Issues of Life Articles 51-60

Issues of Life #51

Destiny #2

 

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” Acts 17:25-28

 

    I am convinced that when we get a glimpse of our destiny our lives will never be the same. The Father loves to reveal the details of His plans for our lives to us. But it is sometimes mysterious in the way that He does it. He is not limited in the ways that He reveals those things to us and He’s not limited in the ways that He speaks to us. He may give us a dream or a vision. He may, by the still small voice, speak delicately to our spirit. He may speak to us through the circumstances that we are going through in our lives. He may choose to speak to us by using an obedient person to give us a prophetic word or He may just give us that inner witness of the Holy Spirit as to what He has planned for us. But, at any rate, the Father desires for us to know what is in His heart for us.

    We are on a “need to know” basis with the Lord! Everything that we will ever need to know in this lifetime, He will tell us! He wants to keep us in His perfect will. The Bible says that, “We have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness.”  This includes all the information that we need to live a successful kingdom life in Christ. As we grow and mature in the Lord we learn to be more dependent on Him and His leadership for our lives. We should be desperate to know His will for our lives. We should refuse to make our own decisions without the counsel of the Most High God. We should be like the woman in the Bible who said that, “Even the dogs get to eat the crumbs from the Master’s table.” There’s nothing wrong with conventional wisdom or common sense but it is not always the safest way to stay in the center His will.

    When the Father begins to reveal His plans for our destiny it can be very encouraging and frustrating at the same time. God has an incredible plan for our lives. When we get a glimpse of that plan it can be very intimidating because it looks so impossible to accomplish. But don’t forget….God has not called you to do this under your own power. His plan is to empower you by His own power and His endless supply of resources. God will always call you to do something that you absolutely cannot accomplish without Him!

 

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Issues of Life #52

Destiny #3

 

    God always calls us to do things that are totally out of our reach; things that are impossible according to the ways of man. He loves to use the unqualified to do the impossible! The Bible is full of examples of plain old, simple people like you and I that, under the leadership of the Most High God, do incredible exploits in the name of the Lord. Gideon was one such person. He was a simple wheat farmer but God had big plans for him. He had no military training whatsoever, yet he was God’s handpicked man to head up the troops. He was extremely unqualified! But, maybe he was encouraged a little when he saw the size of his army. I mean, three hundred thousand troops is a pretty formidable force by anyone’s standards. In Biblical days it would surely be an intimidating sight to see those three hundred thousand troops arrayed for the battle. Gideon may have thought everything would be OK since the army was so great in number. But God, as He often will do, did something that absolutely defied logic. He began to whittle down the great army. And when the sorting was done ……. there were only three hundred soldiers left to do the fighting! Three hundred! No more intimidating the enemy with sheer numbers. No longer could Gideon trust in the incredible power of his great army. In fact, the shock of what God did to reduce the number of soldiers would surely have sent mortal fear through Gideon’s bones. There was no alternative now! Gideon would have no other choice than to put his total trust in the Lord. You don’t go into any battle with only three hundred soldiers feeling very confident. You would have to ‘press in’ to hear what God’s plan was. You would pray! Boy, would you pray! You would be afraid to make a move without knowing what the will of the Lord was. You would be desperate for God’s voice. Your only comfort would be His voice and His presence. Otherwise you would succumb to fear, doubt and confusion.

    We must be extra cautious not to limit ourselves to what we think that we can do. The truth is, we can only do so much. We only have so much talent and gifting. We can only amass so many resources. We can never trust in human flesh if we’re to fulfill the destiny that God has ordained for us. When you get the revelation of destiny you’ll quickly learn that you are in ‘way over your head’. Your only way out is His presence and His provision. “It’s Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

 

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Issues of Life #53

Destiny #4

 

    Our Father is a God of meticulous detail. He has planned out our lives down to this very moment and beyond. He told Jeremiah, “Before you were in your mother’s womb I knew you, and I have ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God is no respecter of persons so I believe that it’s elementary to presume that He also knew you and I before we were in our mother’s womb! The Bible says, “He is the author and finisher of our faith.” It says that, “He that has begun a work in us will complete it.” God alone has the secrets for our lives. It is from Him that we receive instructions as to the things that we are to accomplish in this life.

