Archives For God’s will

I am amazed when I read through the Old Testament and see God’s people, Israel, as they constantly complain.  I know it is human nature to complain.  We all know people who have that “gift” of complaining.  But think about it, time after time Israel would find themselves in a spot that only God could rescue them from, and He did.  Yet they would literally forget about it overnight and continue complaining.  Amazing!  Yet, I believe you and I would have done the same!

In Numbers 13 and 14, we see the same old complaining Israel as they are just on the brink of going into the promised land.  They send out some spies to look at the land and report on it.  Those spies come back and tell Israel that the land is all that God had been promising them… it is an amazing place!  But, then you get to Numbers 13:33, and the spies reported the they saw the people in the land and said, “we felt as small as grasshoppers.”

After all Israel had seen God do, they get to this point and freeze.  They end up not getting to go into the land yet, and an entire generation had to die off before God’s plan could be accomplished (because of their attitude).  Israel made some major mistakes as they approached the promised land and what the spies saw.  Let’s look at just one today:

  • They forgot what God had done in the past as they viewed the seemingly impossible task at hand

In Numbers 14:22 God reminded them that they had seen His power, but as they looked at what was before them, they forgot all that God had done already!

We do the same thing, don’t we?  We come to a difficult situation in life and we forget all that God has taken us through already.  We forget His love and grace and forgiveness that He has displayed toward us.  We forget that He has delivered us from sin, and from temptation.  We decide that this is the one situation that He cannot take us through, but we are wrong!  He will take care of us now just as He did then!

We cannot live int he past, but the past is a great teacher for us. If we want to be “Giant Killers” rather than “grasshoppers,” we cannot forget what God has done in the past as we look at that which is before us.

Divine Detour

Jason Petermann  —  January 19, 2010 — 1 Comment

Ok, I promise, this is the last post on Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase.  God is just so good to encourage and motivate with the right words at the right time in your journey, and this was too good not to post.  Hopefully is can be an encouragement to someone else as it was to me…

“Tired of divine delays?  Feel like your life is a divine detour?  Let me remind you of three things: (1) The longer you have to wait, the more you will appreciate; (2) sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is hang in there; and (3) a sense of humor can get you through just about anything.  And one more thing, no matter how crazy the Wild Goose chase gets, don’t forget to enjoy the journey!”

Sure, it is hard to enjoy every aspect of the journey.  There are times when you will feel mistreated, unloved and taken advantage of.  But here is the deal, it is in those times, the times that are tough, that we are able to grow closer to God.  The detour that has appeared in your life is not a surprise to God.  He has already been there, ahead of you, to plan everything as He wants.  We just need to change our perspective, and look at it as a divine detour that will ultimately lead us to be who God wants us to be.

questionsI ran across this post today while blog surfing.  Perry Noble is Pastor of Newspring Church, and is doing a fantastic job!  I should say, and he would also say this, God has His hand on Perry and His church.  They are doing things for Jesus that are just incredible!  In his blog, Perry likes to posts lists.  This morning, he started a list titled “”Six Questions I Try To Keep In Front Of Me.”  The second one on the list caught my eye this morning…

Am I More Concerned About God Or Others? Scripture is very clear, “Do your best to present yourself to God…” When “the end” is here I will stand before God and will NOT answer as to… Whether or not I kept people happy. Whether or not I appeased the bloggers. Whether or not I preached sermons that people WANTED to hear. I will answer for whether or not I was faithful to WHO He called me to be and WHAT He called me to do! I have a quote hanging in my office by Craig Groeschel that says, “The quickest way to forget what God says about me is to become obsessed with what others say about me.” SO TRUE! When my head hits the pillow at night I’ve got to know that I have tried my best to honor HIM and HIS calling on my life…which IS NOT EASY in a world where everyone seems to have an opinion and a website! BUT…focusing on them doesn’t allow me to focus on Him! (BTW…it isn’t helping you either!!!) Paul said it best in Galatians 1:10…we have a choice…I have made mine and will not look back…there is way too much at stake!

