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Transition

One of the most challenging things in life is being confronted with the need for change. Transition can be so difficult – yet it is common to us all.

The world is filled with disillusioned and broken people that did not understand the nature of transition and the changes that it brings. We all experience transition, but understanding the nature of change is critical to us continuing to run this race with honour and a sense of destiny.

Billy Graham once said: “Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”

A valley is but a place of transition between two mountaintops. It is that necessary terrain that takes us from the height achievable yesterday to the greater height achievable tomorrow. And yet, as we pass through it, it is there and there alone that the strength, the preparation, the enlargement of heart and spirit, the forging of deep inner strength necessary to scale that greater height is gained.

The definition of transition from the online dictionary is movement, or change from one position, state, subject, season, or concept to another.

It is in the transition of the valley that the fruit is grown, and the spirit of conquest is forged that empowers that person to scale the greater height. They do not scale that greater height in spite of the valley but because of it. That transition is a vital insert of time that empowers them for their future task. To be thankful for it is to gain from it that for which it was designed, to resent it is to gain only disappointment. Transition is empowering when embraced.

The Insecurity Of Change

Transition often means days of questions, of feeling insecure, days when you desperately need to refocus on God’s faithfulness and God’s integrity.  Your trust in Him must go to a new level in times of transition. Why? Because transition takes us from the familiar to the unknown, from the secure to the vulnerable. Psalm 23:4 tells us that God is with us, even in the darkest valleys and the most difficult times.

The reason why so many avoid transition rather than embrace it is that transition is scary! But transition is inevitable if we are to grow.

Transition touches all our lives at various moments and can touch every area of who we are and our personal world. It must. It is about the preparation of your heart for the new season of God. It is about your enlargement of spirit and faith, the creation of a deeper well of potential within you. Transition is about increasing your capacity for life!

If your season seems to have been unduly long or hard and you know that you have walked in intimacy with God and integrity with others, be encouraged with the knowledge that it is only longer because the commission is greater. It is not a time to allow discouragement but to look up with an expectant heart for the new chapter that God has been preparing you for.

Remember, the One Who holds your future, now directs your path. The Author of your change will also become your empowerment and sufficiency for that change. Your loving Father does not lead you there to see you struggle but to reveal Himself to you in a unique way. As you turn your gaze from the perplexity of the questions to the security of His love, you will find there is always that grace available for each new day.

 

God's Design

God’s Design

The creation of the whole world began with God and His design. You and I also started with God’s design, and our significance was noted before we were born. We are the result of God’s intention, not just the plan of our human parents. We were conceived in the mind of God before we were formed in the womb of our mother.

My life is not an accident or the result of some chance circumstance. And neither is yours. Our lives are significant.

Psalm 139:13-15 For You (God) created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body.

God created us. God knit us together. We are God’s design!

The phrase ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ literally means distinguished or different. Our lives are unique; we are one of a kind. There is something in us and about us that no one else has. Our uniqueness is based on the sovereignty of God’s design.

When David writes the Psalms, he shares his confidence in God. He is convinced that God made him, not as a casual afterthought, but as a beautiful creation. David had a personal relationship with the Lord, and states that he knows that all of God’s works are wonderful.

All of God’s works includes you and I as well, as everyone who has ever existed and everyone who is yet to be born. Do you know that you are created uniquely by God? Do you know that your uniqueness is foundational to your significance? Do you know and accept fully that God did a great job, a perfect job, when He created you?

God made us profoundly wonderful. As the Master Designer, He also has a plan for our lives.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

Our significance is connected to being a child of the living God. Our confidence comes from knowing His purpose, and then living the life God has pre-ordained for us to live. God’s purposes are to give us “a hope and a future” and his plans are to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11). It’s not just about us doing good things. It is about us doing the works that God has prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Every day is lived best when we understand our significance and when we know our purpose. But we cannot have either of those things unless we have relationship with God. To know Him is to hear His voice. When we hear His voice, we receive His heart of love towards us and we understand His purpose for us.

God’s design is never unintentional. We are called to live purposeful lives. Will you commit to living a significant life? The best life we can have is the beautiful life of God’s design!

 

Abba Father

Abba Father

The word ‘father’ brings to mind different meanings and memories for each person. For some, a father evokes positive or happy thoughts. For others, the memories of a father may be difficult—for any number of reasons. But what is our perception of God the Father?

I believe that it is God’s desire that everyone receive a personal revelation of God, not only as our awesome God (and He is) but as our warm, loving, caring Father!  A Father that wants us to talk with Him daily. A Father that desires us to live a life of intimacy and deep affection with Him; a life that will embolden us to become men and women of significance in our world.  The scripture describes our loving Father in this way:

Romans 8:15 (NKJV) For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption and by Him (the Spirit) we cry Abba Father!

