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What Do You See

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we just leapt from one glorious mountain top to the next? Birds singing, sun shining, flower blossoms and the sweet smell of summer… Then you wake up!

The valley is real, the clouds are real, the birds sometimes just squawk, and you start to question the seemingly perpetual winter. So, how do you handle that? How did Paul honour God in the prison?

For me there are many keys, but today I wish to share one of them:

  • What fills your sight, fills your heart.
  • What fills your heart, determines your future!

The truth is that restrictions & darkness are God’s opportunities! So, the real question is not your circumstances, but what do you see? Are you looking through the eyes of your humanity or are you looking through eyes anointed by the eye-salve of heaven, the Holy Spirit? What do you see? What is it that fills your sight, your perception, your worldview, your focus, and your vision? It is what you see with your natural eye that will seek to intimidate you; but it is what you see with your spiritual eyes, anointed by the Holy Spirit, that will empower you!

You might say, “But David, we live in the midst of restriction and contradiction – that’s reality!” My friends, restriction and contradiction have never been able to restrain a God that can open prison doors and bring Lazarus out of the tomb. Restrictions and darkness are His opportunities!

My friends, it was in the darkness of Gethsemane and the cross that Jesus brought redemption to mankind. Why? Because of what He saw! His eyes were not fixed on the agony of the Cross, although He was acutely aware of it. His eyes were focused on the atonement of mankind.

Heb 12:2 (NKJV) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

JESUS triumphed! Why? Because of what filled His sight. Jesus triumphed because of what He chose to focus on. He was not focused upon the rough sawn timbers nor the spikes in His hands, but He was focused on the hope set before Him. It was because of what He saw! Jesus never surrendered his spiritual authority for a single moment. The cross did not take His spirit, He offered it up when HE was good and ready!

The darkness of Satan’s intention has always provided our Father an opportunity to work miraculously for His own purpose. Right now, in the midst of your circumstances and the unrelenting barrage of news on your TV, what is it that you choose to focus on? Yes, that’s right! What we focus on is a choice! Satan may have his objective because he so hates mankind, but I assure you, GOD has HIS objective. Not only for the planet, but for you, for your family, and for your life! This is not a moment to be intimidated, this is a moment of potential destiny for you – if you can but see it!

My friends, the Bible is full of men and women who refused to be intimidated by their circumstances, and their courage was because of what they saw, that which they chose to focus upon.

DANIEL refused to obey a royal decree and continued to pray to God. It was in the darkness of the lion’s denthat Daniel was used to change the heart of a king and turn a nation to God. Why? Because of what he saw! His courage was because of that which filled his sight. He saw the supernatural capacity of his God to protect him and prevail over every opposition.

MOSES was confronted by the red sea in front and the Egyptian army behind, but he was not intimidated. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

JOSHUA was confronted by the impregnable fortress of Jericho, an impossible task, but he was not intimidated. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

DEBORAH had to accept the role in Israel of prophetess, judge, and warrior leader in a time of great oppression and evil against God’s people, but she was not intimidated. Consequently, she walked in the authority of her God, an authority that could not be shaken. She shattered the forces of hell and evil!

PAUL faced many persecutions. It was in the darkness of the storm and shipwreck that Paul brought redemption to Malta. Why? Because of what filled his sight! Not the rocks and the waves, but the unrelenting pursuit and intervention of God to keep him on assignment. Paul knew that God had a purpose for him, and that is what he chose to focus upon. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

JOHN WESLEY in the mid 1700’s, rode on horseback through sleet and ice in an English winter. He was violently opposed by churches and society at large, often isolated, abandoned by many members of his family, and without support of any kind. And yet he brought revival to England and the world. Why? Because he was not intimidated! The circumstances did not fill his sight, the greatness of his God and his commission filled his sight. That’s what he chose to focus on. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Because of the risen Christ, you and I now possess a spiritual authority that cannot be shaken. But we also must understand (see Hebrews chapter 12) that shaking and severe testing of that authority will come! The cross and the tomb were a reality.

