.

We are living in a day and age where, unfortunately, some people walk around with a victim mentality, misunderstanding God’s role in their lives, blaming others for their circumstances and in a quandary as to why life isn’t working out as they expect.

Unfortunately, some believers fall prey to this mindset and their lives downward spiral to the point of spiritual paralysis. Life is always moving in one of two directions, towards God or away from God. Interrupt negative momentum in your life by thinking of yourself and life with sober judgment.

Stop making excuses as to why you can’t do something and take responsibility to change the theme of your life. God’s grace is there to empower you. His word is there to fuel your faith and His Spirit is there to sustain you across the finish line of whatever it is you are pursuing in Him.

The Oracle!

The Solution to 10,000 Problems!

goal-setting-the-90-day-challengeA. W. Tozer believed that a low view of God was the cause of a hundred lesser evils, but a high view of God was the solution to 10,000 problems.

Everyone of us have to go on a journey to have our minds renewed about who God really is. Our biggest problem is a small view of God. This is the cause of all lesser evils and it’s a high view of God that is the solution to 10,000 problems.

A wrong perception of God will affect how we approach and relate to God. We are not to just know facts about God but actually know him intimately for who he is. Knowing God must become our chief aim and goal in life. It’s out of knowing him that our faith and fruitfulness flows. Wrong thinking about his character and ways will limit our faith, our prayers and ultimately our fruitfulness.

When God asked Moses, ‘Is there a limit to my power?’ He wasn’t asking out of insecurity. God was helping Moses to ascertain who he perceived God to be and what God was capable of. Of course, God is omnipotent and all-powerful but until you and I can come to the conviction of this truth in our hearts that God’s grace and power is bigger than any problem we might face then our prayer live’s will be the equivalent of a beggar asking a billionaire for a cup of coffee. Not cool. Ask for the moon!

God’s grace and power is super sized and we need to get a revelation of the magnitude of what God can do and who He is at the core. Where does this revelation come from?

  • It comes from meditating on the truth of who God actually is
  • It comes from making knowing God our aim above everything else
  • It comes from refusing to listen to the lies of the enemy about God
  • It comes from speaking and acting in alignment with the truth of God’s Word

A high view of God is the solution to 10,000 problems. What problem are you facing today that seems larger than life and bigger than God? Get them into perspective and change the tone and intent of your prayers. There is nothing too hard for God!

The Oracle!

5 cultural trends that will define the FUTURE!

images-5Here are the top 5 trends that will define our culture’s future more than any other:

  1. Speed – Life is getting quicker and quicker and it’s only going to increase in momentum. The blinding rate of change will touch every aspect of your life.
  2. Complexity – Life is becoming increasingly complex and multi-dimensional. The complexity of life will impact every sphere of society including your personal life.
  3. Risk – As much as we seek safety and security, life in the future will involve greater risk. We will all be exposed to new risk and higher risks.
  4. Change – If you don’t adapt quickly to an ever-changing environment you will simply be overwhelmed by the force of change. You need to embrace flexibility.
  5. Surprise – Life is full of surprises and they will come almost daily in the future. Your sense of logic and process will be interrupted by sudden-lies.

How do we respond to the interplay of these challenging dynamics in our lives? I think it’s so important to be informed and forewarned. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. If you know something is coming your way, you can better anticipate it and prepare for it.

I think it’s important that we place our faith in what will stand strong in the midst of the cultural upheaval that is happening around us. Jesus said, ‘In this world you will have tribulation but take heart I have overcome the world.’ Faith in Jesus is going to be an even bigger issue in the future as cultural super-shifts test our anxiety levels and undermine our shallow values.

The future is fast approaching and the church needs to be prepared for it. A new wineskin is needed for the new wine that God wants to pour through the church to meet the needs that will surface as a result of the massive forces that will shape our world.

The Oracle!

Prayer is not an event, it’s a lifestyle!

kneeling_in_prayerPrayer is becoming the core instinct of my life. It’s my first response and my last thought. Prayer is something I have learned as a result of being positioned time and time again in situations where I had nothing else to rely upon except God.

Prayer is 2 way communication with God. It’s both talking and listening. It’s a dialogue, not just a monologue. Prayer is partnering with God. If we don’t, he won’t. God is sovereign but history recalls that he does limit himself to our prayers at times.

If there was one primary principle to accessing the supernatural power of God in my life, it’s daily prayer. The secret of the great generals of the faith throughout the ages has been the daily commitment to getting in God’s face and calling upon his name.

Prayer is not an event, it’s a lifestyle. Prayer is oxygen to our spirit. It is the air we breathe, not just the gasp we take when drowning under the pressures of life. Prayer is the supply line to the front lines of the spiritual battles we face in our lives. Paul said, ‘We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers of darkness in the heavenly realm (Eph 6).’ If the enemy can cut off the supply line to the front line, he can limit the firepower needed to overcome him.

The one concern of the devil is to stop Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayer-less toil, prayer-less study or prayer-less ministry. He laughs at our efforts, mocks at our wisdom but he trembles when we pray.

Prayer unveils and reveals. Prayer accesses God’s heart and mind giving you insight into His remedies to combat the challenges you face. With all of these benefits why wouldn’t you want to make prayer more central in your life?

A.W. Tozer once said, ‘The greatest key to prayer is simply praying.’

For all of our books on prayer, sermons about prayer and exhortations to pray, there comes a point when you simply must sit still and start praying.

Nothing will replace it and nothing compares to it. Prayer is multi-dimensional. Prayer is worship. Prayer is conversation. Prayer is fellowship with the Spirit. Prayer is clarifying. Prayer purges your soul of impurities. Prayer relaxes the body and stimulates your mind. Prayer unlocks the supernatural realm. Prayer is woven into the fabric of humanity and prayer is the master-key to relationship with God. It’s time to pray!

The Oracle!