    I have this fear. And while most fear is not productive, I believe that this is a healthy fear. I have a ‘healthy fear’ that at the end of my life God will turn me around and show me all the things that I could have done in my life if I would have only trusted Him in every situation. I missed thirty years of the kingdom life….I don’t want to miss another minute. I can now clearly see that He has planned my life. I can see now that His plan of destiny for us always includes people. He has a group of people that He has called us to. Our obedience to Him in regards to this group of people will dictate whether or not the group will grow and multiply. If we’re faithful in a little, He will bless us with much more. But if we are not faithful with the one or two, we will miss God’s blessing of bringing the multitudes across our path so that we might touch them with the love of Jesus. This ‘field’ of people starts first with those in your immediate ‘circle of influence’. The Bible calls this your ‘household’. It includes, but is not limited to, those in your own family. As we prove ourselves faithful with this small group God begins to slowly extend the realm of our influence. And as long as we are obedient to give the glory and honor to the Father, it is to His best interest to multiply that group. There is really no limit, except the limits we impose on ourselves, to the extent that we can be used by the Father.

    How about you? Are you being faithful to show the love of the Father to those in your family, to those you work with or to those that you share a relationship with? Let’s not find ourselves in an uncomfortable position at the end of our life. When the Father shows us our lives on that day, let Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

 

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Issues of Life #54

Destiny #5

 

 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” Acts 17:25-28

 

            When we are talking about destiny we begin to realize that it is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey. Great Biblical examples recognized that it is really about the journey. Abraham lived his life looking down the road for ‘a city whose builder and maker is God’. He was wise to the fact that he was a sojourner in a foreign land. He understood that He was moving, changing and being transformed by the presence of the Living God. He lived in the world…..but the world was not his home! The Bible is clear that our citizenship is not here but in heaven. We are passing through this world and being trained for the life to come. And while this world is not our home it is very important what we do here in the time that the Father has allotted to us.

            When we get a glimpse of destiny, it changes us forever! We all have bad days; we all make huge mistakes with our lives. But God is a redeemer! He takes those bad days and the mistakes that we make and uses them for His good. It is partly through our mistakes that we learn to be obedient to the Lord. It is through the experience of failure that we learn that, “Greater is He Who is in us than he who is in the world.” A glimpse of destiny empowers us to get up from our fall and get back on the plumb line of His will for our life. When we understand that mistakes, failures and persecution are all a vital part of the training process we view them altogether different. We begin to see the redeeming value of trials. Instead of whining, complaining and murmuring we eventually learn to “count it all joy” when we go through life’s challenges and disappointments.

            So, we have a God-given destiny; an intricate, detailed plan for our life designed and fashioned by the Father, and specific to each of us. Paul said, “I don’t count myself as having arrived or attained.” He had come to the realization that mistakes don’t disqualify you for service in the Father’s kingdom. He also realized, as we should, that he was called; handpicked by God to fulfill a mission in this life. Remember, destiny is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey. Keep moving as He leads and don’t forget to enjoy the trip!

 

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Issues of Life #55

Destiny #6

 

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” Acts 17:25-28

 

    God loves to reveal our destiny to us. And while it is one of the most important things in our life…He actually gets more out of it than we do. It is one of the great joys of a Father to see His children succeed in life. But an even deeper reason God wants us to succeed and fulfill our destiny is that it always involves other people. Yes, when you are walking in His perfect plan for you life, other people are touched, converted and transformed. That’s ultimately what your destiny is all about. God wants to use you to bring others into His kingdom. It’s the principle that, if we’re faithful in the little things, He will bless us abundantly in the bigger things.

    Destiny is about you and I fulfilling the appointments that the Lord has predetermined even before the world was created. Psalm 139 says that, (paraphrased) “Before we had drawn our first breath God had written down the sum of our days. They are recorded in a book.” Every single day has been planned out in incredible detail so that our lives are filled with the glory of God. There are people in our path that God intends for us to minister to. Maybe we’re supposed to pray for them. It could be that we are to show them the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. It may be that we are to give them something that they need. Maybe we’re supposed to give them a word of personal prophecy. Whatever the specifics are…only He knows. He wants us to press in through the relationship that He has initiated with us to find out the details of our lives. He wants to show us what to do next and exactly how to do it.

