John 12:27 (NKJV) “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But FOR THIS PURPOSE I came to this hour.
There is nothing more powerful than a person who is certain of his or her purpose, and relentlessly working towards it. But, I hear so many people say,
“I don’t know my purpose!
“How do I know I’m walking in my purpose?”
It is clear that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ knew His purpose. How else could His human side endure the humiliation, shame and pain of the cross. Every word He spoke, every miracle He performed…led to the cross.
John the Baptist’s declaration that, “He must increase and I must decrease” in John 3:30 implies that he knew his purpose as well. Of course we were all created to glorify…
Have you ever had someone come to you in need of help…support…or strength, while you’re overwhelmed with your own issues?
Your greatest challenge sometimes isn’t how you make it through your storm, but how you help someone else make through their storm while you’re going through yours.
God wants you to grow stronger not just for yourself…but for someone else too.
You’ve got to have enough faith for someone else when their’s is weak…
You’ve got to have enough hope for someone else when their’s is gone…
Romans 15:1 (NIV)
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Stop right now and thank God for those who HOPED YOU THROUGH when you had given up.
Remember, Jesus had to have enough faith for everyone on that boat!
Matthew 8:23-26 (NKJV)
23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
I sometimes think about the fact that times I used to call boring I now call relaxing. We need to be careful when we get bored. Boredom is an emotion that can get us in trouble if we aren’t careful. When people get bored, that’s when the devil can get busy.
Remember what happened in 2 Samuel 11 when the kings went out to battle, David sent Joab his servant and all of Israel out to battle, but he stayed behind? One evening while he was ‘relaxing’ on the rooftop, he saw Bathsheba bathing. Her husband, Uriah, was very devoted and loyal to David and he was among those in battle…and the rest is history. The point is that David was relaxing when he should have been doing battle. Now, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing, but there’s a time and a season for for all things (Ecclesiastes 3). There can…
Your success, effectiveness and peace is not only determined by how well you relate with people you DO TRUST…but how well you are at relating with people that you DON’T TRUST.
Our ultimate trust is in God, but He didn’t put us on this earth alone.
God has also ordained it that there is little that we can accomplish alone.
Even God Himself uses His angels to relate to us…
Hebrews 11:14 (NKJV)
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
God let the captives in Babylon know that though they trusted Him, they were to pray for the peace of the city in which they lived because their peace was dependent on the city’s peace…
And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
Jesus sent the first disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1)…
The apostles worked in pairs, teams and even depended heavily on the early church for help.
As much as we are interdependent on another in this life, God also warned us about putting our trust in people rather than Him…
Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)
It is better to trust in the Lord. Than to put confidence in man.
Of course we all want to be in relationships and situations with people we trust, but that’s not always possible…Sometimes we can’t even trust our own selves.
It seems it’s getting harder and harder to trust people these days.
We have families, jobs, churches, communities, organizations that we are all a part of in which to live, but the fact is that you KNOW you can’t trust everyone…
In your family…
On your job…
In your church…
In your community…
In our government…
Sometimes we go through seasons and situations when we can’t trust our spouse, children, parents or even friends…because we are human beings being human.
Do we abandon these relationships and resources because of the lack of trust or total trust?
Of course not!
Your ability to be successful, effective and have peace in your life is just as dependent upon your ability to work and relate with people you DON’T trust as well as those you DO trust.
How do you do it?
First of all trust God first. If He has you in a situation, or you have allowed yourself into a situation where trust is limited…you still have to lean on His word, truth, character and TRUST HIM.
Second pray for wisdom and discernment so you can know WHO to trust and WHO NOT to trust.
Third pray for those whom you don’t trust that they submit themselves to God through our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ. It’s bigger than just you or me…Ultimately it’s more about their relationship with God than ours with them.
Fourth, remain in God’s character so that you can set a standard and example of behavior and plant good seeds for God’s Kingdom. You do this by walking in the Spirit as defined in Galatians 5:22, 23.
Finally, remember that God had equipped you with everything you need for this LIFE and GODLINESS in this life, through His divine nature that is now inside you…
2 PETER 1:2-8 (NKJV)
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
No you can’t trust everyone…
And remember, GOD IS GREATER THAN THOSE WHOM YOU DON’T TRUST.
