4 Keys to Seeing God Do the Impossible

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Walking with God is not that complicated. There’s not a formula but I do believe there are certain things we can do which can definitely make it easier.

Be willing to hear God’s voice.

Be willing to listen to what God is saying.

Be willing to obey what God is saying.

Be willing to trust what He is saying He can do.

In Luke 1 Mary demonstrates all four of these and she does so with such great simplicity of faith, it is quite wonderful. Let it be as you have spoken. I magnify You God. Look at what You are doing, through me and through this child to be born.

God speaks. She hears. She actually listens. She responds. She accepts. She obeys. She trusts.

In the rush of life we have to be ready to hear, to listen, to obey and to trust. There is power when we bring them all together. If we hear but don’t listen, we won’t understand what it is God is asking of us. Yet if we hear and listen but do not obey, we miss out on the fruitfulness of Gods full blessing. And we cannot obey and trust God in action if we do not know what He has been saying to us.

Only in the working of all four is there the full reward, the creation of something new in our lives, God making something seemingly out of nothing as we hear, listen, obey and trust. Then nothing is impossible. For ourselves, for the people around us, maybe even for the world.

Tell me why you would agree or not?

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How to Lead Well With Others in 2017

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Last week I wrote about Leading Well Throughout 2017 and suggested 3 simple areas where this could start.

Let me had some actions to one of those – leading well with others. Once again, these are easy to write down and read but only with the help of the Holy Spirit are we truly able to live them out.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. [Ephesians 4:31-32]

What a difference these two might make to the way we lead ourselves, interact with those around and influence them with a great sense of positivity and encouragement.

Remove bitterness, rage, anger, fighting, slander, being malicious. We have to choose not to do this things. It is easy to caught up in some of these without really trying. There may be some justification for feeling like this but we are called as Christians to not display such characteristics

Replace with kind words and actions, compassion for those around you, forgiving. It is hard to stop behaving in a certain way. We might try and accomplish these in the order they are written. I suggest that first we begin with the new behaviours we would like to be known for. Put the effort and energy in to these and the others will just become less of an issue.

I would love to know what you think…

What if God is For You, Not Against You

Yesterday at church I asked the congregation some questions, one of which could just change our life. After all, how we view God will either drive us ‘to’ Him or ‘away’ from Him.

Having spent the end of last year talking about the Kingdom – what it is, how it impacts us as believers – a bunch of what if questions have come to mind. What if the Kingdom stuff is actually true? What if Gods Word is really real? What if I lived as if I believed it?

What if God is for us and not against us? If we think God is against us then we may believe God is unjust, is waiting to judge us and that there is nothing we can do to improve the relationship. Because of this we can become driven by guilt, fear, resentment, anger, materialism and the need for approval.

If we can accept that what we know about God isn’t necessarily true then it opens up the possibility that God is for us. Then life gains new meaning, motivation and energy. We can know that God loves us, believes in us and has made the move Himself to restore the relationship.

The acceptance of this truth, according to Gods word, it can completely transform our life. It will shift us living just for the here and now, setting our minds on eternity instead.

The Lord Who Provides

provide-001-001In 2017 remember this…He is the Lord who provides.

In Genesis 22 we read the account of how God asked Abraham to prepare to make a sacrifice, and how the thing to be sacrificed was his only son, the son of promise too. This is difficult to work out and seems an odd thing for God to ask. It’s definitely a divine test at a whole other level.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” [v2]

However, I think it is a test God asks of us more often than we may care to acknowledge. This is not about sacrificing our firstborn on an altar. In some senses it’s much simpler than that but just as difficult.

God’s question: are we willing to give up what is most precious to us?

Think about those things which have our heart, our attention, our time and our resources. Those things we can elevate and give greater importance than we ought to. The things which can easily get between us and God.

God first. Then family. Then church. I think this is a good way to line things up. But we have to be like Abraham, be willing to let go of what’s most precious and have faith that God will provide and therein lays the test. To let go of what we think is best for something God may provide which is better.

