Tag Archives: Purpose

God I am Serving You, So Why Does Life Feel Like a War Zone?

A few days ago, I woke up to a text from a friend that read, I am serving God faithfully, so why does it feel like my life is under attack. I texted back, Perhaps you are being attacked precisely because you are serving God faithfully. I then shared the passage of scripture found in 2 Chronicles 32:1 which speaks to how Hezekiah, the king of Judah, was attacked by an enemy right after showing himself faithful to God.

As wonderful as it would be for life to become filled with fluffy bunnies and fanciful unicorns the moment we decide to serve God, this is not the reality of living in a fallen world (see Note A below). Conversely, Jesus says that in this world, we will have trials and tribulation but that we should cheer up for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Another biblical verse tells us to count it all joy when we fall into trial and tribulations (James 1:2).

Cheer up? Count it all joy? How can God say to do these things that contradict our situation? What He asks us to do is only possible when we defer to what we KNOW is ahead of us versus what we SEE happening in front of us.

Knowing that Jesus has overcome the world allows us to put our faith in Him. Knowing that we inherit the promises of God by faith and patience (Hebrews 6:12) allows us to endure trials for we understand that the testing of our faith produces patience (James 1:3).

So we see that there is a promise at the end of the problem if we endure faithfully and patiently. See, anyone living in this world will experience problems. The good news for us in Christ is that we know that nothing we go through is wasted, but those things carry with them a promise. While the world can only look forward to surviving a problem, we can look forward to a blessing that comes from the problem. Now isn’t that a reason to cheer up?

So we see why Satan attacks those who have chosen to serve God faithfully. He does not want us to inherit the blessed promise. Moreover, he does not want our faith and patience in trials and tribulation to be a testament to those around us so they are blessed.

Below are three times in our lives when we should not be surprised we are under attack – it speaks to how to recognize the attack, what the attack entails, and what to do.

(1) When Satan Discovers Your Purpose

The bible tells of King Herod who ruled when Jesus was born. Being influenced by Satan, and not wanting Jesus to take his rightful place as king, he decreed that every male child 2 years old and under should be killed. So we see that when Satan realized Jesus’ purpose, his immediate goal is was to deny Him the opportunity to choose it.

You don’t have to know your purpose before Satan starts to plot against you to deny you the opportunity to step into it. The tactic of denial works like this: It keeps doors shut, puts up road blocks, and distracts to keep you from your purpose.

The good news is that if we keep the faith and persevere, we have a promise. He opens doors that no one shuts and shuts doors that no one opens (see Revelations 3:7). That is to say that there are doors that will open up and will remain open.  We just need to choose to step into it.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine could not buy a job if she wanted to pay for it. Upon persevering, her problem changed from not being able to find a job to deciding which job opportunity she should choose. So keep heart!!

(2) When You Are About to Step Into Your Purpose

The bible tells us that Satan showed up right before He stepped out into His ministry after fasting 40-days and nights. In this vulnerable state, Satan attacked Jesus with doubt of who He was, deception as to the will of God, and detour from His purpose in hopes Jesus would take the easier route.

Right before taking a big step in life, do not be surprised if you are filled with seeds of doubt (about yourself and what you are doing) and have all sorts of voice telling you that you are not in the will of God, especially if you are going against the grain of populism or stepping out of your comfort zone.

If Satan can’t use others to influence us in this way, he will always give us an easier option that seems to accomplish the same goal.

If this is where you are, respond like Jesus. Respond with what you know God has told and promised you specifically and avoid the ‘maybe God wants you to’ statements that others will offer. Note that Satan’s retort to quote scripture to Jesus during the temptation in the wilderness was a ‘maybe God wants you to’ tactic. Instead of guessing the will of God, know the will of God.

God is not a man that he should like or like man that He should change his mind (Numbers 23:19). Keep the faith.

(3) When You Are About to Fulfill Your Purpose

The Bible tells us that Jesus’ heart was exceedingly sorrowful right before He entered the very last leg of fulfilling His purpose. In other words, Jesus was filled with despair.

