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!
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!
Psalms 2:8 “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.”
We fail to possess because we fail to ask. God is the giver of not just good things but extravagant and abundant gifts. God delights in doing exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think. There are things available to us that we’ve missed out on simply because we haven’t asked for it. We have thought to ourselves that ‘I’m not worthy enough to ask’ or ‘God wouldn’t give that to me’. But the Psalmist prophesied God’s heart, “Ask of me and I will give you the nations as your heritage and possession”. Everything in the kingdom is received by faith, not by us performing for God. Dare to ask God for what reason says is impossible. You don’t have because you don’t ask. 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!
Philippians 3:13 “But one thing I do..”
The most common question i get asked when I travel and speak is “What’s God’s will for my life?” This is asked in a variety of ways but essentially comes back to this underlying wrestle in our hearts, “What on earth am I here for?” God has created you for a singular purpose. You can have many hobbies and interests but you can only have one purpose. You can be gifted and skilled in many areas but God has created to fulfil a specific calling. The Book of Proverbs tells us, “Everything is made for a purpose.” My one big thing is to inspire the global church to fulfil its calling on planet earth. What’s your OBT..? I encourage you and challenge you to discover, develop and direct your time, energy and abilities towards knowing and doing your One Big Thing as if your life depended on it.. because it actually does. 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!
Habakkuk 2:2 And the Lord answered me, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Some people don’t think of themselves as goal oriented but every person I’ve ever met and chatted to about their life has some sort of goal or desire for their lives lurking somewhere in their minds and hearts. One of the things I do daily is to look at and pray into my goals for my life. I’ve researched books and asked successful people what the best approach to goal setting is and basically, it all boils down to, KEEP IT SIMPLE. Too many goals become overwhelming to your mind and your schedule. Narrow your goals to no more than 10 and try to write and articulate those goals into the most concise and precise way possible. There should be no extra fluff in your wording. Make your goals concrete, defined and measurable. Then everyday I encourage you to read over your goals, declare them out loud and pray into them. If they are important to you, you should be thinking about them and asking God for help to fulfill them. As you repeat this process daily, your mind will be filled with strategies to help you accomplish your goals and you will find unusual favor come your way to help you fulfill those goals that are truly ordered by the Lord. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals, as you feel led to. You’re not a slave to your goals, they are meant to serve you and help you get to where God has called you to go. So, what are your goals?
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!
The prophetic is the only one of the 5 offices that has a long and scripturally detailed history reaching back into the early origins of the Old Testament and God’s people, Israel. Understanding the historic origins of the prophet helps us understand how we are to operate in this ministry today.
There is a vast difference between one who stands in the office and one who prophesies in the moment. When God gives someone a word for the moment, the person is not responsible post the delivery of the word to stand in the office but a true prophet is called to wear a mantle that cannot be removed.
The word prophet comes from the Hebrew word nabi meaning ‘speaker’, one whose mouth has been touched to speak for God. Some think that a prophet is one who only foretells the future or speaks of things only God could know.The truth is, when prophets are called to speak, it is about anything God wants to address, the past, present or future, revealing things hidden or merely speaking of what is mundane and well-known.
The word ‘prophet’ was first mentioned in Genesis 20:6-7, describing Abraham as a prophet, in the context of healing. After Abraham we see the prophetic office established in Moses ministry, as the purpose of prophets was revealed: to listen to God for the people.
Today, it is still the same. God wants to have fellowship with his children and he wants us to listen to him. But some will not and others seemingly find it very difficult to hear God and this is where prophets are needed, because in God’s wisdom he speaks to his prophets on issues that he does not reveal and discuss with every one of his people. Until that time in the future when the perfect one comes and all will know him, from the least to the greatest, prophets and their office are necessary.
Don’t despise the Lord’s servants, the Prophets and their prophetic utterances but hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches.
In 2008 I wrote a book on Vision. I defined vision to be a clear and compelling God-given picture of the future. The book had minor success and from all reports, readers found it very helpful for their own lives and ministries. I have a vision and I have casted vision to people around me. I believe vision is critical to the success of any venture…
HOWEVER… Since I wrote the first edition of ‘Vision’, I’ve come to discover that it doesn’t matter how clear or compelling your vision is, if your culture is unhealthy (or shall we say stuffed), then nothing is moving anywhere.
Culture is the air a church breathes. The X Factor that brings definition to a group of people and distinguishes it from other groups of people. Culture is the social fabric that binds a group together and defines what’s most important in that group. Culture can attract or repel. Culture is the lens through which we look at the world around us. Culture hinges upon the dynamic intersection of core values outworked in the relationships we have with people in our particular group. Culture cannot always be easily defined but is smelt, felt and caught by osmosis.
The most influential people at the top of the tree define culture more than anyone else. Just as the inner workings of a city influences the culture of the suburbs and surrounding regions, so too does the inner workings of a core leadership team impact everyone else around them. That’s why Jim Collins research principle ‘First who, then what’ is so profound. It’s who you have around you that often determines the quality of the culture you are attempting to build. Before you work out what you want to do, get the who right. The right people in the right seats on the right bus will have the biggest impact on your culture than your vision will.
The sort of people you are looking for are self-motivated and self-disciplined mixed with a paradoxical blend of humility and ferocious resolve to obtain the desired outcome. These people bring music to the ears of the leader and can help build the sort of culture that is not only sustainable but free of micro-management. Constantly attending to motivating people is one of the leading causes of burnout of leaders in every field. I’ve given it up and chose rather to just recruit gun people to play key roles. Can you nurture these qualities in people? To a point but I’ve observed people either have the basic wiring for it or they don’t. I know this is challenging for those of you who believe you can disciple people to life change. I believe and practice discipleship and mentoring but the whole process is predicated on the willingness and positioning of the individual themselves. I can’t change people, but God can and sometimes does.
If your culture has the necessary ingredients, vision momentum will accumulate to the point of breakthrough. If the culture is unhealthy, you will feel like you are in a dense fog and you are groping around for answers that aren’t forthcoming. I know what’s it like to be apart of an unhealthy culture and thankfully the opposite as well.
Leader, get your vision from God. Clarify it, process it with the key people on your team and cast it in as many creative ways as possible but for goodness sake, pay attention to the culture because if the horse is stuffed the cart isn’t going anywhere. I’ve come to learn that culture pulls the vision, not the other way around.