Everyone that has ever been involved in ministry, whether full-time or as a volunteer knows that you will NEVER make everyone happy… it is impossible!  Jesus did not even do that!  What we have to guard from is holding people’s opinions about us higher than we do God’s design and desire for us… that is hard, especially when you are a people-pleaser by nature.  Honestly, that is something that I fight constantly!  Here is the deal though, until we are being who God created us to be, we will never reach our full potential, and we will not be satisfied.  Once we realize who God made us to be, and start living it, our focus will shift to that of pleasing Him, and not people.  We will be more concerned with reaching people than we are keeping people.  Trying to keep people is an act of desperation… reaching people keeps things alive and Christ-centered.

Just something to chew on today… thanks Perry!

This is the second entry of “The Top Ten Things I Have Learned This Year.”  You can see part one heretop_10

3. Loyalty is a two way street.

  • There are those that think that above everything else, loyalty to them and their agenda is the most important thing… even if it means turning your back on what God has called you to do.  For some reason, some people think that they deserve your loyalty just because of their position.  But loyalty usually only goes one way with them.  They are the first one to throw you under the bus if it helps them avoid looking bad.
  • Those that preach and demand loyalty from the pulpit are usually the last ones that deserve it.  You do not have to preach or demand loyalty.  Loyalty is earned from people by your character and your actions.  If you do not have good character, you will not have loyalty.  If your actions stink or are always done with a personal agenda, you will not have loyalty.   Hammering it from the pulpit only makes people resent you, not follow you.  If you lead well, you will have the loyalty of the people you are leading.
  • You have to model loyalty to receive it.  If you are always the one expecting to receive, but never give loyalty, you do not deserve it.  The team you work with needs to know that there is loyalty to the team… loyalty to one another in the day to day stuff (this obviously does not apply to covering sin or secret agendas of self-centered people).

4. If you think you are leading, but no one is following… you are just out for a walk

  • No, this is not an original statement from me, but it is so true.  My desire is to live a life for God that will impact other people.  If God gives me the ability to lead, I need to lead where he wants me to go and to where He wants me to lead others to go.  I NEVER want to be in a position where I decide I will lead where I want to go, or where I want others to go.  That will not only hinder my ability to be who God has intended me to be, but it will hinder others from being able to be who God created them to be, which is the exact opposite of what we are suppose to be about.

That is it for this entry… part three tomorrow!

top_10Ok, I will have to admit that I have learned a lot more than ten things this year.  Just being in God’s Word should teach us a lot more than ten things!  Going through a transition this year has allowed me see and learn some things that I would not have learned otherwise, or at least not to the extent that I would have learned as much.  So, over the next few days, I am going to list some things that have been important for me to learn.

1. People are depending on me to be in the Word

  • Not because I can impart some great wisdom to them, but because me being able to be who God intended me to be is dependent on me being in the Word so I know what God wants.
  • If I am going to lead people, that leadership has to be based on something greater than me.  I will only go so far, but God’s Word has unlimited potential to change lives and help people take their next step towards Christ.
  • My daily time in the Word is the most important time I spend during the day.  It energizes me and empowers me to love God, love people and serve both.
  • It also helps me to be able to be a good example and leader for my family.  They need to know that God’s Word is the ultimate authority in my life.  If I am not in the Word, they will not be.
  • If I am teaching or preaching God’s Word, I cannot rely on past experiences or lessons.  I have to take the time to be in the Word so that God can work on me first.  Only then can I have a message that is worth sharing.  There is nothing worse than hearing someone get up and preach “pretending” they have studied (and everyone else knows they have heard it before… maybe two or three times before!).  That is laziness, and there is no passion in that!

2. You may know what you want, but God knows what you need

  • I am so glad that God works the way He does.  Even during the transition this year, there were times when I thought that things were going to happen, and they did not.  At the time, it was tough, but in the end, God took care of us.
  • God has always done what was needed in my life at the right time.  I may have wanted things to happen quicker, but God had His timing in mind.  And I am so thankful for that.
  • Being able to tell the difference between what we need and what we want is difficult at times.  That is another reason why it is important to be in God’s Word.  It helps us see the difference between perceived needs (wants) and actual needs.  At times, Jesus would meet perceived needs in order to show someone their real needs.  He did not always do that though.  In the end, God’s plan was accomplished.  God’s plan will always be accomplished!

What are some of the things you have learned this year?

(To be continued… tomorrow!)