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?

Build What Is Unseen

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So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal [2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV]

Do you ever wonder what life could have looked like? I marvel at how God worked out so many ‘what if’ scenarios to get me to be where I am. How different could it have looked if at just one those pivotal moments I had chosen the other option.

Life is full of those kind of moment. We’ve all had them and, we will all have them again.

I may think that the substance of my life is based on what I can accomplish, how successful I am or what I accumulate along the way but I have come to recognise in reality, it’s not.

A life isn’t only built by all that we can see. Instead it is built by all that we cannot see.

I think this is why I love that I get to do what I get to, play my part in building local church. It’s too big for me to congratulate myself. In the breadth of eternity, what I’ve contributed is tiny.  And it’s not mine anyway – it belongs to Jesus, I am just a willing particpant, here to serve in the building.

When I get busy being someone who helps build Gods House, His church, my eyes are taken off the here and now, what I may think is important and they become fixed on what God wants. The things I can’t take with me. The things that are not temporary but eternal. Things like….

Faith exercised. 

People drawn to God. 

The making of disciples. 

Seeing lives being changed. 

A different kind of legacy. 

Treasures in heaven. 

I love Hebrews 11 where we read about a whole bunch of people who gave their lives for something they didn’t even get to see in the here and now. And they were happy with that.

They weren’t wanting to build something that could be seen now except to bring glory to their God. What they really built was an unseen future, one which others would get to enjoy in the here and now along with one they would enjoy for all of eternity.

Let’s be builders of the unseen. Less worried about what we have and give our lives to building others, building the church and thereby building our eternal future. 

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.

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.

One Way to Step Into Your Calling

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Too often we make life about ourselves. How can I make MY year the best year for ME?

If you’ve read any of my posts then you’ll notice I am an advocate for goal setting, having a plan, aiming for something.

But more than these, I am a greater advocate for the presence of God, getting Gods view and lead on life’s big decisions. A good, strong walk with God can help us overcome more obstacles than the best laid plans.

How we approach the days ahead is more than snap decisions or how detailed the plan may be. That’s why yesterday I encouraged us all to prophesy over and into the future. To speak the right things. We should add to this Gods call for us, His heart to become our heart.

I read these verses this morning and was nudged by the Holy Spirit – why not make this your 2017 focus, your calling to step in to for the next 12 months and beyond…

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. [‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:18-19‬ ‭ESV]

Prophesy over your future. Then be about the same things Jesus was about. That can’t be wrong and we surely make a difference in the process too.

Kickstarter Project Launched

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The dream of seeing the book released takes another step today with the launch of my Kickstarter project. You can have a look here: my leadership book published

After a casual conversation with a friend about being a leader, 19 is the book where I am sharing the leadership lessons I have learned over 25+ years as a leader to my younger 19 year old self.

Why 19? That was when I got given my first leadership opportunity. A great couple asked me to take the lead. They saw something in me which I definitely didn’t see in myself. I had a lot to learn.

So this is very much my story. I have tried to be as honest as I can while keeping it a practical resource, with reflective questions at the end of each chapter to get the reader thinking about their own leadership journey. Plus some guest authored chapters too.

Every pledge is a pre-order so if you would like a copy then I hope you help to make this happen. When successful then the manuscript will be sent to the publishers with the aim of having all completed by May 2017.

Thanks for having a look and I will keep you updated along the way. If you choose to support the project then a MASSIVE THANK YOU!!

 

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.