Will the storms come? Yes! Will the shaking of opposition and circumstances come to us all? Yes. But we must settle the issue once and for all. We do not walk subject to human frailty and vulnerability, rather we walk under the divine command of a King who is absolute in His power. In the spirit world, right now, there is no dispute about the absolute power and ruling dominion of Jesus as absolute king.

Some of you right now, reading my words, need to identify those areas that have undermined your faith, shaken your convictions, or intimidated your decisions, or qualified your future expectations. You need to reach out and receive His divine grace, a fresh infilling of His divine power, a moment of truth and revelation, a re-alignment of thinking so that your anticipations come in line with His prophetic intention for your life, your vocation, and your calling. It can only come by the Holy Spirit.

Join with me and declare that you will embrace and obey everything that Father gives you to initiate! He wants to give you bold, faith-filled initiatives!!

“I walk under the divine command of Jesus, King of Kings!

And HIS authority, which now becomes MY authority, cannot be shaken!

I embrace decisions of faith!

I embrace future expectations of the miraculous!

I will not be intimidated!”

Love and God Bless,

David.

Watch a one-minute video from David: ‘What Do You See’.

Christmas – More Than A Season

Christmas. It is one simple word that conveys a lot.

Christmas is a common word that denotes a season that happens every year. Regardless of what else is happening in the world, Christmas is never cancelled. Yes, the expression of it may be amended, but December 25th will always be Christmas.

Christmas is synonymous with family and friends, with eating and celebration, with gifts and stockings. Christmas is referred to as the festive season.

Christmas is a great opportunity to take a break, to have a rest and to go on vacation. Getting away from normal life is an anticipated escape for many. But Christmas is so much more than all of these wonderful things.

Christmas is the time of year when the world is pointed to the birth of Jesus Christ.

More than a season, and more than just a baby being born, Christmas is about a Son who was given. The eternal Son of God stepped down from heaven and took on the form of a man. He submitted Himself to the very people He had created.

Christmas is a defining marker in the history of the world. Everything changed from the birth of Jesus onwards. What had been was about to change. And not just slightly or for a short time. Forever. Completely. Eternally.

The Creator became human. The Divine became like us. The Eternal limited Himself to the natural.

Jesus marked the transition from the law to grace, from the old covenant to the new covenant. Jesus was the fulfilment of what had been prophetically declared.

Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Jesus was the very image of God on the earth, the radiance of the Father’s glory. Jesus embodied what God is actually like. Jesus was the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Jesus was the way for all of us to be reconciled to God.

Jesus lived perfectly. Jesus died horrifically. Jesus rose triumphantly. Jesus ascended victoriously.

And Jesus will come again! He will split the sky and He will ride in on a white horse. The dead will be raised, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet Him in the air. Once again, everything will change. Forever. Completely. Eternally.

And this can all be traced back to one starry night, in a little town called Bethlehem. In a stable, surrounded by animals who find their origins in Him. Humbly. Unremarkably. Easy to be overlooked. A virgin and her husband. Alone. But in the very presence of Emmanuel; God with us. Their son. The Saviour. The King.

This is Christmas. This is Jesus. This is Life.

Do Not Be Intimidated

My dear friends, what an incredible hour we live in! It is no exaggeration to say that the Church is now the last ray of hope for a planet that hell has decided to take over and control. And yet, when I listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit, I hear him thundering out the battle cry of God, “Do not be intimidated!”

I want to declare right at the beginning that at no time am I referring to people, politicians, or movements of any kind. I speak about a spiritual warfare!

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

But in order to control this planet, Satan and his hordes must first intimidate its people into a conformity and submission to his own agenda. Satan cannot rule the minds of those he does not first intimidate! But the blood-bought, Holy Spirit empowered Church of royal sons and daughters now raises its voice to loudly declare, “We will not be intimidated!”

We speak it into the cosmos, we speak it into the heavens, we speak it into the unseen spirit-realm! “We will not be intimidated!” Why? Because Jesus has made us a promise:

John 14:27 (NKJV) “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The dictionary tells us that ‘peace’ is “freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, intimidation or obsession; to be in a state of tranquillity; serenity, of mind.”

