July 26, 2017
- Wed Jul 26, 2017
Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. Proverbs 8:14
Negative emotions give Satan the tools he needs to control me. Wherever you find ingratitude, discontent, jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, coveting, constant complaining, and the relational fractures they bring, there’s no need to look far for a villain. Just say, “Hi, Satan.” He knows that if I am ungrateful in an area of my life, I will have a hard time believing God in that same area. So discontentment is just the opening Satan needs, because I will stay stuck, get frustrated, and be looking for solutions outside of God in that area. Once again it looks like there’s a boy in a man’s body on the warpath, causing all sorts of damage.
Israel received multiple blessings from God during the Exodus; and yet, as God blessed them, His people became more difficult to please, demanding, discontented, and ungrateful. Their example, the apostle Paul told the Corinthians, was given to us as an object lesson on how not to work with God. The key to winning this battle is same today as it was back then: reflect, remember, and say “thank you” continuously.
If you’re a dad you know what it feels like to have ungrateful kids. The miraculous became mundane and indifference replaced gratitude. The fear of the Lord and accountability to God were replaced by presumption and entitlement, which resulted in a causal attitude toward God’s commands.
Father, thank you for your thoughts that warn of discontentment
July 25, 2017
- Tue Jul 25, 2017
Victory in Defeat
When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
A humbling experience crates new openness; new openness welcomes new revelation of and new intimacy with God; and new intimacy with God breeds awe and wonder over what is transpiring. When we finally internalize God is in control of everything, every circumstance in our lives, wonder is the feeling that wells up inside us. A feeling of victory even in the jaws of defeat, nothing is fatal or final when a God who loves you is in control.
As we are learning, this powerful phenomenon of the Holy Spirit called transcendence works to transform the way we think and live. As we learn to embrace His leadership personally, trust His voice, and move obediently, we find ourselves rising above the obstacles inside and outside of us. Call this what you want, but I call it victory!
The Holy Spirit’s first transformational work after salvation is to knead the love of God into every area of our bondage and hurt, creating a new security of soul, after which He explodes that freedom and healing outward and into our connections with others.
The second transformation mission of the Holy Spirit is to liberate us from looking to sources other than God for fulfillment by teaching us to accept, be grateful for, and live contently in the life God has given us.
All human beings struggle to reconcile their reality with their expectations. There is the life we thought we would be living, and then there is the life God has purposed and called us to live.
Father, thank you for your timely revelation.
July 24, 2017
- Mon Jul 24, 2017
Fight Against the Lie
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6: 10-13
That’s the picture of suiting up. First, I have to put on the helmet of salvation; I need to be protected from my sin, from lies, and from my tendencies that go against God. I need the helmet of salvation.
We must admit our head is a pretty important part of our anatomy; it protects our mind which controls everything in our body. It protects every thought and feeling, every voluntary and involuntary action that takes place in our bodies and, for that matter, our lives. Can we agree that we are very, very vulnerable to defeat by simply not having our mind protected? There is nothing within yourself that can overcome this, except acting on the choice that God has given only to human beings. The choice is to accept or deny His helmet of salvation. As humans in the present and in the ultimate future, His desire is that you say yes to the perfect sacrificial love that He has for you. “Behold I stand at your door and knock.” By faith, take advantage of His desire to protect your thoughts.
Thank you Father, for the faith you have provided me to open the door of my mind, and by faith accept your protection of my thoughts.
July 23, 2017
- Sun Jul 23, 2017
Authority in Friendships
Better is open rebuke than hidden love, wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6
The Bible says friendships without authority don’t get you to where you need to go. Do you see the picture; it’s a picture of someone leaving a mark on you. Do you let a friend go on in his dysfunction, in his immaturity, his self gratification, his self preservation and self importance? That’s not being a friend when you let a friend go off the cliff. It’s friendship with teeth and its love and it’s positive, it’s not hatred and negative. Can I ask you some questions; do your close friends flatter you all the time? Do they tell you what you want to hear all the time or do they tell you what you actually need to hear some of the time? Just make your assessment, do you ever have someone come up to you and say, hey dude, can I talk to you about something? I see something happening in your life and as your friend I have to say something. Now that’s a friend who’s willing to risk. That’s a friend who doesn’t want to see you fail.
Everyone needs someone standing in the old blind spot. God knows that, so every now and then the dashboard light is going to come on and somebody close to you is going to say something. They're going to point something out to you because you can’t see this thing because you lack objectivity. That’s what it means to have great authority. David was great about this, here he is again a big leader in his day and he knows that he’s not called to self diagnose his own character. He says this in Psalm 41:5 “Let a righteous man strike me.” Got the picture.
Father, teach me to accept your authority through others.
July 22, 2017
- Sat Jul 22, 2017
Strength and Impact
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
Paul had two goals for Timothy, and they are the same ones that apply to us: that we would be strong and that we would risk making an impact. One is for our spiritual character. The other is for our actions for Christ. One is being; the other is doing. When both come together we have a powerful witness for him.
To stay focused as God’s men, we must tap the strength of God’s grace. Picking his strategy carefully, Paul gave Timothy the secret to a long lasting witness for Jesus Christ. What saved us is also what sustains us as God’s men. If we focus on the love and forgiveness we were given, we become unstoppable for God. No doubt, no fear, no regret. No opinion or prideful thinking can overpower our witness. Its influence over us is too strong.
The power is in the grace. But the impact zone of this internal power is designed to explode outward in ministry. Paul directly connects the ten megaton grace warhead in the heart of God’s man to that natural desire in us to see others experience, understand, and live in that same grace. More specifically, this means all of us are compelled to “pay it forward” by sharing our faith and making disciples. And in doing so, God’s man becomes radioactive! For Timothy, this instruction was a natural extension of the masterful model Paul had given him as a recipient and agent of grace.
You have His grace. You can let it out, so pay it forward.
Thank you Father for lavishing your grace on me.