at another level

4 05 2011

“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means i might save some.” – 1 Corinthians 9:22

Recently in my walk with God I’ve been expressing to Him my frustraions, ‘why this?’ why that? what should I do about this? and that?’. You know, the times when you are real with God and tell Him what you are actually thinking and feeling. When you’re so passionate about something it builds in you to the point of explosion. Well, I was in one of those moments. You see, I feel like I do things great, live a great life of example, i plan ahead, work my butt off, care about others heaps, serve those around me, push myself to the limits, yet God’s response was ‘it’s not about all that, yes you do things great, but somethings slighty off’.

I couldn’t shake the word HEART off my mind. ‘If people captured my heart this thing would be different, better than great.’ But how God??????? And a deafining silence rung out….

In my morning bible time yesterday I was reading the passage of scripture in 1 Cor 9:19-27. I highligheted a few parts of the passage that stood out to me. Wonderful… I then closed my bible and placed it back on the corner of my desk.

Later that afternoon I was having a catchup with one of my amazing youth leaders. We began to talk about our passions and frustrations. Expressing our desire to connect with people on a different level. About how discipleship is more than doing it in the times we have to. It’s more than taking someone for a coffee to talk about their life. It’s more than sitting next to them in church. Don’t get me wrong, those things are awesome, but alone I feel will not bear the fruit you desire to see when you’re passionate about impacting a generation. We sat there and realised what we were missing is the ‘real’ side of life. You know, when you are free to be you, those moments when you are free to be yourself with your peers.

Revelation, it was a revelation! God dropped something into our conversation, into our spirits. ‘Hang out with people’, ‘bring them into what you do and who you are’. “we could go bowling and just chuck it on facebook that whoever wants to come can let us know and we can hang out”. Those things we do with our mates that create memories. Those things we do when we let our walls down and express who we are. Doing those things that everybody loves to do, the saved or unsaved, passionate or non-passionate, freshie or longtimer, young or old, on fire or about to be, the all in or the 50/50, everybody.

Straight away God pointed me back to what I was reading that morning! I was so pumped and excited! “LISTEN TO WHAT I READ THIS MORNING!!” as I began to read through the passage of scripture:

“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews i became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law[the law of grace]), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. i have become all things to all men so that by all means I might save some.”

You see I thought it was all about people stepping up to my level to capture my heart, to see what I see from the top, to hang around me in my Pastors roll. But it’s NOT. If I want people to capture my heart for this generation then it’s to another level I must go, to their level. Who doesn’t like to come sit in a Pastors office and talk about life?? wait… Who doesn’t like to go BOWLING!!!!!??? And in those moments of hanging out, those non-threatening environments, having fun, sharing memories and creating them, bonds are formed, trust is formed, and exchange of heart takes place as I go to another level.

“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.”

I can’t expect people in my sphere to step up to my ‘level’ if I am not willing or am unable to connect with them on their level. Another level.

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stay the course

28 02 2011

I was reading through Acts in my morning God time recently, and as I read through Acts 27 the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
When trouble comes, stay the course. Your natural instinct will be to run, to lower your life boat and get out. But God has spoken. You cannot be saved by jumping ship, infact lives – souls – will be lost becuase of that.
When there is a God call on your life and it feels like its smooth sailing, everything is going well, then suddenly you hit a storm. It’s not the time to get out. It’s time to hold fast, to ride out the storm.
Cut the life boats away, don’t give yourself another option. A way to back out.
Choose to be all in! Stay in the boat and stay the course that God has you on.





i stand before a field

18 01 2011

I feel the weight of a corrupt generation.
I struggle to sleep at night. Laying awake praying in the spirit.
Jesus in my right hand, the lost in my left.
Lord how do I bring these two together?
Everyone seems to have their own dreams, their own passions, desires, wants and needs.
Who will stand with me in the new season?
I stand before a field. I’ve walked in through its gates.
Lord open the eyes of my heart.
In this corrupt generation who is going to reap with me?
One man cannot reap alone.
Let your mighty hand stretch out before me.
I see wheat being gathered by workers without faces.
No faces because they are not about themselves. They are selfless in their reaping.
In a generation that is self filled and focused, who will go? who will run?
I lay my life down at your feet.
FREEDOM SHOUTS FROM MY LIPS!
MY HEART CRIES SAVE THEM!
My power, my might, adds up to nothing without your spirit.
This field you’ve set me in Lord. What should I do now?
I have the words of men ringing in my ears.
Go this way, go that. Do it this way, do that.
By my ears, my eyes, my heart, my spirit only wants to hear from you.
I want to do what YOU want to do my God.
YOU ARE HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!
What is money if I don’t impact people’s lives.
Who cares about a job title if I’m not bringing your Kingdom on earth.
I am poor in wealth but I am RICH in Spirit!
I hear the themes of injustice, hope, community, people, on the mouths of a generation.
But oh God all I hear is words! Where is the action?!
It’s not a theme, a topic, a good idea, a catchy thing to be apart of.
It’s nothing…
nothing…
Nothing… unless we choose to live it out.
Why don’t believers LOVE your Church Jesus? Isn’t it your bride?
They don’t mind being passionate about their business, their community, their families.
But what are those things without your bride? Aren’t you coming back for your bride?
Thank you that your bride isn’t a building, a concrete structure, but a people!
Harmony, balance, coexistence.
I stand before a field. I’ve walked in through its gates.
Lord open the eyes of my heart.
In this corrupt generation who is going to reap with me?
One man cannot reap alone.
Let your mighty hand stretch out before me.
Amen.