Take note of ‘freedom of the mind’. My friends, there is a spirit let loose in our planet right now that seeks to imprison the minds of God’s people. It seeks to rob us of our peace, our faith, our initiative, and our boldness of spirit.

You have to see what is behind it: Satan fears you! He fears the initiatives of faith and conquest that God is giving His people to possess in their vocations, their places of influence, their cities, and their nations. He fears the initiative of God in YOU!

And so, he has let loose the spirit of intimidation. Which he must first establish in order to impose a spirit of manipulation and control. Your spirit, your heart, cannot be manipulated and controlled unless you have first been intimidated. But Jesus has powerfully declared that we are not subject to that spirit.

John 8:36 (NKJV) Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Spiritual freedom is part of our inheritance as a believer.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

The spirit of darkness speaks intimidation to you. But Jesus declares freedom to your spirit, to your heart, and to your mind! Tragically, many Christians today are being subtly affected in both the decisions that they are currently making and the vision that they are embracing for their future… the faith initiatives of tomorrow! Satan’s goal is to shut down your faith initiatives, your spirit of conquest, and the taking of new territory. But he must not succeed!

Let me give you some words that help identify that the spirit of intimidation is at work.

“However!” “But!” “If?” “Maybe?” The introduction of a question, “Has God really said?”

These four words try to qualify that which God has clearly told us to do.

The message I have been given to declare to you today, as a Prophet, is twofold:

  1. Do not be intimidated – in either your present decisions or your future vision.
  2. Realise that any shaking that God does allow, if correctly responded to, will always result in a greater spiritual authority, for the believer, for that church, than previously ever experienced.

Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

It is important to understand what this is saying. The Greek word for ‘kingdom’ is the word ‘basiliea’. Literally this means ‘the authority to rule over’. We need to be reminded of the incredible spiritual authority Jesus gave all those who are fully submitted to His own authority.

My friends, the kingdom of God has always, and will always, operate on a very simple principle: “The authority you are under determines the authority you carry”. Every demon of hell knows that!

  • Circumstances do not determine your spiritual authority! (your ‘kingdom’)
  • The opinions of others do not determine your spiritual authority!
  • The prevailing opposition against biblical truth does not determine your spiritual authority!

The kingdom of God CANNOT be shaken. Regularity of meetings for Christian activities may be shaken, perceptions of how we do church in any given season maybe shaken… but the kingdom of God (the authority of Jesus to rule over) can never be shaken!

And if we so choose to walk in daily submission to the lordship of Christ, we also carry an indestructible, undeniable authority that the vast bulk of Christians totally under-estimate.

The degree to which we carry that authority and exercise it effective is now, and will always be, determined by the degree to which we are fully submitted to the lordship of Christ and the truth of His unqualified Word. It is only as our decisions are an obedient extension of Father’s own will and purpose, that His authority is granted to us to execute that task!

But that kingdom authority itself cannot be shaken. We need to be reminded of this today!

The kingdom authority of God that we carry, is eternal, omnipresent, global, and it has existed from before the beginning of time and will continue beyond time as we know it. It emanates from the throne of heaven and fills our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It cannot be shaken! It’s the authority of God, it’s the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ that we carry!

My friends, under the authority of the King, arm yourselves with His written Word and stand tall in the authority He has given you.

 

Watch a four-minute video where David shares about An Indestructible Authority.

 

A United Voice

A United Voice

A united voice is powerful, whether it is for good or it is for evil. The Bible gives us a clear and contrasting example of both.

THE TOWER OF BABEL

In Genesis chapter 11 we read the story of the Tower of Babel. The starting point for this story was that ‘the whole world had one language and a common speech’ (vs 1). This was God’s intention and it was a good thing. But then man’s desire for self perverted God’s intention.

Genesis 11:4 (NIV) Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

There is so much power in a united voice, as we can see by God’s response.

Genesis 11:6-7 (NIV) The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So, God stopped the building of this tower by confusing the language of the people and scattering them all over the earth.

However, the New Testament gives us a very different and wonderful example of the power of a united voice.

