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.

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: 10 Steps Towards Gods Future For Us

 

 

 

 


We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps [Prov 16:9 NLT]
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. [Prov 16:9 Message]

When I was younger I don’t remember having any great ambition to be something or someone in the future. Maybe you did. I would have loved to have been a sportsman of some sort as I was pretty good at a few. I can complain about lack of opportunity but I lacked the discipline needed when the opportunity came along.

Since then I have discovered that leading well is less about the destination and more about the steps along the way. It is less about what I achieve and more about who I become along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, we need the big dreams and a vision of a preferred future but it is the steps we take along the way which determine where we get to. And then we need to happy that when we get ‘there’ the preferred future may doubtless look different to what we anticipated.

Dreams are exciting and in reality, quite easy. We can all imagine great things. Steps though are more tricky, they represent where the rubber hits the road.

Steps take courage.
Steps involve action.
Steps are time consuming.
Steps demonstrate our faith in God.
Steps will grow us.
Steps can be hard work.
Steps can be quick sometimes or slow at other times.
Steps are often lonely.
Steps take us somewhere.

Steps are Gods to determine. After all, He wants to get us to where we ‘need’ to be more than we want to get to where we ‘think’ we should be.

At the age of 47 I never imagined I would be where I am, doing what I do, but I am. God’s plans have worked out how He saw best. To say I have faith in Him means trusting where I am and the journey I am walking are the steps He is wanting me to take.

My responsibility is simple ~ keep walking, one step at a time, with God very much in the lead position.

Why not take a moment to thank God for where He is brought you to?
Then pray and give Him permission to keep ordering your future steps.

 

 

Lead Well: Fight for the Right Things

 

One thing is true, if we want to make progress then we will, at times, have to be willing and able to fight for it. Most things don’t just land in our laps, we have to work for them. Opportunities are said to come to those who are busy.

To lead well in life then we have to be prepared for a battle, to stand strong, to fight.

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [1 Timothy 6:11b-12]

Let’s not waste our energy fighting for the wrong things.

Let’s fight for our faith, our family and for our future.

Let’s determine to not surrender to our circumstances

Instead, let’s battle and fight in pursuit of the right kind of godly living. For righteousness, for godliness, for faith, for love, for steadfastness and for gentleness.

When we fight and battle for these things we stand out of the crowd, most of whom are in pursuit of their own way and of their rights. It takes courage. The good news is we are not alone in fighting this great fight, God is on our side, and the same power which raised Christ from the dead lives within us. We are fully equipped and enabled to live through the ‘whatevers’ of life. So…

…let’s battle through and not give up.

…let’s battle the situations and not the people involved in the situations.

…let’s battle selfishness and not worry about our own reputation. God is perfectly able to protect us.

…let’s take hold of the life to which we have been called. To be filled with the fullness of God. To know Him better, personally and intimately. To comprehend the full dimensions of His love for us. To live out the life of abundance Jesus promised us.

What’s the alternative? A life of defeat, giving up, loss, unfulfillment, regret and missed opportunity. And surely nobody really wants that kind of life.

Tell me what you think to this thought, I’d love to hear. Thanks.

See God In It

It is amazing that after all Joseph went through, he finally stood before his brothers and revealed who he was to them. 

They were a little bit fearful, after all he was now second only to Pharoah in all of Egypt. He had power and could so easily exercise it over them. 

Yet he didn’t. Instead….

He was able to forgive them and not fight with them. 

He was willing to be peaceful towards  them and not punish them. 

He was able to see Gods hand in it all and not just there doing. 

The life of Joseph can teach us so much, the hardest being ‘to see God in our lives even though we cannot see God in our lives’. 

‘What you meant for evil, God used for good’. 

That’s the ultimate of seeing God even though you cannot see God. He knew God was with him. He recognised the favour he had in difficult circumstances. He kept trusting that even though it looked like nothing was happening, that in reality, behind the scenes, everything was happening. 

My prayer is to be able to live the same way. How about you?

Settle It In Your Heart

Make the decision that to follow Jesus means that whatever comes your way, you will keep following Jesus. 

Make the decision to stop trying to find a way out and trust God to help you find a way through. 

Make the decision to keep walking with God, through good days and other days. 

Make the decision that however people may treat you, you will remain restrained, will hold your tongue and instead of bitterness and resentment will show love and forgiveness. 

Make the decision to stay planted, that even though you can afford the luxury of thinking about quitting, you will not quit. 

Make the decision that just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s the devil. It could just be tough. Allow God to use it to shape for the future. 

Make the decision to see God even when you can’t see God. Know that when it looks like nothing is happening that everything is happening. Behind then scenes He is working things out. 

Settle these things in your heart. There’s always going to be reasons to want out but guard against them and stay in faith. 

Don’t think you can do it. Just look at Joseph (Genesis 37 onwards). If he can travel through all those experiences and remain confident in God to bring about the dream then I’m certain He can do the same for you and me. 

Frustrated (& Distracted)

In a moment of quiet this evening, we waited on God. Music played. We were encouraged to just soak in the presence of God. 

Not the thing I find easy to do. As soon as I quieten down my mind fixated on all the ‘stuff’ that needs doing. 

Yet a moment of clarity came. Frustration. I’m frustrated. With myself and with God. I’m not as focused as I would like to be, I’m not making progress in things like I wanted. Then, He (God) seems to answer others yet I feel stuck, overwhelmed by things that just aren’t changing or have hold on me, on us. 

Then the still small voice. ‘You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Created out of love on purpose for a purpose.’ A timely reminder. Plus the words playing in the background ‘everything is gonna be alright, everything is coming together’. 

It was like the words were just mine, only heard by me, everyone else hearing something different. 

It only takes a minute with God to get your focus regained and know that even though you cannot always see it, God is still in it, still there.