    The Bible says that “the ‘works’ are prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God has already completed the works! It is up to us, as we walk by faith in obedience to His Holy Spirit, to cause the completed works to manifest in the natural realm. Remember, they are already a reality in the spiritual realm. You have God ordained and arranged appointments in front of you. There are plenty of situations where the supernatural power of God is available to bring His desired results in every type of circumstance. Your destiny and the glory of God await your obedience!

 

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Issues of Life #56

Destiny #7

 

    An understanding of destiny will totally transform a person’s life. The thought that God has it all planned out is amazing indeed! It is only when we step into God’s plan for our lives that we experience true contentment. Jesus said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.” In the same context He said, “These things have I said unto you that you might have My joy, and that your joy would be full, and that your joy should remain.” When we engage in His plan for our lives, we become ‘fruitful’. That just means that we are to be effective and productive in the things that He has ordained for us. It is not just about being busy in the affairs of life, or even being busy in what we would call ‘ministry’ things. It is about being a co-laborer with the Father in His perfect plan for our lives. Good works can be defined in a myriad of ways but from the Father’s perspective, ‘good works’ could only be defined by what He has chosen for us to do. One thing that is for sure, He wants us to be fruitful. And He will guarantee that fruitfulness if we will be sensitive and obedient to His Spirit as He leads us into the Father’s perfect will.

    But notice what else Jesus is saying. It is obvious that fullness of joy doesn’t just come from being born again. Our salvation is the first building block, however. But I know plenty of people who are born again that are miserable and unhappy. Jesus is saying here that if we’re to have that lasting, genuine joy it must come from cooperating with Him in His master plan for our lives. He is also saying that His kind of joy would be full and that it would remain. That tells me that even in the midst of problems and the trials of life that His joy will remain intact in us, unaffected by outward circumstances. Superficial joy, the kind that we try to produce by getting everything in order in our lives, flees at the first sign of trouble. Not so with the joy of the Lord! Nehemiah said, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”

    Are you experiencing a profound depth of genuine joy? If not, maybe you should inquire of the Father about what His plan for your life really is. It is there that real joy will be found.


Issues of Life #57

Destiny #8

 

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” Acts 17:25-28

 

 

    It’s true! God has our whole life planned out. And His plans for us are glorious. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11 We are, with our lives, to bring honor to the Father. We are able to do that as we become filled with His Spirit and through faith and obedience follow the Lord in every area of our lives.

    One of the mistakes that we should avoid when we’re talking about destiny is not to confuse ‘destiny’ with ‘destination’. We are in a journey. We, as believers, are to keep moving in our life. We’re a moving target! We’re to keep growing and maturing until we move from this life into the next one. But it’s not about a destination…..it’s about a journey! Paul said, “I don’t count myself as having arrived.” He was wise enough in the Lord to understand that he had grown some spiritually but he also understood that there was still much more work to be done. He used phrases like, “I press on”. In some places he likened this Christian walk to a race. “Let us lay aside the weight and the sin which so easily besets us and run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

    Many believers, when they are free from the bigger and more obvious sins, relax in their growth. After all, those obvious sins, the ones that brought us so many problems are gone. But God desires a deeper work. He’s nowhere near to being finished with us. He loves us just like we are but He has no intention of leaving us like we are. It’s a process….a lifetime process. There’s not going to be a time that we ‘arrive’. We can, however, enjoy the peace of God without any condemnation in this process. And even though we’re not totally fixed, as long as we’re in the process we can experience the grace and love of the Father. We will continually be tested. We will continually have those things in our lives that are inconsistent with the nature of the Father that He wants to change. By His Spirit He gives us conviction. We have the awesome opportunity to repent, to change, and to be renewed. He’s loving, forgiving, patient, longsuffering and full of grace toward us. He has an incredible task before Him…..to conform “us” into the image of His Son. It’s a lifetime project! So ‘destiny’ is not about a destination…..it’s about THE JOURNEY!

 


Issues of Life #58

Supernatural Power #1

 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

 

            In the last days of Jesus’ earthly life He taught many critical principles to the twelve that were entrusted to Him by the Father. Part of that crucial teaching included the training and orientation of the supernatural. Jesus’ life and His ministry ushered in the supernatural power of God. Jesus operated in it and He explained it to the twelve in so simple of terms that they could not misunderstand it. Not only did Jesus, in His submission to the Father and His will, operate in the supernatural but much of His time was spent in demonstrating how it worked to His disciples. Jesus gave the example and the twelve were to carry on the legacy that Jesus had begun.