THE DAY OF PENTECOST

On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were all together in one place out of obedience to what God had told them to do. This is such a different reason for their unity than the people at the Tower of Babel. And so God blessed them with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:4 (NIV) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

The people at the Tower of Babel were trying to build from earth to heaven to make a name for themselves. The people on the day of Pentecost had heaven invade earth, and it was for the spreading of the good news of the name of Jesus Christ!

Everything that happens on earth finds its origin in language, whether it is for good or it is for evil.

In the times we live in, certain people are taking over legislative rule because they have one language and are standing together with a united voice. These people have the same spirit that we see at Babel which means confusion by mixture. The result is an increasingly confused society that is stepping away from the plans of God.

However, it is the church of Jesus Christ that is called to have the greatest united voice. The sad reality is that the church is at risk of losing the battle for influencing society because we have gone quiet and we do not have a clear united voice. If nothing was impossible to the united people at Babel, how much more for the united people of God?

It’s time for the church to find her voice again; a united voice of uncompromising truth! This is what the Holy Spirit yearns to do in us as the Body of Christ.

Listen to Steve’s message on ‘A United Voice’ on Apple Podcasts

 


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The Year To Build

The Year To Build

2021. A new year dawns and with it the promise of new beginnings.

For those of you for whom 2020 was a most difficult year, I want to declare the absolute certainty of a fresh start as you receive Father’s wonderful love and grace, releasing you from any disappointments of yesterday.

For those of you for whom 2020 was a year of fruitfulness, I want to declare that this is a new year with new horizons and that it is not a year to ‘maintain’ but a year to build!

1 Corinthians 3:10  (NKJV) According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

Friends, God holds us responsible for the lives and the destinies that He has given to us.  He requires faithful stewardship of our calling, marriage, family, finances, energy and ministries. The question is not IF He wants you to build, but WHAT He wants you to build.

So… how and what are you building this coming year?

Possessing your God-given destiny is all about building successfully as the responsive partner in your partnership with Him. He is the Divine Architect, you are the executor of His plan and purpose.

  • My friend, do you have an anticipation of the future?
  • Is today pregnant with potential because of the Master Plan to which you walk?

Take time to listen, take time to hear Father’s commissioning voice clearly, take time to plan and strategise, as He directs. Take time to put values and boundaries into place that will keep you rested, fresh, energised, and sensitive to Holy Spirit’s whispers.

And take time to be filled with a renewed revelation of your authority as a royal son or daughter. Let that so fill your heart with increased faith that the mundane will flee and the excitement of new conquest will burn brightly within you.

As you listen to His voice anticipate a new and bold future of enlargement, increase and adventure! There is a new destination waiting for you.

2021 is not a repetition of last year, it is a year to build on all that Father has already accomplished in and through you.

I pray that every day will be filled with His wonder and your own inner delight at bringing Him celebration and joy.


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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.

 

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.

A New Destination

A New Destination

Father wants to put fresh, new spiritual destinations in your heart, along with a compelling purpose for pursuing them. God has a new destination for you – this is a time to be listening!

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

The Hebrew word ‘wilderness’ means, ‘a vast open field where cattle are driven’, ‘uninhabited land’, or ‘large tracts of open land and pasture’.

The picture is of someone herding cattle like a drover and discovering uninhabited, vast plains of land that are virgin territory. However, the thought is not that of dryness. Quite the opposite! ‘A road in the wilderness’ speaks of a place where there is an abundance of food for cattle. Settlers can come and prosper in a new land. The ‘wilderness’ speaks of new territory. Expansive new territory – a new destination!

Father clearly spoke to me one morning a number of years ago and said: “I want the rest of your life as a blank sheet of paper.” I was amazed, as I sincerely considered that was the case already. However, over a period of a few weeks He showed me how subtle the nature of our desires can be. Indeed, our view of the future can be influenced by our knowledge of the past. I had to discover a place of complete surrender, with no qualifications attached. What an incredible sense of anticipation then flooded my heart!

So, if you feel as though you are facing a wilderness, take courage. The promise of God is that He will give you a ‘road’ that will cause that wilderness to become accessible and a place of great fruitfulness.