in a dream

21 12 2010

I was reading through the gospil of Matthew and the words “in a dream” kept popping out at me.

“an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream” – Matt 2:13
“an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph” – Matt 2:19
“Having been warned in a dream” – Matt 2: 22

It got me thinking… God speaks to us in our dreams. God speaks through our dreams. God reveals things in our dreams.
I noticed that during the day Joseph was doing one thing, going in a certain direction, then during the night he had a dream, God spoke, and immediately when he awoke he got up and changed his direction. He didn’t think about it, he didn’t pause or wait, or even question. He got up and got going! When God speaks to you, you move, you follow. When God gives you a dream, what you were doing or where you were going before doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore.

I don’t know about you, but God has given me a dream. I was living one way, I was leading in youth, working at the bank and one day encountered God in a conference meeting where He gave me a dream. From that encounter my life changed. I knew what God had asked me to do in life, I knew that I HAD to be in ministry, no matter what the cost, or how big the sacrifice, I just knew what He was calling me into. (for you it may be sports, business, childcare, teaching, missionary work etc.)

What are you doing right now? What have you continued to do? Even though God has given you a dream, that in your dream He has spoken to you about what He wants you to do, and what direction to take in your life, yet you still keep doing the same old. Maybe for you it’s time to GET UP and GET GOING! Live out your God given dream. Life is too short to keep doing the same old.

The thing about your dream is that its not all about you. Yes, thats right, not everything is about you! The dream you have is not given so that you can become a bigger, better, or more famous person. I beleive God gives us dreams that are about impacting and loving others and glorifying Him! (Maybe for some of you, if you take the focus of yourself, you might actually decide to start living out what God has put in your heart?)

You see, in Matthew 2 baby Jesus was being persued to be killed, yet God came to Joseph in a dream. This God encounter caused Josepg to change what he was doing and the direction he was going. Yet it wasn’t to save his own life, but to save anothers.

I believe God has given me a dream, that I’ve had an encounter with Him, that has changed the direction of where I was going in life. And is now, and will continue to, save the lives of the lost through living out that dream and doing what I know He has asked me to do.

I pray right now, that you, if God has given you a dream and spoken to you in that dream, that you would dare to GET UP and GET GOING! To change the course of your life to a path of selflessness to see the lives of the lost saved, to glorify God through your sporting career, through your own business, through whatever it may be that God has placed on your heart, to live out that dream you have from Him. It’s never too late!!





don’t send them away

7 11 2010

Matthew 14:15-19
As the evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so that they can go to the village and buy themselves some food.
” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.

Jesus will do a miracle to keep you fed, to keep you in relationship with Him, to even keep you in church.  There may be people in church that turn you away, that make you feel like you are not wanted, but Jesus doesn’t want you to go! He’ll do anything to keep you in proximity to Him and to feed you. Or you may see people getting turned away, one week in church, the next they are nowhere to be seen.

My thoughts on this passage of scripture may not be how the writter intended it to be read, but the instant Holy Spirit  revelation I received when reading this was so clear. There is a ‘crowd’ that attends our services in church every week that want to hear from Jesus, they want to be fed, but don’t know how to feed themselves in their own homes (by feed I mean receive from God’s word). This crowd want to be connected to Him, yet there are people (maybe leaders/volunteers/long timers in the church) that are unable to see the bigger picture and send them home, “go feed yourselves”. Yet I beleive Jesus is so despirate to see the crowd stay in proximity with Him that He is willing to perform miracles rather send them away empty and hungry.

Often I think we forget that Jesus wants to use us, and the little we have, to be the miracle, to work through us, to encourage and deciple people. To instruct and guide individuals in their relationship with Him.

A baby would starve to death if it wasn’t someone experienced in eating giving the baby food and then showing them how to eat.

