Archive for June, 2012

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Do we really believe that God is sovereign? I mean, do we live as though God does have everything in our lives under His control? Even if there are things in life that seem to not make any sense at all, does that make us neurotically uncomfortable?

As believers in Christ we recognize from an academic perspective that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:16-17). But, there is so much more to this than merely assenting agreement to it as a factual statement. There is so much freedom and joy to be experienced if we walk in this truth! We live in a fallen world. It doesn’t take much thought to realize that as a result of the wickedness of this world that we are going to experience a plethora of disappointments, discouragements, unfairness, and pain. And, in contrast to what the world’s philosophies would teach, there is much to be learned even from this. God would not have us to spend all of our resources to avoid these trials. God orchestrates our trials with a purpose (James 1:2-4; Romans 8:28-30). His deepest desire is for us to lean totally on Him and seek to know Him in an even deeper and more significant way during your adversity.

This stands at odds to what we normally would believe about difficulties. James teaches us in chapter 1 that those instances that God crafts for us are used to instill steadfastness which will bring us to a richer relationship with Christ where we will enjoy sweet fellowship with Him. Not that we are to somehow enjoy the actual pain, but rather, we see it in a whole new light. We meet it face to face in the power and strength of the Lord. We are no longer intimidated by the adversity. Instead, we hold steadfastly to the power of God.

Trusting in the sovereignty of God. Trusting in the Unseen. Experiencing uneasiness due to our inability to see into the future, but limited to our finite experience of the here and now. Yet, walking in the light of knowing, actually knowing the One who sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:8-10). The freedom of living a life in a world infected with evil and wickedness that often bites you like a ravid dog. The freedom of knowing that in spite of all of this, God is aware. God knows. God allows. But, God allows it for a purpose. For some reason that we may not know, these things are necessary for our growth and for us to be made like Christ. So, rejoice when you “meet” those trials fully knowing that through those times, God is fortifying you to deepen your relationship with Him. He has not forgotten you. He has not forsaken you. Rather, these are more evidences of His radical love for you.

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Sensitivity

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

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Some time ago I was reading Numbers 22-24 during my devotions. I am so thankful that God places such a freshness to His Word that we can pick up things that we forget or neglect. But, as I was reflecting upon these verses of Scripture it really hit me that our God is a God who desires such an intense, intimate relationship with us that He will use very creative means to do so! From a very practical, leadership perspective, this can be very helpful to us as we desire to serve God from a heart of humble obedience. How sensitive are we to God’s working in our lives? I know that we can answer all the questions about who God is and what we are supposed to be doing, but are we doing it? Is our heart right? Do our inner motivations match the outward manifestations of our lives? Does God have to resort to some creative strategies to gain an audience with us so that we finally pay attention to what He is trying to teach us? Why I mention this is for the very simple reason that in our lives things are going to get crazy. There are going to be times when we are not going to have the luxury of retreating from a situation so that we can spend an hour in prayer about a situation before we need to make a decision. We are going to need to respond right away. So, what I am trying to say? Am I telling you that you can make a rash decision without praying and hope that you do the right thing? Absolutely not! What I am saying is that our relationship with the Lord should be that we are proactive. We are constantly preparing our hearts and minds for the daily battle that we are involved in. We go before the Lord on a regular basis seeking His wisdom, strength, and Spirit to assist us as we face those challenges so that we respond in a manner that will honor Him. We seek His will as He instructs us through those situations and ask what He wants us to learn from them. Prepare your hearts in advance so that the enemy will not catch you unaware…