Profess God Without Expectation

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                We often find ourselves trying to explain the message of God to people who are too consumed with the things of this world, like sin and emotion. Not to say that we don’t all fall prey to such times but our focus is meant to be on God. Living a life in the truth of God makes us feel compelled to pour out the word of God to those who are lost. We must seek to not only speak of God but to show Him in our actions and words. We must lose the expectation of seeing a heart change and a person find understanding. The only expectation we are meant to seek is that God is glorified through us. The understanding of the ways of God is only possible in the Holy Spirit. A changed heart allows the Spirit to dwell and grow fruit so that understanding and maturing can take place.

                We should take heart that not even Jesus Himself could truly create understanding. His disciples didn’t have understanding of the power they possessed until Pentecost (indwelling of the Spirit). Even Jesus knew that He had to go so that the Spirit could instill truth into the hearts of believer where even the wisest of words fall short. (John 16:12-13a) I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth,…

                Our love drives us to profess our God and His love. Our emotion and expectation cloud our purpose which isn’t conversion but glorification. Let the power of God in His Spirit grow fruit. Let God glorify Himself in the seeds we are called to plant. Be a reflection of God’s light and the work His Spirit has done in you. Let God be God and call to repentance those He chooses in the way He receives the greatest glory.

(Titus 3:3-5) For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit

 

Discerning God’s Plan

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                We struggle with wondering if we are walking the path God has for us. We believe we are, but then an obstacle comes up and we wonder if this is a test of faith or a warning to change direction. Although I am sure God is leading me, I am constantly evaluating my environment and looking for ‘markers’ that indicate God desires me to make a change. The Holy Spirit guides us as God reveals His will to us in: prayer and through believers in our life. If we seek the Lord He will be found. God will lead us in His light for His glory.

                There are many times we seek His face and His answers are withheld to keep us waiting for His timing. Or, our minds are so filled with our own desire we can’t hear His whisper. We stand on our path wondering if we are astray or just meant to pause. I had a thought that comforted me and I wanted to share.

                God calls us to lead a life of righteousness. I feel that a life of righteousness, focused on Him, is the path He has for us. All of the earthly additions are not markers for us. Paying too much attention to the world will cause us to react in ways where God isn’t our focus. I believe that righteousness acts as a compass to God’s will for us. When the world creates obstacles, we are called to deal with them in righteousness and integrity befitting a child of God. He calls us to be the light and salt of the earth, even when things aren’t favorable. The way we react when things are difficult is more important than how we react to God’s blessings. Our difficult times act to draw people to our faith and hope in Him. If we continue to pursue righteous behavior in the midst of all of life’s circumstances we walk with Him.

                I believe that sin is the marker that indicates we are leaving the light of His path. When we encounter sin or have to participate in sin to continue forward, that is when we have to stop and turn back. We know that God will not involve Himself in sinful behavior. He waits for sin to bury us and for us to seek Him and return to His light. That is where His grace and mercy make His light shine brighter.

                We should not treat our walk with the Lord as an anxiety filled step-by-step analysis of His will or His favor. We seek to show God to others and glorify Him with a life of righteousness. This is the life He desires for us. He will give us the things He desires, it’s not for us to seek His every blessing. We are to live as a representation of a spirit filled with Him and a faith that His blessings will come in His time to glorify Him. When in doubt, glorify the Father!

 

Search Me, O God!

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                Psalm 139 talks about the omnipotence (all knowing) and omnipresence (all present) of God. What a beautiful reminder it is that we cannot escape God’s presence or His knowing of us. Add to this reminder of the love God has for us and we cannot escape His love and guidance for us as His children. The passage goes on to acknowledge in verses 13-16 how God uniquely created each of us and knew exactly why He added each of our details. God made each of us for a purpose in glorifying Him. We have a tendency to ignore our uniqueness and try to blend in or imitate the people around us. God created us to be set apart. We are meant to shine in the darkness and to never dull ourselves down to match the lukewarm environment around us. We are children of the One True King and are called to represent our adopted Father. This brings us to my point, made in the final two verses (23-24). (Psalm 139:23-24) Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Asking such a bold thing of God is confidence in His love and a vulnerability to Him in love. The word speak of us not being aware of some of our sins. (Psalm 19:12) Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. We must allow God to fill us so completely there is no place for sinfulness to dwell. Allow the Lord to search the places that you have become tolerant of and let Him fill those places with His Spirit so that you can draw closer to Him in the likeness of Jesus Christ.