Add this to your prayer life…”Lord give me the ability to relate with those I don’t trust.”
2 Corinthians 6:12 “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.”
Children can have very short attention spans. You can tell a child what to do, and if you leave the room and come back, you can find them doing something totally different. Why? Because they are easily DISTRACTED. God’s adult children can be the same way…What has God told us to do?
Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations…”
Matthew 9:38, “Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest”
John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…”
God has called us to make disciples. God has given each of us a purpose according to our abilities (parable of the talents Matthew 25:14-30). Unfortunately, sometimes…
The devil is real, and an adversary that we can’t ignore. However, God has given us the power to resist him though our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Jesus Christ.
We learn much about the devil when we read about his encounter with Job. I’m not going to tell the story of Job, but I want to call out some insights that can help us deal with and claim the power that God has given us over the enemy…
2 Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV)
11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
THE DEVIL IS NOT OMNIPOTENT
The devil DOES NOT have all power, and the power that he does have, is only what God ALLOWS him for a season. When God pointed out one of his most devoted children, Job, the devil complained that he COULD NOT touch him because he enjoyed God’s protection and favor…
Job 1:10 (NKJV)
10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
…The enemy COULD NOT touch Job or his family unless God allowed him access to them.
God allowed temporary access to Job for a purpose, but did not allow the enemy to take his life….
Job 1:12 (NKJV)
12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
The same holds true in our lives, the enemy has no power over our lives that hasn’t been allowed by God. He will allow temporary access for a purpose, but when we remain faithful, we are guaranteed power over the enemy…
The devil doesn’t even have power or authority over Hell, but he will share everlasting punishment and separation from God with all those who follow him. God will eventually strip the enemy of all power at the appointed time…
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
THE DEVIL IS NOT OMNIPRESENT
The devil CANNOT be everywhere at the same time. Only God is omnipresent…
1 Kings 8:27 (NKJV)
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!
The enemy is a spiritual being with limitations. Even he responded when asked by God from where was he coming (for our benefit because God already knew)…
Job 1:7 (NKJV)
7 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
You can’t physically go somewhere that you already are. God doesn’t have to go anywhere, because He is already there.
The devil has agents, those fallen angels that were cast out of heaven with him (demons) to assist him in interacting with our lives.
Only the Spirit of God is everywhere at the same time.
THE DEVIL IS NOT OMNISCIENT
The devil does not know everything. The devil does not have all knowledge, but only that that God allows.
He doesn’t not know EVERYTHING about your life. He knows your family’s history…he knows your history…he observes your strengths and weaknesses and tries to manipulate both you and them. And most importantly…
He doesn’t know your future. The enemy did not know if Job could resist that terrible trial. One of the reasons that God allowed it is because He already knew and want to prove to Satan and leave an example for us of Job’s faithfulness.
He doesn’t even know when his end will be, that’s why he relentlessly goes to and fro seeking who he may devour…trying to steal, kill and destroy.
Go back and read the account of Job. Look closely at the fact that through it all, the enemy was still subject not only to God, but to Job’s faithfulness.
Be encouraged, we have power over the enemy if we remain aware of his limitations, how he works and most of all, remain faithful to God.
James 4:7 (NKJV)
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Some interactions last longer than others….those are relationships.
Some interactions changed us…changed our lives.
Some of our interactions and observations have changed us for the better.
Even some one-time interactions/observations have changed us for the better.
When it comes to our spiritual life, if we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, we are all someone’s GOOD FRUIT. It could be a parent, grandparent, preacher or stranger…we’re all someone’s fruit…that’s a good change.
John 15:8 (NKJV)
8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
However, some interactions have NOT been beneficial to us…they have changed us for the worse.
Can you think of someone that makes you changed for the better? When you’re honest with yourself, you’re a better person because you know them… because you knew them…because you met them…because you saw them…because you heard them.
You may have never even met them, but something they said, or did affected you…changed you for the better.
Now, can you think of someone that changed you for the worse? When you’re honest with yourself, you would have been better off if you had never known them…met them…saw them…heard them.
