Walk With God: Reset

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” [Matthew 11:28-30 Message]

God is the creator of reset moments. Creation. The flood. Tower of Babel. Even through the Law, along with the different feasts and festivals. The Day of Atonement. Sabbath days. Sabbath years. Jubilee.

Jesus is the ultimate reset. He is our Jubilee. Just like the Jubilee for the Israelites saw a release for slaves, a reversion of property and a removal of debt, Jesus did the same for us. Through the cross He bought us freedom for sin.

It is the ultimate reset moment. To be born again. To be realigned with God and the plans and purposes He has for our life. Putting God first is the moment of reset God has created for us through Jesus.

We are surrounded by reset opportunities. Every 24 hours a new day. Every 7 days a new week. New months. New seasons. New years. All giving us the power to make a fresh start.

Yet some of us have already written off this year and waiting for 2018. We don’t need to wait. We just need a reset moment.

Little things can make a big difference. One behaviour can tip into others, then we may become unbalanced and out of rhythm. When we are out of rhythm it can have a knock-on effect with those closest to us.

Be it in work, health, family, finance, relationships or your marriage. In order to rebalance and get ready for a new flow and rhythm and come into God’s rest we need to be obedient to what God is asking.

So here’s the question: where would God say ‘trust Me’? Where could a reset help us?

Come to Jesus. Press the rest button. Cast our cares on Jesus. Do it to remove those things which stand in opposition or competition to Jesus. Press reset to be set free. To take our hands of the drivers wheel of our life and give Him control.

Make space for God to move, to hear what He may ask us to do and then respond in faith and be obedient. The reset moment then creates helps us to get in sync with the flow and the rhythm which Jesus is inviting us to participate in with Him.

And I am thankful for moments which create such opportunities.

Be brave today. Come to Jesus and press reset. What would that look like for you?

Lead Well: The Right Start

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge [Proverbs 1:7a NIV]

Start with God – the first step in learning is bowing down to God [Proverbs 1:7a The Message]

Anything we do has a start.

Anything we want to do has to have a start.

To get fit. To lose weight. To learn a new language. To become better qualified. Whatever it is for us, the only way it happens is by making a start.

A good start makes all the difference.

To lead well in life we have to start somewhere. As a Christian I can place my focus on any number of good practices ~ reading my Bible, praying every day, listening for Gods voice, connecting with others, enjoying some time in worship.

To lead well in life we have to start at the right somewhere.

Know our place. Know our position. Know our purpose.

This verse is a simple reminder to me that to lead well in life is to start with God.

To know my place is to remember that I am not God, and that He is. It is to honour Him and to ‘bow down’ before Him. It is to be humble before God.

To know my position is to walk with God, to be led by the Holy Spirit, listening out for His voice and being continually in conversation with Him about all life brings.

To know my purpose flows from these. As I honour God ad walk with Him, my purpose becomes clearer and my life naturally becomes about the things of God, not my own selfish ambitions.

Start well. Run well. Finish well.

Leading like this will cause others to follow.

Why not take a moment thanking God for who He is in your life? If necessary, make today a new start.

Walk With God: Wholeness 3.0

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [Philippians 1:21 ESV]

If WHOLE 1.0 can be described as the time we would speak of being whole but only through the accumulation of those things which could make us feel more significant, secure and accepted. Temporary stuff like the right job, the right partner, the right title, the right house filled with all the right material items or that people just like us.

The challenge with wholeness is that when life takes a bite out of us or any of these are lost, where will our sense of wholeness come from then. The only thing that truly satisfies us and makes us WHOLE is the acknowledgement that none of the above do and only God can.

Then we begin the journey from WHOLE 1.0 to WHOLE 2.0. We add to our basic faith as we walk with God through life. We gain from our experiences and from the answers to those difficult questions. We add some spiritual knowledge, some self-control, some perseverance, some godliness, some kindness and some love. [2 Peter 1:5-9]

If I’m honest, wholeness to me can still be about what I accomplish or achieve. It can be centred around how people view me and whether I am admired for who I am and what I do. It can be about filling life with the right kind of things.

