Walking In His Shoes

Here is a sermon I recently preached at my church in Fayetteville, GA. Be encouraged!

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Draw Near

Draw Near
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. —James 4:8
There must be action on my part to know God. That action, though from God Himself, requires my obedience and action. I have a response-ability. God doesn’t tell me to do things that I simply can not. He may call me to do things I cannot do apart from Him. But with Him all things He calls me to do are possible. Anything that I choose not to do is not because I cannot but because I “will” not. Actions of faith must come from a place of my will and belief in God, not myself. When I look to myself, I “will” not but looking at Christ, He “wills” me to places I would not otherwise.
Living the abundant life happens through acts of my will, not trying to satisfy my flesh. The selfish side of me absorbs and consumes “life” but when I yield myself in death to self, I find the life that is restorative and abundant. God/Jesus are always inviting me into life. The question is will I join them? Drawing near is nothing more than simply obeying the call of Christ to come. When I do, He meets me right where I am.

Reflections from Quiet Time: Hebrews 11:6

Quiet Time
For quiet time, I often read Utmost For His Highest. Today’s verse was Hebrews 11:6. These are a few of my own thoughts sparked from what I read. Maybe they will help or inspire you as well.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him… —Hebrews 11:6
God doesn’t call me to a life of full-blown knowledge but full-fledged faith.God doesn’t call me to a life of full-blown knowledge but full-fledged faith. Faith doesn’t make sense. Faith is uncommon sense that leads to an uncommon life. If I have an ordinary common life, it is because I have chosen to not live by faith. Faith is an unrelenting reliance upon God in all of life, changing everything that is “common and ordinary” into an opportunity to experience God’s faithfulness. Too often I make faith about myself instead of about God. Faith is actually only faith when I trust something outside of myself to meet my need or carry me through.
God doesn’t call me to a life of full-blown knowledge but full-fledged faith. (1)
I have to expect my faith to be tested if it is ever to become strong. The harder the tests, the stronger my faith. Perhaps I am weak in my faith because I never risk believing God for what I need or want? When faith is found in myself, I will always be weak because I know myself. When faith is placed in God, I can become strong if I will fully trust Him. God doesn’t call me to comfort and ease; this is the path to self-indulgence. Faith in God will always lead to self-denial. If I try to limit my need to live by faith then I will limit the way God shows up in my life. God honors faith alone.
The fight of faith is a real one, not just for the new believer but for all believers. God is not resting from challenging His children to greater heights and deeper depths of faith. The question for me is how far am I willing to go? Real faith in God is limitless as God is limitless. How have I been limiting God by my lack of faith?

Devotionals For Leaders: Where? What?

Devotionals For Leaders (2)

It was by faith Abraham obeyed God’s call to go to another place God promised to give him. He left his own country, not knowing where he was to go. Hebrews 11:8

Obedience Is The Key.

Where do I need to be and what do I need to do? I have struggled with those questions often throughout my time on earth. You may have too. They are very important questions. However, I’m finding this to be true over and over again; God is more concerned about my obedience than my location.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that God has specific places for specific people. This does not negate the fact that God carries those people there. He sends those people there. He somehow manages to get those people there as would be the case for Jonah and the great fish.

Who I Am? vs. Where I Am?

The issue with God is not can He use me where I am or where He’s taking me. The issue is who I become along the way and through the situations. God’s greatest ambition is conformity to that of His Son. There is none who was or is more obedient than Jesus. Obedience is a benchmark of Jesus, even obedience unto death on a cross (Philippians 2).

God seems to have a greater concern about developing me into a certain person than taking me to a certain place. How does He do this? No other way than through the revelation of Himself. So often, I want God to reveal His plan instead of Himself. I want to know the in’s and out’s, the details, the lowdown but God does not cave into my desires. He instead fulfills me with Himself. For me to become all that God wants, I have to stop looking ahead and start looking up.

Which Way Do I Go?

Abraham went out not knowing where He was going but He knew Who he was going with. He was going with God. I wonder how many times I have gone without God…knowing where I was going but oblivious that God was not with me? The knowing of the Christian walk is not to a place but with a Person, the person of Jesus Christ. As we walk with Him we become. We move forward at times but we move inward all the time. Obedience is an inward job and the only way to accomplish it is to obey.

Maybe God is not sending me anywhere except to Himself? Maybe that’s the ultimate destination?

Devotionals For Leaders: Hold On!

faith to

 Getting There!

I can’t always see what God is doing…oh how I wish I could! Faith materializes things unseen but perseverance gets me there. At times it’s like grasping for air or vapor as James puts it but life cannot be grasped, only experienced. I cannot hold onto life but I can experience it by letting it go. God has intentions well beyond my scope of vision and faith. He sees things I cannot fathom with such earthly eyes. And His goal is to get me there. Whether I go kickin’ or screamin’ or with faithful trust and compliance is up to me.

Getting Ready!

I may feel that the path is too hard for me to handle, too rough to bear but He is simply preparing me for something greater than I can understand at this present point. My faith in God must be tested beyond ease and comfort to the depth of the deepest pains in my soul. Christ wants to save my soul while I try to save my life. He has made it clear that anyone who saves His life will lose it and yet how I still try to hold on! Forfeiting my soul for things of this world is not a wise move either and yet I daily face the challenges of letting go of everything to cling to Christ. 

Getting Ahold!

If knowing Christ is the goal of God and even some remote part of who I am and what I desperately want, then God will continue to strip away any and everything that competes against that goal. Christ is bringing me to a place where my faith will not waver, where my love will be real and my life will be saved. He is teaching me that holding onto anything except Him will prove to be another empty promise of life. His life is on the other side of the vision. I can’t see it very clearly yet but I have to trust He will get me there. God placed all bets on Christ to get me there and I have to as well.