Don’t be surprised if you have bouts with despair and seem to have lost joy though you know you are in the perfect will of God for your life. At this point, Satan would like you to believe that God has deserted you and that the whole thing rests on your shoulders.

Instead of listening to the sounds of your emotional and mental state, the best thing to do is go into your prayer closet. Don’t come out until like Jesus, you start to feel strengthened again from deep within your spirit. Then do not delay, go quickly to fulfill that which God has called you to do.

When you do, you will find that you trial and tribulation was all worth it. Just as God’s promises for Jesus proved true, His promises to us will prove true as well. And it will be for the glory of the kingdom of God. This is when mourning will be turned to dancing, pain to joy.

So what do you do when life feels like you are jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire? Hold fast the promises of God for your life, keep the faith and know that God is for you and has not left your side, and defeat the attacks with all the weapons of your warfare (Ephesians 6:11-18).


Note A: Living in a fallen means (a) we don’t have to look for trouble before it finds us (b) we experience the justice of God – we reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow – in other words what we do matters (c) we have a flesh problem – the flesh is an open door for Satan to wreck havoc in our lives (d) we have an enemy who can’t wait to stick it us any chance he gets

 

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Take The Road Less Traveled To Significance

The graveyard is the richest place in the world for it is utterly filled with untapped potential.

It is unfortunate that many of us will leave this earth without coming close to fulfilling our God-given potential and purpose for a myriad of reasons – ranging from life circumstances to cultural beliefs and to fear and unbelief. While it is quite tempting and very easy to give reasons and make excuses for why we are not on the path to fulfilling our God-given potential, a closer look at our world reveals stories of people those that have overcome unimaginable odds to accomplish something wonderful in their world.  A well-known example of this is that of Joyce Meyer, a now world-renowned preacher who had to overcome protracted abuse. Another example is that of Dana Bowman, a double amputee who re-enlisted in the U.S Army and is a well-known motivation speaker.

When thinking of Joyce and Dana, we shouldn’t stop at admiration, but should ask the question ‘How did they do it?’. Two things they both did are as follows: (1) Both did not allow their circumstances to determine their identity and worth. (2) Both determinedly followed the road less traveled to its eventual end of receiving the promise.

So what makes anyone take the road less traveled? The simple answer is boldness and courage. For a believer, that boldness and courage should be rooted in our identity in Christ, His power towards us, and His unfailing love for us! It is when we have this foundation firmly established that we stop asking ourselves questions like, ‘what if I go after my dreams and fail miserably?’ and ‘What if I miss God?’ This foundation tells us that He will pick us up if we fail just like he did to Peter when he lost faith and sank. If we miss God, He will find us and correct our course.

Image result for road less travelled

If you are considering taking a road less traveled, here are a few things you need to internalize.

God’s Power Follows His Purpose

God never tells us to do something without giving us the power to do it. When God commanded Moses to go back to Egypt, he gave him signs and wonder, a rod of power, and a side-kick. When Joshua began his journey, God made him a promise that no one would be able to stand-up to him. When He prompted Jesus to begin His ministry, He equipped Him with the Holy Spirit and empowered Him. When He commanded the disciples to give the bread He had broken to the 5000 men (excluding women and children), the bread never ran out in the hands of the disciples, meaning that the miracle happened in the hand of the disciples as they followed God’s commandment!

God will not tell you to go for it without giving you the supernatural ability to accomplish what He has told you to do. So do not worry about not being qualified or not having the ability.

Delay Does Not Mean Denial

Delay in life can occur due to circumstances beyond our control or our own mistakes. Consider Sarah who was unable to have a child because she was barren. What about Moses? His heart intention of delivering the Israelites was delayed 40 years because he tried to do it in his own strength (when he murdered the Egyptian). The children of Israel’s entry into the Promised Land was delayed some 40 years because they were disobedient to God.

Remembering these cases, we find that Sarah did have a child called Isaac at 90 years old, Moses did deliver the Israelites our of Egypt at 80 years old, the children of Egypt did enter Canaan – including Caleb who was 85 years old.

