Walking With God: By Faith, Not Sight

Determine this week to not be driven by circumstances, by emotions or even by well-meaning people. What we see is undoubtedly real, painful and difficult at times or it can be prosperous, exciting and easy too.

Relying though on our either set of these to determine how we approach the day can be unhelpful. Perhaps we can become confused about Gods whereabouts in the midst of all that is happening or we as things are going well, we drift towards being  more self-sufficient than we should.

Sight is important but as believers we are encouraged to not walk by sight but by faith [2 Corinthians 7:7]. This doesn’t mean we ignore all which is happening around us hoping it will go away or walk around with our eyes shut.

It means we learn to see beyond our current position. To see not only with natural eyes but with spiritual eyes. The eyes of faith. Trusting confidently in our God who said He would never leave us. In our God who promised He could work out all things for the good of those who loved Him and were called according to His purpose.

Learn to walk by faith.

Learn to walk by faith in all things.

Learn to walk by faith in all things, good or bad.

Learn to walk by faith in all things, good or bad, to maintain a strong healthy walk with God.

How do we learn to walk by faith? Practice. This week, be deliberate in choosing the path of faith and keep on walking, one step at a time. When you feel like giving up, instruct yourself to stay in faith. Remember, God is faithful and He is with you, whatever is going on right now.

What do you need to walk by faith in right now? Pray for a confidence in God, to keep walking and to stay close to Him.

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.

2017 and God

You may not be like me but nearly every year for as long as I can remember I have always taken these last few days of a year to reflect and get ready for the new one. 

It’s not about resolutions, I can’t keep them and in reality they are (to me), a little boring. 

Here’s my focus ~ that my walk with God would be better. That I would start strong the next 365 days, digging in the Word, praying every day and living with greater intent in regard to the person I say is the most important to me. 

So let me ask some of the questions I ask myself to get me thinking about relationship with God. 

What am I most excited about for 2017 with God?

Where do I need to grow bigger with God in 2017?

What will I make my non-negotiables in 2017 when it comes to my relationship with God?

What I am believing God for in 2017?

Why not answer them and share your thoughts as a comment below. Thanks. 

Am I BIG Enough?

bigger-001-001-001-001

 

 

After yesterday’s post about how Jesus was always the bigger person, I end up asking myself one simple question: Am I big enough? How can I display these same qualities? Can I be a big enough person to be the ‘salt and light’ Jesus is asking me to be?

We can be bigger people because God is big enough.

God makes us bigger. Jesus coming from heaven to earth and demonstrating how to  be bigger people helps us become bigger ourselves.

God is big enough to carry our stuff [1 Peter 5:7]

God is big enough to do exceedingly & abundantly more [Ephesians 3:20-21]

God is big enough to finish what He has started [Philippians 1:6]

God is big enough to create something out of nothing [Genesis 1]

As we approach Christmas and another New Year I am choosing to not make resolutions but rather have a word for the year. The word for 2017 for me is definitely going to be BIGGER.

To become bigger so I will make a difference.

To become bigger on the inside so what’s happening on the outside will not crush me.

To become bigger by taking the limits off, to not dismiss myself or others.

To become bigger so I am not easily offended or deliberately offending others.

To become bigger so I do not miss the small by being so focused on the great.

To become bigger, not living closed in but rather in the wide-open space God has for us.

Jesus was born small (obviously) but lived bigger. At Christmas don’t just become bigger by over-indulging, let’s be determined to become bigger by knowing Jesus better, learning from Him, and growing into the people the world needs us to be, with Him at the centre of all we are doing.

Where would you need to become a bigger person in 2017?

One Thing Becomes Six Things

It’s easy in reading Psalm 27 to only focus on the ‘one thing’ type statement.

A ‘one thing’ view is important in certain aspects of our walk with God, yet we have to be careful that in being narrow focused we don’t miss out on the fullness of God, the wide open space He is calling us to live from, that greater awareness of all God has for us.

As I read Psalm 27 again today the ‘one thing’ became ‘three things’ which became ‘six things’. I began to zoom out rather than just zoom in and experience a fresh appreciation for all that God can do in and through me. Let me show you…

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life [v4]

Surely that is the hearts cry of every believer. I hope so. However, this is about more than attendance, about more than regularly turning up to Church. This is about relationship, knowing who we are in Christ and how being in the House of God will cause us to flourish.

One thing becomes two things…
To behold the beauty of the Lord: to worship Him, to lift up His name, to Honour Him, to thank Him for being God, to see Him and to know Him

To inquire in His temple: to bring our requests, to seek Him, to ask, to find answers so that in times of trouble our heads can stay lifted up

Teach me Your way [v11]

From being in His house all our days we hear the Word of God, we learn about His ways,  to glean wisdom for life’s knotty problems.