Can I encourage each one of you to take some time aside to present yourself afresh before the Lord to hear from Him.  Bring your own blank sheet of paper to see what exciting new things He would write upon it for your future. Of one thing I am certain: He has a remarkable and fruitful new era for each one of us, if we dare to embrace it.

Influence or Success

Influence or Success

God is calling us to be people of greater influence. We are all called to be godly influencers, regardless of our calling or title. We cannot make disciples without influencing others! But we can easily lose our focus on influence and instead look towards success.

The world’s focus is on success, and this focus is on self.

Success means: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of popularity or profit, a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.

One of the evidences of success is growth; you have more of something and its bigger and better. This was not Jesus’ focus nor His example to us. It says in John 6:66, “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.”

Jesus had many disciples and when He began to share some challenging thoughts, many left Him. His many followers got whittled down to twelve. Of those twelve, one repeatedly cursed and denied knowing Him, another was characterised by doubt, others were known to argue with each other about their importance and who would get the best seat in heaven, one was stealing from the organisations finances and ended up betraying Jesus and committing suicide. At His point of greatest need, they all deserted Him. He was not, as man would define it, a person of great success!

However, God’s focus is on influence, and this focus is on others. Consider these scriptures:

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Mark 8:36 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Matthew 20:28 “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Influence means: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself, the power to shape policy.

While success equals gain, influence equals change. Jesus came to influence people’s lives, not to be a successful person. Leadership and influence are about us adding to others by giving, while success is about us achieving for ourselves by getting.

Jesus saw the problem in people’s lives, and He added the solution!

Jesus saw death so He came to add life. Jesus saw worthlessness so He came to add value. Jesus saw fear so He came to add love. Jesus saw worry so He came to add peace. Jesus saw hopelessness so He came to add hope.

Jesus literally changed environments, cultures and people’s lives by influencing them – by adding to them by giving.

The woman caught in adultery was feeling condemned. Jesus saw this and added acceptance, and by doing so, removed condemnation. The Samaritan woman at the well was feeling unworthy to be loved because five men had left her. Jesus saw this and added love and honour, and by doing so, subtracted unworthiness. After denying Jesus three times, Peter felt disqualified and unworthy. Jesus saw this and added acceptance and a fresh commissioning.

Like Jesus, we are always adding to or removing things from people’s lives. So, what are you adding to people’s lives and what are you subtracting? There were times in difficult conversations with others that I added frustration, anger and careless words, and by doing so, subtracted honour, respect and value. The reason I did this was because I felt I was right; therefore I focused on achieving for myself by getting the upper hand. I wanted to be successful in this argument.

But there have also been times when I added gentleness, honour, patience and respect. When my focus was on adding to others and selfless giving, I removed anger, frustration and hurt. I wanted to be influential in this conversation; to love them like Jesus does.

God is calling us all to be people of greater influence. So, in your everyday life, when you see a lack in people’s lives, add the opposite. When you see criticism, add some encouragement. If you recognise hopelessness, add some hope. Look to be influential, rather than successful. When you go up – that’s success. But when you help others go up – that’s influence.

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.

Woman reading her bible

Whatever You Do

Following the life and example of Jesus can be a hard act to follow. Or is it? Can we be so radically transformed by the goodness of God that whatever we do brings honour to the Father?

Colossians 3:17 says, And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

In this verse, I see two filters that should be applied to everything that we say and do. These two filters can be summed up in two statements. Firstly, it says, ‘do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus’. If we can’t apply Jesus’ Name (His reputation) to what we are about to say or do, then we shouldn’t say it or do it.

So, here’s the first statement that I find myself meditating on more and more: “If Jesus wouldn’t say it or do it, then I won’t say it or do it.” This is easy to say, but it is much more difficult to apply. We need the Holy Spirit to empower us. The good news is that He longs to do just that.

The second filter can be summed up in this very challenging statement: “If I can’t give thanks to God for what I am about to say or do, then I won’t say it or do it.” Everything that we say or do should be something that we believe Jesus would say or do, and something that we can give thanks to God for. You might be thinking, “But Steve, that’s too high a standard, and more than just a little too fanatical!”