Thus, it neither matters that you have made mistakes nor does it matter how old you are, what matter is that you submit to God now. Remember that Jesus’ ministry spanned just 3 years, yet it remains the most powerful ministry in the history of mankind. So do not worry about having wasted too much time or being too old.

Your Disobedience Does Not Negate God’s Faithfulness Towards You

Note that the above says that our disobedience does not negate God’s faithfulness and does NOT say that God’s faithfulness negates consequences for those mistakes. While there are consequences to our disobedience, our disobedience does not put an end to God’s calling on our lives. Indeed, Gods gift and calling are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). He is faithful to keep His word even when do not keep our own. He is not like man in this regard, for man tends to change his mind based on the actions of other men.

God did not take away the manna, the cloud by day, the fire by night, and the supernatural miracle of clothes and sandals not wearing our when the children of Israel disobeyed Him. God did not take away the crown from David’s head when he decided to take Bathsheba as his wife and kill her husband. God does not rip away His Holy Spirit from us when we disobey Him. No, God is faithful even in the midst of our unfaithfulness.

God is merciful towards our disobedience and extends His grace towards us that we may grow in faithfulness. So do not worry about making a mistake.

Old Doors Close When New Doors Open

The manna stopped falling from heaven after the children of Israel entered the Promised Land and they had eaten of the produce of the land (Joshua 5:12). The produce of the land represents an opened new door while the manna represents a closed old door. Thus we should not be surprised if some old doors close the moment we decide to take the road less traveled.

How daunting and strange it must have seemed to the children of Israel. They were used to effortlessly picking up manna for 40 years, then one day it suddenly came to an end. Though there had to be some ‘letting go’ that had to happen, it was the right thing and blessed thing to do. In the same way, we should not be surprised when old doors close when God opens the doors to that road less travelled. We should acknowledge what the old door meant but never to the point where we do not let go of the old – for the old will only lead us back into the wilderness and away from God’s best.

If a door closes suddenly, we should open our eyes to see the door that He has opened that we may walk through it. The angels are cheering your on to go for it.

Image result for open and closed doors

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What is God’s Will for My Life?

Yesterday, I came across the words,

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me‘ – Psalm 138:8

The words hit me like of blow to the solar plexus. Immediately, the thoughts ‘The LORD will NOT perfect that which does NOT concern me‘ entered my spirit.

Wanting to know more, I asked Him the question: What are those things that do not concern me? Immediately, He reminded me of the words He spoke to Peter towards the end of His time on earth:

 

‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me’  –  John 21:22

In other words, Jesus told Peter that His will for John should not concern Peter. The lesson for us here is this: The only thing that we should concern ourselves with is His will for our lives. We should not concern ourselves with God’s will for another person, talk-less of becoming consumed by it out of envy.

Knowing God’s will for our lives is key if our walk is to be perfected.

What is God’s Will for My life?

This is the question I get asked most often. Friend, another words for God’s will is what He wants us to do on a daily basis. God reveals His will for our lives on a daily basis as we follow Him (walk by faith).

Going back to John 21:22, God’s will for Peter at that point in time was to take a walk with Him. Nothing more, nothing less. Only as Peter followed God did He continue to reveal more to Peter. The same thing happened with Abraham. God told Him to go to some foreign land – the identity of which He did not reveal to Abraham. In other words, God’s will for Abraham was for him to pack his bags and take a journey to nowhere in particular! Only after taking the journey did God reveal more of what was to come to him.

The will of God for our lives is revealed to us moment by moment.

Now, what if Abraham had not obeyed the will of God because He did not see the purpose in taking the journey? Abraham would have missed out on the blessing of God. He would have missed out on his destiny. By this we see that the way to fulfill the purpose of God for our lives is to walk in His will for our lives.

So what is God’s will for our lives? It is simply to pay attention to His words and obey it diligently. Thus the only pre-requisite to knowing and following the will of God for our lives is having an intimate fellowship with Him. For how can we hear a person we are not walking closely with? And how can we obey someone we have not heard?

Living God’s will for our lives requires trust. Fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives requires consistency in following God’s will. Only as we walk in God’s purpose for our lives does He perfect that which concerns us (His will). Only then is our destiny revealed.