Here’s where it gets real. Here’s your self-check.
Whose better off if they never met, heard or saw you?
Why? How did you change them?
This is how we learn what we really need to CHANGE about ourselves.
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
I’ve said this before…we have given some of our haters a reason to feel, ‘some kind of way’ about us.
We all have weaknesses, all of us. They may be different, but we all have them. Even that person that may seem to have it ‘all together’…who seems so strong, struggles with some weakness(es).
That’s why so many people seem so devastated when someone whom they looked up to had a weakness either become public, or diminish their effectiveness.
The difference in those individuals who seem to be…
They don’t allow their weaknesses to overpower their strengths.
I live in a suburb of a city that is known for crime, Memphis TN… a huge weakness. Memphis also has several fun, interesting and historically significant attractions.
I’m aware of the national narrative about the Memphis area, and that’s why you don’t see trips to Memphis being given away on many game shows.
Now, there are other cities that have just as much, if not more crime, BUT they have other attractions and destinations that outweigh the crime when people are deciding whether or not visit their cities…these cities have not allowed their weaknesses overpower their strengths.
Actually, Memphis is a city that is enjoying a renaissance of development so that the weaknesses don’t overpower the strengths.
Sometimes as individuals, and particularly as Christians, we can allow our weaknesses to stifle us, or even make us feel that they disqualify us.
Let me quickly remind you of two of God’s greatest contributors to our faith…David and the Apostle Paul.
Was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)
Contributed to scripture with dozens of God inspired Psalms
Had a more than healthy sex drive (weakness) (1 Chronicles 3:1-8)
Had a man loyal to him killed for his wife (2 Samuel Chapter 11)
David didn’t surprise God when He sinned…God new it would happen when He anointed David. And, David’s sin didn’t disqualify him from being king (2 Samuel Chapter 12)…because he had a truly repentant heart.
Originally one of the greatest persecutors of the church (weakness) (Acts Chapter 8)
Was not one of the original apostles who walked with Jesus
Appeared ‘weak’ in person (2 Corinthians 11:30)
Had an admitted ‘thorn in the flesh’ weakness
However, God used Paul to take the Gospel message to the Gentiles. God knew this when Paul was persecuting the church. God uses Paul to confront the worlds most powerful leader at the time (Acts Chapter 25).
Yes, you have weaknesses…
Yes, sometimes you lose battles with your weaknesses…
But, God has made the same promise to you that he made to Paul when he asked to be delivered from his weakness…
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul turned to God for help.
Control your weaknesses…
Strengthen them with God’s help…
But, most of all…
Capitalize on your strengths!
Make the most of THE MOST God gave you.
Don’t allow your weaknesses to overpower your strengths.
Having you ever noticed a child throwing a temper tantrum when it doesn’t get something that it wants? This is a natural reaction that must be overcome as the child matures. The reaction is natural…innate…the child was born with it.
The truth is that we are all born with innate desires, feelings and proclivities that we did not ask for.
Many Christians reason to excuse some behavior by saying, “I or they was or were born this way”. This doesn’t meant that God made a mistake, but the scripture clearly reminds us that we were all born in sin…
Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
We were all born with desires we didn’t ask for…that doesn’t make them ALL okay. Just because it comes naturally doesn’t make right. Some natural desires we must resist with…
Soul models show you how to live, but prepare you to die.
Role models show you how to live now.
Souls models show you how to live forever.
Role models give you tools to live by.
Soul models give you tools to live and die by.
Role models show you how to look on the outside.
Soul models show you how to look on the inside.
Role models teach us how to be a man or woman.
Soul models teach us to be GREATER than man or woman.
1 Peter 2:12 (NKJV)
12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Titus 2:7-8 (NKJV)
7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
Anyone who enjoys boxing wants to see a GOOD FIGHT.
Some have even accused some matches of being FIXED. No one wants to watch or pay for a fight that isn’t good or competitive…so, if it’s fixed, it has to look like a REAL fight. In a fixed fight, the person who is going to win has already been decided, but to camouflage the arrangement, the predestined winner will APPEAR to lose a few rounds…but he or she keeps on fighting because they no that no matter how it looks to everyone else…they are promised the victory.
