On a recent trip my family and I took to NY we were watching people at the airport and noticed a man holding flowers waiting for someone to get off the plane. He seemed very anxious yet excited and we couldn’t wait to see how the person that was meeting him would react! We just knew they would be so excited too! Well to our surprise the girl gets off the plane and has very little reaction. We couldn’t believe it! We just knew she would be so excited. In seeing this play out, I felt so strongly in my heart that I never want my relationship with God to be like that. If we aren’t careful, life will get busy and we can approach God with a not really interested attitude instead of running to His arms with excited anticipation and passionately pursuing Him. The truth is that God, like the man at the airport, is excitingly waiting for us each and every day! He is always planning moments to surprise us and show us His love. If we aren’t careful we will end up being real passive about this and dismiss it just like the girl did at the airport. In thinking about this I wanted to share with you a few ways that I think we can continue to always be passionately pursuing God.
- Don’t let fear have the last word. We have to be careful to not get so preoccupied by the fear and anxieties of today. If we let this happen we miss the blessings and after all God has the final word!
- Everyday in every way you are in the middle of a miracle. I want you to declare this over your life! It doesn’t matter what things look like right now or what your circumstances say, if God said it, then it is done! Just pursue God in the process and be faithful right where you are.
- Prioritize your calling above all else. In this you will have to surround yourself with people who will build you up and encourage you in your calling. If you let people and negative circumstances get in your way you will miss out on all that God has for you and the miracle in the making!
If you are wanting to see all these things come to pass, stop and evaluate where you are spending your time. Are you prioritizing the things that are most important or are you letting the urgent things of the day run you over? Seeking the Kingdom first wasn’t a suggestion, it is a command! When we do this, everything will fall into place!
Losing someone on your team isn’t something you really want to talk about. But yet it happens to all of us. Leadership pains are something we all go through no matter what area of life you are currently leading in. I have dealt with those pains myself, more times than I want to admit. In 1 John 2:19, the Bible tells us They went out from our number, but they did not [really] belong to us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us. But [they withdrew] that it might be plain that they all are not of us. One of the of the hardest parts of leading no matter where you are leading is when people leave. The pain is the same no matter what organization you are in, if you are leading you take things personal. What we can see from the verse in John is that he struggled with this too. I want to encourage you that the fact that it hurts when someone leaves means that you are in the right place to be leading them. There are a couple things I’ve learned along the way that have helped me when people do leave whatever organization you are leading.
- It isn’t about you. This is the first thing we think of when someone leaves. We beat ourselves up and start to question things. The fact is there is more going on then you know about. Take time to open up with that person and you will soon see they are going through some things in their own personal lives as well. It really isn’t about you at all!
- Learn from everything. With Jesus, nothing is wasted. He uses every single thing in our lives. To be honest, sometimes the truth can come in really cruddy packages. Don’t just get offended if someone tells you something you don’t want to hear when they leave but actually listen. As a leader you have to make it a point, even when people leave, to learn from everything. Turn your pain into power and use these situations to make it better the next time!
- Grace keeps the door open. When we get hurt we tend to close off our heart to keep ourselves from getting hurt again. But in this we keep people from getting in as well. Keep the door open because this helps people be restored as quickly as possible, because chances are those people will come back!
As you read through the Bible you see that thousands of people came to Jesus but only a handful actually followed Him. If Jesus can’t retain 100% of people that come to Him, neither will we! Embrace every season, and know that through it all you can learn something out of it!
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What does this mean to you? We’ve all heard the Lord’s prayer before but do we fully know what it means. People question all the time what is God’s will for my life. What we can know is that God’s will for the earth is whatever is happening in heaven. So in us looking at heaven we can know what God wants for us on earth. The Bible tells us there is no sickness, no sadness, no unforgiveness and so on in heaven. In fact, in Genesis 2:11-12 we see that when God created man he put him in the land with gold, pearl, and onyx. So if God doesn’t care about our finances then why was he creating streets of gold and placing man in a land of abundance with these things? The reason why is because God put him in a place that looked like where He lived. We can know this is true in our own lives, that whatever is happening in heaven, God wants here on earth too! Any area of lack in your life is from the enemy and not from God. God’s will is to have us live well and live in abundance!