So spend time with God so you may know His will. Once you know His will do not question it but just do it. Then let Him take care of your purpose and destiny.

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Success Secrets From Jesus – Day 6 – Innovation

INNOVATION

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom,and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
—Matthew 4:23

Jesus spent at least 18 years getting ready for His calling (age 12 – age 30). He spent that time learning and growing. He grew in wisdom, boldness, and self-control – three essential starting qualities that well must develop if we are going to achieve to anything noteworthy in our life.

Light-bulb moment: An overnight success takes years of dedication and preparation.

Jesus did not go about fulfilling His purpose until He was adequately prepared and tested in the wilderness. His purpose was to fill the relationship gap between man and God – a gap which had existed since the fall of man.

Analogous to Jesus, God created each of us for a special purpose: to meet a need or to fill a gap that exists in this world. The Scripture reveals this to us in many places, including Ephesians 2:10. In this verse, we are told that God prepared good works (a purpose) for us before we were born so that we may walk in and fulfill them.

What stands out about Jesus is the way he went about fulfilling his purpose. He did things that no one before him had ever done—healing people en masse through the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 4:23). Jesus brought something new to the table, and his fame grew as a result (Matt. 4:24). His fame was essential to make people aware of the kingdom that he was going to make freely available to all through his death and resurrection.

Light-bulb moment: Our fame will grow only if we bring something new to the table.

Bring Something New to the Table
Like Jesus, we have been empowered to innovate. We must engage the gift of innovation and creativity as we walk in our purpose and carry out the task that has been assigned to us. First, we have to make sure that our activities (our jobs, ventures, or businesses) address a need and fill a gap. Second, we simply cannot do what everyone before us has done and expect a high level of success or recognition; we cannot simply take the well-worn path without adding something new into the melting pot. It is when we innovate to meet a long-standing need that people take notice; consequently, our fame grows. It is then that we are likely to have good success.

Food for Thought:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” – The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Check out Looking to Superman – The secret to success in life on superchampinc for more practical tips the experience of Jesus teaches us on being successful.

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5 Steps Towards Greatness (Part V) – Surrender

The pyramid of Khephren (Khafre)As mentioned in Part IV of this series, Jesus was not released onto the ministry He was called to fulfill until He had passed the test set for Him by the Holy Spirit.

Now, while being equipped, prepared, tested, and released onto ministry is one thing, actually fulfilling the purpose to which we are called is quite another. The essential quality we must have to run a good race and so win the prize of greatness that is set before us is the quality of surrender. We must have a heart and attitude that thinks nothing of ourselves but thinks everything of God. We must not rely on our own ability but wholly depend on His ability.

Jesus had this heart and attitude. The bible tells us that although He was equal to God, He made Himself of no reputation (thought nothing of Himself) but out of love and in humility and obedience took the form of a man and sacrificed Himself on the cross (see Philippians 2:5-9). Wow! How incredible that is for so many reasons. What a love driven surrender to purpose!

See, surrender was behind every single thing that Jesus did while on earth; surrender to the will of the Father as revealed by the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus said ‘I only do what I see the Father doing and I say only what the Father tells me to say (John 14:10, John 5:19 paraphrase).  This is why He stayed behind to spend time with the biblical scholars in the temple at the age of twelve; why He chased out the money changers and traders out of the temple; why He willingly chose to die on the cross for us instead of choosing to let the cup of wrath that we deserve pass from Him.

Indeed, Jesus has shown us that surrender is the final ingredient needed to achieve true greatness that the previous four keys simply give us a chance of attaining.

But there is more! He not only showed us the key to greatness through His life, He also taught us. He taught us that the greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is one who becomes as a child and humbles himself (see Matthew 18:4). Just as a little child is wholly dependent on his/her parents for every single thing and those parents are the center of the child’s world, so does the Father desire to be the center of our world. He wants us to center our life around Him so He can lavish us with the very best that He has planned out for us. He wants us to center our life around Him so He may grant us life and grant it to us more abundantly.

