Walk With God: 5 Ways to Partner with Gods Plans

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us [Luke 1:1]

Every now and then I take a moment to look at how far I have come. Not to boast in my own efforts, but to recognise and acknowledge how far God has brought me. On the other side of where I used to be, God & I have come a long way. On the journey He has done some incredible things, some of which I haven’t even noticed. Yet His plan for my life is taking shape and when reflected upon, it is truly amazing.

There are lots of things I have learned about being a better partner in the plans and purposes God has for me. I have discovered all of them throughout the Bible too.

In Luke 1, the writer comments how he wants to make an orderly eyewitness account of those things which were fulfilled. Even in this chapter we see people demonstrating 5 simple truths about the unfolding of Gods plans for our lives…

Be willing to hear Gods voice. 
Especially if what you are hearing may not make sense to you. Look at Zechariah coming out of the temple, dumbstruck by what God has said to him.

Be willing to obey those words.
Especially as others may just think you are crazy or talking plain nonsense. Mary is amazing. ‘Let it be to me according to Your word’.

Be willing to embrace the impossibilities of God.
Especially when you can’t work out how God could even make it happen. From barren to parenthood. From young woman to mother of the Saviour of the world. Nothing is impossible with God.

Be willing to see what God is doing through me.
When you hold the promise or see what He has said could happen, has happened. As Mary proclaims, ‘For He who is mighty has done great things through me’.

Be willing to magnify Him for all He has done.
If only because God deserves all the praise. Rejoice in His plans being accomplished.

Remember that God wants us to get where He wants us to go, more than we want to get to where God wants us. So let’s be willing to embrace the adventure and enjoy the journey has those plans for our own lives unfold.

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Am I Playing It Safe?

In the context of the ‘Are We In?’ thoughts recently, perhaps the reason we hesitate to give an answer to this question is that we love our comfort too much, we love our safe place. We have got used to how things are and even though it isn’t always a great place, it’s our place, we know it and it has become the norm.

The Christian faith is a paradox. Think about it. God is our refuge, He is our safe place, in Him we find refuge and rescue and peace. Yet that journey often involves trusting Him in ways we can find uncomfortable. It feels a little risky and we are unsure of the outcome as we have to relinquish control.

I have lived too many days with the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign hanging on the door, treating my life a bit like I treat a hotel. Enjoying ‘my time’ while the rest of the world passes me by. Meanwhile God is calling me to engage, to be ‘in’ with all that He is doing. To do that means ripping up the sign, getting up,  moving and doing something.

I have to not allow my desire for safe to override my desire to serve God. I am convinced that one will stop me from living out the other. I cannot play it safe and be someone who says they trust God. I cannot play it safe yet want to believe in faith for a move of God. After all, faith is about believing for those things that I cannot see yet. It’s about stepping out into the unknown because I know that is what God is asking me to do. In doing what seems uncomfortable though I will find the safety I crave in the fullness of God. That’s the paradox at work.

I think I have got too comfy recently. That’s why I am stuck in this thought of being ‘in’. It’s why everything I am reading is challenging me to go for broke for God. To fall into His arms and trust that He will catch me. To take that one step and then allow God to light up the rest of the path. To let go of my dreams and give God the chance to put His dreams in my hands.

How have I played it safe? Just existing. Just doing life. Nothing bad or horrendous. No ‘off the scale’ sin going on. Just meandering through life waiting for God to zap me when I think God is waiting for me to wake up to the fact He already has.

I don’t have the answers yet. I am praying and asking God. What do you want me to do? Where can I put my faith to the test? What does my statement of faith, of intent, need to be? I need a bit more adventure in my life and not just one that I could make up but living the one that God has for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I ‘m not about to quit but even in that you can kind of getting to a rhythm and lose the edge that staying in faith and believing for something impossible can bring.

What about you? Where have you got stuck and need to make a step of faith again?

Am I Living a Wide Open Life?

This is my question as I reflect on the series that has just been preached at Xcel.

Believing in God brings me into a whole new world, a wide-open spacious life so the simplest of questions to ask myself is this ‘Am I REALLY living a wide-open life?’

Are we truly aware of what it means to live in the freedom that Christ won for us. I’m not sure I am. I think I am but with all the other influences in my world it’s difficult to tell. I am a believer who needs to live like I am believer. Not that I am not, it just might not be as much as it could be.

I cannot afford to live in the smallness of my own thinking, within the limits of what I know or even my experiences. It’s too easy to put constraints on myself and perhaps more dangerously it’s all too easy to put constraints on what God can do. Isn’t that the reason why Paul pleads for the Christians at Corinth to live in the wide-open spacious life due to it being the best place to live from.

I’m very aware at the moment that God is taking me on a journey and I am excited by it because it’s about knowing God better, knowing who I am in Christ better, exploring the wide-open spacious life and enjoying the adventure.

This is just me. What’s your refection?

Check out previous blogs based around this theme

No Turning Back

Don’t Go Under

The Power of Perhaps

Ideas come in all shapes and sizes. We have many everyday. From passing thoughts to crazy dreams…ideas come and ideas go.

Many of the things we now take forgranted were once an idea. Maybe even an idle thought, dismissed at first as something that would never work, never be, never happen but today is excepted as normal. Light bulbs. Aeroplanes. Women’s votes. Electricity. Mobile phones. Broadband. The list is literally endless.

Ideas change history. The power of one idea, grabbed a hold of by one person, who with drive and determination turns it into reality. We can all have an idea. Add a little of God’s favour to it and who knows where it could take you.

Think about it for a moment…
That name of someone which for some reason has popped into your head
That conversation you missed because you were in such a hurry
The people you pass everyday but never take time to notice
Thoughts about the future and what you would really like to do
Things that make you glad, mad or sad

Ideas. All the time. Everyday. And we just miss them. Don’t say that God is not giving you the opportunity to do something when God presents us with opportunities to do something everyday. The problem is we choose to ignore them because they are not what we want to do, or they are inconvenient to our timetable or we’ve had a busy day so we opt out. Ouch!

In 1 Samuel 14:1-14 Jonathan had an idea. He turned to his colleague and said “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” A simple idea. Or maybe not. Look at where they were – the outpost was up a mountain. One they would have to climb first before fighting the Philistines when they got there.

I think my response would have been less enthusiastic than his colleagues. It will never work may have been part of my reply. Let’s ‘group-chat’ for a moment about the feasibility of this before we take any steps. We rationalise to the point of excusing ourselves. Maybe we are more inclined to pray ‘Lord, keep me safe’, rather than how Jonathan might have prayed ‘Lord help me in this daring and dangerous idea’.

There is no gilt-edged promise of success when you pursue an idea. Jonathan uses the word ‘perhaps’ as his persuasive argument that it was possible. ‘Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf.’

Don’t know about you but I think I would have wanted more than ‘perhaps’. Every idea though lives for a time in the arena of ‘perhaps’. The risk element that it may not succeed. Perhaps it will, perhaps it won’t. Too often we air on the side of perhaps it won’t. For Jonathan and his armour-bearer perhaps it won’t would have meant death. The exciting part is this…for your idea, for your dream, for your opportunity…

PERHAPS THE LORD WILL ACT ON YOUR BEHALF

You don’t need much of God’s favour to bring about great victories.
You won’t see God’s favour much if you don’t step out into the unknown zone of ‘perhaps’.

Idea + Perhaps God Will = The Potential for Anything to Happen

Let’s enjoy the ride…it’s called FAITH
FAITH in a God who can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or think.
Perhaps…