Those of us in Christ are in a fixed fight, we’ve just been ordained to LOSE a few rounds so that it’s a good fight.
Yes, the devil is a strong adversary that has to be taken seriously. Yes, unfortunately we’ve all lost a few rounds with him, and will lose some more…
Some we lost through concession…we just didn’t fight hard enough.
Some we lost because we weren’t properly prepared through studying the word enough…
Some we lost because we didn’t rest between rounds enough as we’ve been commanded…
Some we lost because we didn’t take our enemy serious enough…
Some we lost because we just weren’t strong enough…
Some it LOOKED like we lost, but we really didn’t (just like Jesus on the cross)
But, remember this…our victory is promised throughout the bible.
Matthew 24:13 (KJV)
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Colossians 1:13 (NKJV)
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
1 John 4:4 (NKJV)
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Revelation 3:21 (NKJV)
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Revelation 20:10 (NKJV)
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
We’re guaranteed the victory…we just have to stay in the fight!
They say there’s a thin line between love and hate. It may not be that the line is so thin, but that people should be totally honest with themselves, because God knows the heart. The fact is…YOU DON’T HAVE TO HATE SOMEONE TO NOT LOVE THEM.
The enemy knows that God commanded us to love everyone….
EVERYONE means EVERYONE.
That’s why he (the enemy) manipulates situations and circumstances to provoke us to NOT LOVE someone who mistreats us, or someone we close to us. He convinces people to engage in behavior to where what we feel for them may not be HATE, but it’s definitely not LOVE.
He then he manipulates you to lie to yourself and say “I love everybody” because it’s the right thing to say, but your feelings and behavior don’t reflect love.
God didn’t tell us to LIKE everyone…but to LOVE everyone.
What if God gave you unlimited financial resources…what would you do?
What good would you do?
Who would you help?
What if God gave you a voice…a platform to speak to the world?
What would you say?
What causes would you speak out for?
How responsible would you be?
What if you had unlimited free time?
No job to report to?
No clock to punch?
What would you do with your time?
How would you spend it?
You can tell what you WOULD DO THEN by WHAT YOU’RE DOING with the financial resources you have now, whether it’s little or much.
Even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you have the means to help someone in need…your $5 gift or meal can change someone’s world.
You can tell by what you’re doing with your platform now.
What do you say? What don’t you say. What you post or publish? Which conversations to ‘speak up’ and which do you remain silent. How responsible are you with your voice now? Do you speak or post without thinking… praying?
What you’re doing with the time you have now? Do you say you don’t have time? Or, is it that you just don’t TAKE time?
There’s much Kingdom work that takes place through people who have no more free time than you…they just make time.
More money…More influence…and more time only empowers us to be more of who we already are.
Luke 21:1-4 (NKJV)
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
When you stop and take look, you can see God’s wisdom in everything…and I mean EVERYTHING!
God’s first institution established in His Kingdom was the family. He put man and woman together with a plan. He told us to be fruitful and multiply because God wasn’t going to continue creating men from dust or women from men’s ribs.
God gave us the gift of physical intimacy (sex) to bring children into the world, and to enhance our marriages. God wants us to enjoy one another just as much as he wants us to enjoy Him, and that’s very clear in the bible.
Proverbs 5:19 (NKJV)
As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will…
You’re more talented than you may think, and those around you may notice…it’s hidden, but still SOOOOO OBVIOUS! So many people have jobs they don’t particularly like, or have burned out in a job they used to love. They have to work with people with whom they don’t click, or just don’t like. They have to manage their lives with not enough money or resources…but yet they still MAKE IT HAPPEN EVERY DAY.
I think it’s a greater accomplishment to be great at what you hate than to flourish at what you love.
If that’s you, stop right now and give God a praise…HALLELUJAH!!!! God gives us everything we need that pertains to life and Godliness…
2 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
If my blog blesses you, I gladly accept donations of $2 or less. 1 Corinthians 9:14 (CJB) 14 In the same way, the Lord directed that those who proclaim the Good News should get their living from the Good News.