Lightbulb MomentWhen we are most helpless is when Christ is most helpful.

So here is my question to you: Are you living the abundant life of love, joy, peace and so much more? If not, it may well be that you are holding onto something that should be surrendered to God. What is it? Offense, past experiences, past hurts, a person, a relationship, an idea, some fear, pride? Whatever it is, it is time to surrender it so that you may move forward towards greatness!

Now is the time for you to once again commit to a life of surrender to Christ. There is no better Christmas present to give you than Jesus. He is the present that will deposit all other presents you could ever imagine onto your lap.

Lightbulb MomentSurrender your life to Christ who is calling you today and He will take you on an adventure you will never forget.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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5 Steps Towards Greatness (Part IV) – The Test

The pyramid of Khephren (Khafre)Having being equipped and prepared for the purpose to which we have been called, the final hurdle we all have to overcome prior to being chosen by God onto greatness is the test of our faithfulness and readiness. Even Jesus was not exempt from the readiness and faithfulness test. Indeed, the bible tells us that He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted (tested) by the devil (Matthew 4:1). It was not until after He passed that test in the wilderness that He was released onto His ministry. How do we know this? We know because the bible tells us that Jesus began to preach the gospel of the kingdom for the first time only after departing to Galilee –  after His wilderness experience (Matthew 4:17).

Just in case you think the Test only applies to Jesus who was both man and God, I want to assure you that this applies to ordinary men. Elisha was an ordinary man who was put to the test before he became a prophet. After calling Elisha to walk with him for years, Elijah suddenly told Elisha to no longer follow Him. In essence, Elijah was telling Elisha that their journey together was done (2 Kings 2:2)! I can only imagine what Elisha was thinking at the time. I imagine it may have been the following:

‘I can’t believe this guy. After I have served him faithfully for years, now he is just dumping me…especially after I left my family and my livelihood behind’.

Elisha could have chosen to depart in rage, BUT he did not and so passed the test of faithfulness. Later, when the sons of the prophets for lack of better words said ‘dude, your master is about to leave you man, why don’t you just go home?’ Elisha did not despair or say in his heart: ‘these guys are like top notch Christians, I will listen to them’. No! Instead, Elisha told them to hush their mouths (see 2 Kings 2:3)! See, Elisha was ready to follow Elijah wherever he went and so continued following him. For this, Elisha was rewarded with the mantle of prophet and a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.

What does all this tell us? It lets us know that a hefty reward is the end of our readiness to follow Jesus to wherever He leads us…even if it is towards the wilderness. It lets us know that a prize follows our dogged determination to stay faithful to Him no matter how great the temptation. Thus, we have to start taking a look at tests and temptation differently. Rather than wail and gnash our teeth at another attack from the devil, we ought to look at it as a last ditch attempt by a frantic enemy to keep us from the blessing that God wants to shower upon us. But here is the thing, the devil cannot stop us from greatness since we have been equipped with the Holy Spirit – the very power that conquered the grave and put the devil underfoot. Therefore, tests of the wilderness (where trials and tribulation abound) and of temptation should simply strengthen our resolve to push through by the grace (power) of God.

It is when we pass the readiness and faithfulness test that God says ‘okay, I can choose this one for his/her love for me does not flick on and off like a light switch’. You see, the bible tells us that many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). If we want to be chosen, we have to pass the test. In order to pass the test, we have to be equipped with the One who has never failed. In order not to fail at what we do, what we choose to do must be what God has called us to do!

Food for Thought: You have to pass the test in order to get the best

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5 Steps Towards Greatness (Part I) – The Call

The pyramid of Khephren (Khafre)The scripture tells us that many people are called BUT that few are chosen (see Matthew 22:14). What a shame! It is truly a tragedy that too few of us ever achieve the greatness to which God has called every single person that walks on this earth. Here is the truth! The same God who calls us and says ‘You can be great’ desires to choose us to be great; He longs to say to each one of us ‘You will be great’. Unfortunately, too many of us are either ignorant of the steps required for greatness or we are unwilling to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in doing the work that is required to be chosen.