            In the above passage of Scripture Jesus explains that the supernatural power of God is for all of us to operate in! “He who believes in Me”, clearly indicates the requirements for operating in the supernatural. The prerequisite is to believe upon Jesus! True belief and true faith produces genuine works. Many profess to know Jesus but without any evidence of His power in their lives. In James’ letter he addresses this very issue. “You may talk about your faith but I’ll show you my faith by my works.” The writer of Hebrews says it this way, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is not just a confident feeling about something. It is a solid belief in things that exist, but are momentarily unseen.

            Our confidence to operate in the supernatural doesn’t just come from reading the Bible. It doesn’t just come from time spent in prayer. Those things are important and essential alright but our confidence in Jesus and the supernatural can only come through the abiding relationship that we should have with Him. It is through this relationship that we actually get to know Him. Operating in the supernatural is a by-product of this amazing relationship! And as we deepen in our “knowing” Him we are able to understand, and then walk in, the reality of the supernatural. It becomes an everyday thing!

 

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Issues of Life # 59

Supernatural Power #2

 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”  John 14:12-14

 

            The world needs a demonstration of the supernatural power of God! The modern church is suspended between the supernatural acts of an omnipotent God, clearly seen in the Old Testament and in the New Testament by Jesus’ life and ministry, and of what we believe or understand about what God is going to do in the future. And I would say at this point that I think that most people really do believe that there is more of the supernatural to take place on the planet before the coming of the Lord. The problem is that we have been seduced by a watered down version of the gospel to believe that it is going to happen with someone else, somewhere else and at another time. This has placed us in an unfortunate position, indeed. Unfortunate in that we were placed on the planet by a sovereign act of God’s will to change the world and in many ways we’re not getting it done. Jesus said, “I Am the light of the world.” Then He says, “You are the light of the world.” We are put here, by Him, to make a difference. And the difference is not just made by what we can do on our own but by what He can do through us by His supernatural power! Paul says in Colossians, “It is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

            If we’re to answer the call to really make a difference with our lives and to make a difference in the world we must do it with the supernatural power of God working in us. He has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness”. According to His Word we are thoroughly equipped with everything that we need to be a major player in His grand plan for our generation. The condition of the world is crying out for the supernatural power of God. Lives are being defeated. People are falling by the way. Many are missing their destiny. Some will miss heaven……. It is obvious to me! We need the supernatural power of God to ‘show up’ in the lives of believers! Who will take the torch of God and carry it throughout their generation?

 

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Issues of Life #60

Supernatural Power #3

 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”  John 14:12-14

 

            Jesus states that we that believe are to do the works that He did. Well, just so there’s no mistaking, what were some of those works? He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, cast out demons, caused the blind to see and the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead! This is not just some holy roller doctrine or some religious fanatics’ spin on what they want the Bible to say.…..it is the Truth! The modern church has ignored the truth of Jesus’ words to a great degree. I mean, it’s easier to ignore the Truth than to walk it out by faith. But the downside is that the world doesn’t get to see the power of God. Individual believers end up being bored with the Christian life. And what’s even worse…God isn’t glorified.

            It is true. We are to do the works that Jesus did. Where do we start? We start right where we are. It’s a quick trip to the center of God’s will. But it does take us believing God at His Word. It takes repentance from dead works. It takes a desire to be in the perfect will of the Father. It takes some effort on our part to fulfill the relationship that He wants to have with us. It takes our availability and willingness to allow Him to use us however He wants to. It takes faith to step out into the impossible realm. But with those things intact we are well on our way to operating in the supernatural power of God.

            There was a great man of God who died a few years ago by the name of John Wimber. He was a professional musician. He grew up totally separated from any semblance of Christian life. But God had his number! He was gloriously transformed and then became the founder one of the greatest spiritual movements of our generation, the Vineyard movement. His life and ministry touched virtually every nation on the planet. John’s simple obedience to the Father stated in his own words was, “God, I’m just change in your pocket. You can spend me anyway you want to.” And that’s exactly what the Father did! If we are to operate in the supernatural, if we’re to do the works that Jesus did then we must allow the Father to use us to the full extent of His will for us. How about you? Does the Father have your permission to spend your life any way that He wants?

 

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