This phrase ‘Abba Father’ is a term of endearment or affection. The Passion Translation of this scripture describes God as our ‘Beloved Father’.

In Galatians chapter 4, the apostle Paul writes that when we become believers, we move from slavery to sonship. The word ‘sons’ used throughout this chapter is not a reference to an exclusively male invitation, but a reference to the nature of the relationship that God offers: that of full, total adoption. This spiritual adoption is available for each person, both male and female.

Galatians 4:6-7 (NIV) Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

God is indicating the type of the relationship that He intends us to have with Him by talking about the tradition of the day. It was the custom of full adoption, in which an adopted person took on all the rights, privileges and authority of his new ‘father’ as his rightful heir. It was an awesome moment in a person’s life when whatever limitations previously part of their life were replaced by their whole new identity of power and authority granted to them by their father. With that full adoption moment came an amazing new life with freedom and potential never dreamed of previously.

When we have a personal revelation of true fatherhood, we have the security of knowing that:

  • We are totally loved
  • We are unconditionally accepted—and never have to strive for that acceptance again
  • We are a recipient of the Father’s provision
  • The authority of the Father now fully rests on us as His heir
  • Father is guiding the steps of our lives
  • Father is always and only motivated for our good
  • Father is the all-powerful Creator of Heaven and Earth—and He is greater than all of life’s opposition.

Friends, the marks of one living with a revelation of having God as our personal, intimate, affectionate Father is SECURITY! An impregnable, unshakeable security. We can go through life totally assured of His love and acceptance. 1 John 4:18 declares, “Perfect love casts out all fear!” The revelation of God as my affectionate, protecting Father conquers all fear. My intimacy with the Father is what empowers me.

When we are secure, we don’t compare ourselves with others or become intimidated by others. A revelation of Abba Father dares us to dream impossible dreams because our God is not restricted to our humanity. We become capable of bold initiatives because our driving force is to please Him and bring Him honour. It is never too late to experience a new and intimate relationship with Father.

Spiritual sonship is God’s intention for all of us! Father gives an invitation to enter in to such a relationship. He now offers you a life of far greater intimacy and potential than you have previously known or dreamed of. Ask Him today for a revelation of His heart and get to know Him as your personal, affectionate Abba Father.

The Call of God

Don’t Postpone the Call of God

The call of God is anything God asks us to do; it’s God’s will.

There are general calls: come to the Father through Jesus, talk to God in prayer, discover God in His Word, love people like Jesus loves us, be gentle, patient and kind, be self-controlled, live life according to God’s Word etc.

Then there are specific calls: God may have asked you to go somewhere in particular, call someone to encourage them, forgive someone who has hurt you, or change careers. Father may call you to go to Bible school, lead a home group, get involved in youth ministry or children’s church, give a certain amount of money to a specific cause, stop something you have been doing for a while, or start something new.

Do you know what God has asked you to do? What is your commission? And are you postponing the call of God?

The word postpone means “to cause or arrange for something to take place at a later time than that first scheduled.” (Lexico online dictionary)

The first thing I notice is that when we postpone, there is an intention to do the thing which is asked or planned. Many people have the thought that they will do what God has said…but just not right now. There’s a thought of “I will do it…one day”. However, the longer we delay, the more likely we will disobey.

Why do we postpone what God asks us to do? Might I suggest that it’s because we don’t really trust Him. I’ve learnt that to know the Author is to trust the Author. God’s Word shows us that when God calls us, He enables us to fulfill that call. Therefore, I’ve learnt I can always trust Him!

GOD IS A GOOD GOD:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

GOD IS A GOD OF INVITATION:

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.

GOD IS ALWAYS WORKING FOR MY GOOD:

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

The enemy tries to convince us that by postponing the call of God we are protecting ourselves from bad things. The truth is, when we delay obeying God’s will, we are keeping ourselves from God’s best. But we need to understand that obeying the call is not always easy.

God’s Will

God’s will comes at a cost – to God and to us

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.”

  • God’s will doesn’t come at a convenient time – to God and to us

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Luke 9:59-62 He said to another man, “Follow Me.” But He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

  • God’s will in our lives will be contested

God’s will is contested through contradictions (Joseph and his God-given dream)

Genesis 45:5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

God’s will is also contested through disappointments (Job lost almost everything)

Job 1:21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

I have a conviction that we cannot lose when we do God’s will at the time He asks us to do it.

On your way to discovering God’s specific will for your life, commit to being faithful with God’s written will which is found in His Word. We have a call to be about our Father’s business: “Not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42) We also have a call to be a part of God’s family: “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9) We are adopted as sons and daughters, dearly loved children, friends of God.