Now, God in His love did not make us fully responsibility for being great but made it a shared responsibility – our part being the easy part. Even so, just as Jesus had a part to play in being chosen after being called by God, we also have a part to play in being chosen. So then, what part do we play and what part does God play? This will hopefully become clear as we peek at the 5 steps towards greatness.

The Call which is the first step towards greatness and is God’s responsibility. While in heaven, God called Jesus and said something akin to: ‘Son, it is your time. I have now called you to partake of flesh and blood (become human) for the sole purpose of reconciling and restoring mankind to us. This is what I am calling you to do. Ready to go?’. See, Jesus who is Spirit became a human with a living soul for the sole purpose of doing that specific will of God. Likewise, just like Jesus, we are all spirit beings who have been called and temporarily placed on this earth to do a work and to achieve a purpose.

“For we are his workmanship (masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus unto good works (purpose), which God has before (prior to being born) ordained that we should walk in them” – Ephesians 2:10

Lightbulb MomentThe first step towards greatness is to know the specific purpose to which God has called us.

If you do not know your purpose, do not despair. Just keep your heart and ears open and God will reveal His specific purpose to you in due time. Prophet Jeremiah did not know his purpose until God said to Him: ‘Hey Jeremiah, I am now calling you to be my mouthpiece (prophet) to the people of Judah. I created you specifically for this purpose and I am now letting you know that this is the purpose for which I created you’.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations” – Jeremiah 1:5

Note that what is important is God’s call on our lives and not our call on our lives. It is only God’s purpose for our lives that streamlines our life’s energy into a single laser beam focus that is able to cut through distractions and foolishness while bringing true and sustained fulfillment into our lives. . It is only by following the will or purpose of God for our lives that we walk worthy of Him, fully please Him, and are fruitful in everything we do – for His power follows His purpose (see Colossians 1:9:10).

Conversely, our lives fall into the learned behavior of idleness without His purpose (see 1 Timothy 5:13). Now, idleness does not simply mean that we are doing nothing. Busyness that comes from following our own purpose is empty in the end and so is still idleness! Why? It is because idleness is defined as doing anything that is unimportant, insignificant, or holds no real worth. An example of this is idle banter where we are busy talking but our banter adds zero value. Since anything without God (love) is valueless and we know that God is great, we see that is it impossible to attain true greatness with God’s purpose (love) being involved.

So how do we recognize idleness? The symptoms of idleness (or lack of God-giving purpose) includes being easily offended, gossip-mongering, being a busy-body, depression, never being satisfied, being a workaholic, dilly-dallying, lack of commitment etc. Just think of how these lead to broken relationships!  So in reality, the root cause of many of the problems we encounter in this life is simply the lack of purpose or the shunning of God’s purpose. So we now see why Satan does not want us to walk in purpose (our responsibility). He knows if he can get us away from our purpose, he has a foothold in our lives and cause us problems. If you don’t believe me, just ask Prophet Jonah how Satan tried to kill him and tortured his life simply because he ran away from the purpose to which God called Him.

So today, instead of continuing in idleness, ask God to show you what He has called you to do! If you want to be great, you must know what He has called you to do at this point in your life

Food for Thought: It is impossible to be great without following the great One

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Help, I am Distracted! I Just Cannot Focus!

What would a yo-yo say to us if it had a mind and could speak to us? I reckon five things it would say are as follows: (1) I spend all my time being a busy-body (doing one thing or the other) but I never get anywhere for I am bound by my string. (2) I am controlled by other people – mostly a young one who gratifies himself/herself with me and then dumps me as he/she grow up. (3) I am not a subject of interest for older and more mature folks. (4) I never build any long-lasting relationships. (5) I can’t make up my mind – one second I want to be up and the next I want to be down.

It is not good to be a yo-yo

Like a yo-yo, we can operate in indecision – continuing to dilly-dally in our thinking and so have no constancy of purpose in our lives. If we find that “God” continues to flood us with multiple, differing, and seemingly changing ideas that we do not have the time to bring to fruition, BE WARNED! This is not God (for our God is not flaky) but a god (an idol). This god has a name; it is called unbelief!