The Real You

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                We all have a tendency to show the world the side of us we choose to reveal. We smile when we’re sad, we laugh when life hurts, we show strength when we are falling apart. Living like this over long seasons of life cause us to feel isolated both from people and from reality. We get so use to being accepted in certain ways that we develop a persona for different people based on how we feel we relate to them. It amazes me to see the undue stress we put ourselves under to be accepted for the things we are not, and losing focus of who we were designed to be. How much more beautiful is it to live in the fullness of who God designed you to be before time began, and to let the right people accept who you are without struggling to be someone else? I think we should all choose to be rejected by the people that would deny us in our authenticity. We have a God that sees through what we pretend to be. He knows what our hearts really desire and what they need to thrive. We have an idea of what we want, God’s wisdom knows without a doubt what we need. Be authentic with God and feel His acceptance of you. He created you to be the way He finds you. He will never be surprised by you. God knows every hair of your head and every sin you have or will ever commit. As you seek The Lord in prayer let him into the fullness of your heart so that He can make you whole. Let Him put the things that seem out of place back in order in your life and in your heart. You have to give Him all of the pieces if you want Him to work in completeness in your life. Don’t hide what you consider ugly or shameful. He sees you as His beautiful child, washed clean in the blood of Christ. He saved you so that you could come to Him. So go! Find the authentic relationship that both God and your spirit long for. No acceptance of people or things of this world will ever take the place of His love.

What is a Leader? (9 of 9)

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Conclusion

Trustworthy, Guiltless, Set Apart, Discerning, Humble, Consistent, Prosperous. These qualities are impossible to perfect on our own. Exhibiting them is proof of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in that leader. As a leader who seeks Christ-likeness we must realize that it is not our time to reign but our time to serve. It is not our goal to be right, it’s our goal to be sympathetic and unconditionally loving. It is our time to be set apart and rise as the world falls into turmoil and darkness. Look to the counsel of God and lead in a way that brings glory to Him and recognition to the source of your leadership. (Luke 12:48) Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

What is a Leader? (8 of 9)

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Prosperous in Multiple Environments– The world and circumstances change but God remains the same. God is the same now as He was in the beginning and will remain so for all time. The environment where a leader is led should not change their ability to thrive. This is even truer when the leader is led into that position by God and has been equipped from previous reliance on God to move into any role. The bible is full of people who thrived in impossible situations through their reliance on the God of the universe. (Romans 8:28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

What is a Leader? (7 of 9)

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Consistent (Someone who can stand in front and take the most damage) – The true character of people is made clear in the difficult times. When people look to a leader they want one that doesn’t falter in the difficult times but rises to the occasion an takes his followers through the struggle. The hard times build trust. It’s easy to look good when the seas are calm but turbulence allows a true leader to be proven. Repeated resilience in turmoil is what separates leaders from the pack. The Christian believer follows a leader that will conquer all and has seen the storm before it ever existed. Our reliance on God makes us leaders of men. (Philippians 1:27-28) Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents.

What is a Leader? (6 of 9)

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Without Ego/ Pride/ Arrogance– Pride drives people away. Leaders are admired in their humility. People have trouble connecting with leaders who think too highly of themselves. It’s in the leader’s ability to take in fresh viewpoints that they connect to the people around them. In the eyes if our creator no one of His children is better than the other. We were all created in unique ways for His purpose. We must never seek to be any better than anyone else, we must look to grow in the unique qualities that each one of us bring to the table. Only together can we get any closer to understanding the infinitude of God. (Philippians 2:3) Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Matthew 20:26) It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant

 

What is a Leader? (5 of 9)

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Discerning of Counsel (Let God determine what is taken to heart) – Good leaders have become good at discerning wise counsel through experience. We must run counsel through a Godly filter so that we can find what that advice really looks like. Some of the best counsel may be spoken by the least likely person as God uses the people around us to guide us. The opposite can also be true. A person we thought would be the best counsel could give us ideas that we are not meant to work with. We must seek counsel and let scripture and God’s Spirit what finds its place in us. (1 Timothy 6:20) Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.