Another part of the Lord’s prayer I want to point out is that it starts with Our Father. What’s interesting to me is that never in the old testament did you see people addressing God as “father”. Obviously Jesus did, but here He is telling us that we can too. God wants us to see him as our father. Jesus came so that we can restore a relationship with God, not so that we see Him as a higher being or someone we can never go to but as someone who we can have relationship with and be like a father to us. A lot of times we don’t receive from God, not because He isn’t willing but because we feel undeserving. Jesus came ultimately for us to have relationship with Him and see that He loves us without restraint!
The last thing I want you to get out of the Lord’s prayer is that you have everything that you need for today. It tell us to give us this day our daily bread. We can learn in the old testament that they were fed by manna each day, but they could only collect enough for that particular day. In today’s society we get so anxious and worried about tomorrow and the next day that we try and hoard up for tomorrow with today’s provision. God never wanted us to live this way! Part of God’s will for us is that we have everything we need to provide for us emotionally, spiritually, and physically every 24 hours. Every day we have a fresh dose of God’s provision, joy, and strength to get you through the day!
I hope this helps you see the Lord’s prayer differently and understand what God’s will is for your life moving forward!
If I told you that it would be 45 years until you saw the fulfillment of a promise, would you call it quits? In the book of Joshua we see a story about a man named Caleb who was a spy sent to look into the promised land and report back. Caleb was one of the only ones that had a good report. He knew what God had promised them! The others did not see the same. Therefore, it caused them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, unable to take the land. What’s interesting is that God had already given them the promised land, He had told them they could do it and would overcome but yet they let the bigness of the problem talk them out of what God had promised. How many times have you done this in your own life? When we have big problems we don’t fully trust God and we start to negotiate instead and that makes us live in a permanent place that God only meant for us to be temporary. In this, we talk ourselves out of the promise. As the story goes on we see that they finally overcome and when they do they start to see victory after victory until chapter 11 where Joshua and Caleb are fighting a battle. They fought this one battle for 5 years!! I think we can all relate to this in our personal lives, we believe God for something and little by little victory is happening and then all of the sudden what used to be easy starts to become difficult. The more mature you are in your faith walk it generally tends to become a longer wait for answered prayers. God knows the longer we serve Him we have the maturity to believe and trust Him for longer periods. After a long 5 years of unending battle, Joshua and Caleb end up having great victory. What is different about Caleb in this story is that he didn’t stop until he saw everything that God had promised! He knew what God had told him, and he didn’t let age or years get in the way. Often, we get discouraged after just a couple weeks of not seeing results of an answered prayer. Here, Caleb waited 45 years and still stood strong in his faith and wholly followed after the Lord even when he had every reason to doubt and not believe.
There is something to be said of ourselves when we press on and keep taking steps of faith even when you can compromise and stay in a place of comfort. Being completely honest, after 5 years of a constant battle I can say it would be hard to keep pressing on. But Caleb knew this one thing… he didn’t come this far to quit now! Friend, I want to declare over your life today, to begin to believe again and remember the promises that God has told you. Don’t be satisfied until you’ve seen everything that God has said!
Want a change? I believe there are 2 things that you need to know in order to see a change. The first things is- What you believe about God. What you believe about God has everything to do with what you receive from Him. In order for us to receive, we must first believe. Whatever you believe that God is, is what you will attract in your life. You don’t see a person walking around in abundant health telling people that God sends sickness. Why? Because they believe God is a healer and the fruit of that is their health. This goes for all things in our life, maybe for you it’s finances or a job promotion. Whatever it is, what are you believing for? What I find interesting is that people begin to make theology line up with whatever their current circumstance is instead of what God’s word says. In Hebrews 13:5, the Bible tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us. God is always in your corner, always your defender, and always on your side no matter where you are at in life! If you can gain anything from this, it’s that you need to get deep down in your spirit that God is sitting there waiting and eagerly anticipating to give you good things in your life. He loves you unconditionally. He will never love you more than this moment right now! I love what Jeremiah 31 (msg) tells us, God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!” He wants nothing more than to show us more and more love! That alone is worth believing for! The second thing is- What you believe about yourself. The wrong things that you believe about yourself will stop the good things that God wants to do for you. When we don’t believe right about ourselves, we disqualify ourselves from the inheritance that Christ died to give us. Friend, when you get your identity right and begin to see God right, there will be nothing that’s impossible for you!