The scripture tells us that unbelief causes our days to be consumed by the futility of our minds (being bugged by everything, jumping from one idea to another, and relying on our own wisdom) and causes our years to be lived in fear (see Psalm 78:32 – 33). So what does this tell us? It says the following:

Lightbulb MomentUnbelief is the root of our problems. It causes us to live in fear and to lose focus; it causes us to not excel in life

It tells us that instead of saying ‘I just can’t seem to focus’; we really ought to say ‘I just can’t seem to believe’. See, no one truly has a problem of focus. The problem we have is the span (length) of our focus and the number of things on which we tend to focus. Rather than focus on a myriad of things, the only thing God wants us to focus on is Him, for when we focus on Him, He focuses on us.

But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you – Matthew 6:33

When we focus on God, He focuses our mind on the good works to which He has called us; He simplifies our life; He shows us that our problems are miniscule to Him and gives us spiritual eyes to glimpse the future and hope He has for us through His Word. He rubs away our fear and futility

“…Lord, I believe, Help my unbelief…” – Luke 9:24

Lightbulb MomentWhen we focus on God, He is able to help our unbelief and grow us up so that that we become mature in Him.

Challenge: Take a minute to focus on God today, and He will use that minute to change your day. Take a day to focus on God, and He will use that day to change your week. Take a few days to focus on God, and He will use those days to change the course of your life!

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Gifts and Talents: What God Thinks About Us Squandering Our Talents

Just as the duty of every servant is to attend to the duty of his master, the duty of every believer is to attend to the purpose for which we were born, and do the will of God to which we are called. Being the just God that He is, He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit who equips us with the ability and wherewithal to accomplish His purpose. Yes, we have all been granted a measure of gifts and talents to accomplish the purpose to which we are called. To those of us that decide to use those gifts and talents to do His will, He grants more grace (in the form on power, capability and ability) and magnifies what He has purposed for us.

“Therefore, take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents” – Matthew 25:28

In contrast, God does not too much fancy those of us that choose not to channel and use our given gifts and talents. He does not take too kindly to us using fear as an excuse for not carrying out His will nor is He impressed with us when we do absolutely nothing of value with our lives. He does not want us to simply bury our talents in the ground but to use them. Why? It is for the purpose of good works that He created us in His image in the first place (see Ephesians 2:10). It is for the aim of accomplishing His purpose and will that He grant us the Holy Spirit who empowers us to be courageous and so to overcome the fear that comes from the enemy.

When the servant told his master he hid his talent out of fear, the master responded with ‘you wicked and lazy servant’ (see Matthew 25:26)! While this may seem harsh, it is exactly how God feels when we squander our gifts and talents out of fear or whatever reason.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: When we do not use our gifts and talents, God says to us: You know my will and yet you choose not to take any action and use what I have given you. You are wicked and lazy!

God calls us lazy because the only reason we fall into inaction out of fear is due to our choice not to spend time in His Word. For surely when we spend time with Him, we are transformed into His image – the image or courage, love, boldness, strength, and power. We no longer allow fear to stop us from doing the good He wants of us but we overcome the evil of fear with the love of good. But when we choose to be lazy and fail to build ourselves up, we become like the man who refuses to go out into the street from his house for he says there is a lion out there to devour him (see Proverbs 22:13). Poverty is the end of such a man for he will lose what he has – just as the talent was taken away from the servant.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: When we spend time with love, it casts our all the fear that causes inaction.

God calls us wicked because we have chosen not to advance the kingdom of God by choosing not to use our gifts and talents. See, the desire of God is that we sow the talents He has given us so that is yields up to a 100-fold. He wants us to bless the work of our hands so that we can be a blessing to other people. Here is how the Word puts it:

“…It is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His Covenant…” – Deuteronomy 8:18

Thus, being wealthy is all things helps God establish the Covenant He made with Abraham and that is now made available to all nations or all people of the world through the sacrifice of Jesus. But if we do not use the power (gifts, talents, favor, courage, etc.) that comes from the Holy Spirit to become wealthy in all things, then how are people attracted to us? If people do not see us exhibiting the gift of hope and encouragement in a dire situation, then why would they come to us to inquire of how we can be so joyful? What I am saying is this: God wants to be wealthy is all things so that we can be light to this world; so that people are attracted to the light; so that we can be more effective has His ministers in this world. By burying our gifts and talents, we have hidden our light and we have not loved our lost family members in essence. We hinder the work of God in having those who do not know Him from entering into His Covenant.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: We do not allow our lives to minister to other people when we fail to use the gifts and talents He has given us.