Yet the Apostle Paul has a different measure. And this challenges me. I’m calling it WHOLE 3.0. His sense of wholeness came from a place where the only measure for a WHOLE life was Jesus. The ability to see he would be WHOLE in life and WHOLE in death.

It was not about accomplishment unless it was in respect of what he got to do for Jesus and to extend the kingdom of God.

It was not about recognition except to do everything always with the intention to bring glory to God.

It was not about how people saw him or about his reputation but instead was that more may come to accept Jesus as he kept on sharing the good news.

He deemed himself whole when he had much and when he had little. [Phil 4:12]

He deemed himself whole whether he would continue to live or whether he would die. [Phil 1:21]

He deemed himself whole just by living a life of righteousness. [Phil 2:14-15]

Where the desired fruit from my labour may, at times, be more earthly, Paul was always focused on advancing the kingdom for his precious Saviour, Jesus. His transformed life and sense of WHOLE impacted every aspect of the life he lived.

His goals were gospel focused.

His time was utilised on purpose.

His willingly served others.

His lived a righteous life.

He only wanted what he had. Jesus was more than enough.

He was present for every moment.

He focused on eternal values.

His inner peace remained strong despite the external pressures on him every day.

Dear God, help me to live a WHOLE life like this. Completely sold out for you, where all the other stuff really doesn’t matter. Where Jesus is more than enough. To be bust about kingdom purposes, every day. Amen

 

Walk With God: Get The Word In

I am currently reading through the Bible and journalling thoughts, comments and notable verses as I read. It’s an interesting journey. Today included Psalm 86. Here is my paraphrase…

Preserve my life

Be gracious to me

Gladden my soul

You (God) are good and forgiving

You (God) abound in love

Give ear to my prayer

No works are like Yours

You (God) are great and do marvellous things

Teach me Your way

I give thanks to You

You (God) have delivered me

You (God) are slow to anger and abounding in love

Show me a sign

Show me Your favour

In my walk with God, as I take time to pause I have always been amazed and reassured how the perfectness of Gods word can bring encouragement to me every day. The simpleness of these statements make them even more powerful and when I speak them over my life I am giving them permission to change me.

Why not take these 4 words and use them to bring the word of God alive in your own reading.

PAUSE and wait on God. Reflect on the PERFECTNESS of His word for you right where you are. Acknowledge how POWERFUL those words are. Give them PERMISSION to work in you and through you throughout your day.

The Next Big Thing

We expend energy on many things. Not all bad either. Lots of worthwhile ventures.

We can get caught up with the future though. Don’t read me wrong, I am an advocate for setting some goals, having a dream and having a desire to head somewhere on purpose. Yet I also see a danger when this becomes our main focus, the source for our drive in life. To put it simply, there may be times when we chase the next big thing rather than chasing after the one who can helps us in our pursuit of that next big thing.

Let’s make sure that God is the big thing in our life that we chase.

Remember that it is God who gives us the power to create wealth. It is God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask, think or imagine, according to His power that works in us. Not God working according to our power in Him.

What’s the next big thing? I don’t honestly know. What I do know is this, whatever I think it may be my responsibility is clear ~ I will continue to pray about it like it depends on God and work hard towards it like it depends on me.

Let Jesus Reign

Of The increase of His government and peace there shall be no end [Isaiah 9:6]

If we have been in church over Christmas then we have most likely heard this verse. If you’re like me though, this is all so familiar that we may not dwell long enough to actually consider its impact. 

Government speaks of rule, authority and leadership.

Government can be uncomfortable, disagreeable, burdensome and harsh at times. Often times I just don’t like it despite the knowledge that it is meant for my benefit. 

Yet the government of Jesus is not the same after all He tells us that, ‘his yoke is easy, his burden is light’.

We all have times in life where we will struggle, where we will not know what to do. The important question is whose lead will we take during these times? 

This verse in Isaiah encourages me that when His government increases then His peace increases too, which sounds like a great deal to me. 

Lord, give me the faith to allow You to reign over all my life in 2015. Help me to give you permission Lord for your government to increase in my life, for You to truly rule and reign. I know it may be uncomfortable at times but I also know that You are for me, not against me, that Your plans and purposes are the best ones. Amen.