Yet therein lays the wonder as to how much God knows what we need and can bring it us, seemingly from nowhere, out of the ‘thickets’, from the other side of the mountain even.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” [v12-14]

In 2017, remember…He is the Lord who provides.

Power and Authority

power-001-001When it comes to leading well in life we must use our power and authority in the best and most appropriate ways. It is wrong to think that to be a leader is to be someone who can yield power and authority however we want.

Being a leader is more than being in charge. It is knowing when to do and say the right thing at the right time.

The right use of power and authority can change our world and the world of those around us.

The story of the Centurion in Luke 7 demonstrates this…

The Centurion never actually met Jesus. People loved him so much they spoke to Jesus on his behalf. He didn’t ask them to so why do this for him? Possibly because he treated them well as friends, he led himself and others in the right way. He had a powerful position but he did not use this to his advantage.

This was a more about who he was rather than what he was.

He understood authority and power and how when people with both use them well then those things you desire to be done, will be done.

This recognition of how power and authority work were a enough for him. Just say the word. It was a sign of great faith. He never sees Jesus. He just knows that Jesus has power and authority which used in the right way is enough to bring the change that he desires.

My prayer is that I would have the same faith-filled confidence in Jesus. To know without doubt that all it takes is a power-filled word from Jesus to change my world and to know this same power and authority is now in me, enabling me to bring change to others on Jesus’ behalf.

How do you feel about that?

Remember, God Knows You

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You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, but by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing to something [Psalm 139:15 Message]

3 days in to 2017, no mishaps yet. But I’m sure there will be one or two at some stage.

At those moments I have to remind myself that I am not measured by my levels of perfection or the attainment of a certain performance.

At those moments I have to remind myself that my worth and value are measured differently, not by what I am but whose I am.

At those moments I have to remind myself that I am Gods, how He loves me, how He knows me and that He is the one who desired for me to exist.

When I know whose I am and where I have come from, I am better placed to journey through anything that may come my way.

6 Ways to Speak to 2017

c333d6yehi0-aaron-burden“Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”” [Ezekiel‬ ‭37:4-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬]

2017 will bring all kinds of experiences and situations to our door. We cannot control what comes but we can control how we react to them and how we approach them.

We can make great decisions. We can remove distractions. We can build better friendships. But one thing has greater power. The power of life and death is in the words we speak. Don’t throw away phrases without a care. They make an difference.

So, let’s prophesy over it. Speak to those ‘dry bones’, those barren and dusty parts of your life. The power of life and death is in the words we speak. God created when he spoke. Don’t throw phrases out without a care. Speak carefully and thoughtfully over the next 12 months.

Speak love. 

Speak encouragement. 

Speak faith. 

Speak life. 

Speak the promises of God. 

Speak hope. 

Prophesy into the future. Speak the good things of God over you, your family and your future. When we do this I believe we set ourselves up for a God-filled, faith-filled, miracle-filled future.

2017 and Becoming Bigger

keep-learning-001-001The final question is simple but dangerous too.

After all the reflection and looking forward, the challenge to answer the difficult questions with honesty and getting ready for 2017, this question is all about me.

How can I help you in 2017?

How can I help you in providing the right kind of resource and what to talk about here on the site?

How can I help you as your Pastor? 

How can I help you grow bigger – in your walk with God, as a leader, in finding your fit and discovering more about God and all He has for you?

Obviously, it’s not all about me or on me. But as much as I want my own world to be ‘bigger’ in 2017, I am making space so I can help others. To say ‘yes’ as often as I can. To challenge. To ask the questions. To resource. To see all who want to become ‘bigger’ too. I don’t just want to be someone who asks a whole host of questions without providing the resource to go with them.

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears [Philippians 1:6 The Message]

Praying God’s very best over you and yours in 2017. Praying that it will be the ‘biggest’ and the ‘best’ year yet. Praying that whatever comes your way, your faith in God will keep you through it all. Praying that you know how much God is for you, with you and has given everything for you. Amen.