What you and I may not see as much, a smile, a welcome, a hug, a hello, a remembered name, that very thing could be the miracle that keeps someone in relationship with Jesus. That allows them to be in a place where they can be fed.





turn around

1 11 2010

The other week I was driving home after working at church and saw a car parked up on the side of the road, about 300m in front of me, broken down.

I got that niggle inside that was saying to stop and help. But i wanted to get home! I was tired, I was hungry, it had been a long day, I couldn’t be bothered! As I drove past that niggle turned into a good elbow nudge. So I turned around around and went back to help. But help was already on the way, they were fine.

In life it’s not always about the physical helping sometimes but I believe it’s about the willingness of the heart to do so. The opportunity to lay down your own agenda/desires to put others first.

Even when you feel like you’ve missed the moment to do so, that it’s in the past, it’s not too late to turn back and do something.

I beleive God already knew they didn’t actually need my help. I think that maybe He just wanted to see if I was willing. If I’d listen to the Holy Spirit whispering to me to help someone. If I’d be willing to lay down what I wanted for the betterment of another.

If you feel like God has told you to do something, maybe to help somebody, and you feel like the moments past, that you thought you were too busy to do what He was telling you, that you couldn’t be bothered, “God this is not the right time”, right now, as you read this, STOP! Turn around, drive back, and do what God has asked you to do.

It was the most incredible freeing feeling to know I acted upon what He was telling me to do. I was so pumped with myself for turning around. And the truth is I LOVE helping people. But it’s funny how something I LOVE to do can be shadowed by selfish wants and desires. Be bold, listen to Him, turn around and have a go at doing what He’s asked you to do.





a prayer from the insulted and suffering…

31 10 2010

My God,

You have seen my tears, you know my hurt and pain. You’ve seen and heard all the abuse and taunts thrown at my soul. I call upon your name and seek your face. In the midst of a world that doesn’t understand I choose worship you Lord. You are the glory of my life, the hope of my spirit and the saviour of my soul!

Jesus you suffered for me, you left a living example of how I should follow you.
[When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he intrusted himself to him who judges justly. – 1 Peter 2:23]

Jesus help me to filter the harsh things, the negative things, the insults, that are hurled at my life. Help me to filter them out, that they would not rest upon my soul and change who I am and who you’ve created me to be.

When I’m being bullied or oppressed let no threat come from my lips, but only a song of praise because my Jesus lives! And He lives in me!

Though I may have been rejected by man(or a woman) I shall not sink into depression and retaliate in my words, thoughts and actions. My Jesus reigns and He is the lover of my soul. You are my ultimate relationship.

God forgive me of all the times when I have retaliated. Forgive me of the threats I have made in suffering. For you my God, you reign! and Your example has set me free. Strengthen my soul, because Jesus if you can do it, I can do it!

Amen

– I was reading 1 Peter this morning. While reading the end of the second chapter it was interesting to read what Peter wrote about Jesus not retaliating or threatening even though he was insulted and suffering. This example of Love towards the lost just blew me away. He would not allow the things thrown at Him, by those that didn’t understand, to deviate His love for them. Because He couldn’t threaten those He was dying for, those He loved. And by doing so He set an incredible example, and a challenging one at that, for us to follow.

Growing up, and even now in my late 20’s, I have had years of insults and suffering through the words and actions of people towards me. So many times I retaliated! Sometimes in my hurt state my anger would rage. I’d throw harsh and ruthless words/comments at people. Tearing them down big time.

I got bullied for years at school and even at tertiary college was bullied by a guy in my class. I’ve had bosses that oppressed me to the point I didn’t want to get up in the morning and go to work. I would have this intense bitterness and anger towards them. I would tear those people down behind their backs and sometimes to their faces, however it would never bring me peace.

This morning, now years later, I read this scripture, which jumped off the page to me, and it highlighted to me that there are people out there going through suffering and insult. People being insulted by others at school, uni and even work places. That there are people not wanting to go to work today because of a boss that hurls suffering upon them, or a colleague that tears you down and gossips about you. That there are young people who so hate their lives because everyday they get bullied by someone at school, in their sports team or club and even at church.

My friends I know its hard, I know it sucks, I know it may feel like you hate your life and you’d rather curl up in bed and not move on some days. But can I give you encouragement and say that your Jesus knows what its like. And in the midst of your trouble He wants to bring you peace, love and comfort. You are not alone. He is with you! Better days ARE to come! And someone reading this needs to hear this next bit, God never intended you to be humiliated and put in a daily situation of hurt or suffering. Stop pushing Him away and blaming Him, He wants to pull you out and put you on a mountain top of glory. He loves you!