The Lord speaks to us in the book of Jeremiah about His wonderful will for our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11) God’s will is always the best place for us. God will always bring His good work in us to completion. There comes a time when we must make God’s will and His call our first and greatest priority.

God's light breaking over the horizon

God of Light

God is a God of light, not a God of darkness. In a world where so much darkness abounds, this is a much-needed truth that we need a revelation of. We need to get our theology from God’s Word.

1 John 1:5-7  This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.

God is a God of absolutes. This scripture says that ‘in Him, there is no darkness at all’. There is far too much dilution, pollution and contamination when it comes to our view of darkness and light. It is not politically correct to talk in absolutes, but it is biblically imperative and theologically accurate. It’s not about being dogmatic – it is about truth.

God is a God of light, not a God of darkness. It says that if we walk with God, then we will not continue to walk in darkness. This is not talking about people who made a decision once or prayed a prayer once. It is describing people who actually walk in fellowship and friendship with God. It is not talking about having moments of making wrong choices. It is talking about people who continually walk in darkness.

Jesus is the Light of the World, and if we are truly walking with Him, we will walk in the light.

1 John 1:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us.

This scripture is a good reminder that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). To claim to not sin is pride and this displeases God. Acknowledging our sins ‘as sins’ is imperative to walking in freedom. Ignoring them or watering them down is always to our detriment.

Our freedom comes, not from perfection, but from Christ, the anointed Son of God. And that freedom is released through taking responsibility for our sins and asking Jesus to forgive us. Yes, we have all sinned. This is a reality. But we also all have a Saviour who wants to forgive us, cleanse us and give us life to the full!

Praise God that He is the God of Light and that we can walk with Him in the light.

One Handful or Two

One Handful or Two

God asked me one day, “What do you have in your hand?” Not literally in my hand, but what was I juggling in my life? And when I answered the question honestly, I realised that it was not just one handful that I was carrying, but actually I had both hands full. And my hands were full to overflowing. I was so busy doing things for God that I had been distracted from chasing after God himself.

I have found myself at times chasing many things. And they may have been good things – related to family, ministry, or church life. But as a bit of an over-achiever, I can easily find myself with too much on my plate. I say yes out of enthusiasm to help others, which can result in feeling worn out or depleted.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

When I was younger, my Dad used to have a bit of fun when offering us certain foods – such as a slice of cake or slice of cheese. He would ask whether we wanted a one-handed slice or a two-handed slice. Of course, if my friends were around, they would always ask for a two-handed slice – it sounded like it was going to be so much bigger and so much better! But in fact, a two-handed slice was so thin and fragile that it needed to be held with both hands. It would crumble at a moment’s notice. The one-handed slice was the one you really wanted – it was thick and stable and easily held in one hand.

When both our hands are so full of stuff in our lives, it is like that two-handed slice. Life seems like it will be so much better when we have two hands full – but in fact, too much and our lives feel thin and as if things would easily crumble. We end up chasing after the wrong things, and it takes all of our energy to ensure that things don’t fall apart. But we don’t want to drop the ball or let people down, so we keep straining to juggle our many responsibilities. As a result, our life feels unstable and uncertain.

When I chase after many things that are not in God’s plan, I lose my tranquillity. I forfeit that inner state of being calm and settled. I end up toiling and working so hard I lose my joy. And if we are honest, amidst the many good things in our lives, we can end up a slave to what seem to be good things. But too many seemingly good things are not always right if they are not in God’s plan.

Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Jesus teaches us not to worry about tomorrow, and to seek Him first. God’s ways are always higher than our ways. If we stick to one handful of the things in life, we have the other hand free – to hold God’s hand. To allow Him to lead and guide us. To ensure that we have the margin and space in our day to hear His voice and be led by the Holy Spirit. With one hand full, our lives are stable and secure in Him. And with just one hand full, we also have the other hand free to help others along the way as He directs.

So, allow Father to speak into what you have in your hands. Don’t get caught up in meaningless toil – live your life with one handful, not two.

Philippians 1:6 (TLB) And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.

Just Three Words from Jesus

Just Three Words From Jesus

God is speaking all the time. He speaks in parables and stories, in statements and prophecies, in mysteries great and unsearchable. But Father also speaks with clarity and precision. And just three words that God speaks can be the very declaration that we need to hear right now.

We are all called to live a prophetic life. And the description of living a prophetic life is to hear God clearly and communicate Him accurately. But when we consider the prophetic, are we missing what God is saying because we are overlooking what God is placing right before us? Are we looking for a great and mighty prophecy and missing His voice because we mistakenly believe that the lengthier something is, the more impacting it will be?