Food For Thought: We miss the mark (sin) when we fail to use our gifts and talents – it shows a love deficiency

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Godly Vision: The Role of Vision in Creating Success

Faith does not allow our present circumstance to change our outlook (the vision of the sure future that God has spoken over us), but instead allows His outlook to change our attitude about our present circumstance. Unfortunately, when there is no vision of the sure thing that God has spoken to us through His Word, we tend to allow our present circumstance if bad to turn us over to bitterness. In doing so, we tend to perish in our thoughts – thinking that He has neglected us and questioning His love for us – and so fall away from the path of blessing that God wants to shower on us by taking matters into our own hands. If we do not understand that we will all face testing circumstances, we may end up in a mixed funk of melancholy and legalism; sure that bad things are only happening to us because God is mad at us. In the depths of despair, it is at times easy to forget that our situation is temporary if we do not give up on God, for He does not give up on us.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world – John 16:33

Without a godly vision, even the good times bring anxiety in that we can be dissatisfied with the status quo and hunger after more wealth and pleasure. The earliest example of a person who had this problem was Adam. He had the good life but he became dissatisfied with it after drinking the poisonous speech of Satan who gave him a false vision of a better life – the promise of a step-up life of being like God. Adam fell because he had no vision or outlook of the fantastic life that God has already prepared for him. All he had was a vision of lack. Since faith can be defined as the sighting/vision/evidence of the sure thing that God has promised (see Hebrews 11:1), we see that Adam ultimately perished for his lack of faith – for he disobeyed out of the fear that he was not living the best possible life.

We are not to be like Adam, but are to be like Jesus who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross (see Hebrews 12:2). What was the joy set before Him? It was the joy of being reunited with the Father, the joy of reconciling us to Himself, the joy of sitting at the right hand of the Father and being the overseer of all the Kingdoms that had been given into His hands. It was the vision of the sure things that He was to inherit that made his trials and tribulations bearable!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If we know we are to inherit a great collection of jewels upon completing a marathon, the hardship and pain we endure during the training and subsequent run to not much matter. Our focus will simply be on the joy that is to come.

God has a vision for each of our lives, and the vision is to prosper us and to give us a good future. The problem is that many of us do not see it. The truth is we do not have to walk this life without vision. We can set ourselves apart and go up to our quiet place away from the busyness of the world below – seeking the Lord in fasting and prayer. When we do this, the scripture tells us that we will get a vision of what God wants for us.

I will stand upon my watch, and set myself upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved – Habakkuk 2:1

Once we are given our vision, we are then told to write it down so that we do not forget and so that we may continually chase after it.

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, so he may run that reads it – Habakkuk 2:2

See, vision is what makes us run! The vision of the sure thing God has promised; that which will surely come to pass for God cannot lie is what produces diligence and energizes us for our work; it is what produces patience and perseverance. Let’s put it this way: If we know we will gain our dream vacation simply by cutting down a tree, we will find a way to do it and do it quickly! The problem is not the lack of patience, diligence, and energy (these are the symptoms). The real problem is the lack of vision.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: While vision produces faith, diligence, and patience, lack of it produces laziness, lethargy, and defeat

If you do not have a vision today, I urge you to set yourself apart and go up to your watchtower and then see what He will say to you. Say yes when you are corrected and acknowledge your wrong-doing. Clean the muck out of your house and start running after the target God has given you knowing that His power is following His purpose for you; knowing that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them. Then watch and see again what happens to your attitude about your circumstance; watch and see what changes occur in your life.

Food for Thought: No man who has ever had godly (love based) vision has ever been defeated in life

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