April 21, 2018
- Sat Apr 21, 2018
The Battlefield of Coasting
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Many of us have stories of God’s supernatural intervention and reassurance in times of fear. As God’s men, we will know this kind of battle pressure if we are on the attack and serving Him on kingdom battlefronts. Like a submarine after receiving battle blows then springing a leak, we need to surface for repairs. Having fought and won some major battles for the kingdom, God’s men commonly become overconfident in our successes. At these times, the challenge is continuing to work through the stages of our spiritual journeys, allowing God to direct us to our next missions.
If there is one aspect of spiritual battle that remains more hidden than others among Christians, it’s coasting. The thought goes like this. I can become the man God wants me to be by remaining who I am. In this realm, the danger is not doing what is wrong; it’s the pride that comes by doing all the right things. When you have a large level area of the spiritual high ground, you can lose your focus on the real world.
The fact is, spiritual growth, exciting victory and exciting new experiences in Christ await. This new foe will not be looking so much to exploit your failure but to get you resting on your success. The enemy doesn’t lie down and rest just because we have a good routine going. God does not help those who help themselves.
Father, help me never to depend on myself. I am spiritually clueless without you.
April 20, 2018
- Fri Apr 20, 2018
Holy Spirit Impact
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9
One of the Holy Spirits tasks is to experientially validate for every believer God’s awesome love, acceptance, and encouragement toward each of His children. We “taste and see” that the Lord is good through the Holy Spirit, bringing his goodness to us (Psallm34:8). We sense it and feel it deeply. We love how the Holy Spirit takes the intellectual concepts of love, mercy and grace of God and makes them practical and experiential.
The Holy Spirit’s best work in people is seen in how He changes the way they relate to one another. You want the best part of your character displayed in your kids. It’s when your positive qualities , ways, words, actions and encouragements are reproduced in your child’s interactions with others that brings you joy. On the other end though if they abuse, discourage and harm others with their way and words it brings you grief. "That’s not me,” you protest. I think our waywardness has the same effect on the Holy Spirit..
The Holy Spirit heals relationships. He does this by lending and prompting all believers to show to others what God has shown them in the person of Jesus Christ. His point: you didn’t deserve grace, but now that you have it, you better give it as liberally as you received it! If we don’t do the same thing we grieve the Holy Spirit. Jesus aggressively illustrated His heart in the parable of the unmerciful servant. You feel the Holy Spirit's presence and you honor him when your character reveals the grace that Jesus has freely given you.
Father, how soon I forget to put others in the shoes of the grace you have given me.
April 19, 2018
- Thu Apr 19, 2018
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Borrowing from the comments by soldiers using night vision in combat, ask yourself: How valuable is the ability to see your invisible enemy by taking away his cover of darkness—How useful is the ability to neutralize threats quickly—How disconcerting do you think it is to a terrorist organization when all its fake identities, safe houses, fronting businesses, weapons caches, terrorist cells, and its ultimate, secret playbook are intercepted and disseminated—How helpful would it be to know the psychology of your enemy leader, his motivations and the resulting tactics?
Oh yes, you can believe that Satan is hot under the collar about you having night vision and his desire is that it goes one place: nowhere. That’s why in order to employ God’s night vision it’s going to take a lot more than passion and a game plan against pride.
Notice that he doesn’t give just anyone living wisdom for the fight. He looks for the difference between the intellectual understanding and practical application. We all know lots of guys, pastors, and full-time theologians who have been given the Intel that God provides and are still getting slaughtered by the enemy. The Bible says the more spiritually undivided you are the better your Intel gets. More integrity, more clarity, “He stores up sound wisdom for the upright…. Is a shield to those who walk in integrity.”
Jesus, you have given me a new mind to understand your will. Thanks for the Intel and the opportunity to return the favor.
April 18, 2018
- Wed Apr 18, 2018
My Face or His Face
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (Peter 5:6)
The lens of the mission of Jesus was humility—that’s where it had to start. He had to balance His identity and His ministry to men. He had to manage his capacity to influence and his Father’s purpose for him. He had to learn the rhythm of possessing loyalty without flaunting his crown. You may not be a celebrity but you have influence. Similarly, you may not be pulling down six figures but I know you have relational capital in the lives of others. For God’s man, greatness on earth begins with humble surrender—giving yourself to Christ and refusing to resist His power. Everybody starts there.
We have to get on our face to see His face. We have to get low in our estimation of ourselves to get high in God’s estimation of us. We have to reflect humility to reveal Christ on earth. When we take this step, we are able to do more for God and people than we ever dreamed—just like the King.
Will you be the man that says, “I deserve better than this?” Or will you be God’s man who says, “I’m willing to wait for your timing on this one Lord,” The languages of entitlement, conditions and selfishness are not spoken in the land of humility. They are foreign tongues that make sense only to those men given first to pride, masking their fears of being truly great by wasting their influence and affluence on themselves.
Father sometimes I’m overwhelmed, you have not only chosen me but given me everything to be what you want me to be.
April 17, 2018
- Tue Apr 17, 2018
Time to Contribute
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:6 Message bible
You say, “How do I know what I’m supposed to contribute?” Trust God to speak to you through the use of these questions.
What are the things that I care about most?—What’s my natural skill set?—Where do I get results versus failure?—What subjects do I love to talk about?—Where do I like to invest my physical energy?—In what situation do I feel myself getting most competitive?
Being used by God is the most fulfilling thing a man can experience. He has created us all with a different skill set; He has given all a unique job to do. You are God’s unique creation placed in a world of need. It is interesting to note that Jesus’s natural physical skill set was a carpenter. But his spiritual skill set was centered on relationship.
Remember this—the more you concentrate on your relationship with God as a perfect father with perfect love for you, the more confidence, poise and ability you will have at understanding what you are here for. That question will dwindle and you will discover naturally the skill set he has given you. He will direct your paths. You are now a Kingdom man, you have been given the mind of Christ. Man up and believe it, and remember no risk, no faith.
Father, I trust your promise, you are directing my paths.