Naturally speaking (and that is an important clarification), I agree. But we are not created and called to live by what we naturally think or what the world tells us is right and wrong! Let me put this thought and question to us all today: “If we think that comparing ourselves to Jesus is too high a standard, who do we compare ourselves to in order to get our standard validated?” Other people’s standards must never be the measure of my standards.

Jesus’ standards (evidenced by the life He lived) are to be the measure of my standards. And to do this, we need to care more about Father’s thoughts than people’s thoughts. If we are going to live like Jesus did, then we need to move past the fear of man. I am realising more and more, that the fear of man is not based on a guaranteed outcome. Many times, the fear that we have of other people’s opinions are not what they actually think. Therefore, the fear of man that is based on other people’s opinions is actually based on other people’s possible opinion.

And as I meditate on this, here’s what I felt prompted to write: “Other people’s possible opinions about me are nowhere near as important as Father’s stated thoughts about me!” Please read that again.

My friends, I want to see the grip of fear of what others may think be completely broken this year in all of our lives! May our confidence and security come from what Father has said about us! I want to leave you to meditate on these two statements and seek to apply them to all that you say and do:

“If Jesus wouldn’t say it or do it, then I won’t say it or do it.”

“If I can’t give thanks to God for what I am about to say or do, then I won’t say it or do it.”

May our lives, in whatever we do, bring glory to the Father.

A dove representing the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Power

We live in a time when too many Christians accept such a small part of what God intends for our new life in Christ. We also live in a time when so many (myself included far too often) try hard to be good, rather than be filled to overflowing with the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:11-12 says, I (John the Baptist) indeed baptise you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

This scripture can be a little confusing, yet because it is one of the first mentions of what Jesus will do, I feel it is important to look to see what God is saying. As I pause and listen, I see two things: Firstly, all that God wants to accomplish in our lives is through the power of the Holy Spirit, not through our best efforts. Secondly, God wants to do a thorough and truly transforming work in us, not just a slight improvement.

The work of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit is a thorough clean out work. We need a deeper revelation of this in our lives. But we also need a deeper revelation of why Jesus wants to thoroughly clean out the chaff of our lives.

Freedom is the reason Jesus is an all-or-nothing Saviour. He has no desire to simply improve our present reality and our spiritual condition. Sure, we might measure our lives compared to some other people and think we are not too bad. But compared to a holy, righteous and perfect God, well, we all miss the mark terribly.

And this is why Jesus came! He came to remove restrictions, to remove barriers and to remove obstacles! He came to pay the price, tear down the veil, disarm the devil and usher us boldly into God’s throne of grace! He came to live as a man, sinless, reliant on the Holy Spirit, in communion with His Father and as a tangible example of this new life He was purchasing for us!

All of this is done by the power of the Holy Spirit.

A significant mountain range

Significance

Do you know that you are significant? That’s right: you are significant to God. Do you also know that God wants you to do something significant with your life? Significance speaks of substance and weight; it is about meaning, worth, importance, and impact… your life is significant.

You might say “Steve, that’s just not possible. You don’t know my situation. My family life is challenging and I don’t have any special gifts. I simply don’t have the opportunity and arena to be significant. I love God but my life will never be significant”. There are some of you that honestly feel that but I have some good news for all of us.

It all depends how you measure significance. Most of the time our thought of significance is doing something amazing! People might do something amazing and it might be significant, but it may also be insignificant in terms of importance and eternal value. True significance is measured by our obedience to what God asks us to do. This is great news for a couple of reasons:

  1. We can all hear from God, and we can all obey Him.
  2. God knows about my current situation and He knows what we are capable of.

Today, here is a good question we can all ask.
“God what would you like me to do with my life that is significant?” Then listen and obey. God might ask you to pray, to encourage, to give, to go, to listen, or to share. He may ask you to simply love your family and give to them sacrificially. Father might speak to you about changing direction or persevering in the same thing. If God asks you to do something and you do it, then that is significant!

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

We don’t need to be important before others; let’s measure our significance according to God’s direction and our obedience.