One thing becomes two more things…
That God would lead me: after all He knows the best route for my life, He straightens the path as I put my trust in Him

To experience His goodness: on my own I may have lost heart but through Gods lead, from the protection of being in His house, I recognise and see the goodness of the Lord

Wait on the Lord [v14]

Being in His house is to be in His presence, it is to allow Him to move in my life. It is to learn to ‘wait’, something that I am not always good at. Yet I am discovering that if I make time to wait on God, it is in the waiting that God moves.

One thing becomes two more things…
Courage: the kind that only comes supernaturally having been with God

Strength:  in heart, to not conform, or give in to circumstances, voices or other temptations.

From the ‘one thing’ of desiring to be in God’s house all our days, comes the benefit of so much more than is often acknowledged.

Worship. Prayer. Teaching. Leading. Courage. Strength.

My prayer today is one of thankfulness for such a place, His house where I can run to. His house, available for me at all times. His house, a place of discovering more about God and how much He loves me and where I truly know that, ‘He is my light and my salvation’.

Helping my Family to Flourish

Here’s another focus for 2016 which might seem a little twee but it’s one of the most important things in my life.

I love God with all my heart. He is definitely first in my life. My family is a close second.

My desire is to see them flourish and I take my responsibility as their parent in helping them to flourish very seriously. Actually, it’s the responsibility of helping them to be in the right place to help them to flourish that I take seriously. The right environment, surrounded by the right people is important and doesn’t normally happen by default but through deliberate action on both ours and their part.

Things I won’t do…

  1. Tell them what to be. Which doesn’t mean I won’t have an opinion, especially if I feel they are undervaluing their potential.
  2. Make them do what needs to be done to be what they want to be. I’m a great believer that you get what you deserve. I’m not going to stand over the shoulders to make them.
  3. Give up on them. Whatever, wherever, they are always my girls and they need to know they count on their dad.
  4. Not say NO to them. If I don’t believe it is the best for them I will tell them. They need to know that dad has their best in mind.
  5. Hold a grudge against them.

Things I will do…

  1. Pray for them every day that they stay strong for God and learn to stand in faith, no matter what happens.
  2. Tell them about our journey and how staying in the House of God has caused us to flourish.
  3. Encourage them to go for it. To not allow the past ever stop them from going for their dreams.
  4. Remind them that most dreams only happen over time and with lots of hard work.
  5. Keep the conversation going. That they know we are always willing to talk and available for them, whatever is going on in their lives. This includes asking awkward questions too.
  6. Try and stay calm. I know I am not the best at this all the time. I still get cross. I still raise my voice.
  7. Tell them I love them and get a hug. [They are getting older now so that’s not cool].

There’s so much more but this is my focus ~ helping my girls succeed in all areas of life and to flourish in their relationship with God.

Would you add anything?

 

Ready

It might be late on a Saturday night but after a busy day I am ready.

Ready for Sunday. Ready for getting to God’s House. Ready to gather with other believers. Ready to worship. Ready to receive all that God has for me. Ready to respond to God and to build others too.

I know that some may think I’m making too much of big deal about Sunday. Maybe it even smacks a little of religion but I promise you that’s not my intention.

I just have a desire for more of God. I know I can encounter God at home but I can also encounter God in His House. When we come together as a family of believers something happens. Where two or three are gathered in My Name (Jesus) I will be with them.

With a heart that wants to see as many as want to get the most out of their relationship with God and grow in their knowledge of Him, my encouragement is simple ~ let’s position ourselves in preparation to receive. Let’s get to our local church.

God is…

After last weekend and Influence 2015 let’s continue building what God has already begun.  

If you are wondering how Church can be as great as last week, then here’s some reasons to be there…

1. It’s good for us. When we meet we get to encourage one another. You can’t do that and you won’t get that if you stay at home. Hebrews 10:24-25

2. We get to praise God together. God inhabits the praises of His people. When He inhabits the place where we are praising then miracles can happen.  Psalm 22:3

3. New ‘God is…’ series. Excited about the opportunity to unpack the character of God. Our view of God has to be based on more than our experience of Him. 

4. God is good and God is great. That alone should be enough. Psalm 62:11-12a

5. God is MY Father. That’s a tough one for some people. If you struggle then come on Sunday ‘UNITED’ night and hear Rachael Mawston talk about her journey with this view of God. It could change your life. Galatians 4:6

6. Opportunities to invite & bring people. This new series affords us the opportunity to bring friends & family to church. People are curious. We might say ‘God is’ but they might ask ‘Is God?’  Tell them we are answering some of these questions. 

7. You want to progress in your walk with God. Philippians 1:6

8. Last week we saw people give their lives to Jesus. It’s the greatest decision a person can ever make and we are expectant that more of our friends and family will do the same this Sunday. 

9. We get to bless a bunch of people we will never meet. Don’t forget to bring you new, fresh towel as we look to support a couple of local Refuges. 

See you in Church. Pray for all that is part of what we do. It’s gonna be a great day.