Some of the most powerful moments in Jesus’ life were summed up in just three words. At the start of His ministry, Jesus finds Simon Peter and Andrew fishing, and with just three words His command changed the direction of their lives: “Come, follow me.” While being tempted in the wilderness, Jesus rebukes the enemy with just three words, “It is written” and uses the power of the Word to overcome temptation. When a man with leprosy comes to Jesus to ask if He will make him clean, Jesus says just three words, “I am willing” and then heals him. While the disciples are freaked out by the wild weather which has blown up on the lake, Jesus calms the storm with just three words, “Quiet! Be still.”

Upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus, who was giving up his perfect, sinless life for the salvation of humanity, says just three words, “It is finished.” Peter, wonderful impulsive Peter, who loved Jesus so much and yet who also disowned Him before He was crucified, was given his calling and purpose for life in just three words, “Feed my sheep.” And many of the simplest, yet most profound commands we hear from Jesus are summed up in three words: “Love one another”, “Remain in Me”, “Do not judge”, “Watch and pray,” “Do not worry”.

Focusing on just three words is not a principle to be followed or a rule to measure whether God is speaking or not. Jesus spoke for three chapters non-stop in Matthew when delivering the Sermon on the Mount. The entire Bible, all 66 books which are inspired by the Holy Spirit, is God speaking to us. It says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” The length of how many words God says to you in a particular moment is not the point. The point is that God is always speaking – through His Word, through the Holy Spirit, through other believers, through creation.

When it comes to hearing God’s voice, He will speak to us with exactly what we need. Never underestimate the power of what God is saying because of the length of the words or the vessel that it is delivered through. In fact, the simplicity of just three words can burn in your heart and come back to your mind time and time again when you need encouragement in your faith.

Whether it is three words, a paragraph, or a chapter – Father is always speaking. So, when the Holy Spirit whispers something to your heart, don’t discount it just because it appears simple. When a phrase is highlighted to you from the Bible, meditate and press in to hear His voice. When you receive a word of encouragement or a scripture from a friend, listen to what God is saying. Bigger is not always better. Longer is not always loftier. God knows best – let’s allow His Words to change our lives.

Nothing Is Impossible

Nothing Is Impossible

Have you ever felt God was asking you to do something completely unreasonable? Something that was glorious and wonderful in its potential but utterly impossible in its execution? Why entice me Lord, if there just isn’t any possibility of it?

Well, just imagine being Joshua! The Jordan is a raging torrent of water that forbids the Israelites from going into the Promised Land. It was simply impossible to cross! And yet the promise could not be fulfilled without crossing it.

I want to assure you that God has an increased adventure of faith for each one of us. However, I also have the conviction that if we are to possess HIS ultimate intention, it will involve embracing that which is impossible. We will know what it is to stand at the edge of Jordan: we will sense the imminent revelation of a commission that will be not only extraordinary in its potential but utterly impossible in its execution.

Can you just imagine Joshua?

The first question must have been: “But Lord! Where is my rod?! I believe you can part the waters because I have seen you do it before. But I need the rod! Moses had a rod! The Miracle Power to part waters comes with the ROD anointing! Lord, where is my rod?”

But this time, there was no rod.

“Lord, how can you expect me to part the waters if you take away from me the very anointing that one needs to part waters?!”

  • How can I build without brick and mortar?
  • How can I achieve without finances?
  • How can I travel without a healing?
  • How can I produce a book if cannot write?
  • How can I succeed if the business had to close?
  • How can I start another campus if there is no venue?
  • How can I achieve more for your Kingdom if the very thing I have always used to achieve it with has now been taken from me?

I can just imagine the perplexity in Joshua’s mind: “My God, why have you taken the rod of Moses from me in the time when I desperately need it?!!!”

But the Lord’s method this time was to be so very different. This time no rod was necessary. This time His presence alone would part the waters. As the priests who carried the Ark of His Presence stepped into the waters, without the rod, without Joshua giving any miracle commands, just in simple obedience and faith, the waters parted!

God was taking them to an even greater level of trust and obedience. It wasn’t His neglect that removed the rod, it was part of His greater intention: He wanted them to know that they served “A God for whom NOTHING was impossible!”

Friends, as we put our hands up and volunteer for the supernatural adventure of life, what do we need to hear?

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  • “With GOD” (Just him! His power, His presence, His person!)
  • “ALL things ARE possible!” (A totally unqualified statement!)

It is time to live a MIRACULOUS LIFE! Not just believe it intellectually or include it in our preaching! But to live it!

I invite you to join me in volunteering for a life of unqualified surrender, a life in which we say to Father; “Whatever You ask me to do, Lord, I will do it!” Nothing is impossible! Let the new adventure begin.