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!

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!

A handful of flour and a drop of oil!

HANDFUL OF WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR1 Kings 17:12 “And she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour and a drop of oil in a jug.”

Too many of us look at our lives through what we don’t have rather than what we do have. Many hero’s in the bible went straight to their perceived lack, when God called them to step out in faith. The widow of Zarephath was no exception.

When the prophet Elijah asked her to bake him some bread before she fed her own son, the widow responded with panic at the supposed injustice of the prophets request. On the surface it would seem totally reasonable that a handful of flour and a drop of oil left in the whole house wasn’t enough to feed three people, let alone sustain them for any lengthy period of time.

When God asks us to take a step of faith, do we look at the little we have to offer and shy away or do we place what we do have into Gods hands and let him turn our little into much. Little is much in the hands of God.

Everything in the kingdom of God begins as a seed and multiplies into something significant when entrusted to God. The little boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish had one meal for himself but in the hands of Jesus it became a meal that fed 5,000 people. When we take a step of faith towards God with what we have in our hands, we create space for the miraculous.

What are you desperately holding onto that God is asking you to let go of? Get God’s perspective on your little and let God turn it into much. Take a step of faith and watch for God to produce the miraculous.

The Oracle!

From Relationship to Revelation!

Your relationship with God will determine your revelation of God. I used to think it was the other way round but walking with God is a journey of progressive revelation. I know more about God today than I did last year and if I prioritize my relationship with him, I will know more about him next year than I do today.

The greater your revelation of God’s nature and character, the greater your level of trust in him. One of the reasons why we struggle at times to live by what he says is because we don’t really trust in who he is. Our hearts, by default, are distrusting of anyone, let alone God. What God does is take us on a journey through life to teach us his character can be trusted.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.’

I love this verse but I also despise it and if you were honest, you do to. Why? Because not one person on the planet I know really wants to not lean on their own understanding. We humans are curious creatures. We want to understand, we want to control the outcome, we want to have our minds wrapped around everything so that we can get a handle on it. But following Jesus is sometimes a paradoxical mystery and the reality is we must be willing to embrace faith in God without fully understanding why it doesn’t always add up on paper.

I’ve found trusting God easier, the more I abide in his presence. God’s presence brings trust because God is trustworthy. Before I make a significant decision in life, I spend a lot of time in his presence. Trust isn’t something I cultivate, It’s already built into God’s nature. God is faith personified, it’s already in his nature to believe. God’s a believer. God never wakes up one morning and says, ‘I’m not sure I created the world as I should have. maybe I should have created it in 9 days with an extra day of rest, then 6 days with the 7th…’ God never second guesses himself or gets anxious. He is pure confidence, faith, trust and belief all wrapped into one because he is God.

The more I abide in him, the more trust becomes my nature and ultimately my lifestyle. What are you feeling anxious about? Don’t be anxious any longer, throw yourself at God and wait on him. As you worship him, pray through your anxieties and wait on him, faith will rise in you and trusting him will become more and more your primary response to what life throws your way.

The Oracle!

The Tension of Trust!

Jeremiah 17:5-6 Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength.. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. (Read v5-10 for full passage)

I love being a dad and one of my memorable experiences with my kids was teaching them how to swim. On one particular holiday, my wife and I took our 3 kids down to the resort swimming pool and one by one encouraged them to jump off the ledge into the water and into our arms. It was a lesson of trust that for 2 of the 3 kids created a lot of tension for them.

Trust has a tension to it. I call it the ‘What if’ factor. What if it doesn’t work? What if I sink? What if God doesn’t meet my expectations? What if I marry the wrong person? Too many people live by their ‘what ifs‘ rather than by what God’s Word says. However, you’ll never live by what God says, until you trust who God is.

The biggest wrestle of my walk with God has been learning to trust in him and not in myself or anyone else as my primary source. The reason why is because I didn’t know if I could trust his character. However, God has taken me on a journey to teach me to trust in him and all that I have seen of God teaches me I can trust him with all that I haven’t seen in my future.

The default of the human heart is distrust. We find it difficult to trust ourselves, let alone others. Why? Jeremiah 17:9 says, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?’ There’s a popular song by recording artist, Sting, with the lyrics, “Let your soul be your pilot, let your soul guide you home.” Baloney! Apart from Christ, our default position is distrust, deception and disobedience. If our hearts were basically good, we wouldn’t have needed a Saviour to save and deliver us from our sin.

Trusting God requires a heart transformation. God searches the heart and tests the mind and gives us a new heart. God uses a variety of surgical instruments to transform us, most commonly circumstances. Every life circumstance is about learning to trust in God. God uses our circumstances to teach us how to relate to him in such a way that we fully trust his nature at work on our behalf. Trust is relational, not circumstantial.

Your relationship with God will determine your revelation of God. Walking with God is a progressive journey of revelation. The greater your revelation of Gods character, the greater your level of trust. Trusting God is easier, the greater your affections for God’s presence increases. Abiding in God’s presence brings trust because God is trustworthy. Trust isn’t something I cultivate, it’s already built into God’s very nature. God is faith personified, its his nature to believe. The more I abide in him (Jn 15:1-11) the more trust becomes my lifestyle.

God blesses those who trust in him and curses those who trust in the flesh. Trusting in the flesh results in a barren life but trusting in God results in a fruitful and abundant life. The more we learn to trust in who God is, the more we will live by what he speaks into our lives.

The Oracle!

Gods Waiting Room!

Once upon a time there was a young man named Joseph… (Read Genesis 37-41 for context). Joseph was his fathers favourite son who made Joe a coat of many colours. His brothers despised him for his favour, even more so, when God gave Joseph two prophetic dreams of influence and power. They decided to throw him into a pit, sold him to Ishmaelite traders, who sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph while favoured by God was falsely accused of rape and sentenced to prison in Pharaohs jail. Two servants of Pharaoh were sent to prison for committing offences against the king and they both received two prophetic dreams, which Joseph interpreted by God’s gracious gifting in his life. Joseph was forgotten by the cupbearer whose prophetic dream saw him established back to his original position and Joe was left in prison for another two years.

Joseph was in God’s waiting room where you get prepared by God to fulfil your calling. Joseph is often characterised as a perfect individual but even he needed to be refined and prepared by God for his ultimate calling. All of us know what it’s like to wait in a waiting room. It can sometimes be very painful. Just as there are waiting rooms in the natural, so too are they in the spiritual and every persons waiting room is unique and looks different to anybody else’s. If we don’t recognise our waiting room, we will respond inappropriately to the season God has us in.

In God’s waiting room you watch other people’s dreams come to pass while yours is at a standstill. In God’s waiting room, you find it easier to interpret other people’s dreams, than you do your own. In God’s waiting room, no one who enters your life does so by accident. In God’s waiting room, you grope for mans attention rather than waiting for God’s timing. In God’s waiting room, you will want to complain about your hardships. In God’s waiting room, you will feel forgotten. In God’s waiting room, you are being prepared for your calling.

All of the above happened to Joseph and will most probably happen to you if you accept the invitation to the school of the Spirit = Gods waiting room. But the good news is that God will only keep you waiting in his room as long as is necessary to prepare you for what he has for you to walk in. Many are called but few are chosen. The few who get chosen to walk in a higher calling do so because they postured themselves for growth while in Gods waiting room. Will you accept the invitation?

Delay is not Denial!

Read Genesis 16 for context.

Genesis 16 is the account of Sarai, Abram and Hagar. It’s got a plot line that would rival any episode of ‘Days of our lives’. Sarai and Abram have received a promise from God many, many years before but they have grown impatient and frustrated with God’s apparent memory loss of his promises to them. Due to their impatience and impetuosity, Sarai comes up with a bright idea, to help God’s promises to come to pass. She offers her husband, her very own maidservant as a wife. Just brilliant! Of course, Abe being a red-blooded, half moron male decides it’s a brilliant idea as well and ends up sleeping with Hagar and ‘kaboom’ ‘WW1 the prequal’ begins in the centre of the household. Some principles that emerge for our benefit today are:

  • Don’t misinterpret delay as denial – We live in the space-time continuum, God doesn’t. He exists outside of it. His purposes are established in alignment with his timing which is, in the grand scheme of eternity, perfect. God makes everything beautiful in its time. Some promises of God come to pass quickly, some take a lot longer to come to pass and we being finite, impetuous human beings want everything the moment we conceive the idea or hear God’s word to us. When God’s promises delay we conclude that we heard wrong or that God is not interested in us anymore because we must have done something wrong. To conclude this would be to conclude wrong.
  • When you misinterpret God, you try to accomplish in your own strength what can only be achieved in God’s strength. That which is born of the flesh must be sustained by the flesh. That which is born of the Spirit must be sustained by the Spirit. Too many of us are tiring ourselves out, unnecessarily, because we are pursuing things, God has never sanctioned or ordained for us. Attempting short-cuts to get close to God’s promises only ever ends up in conflict and frustration. It causes conflicts in relationships and it actually delays what God wants to do anyway.
  • Cutting corners on God’s promises leads to bitterness and more pain. The ‘Hagar Highway’ only ever takes you into bitterness and more frustration. Near enough isn’t good enough. Good enough isn’t satisfactory from God’s perspective. God has plan A and he intends to bring plan A to pass. Don’t settle for short-cuts when deep down you know you are just being immature, impatient and finding it difficult to trust in God (Prov 3:5-6).

I know exactly what delay feels like, because I have lived in delay most of my ministry. Trust me, shortcuts never provide the answers you are looking for. They are simply a mirage. Instead, run to God. Ask him the hard questions, remind him of his promises. Do what he’s asking you to do right now with what he has put into your hands. Stop complaining to others and start complaining to God. The funny thing is, he can take it from you way more than you think he can. He may even give you the answer you are looking for.

Grace!