A Real Encounter with God Leads to Real Change
So is the moral of the story that if you have a real encounter with God you get an emotional charge of excitement like Isaiah? Is that going to be your barometer when you look at sister Marcia and she has an emotional state of being?…..not! You look for a real change that has taken place. Now internalize that for a second. You’ve got to realize , “man I’m here to change, and there is no way that I am coming here for thirteen months of my life and look back and not be able to say that I had a true encounter with God. There is no way that my family is going to know that I cam here an not realize that I had a true encounter with God here…Well what are they going to have to realize that has taken place in order to know that? When you’ve had a true encounter with God, your attitude, your character, and your faith changes.
That place that God called you; that place requiring your obedience, faith, and patience; that place where you are confident God wants you to be working and functioning-that is the address of faith where God wants you to live. As long as you stay in that place where God told you to be, you are “in” faith and you therefore please God. But the day you give up and move “out” of that place of faith, you are moving to cheaper territory that God doesn’t value as highly-a location where you will experience the hardships and inconveniences of poor choices and defeat.
The Gardening Principle
How does your garden grow? You cannot neglect a relationship and expect it to grow. That’s not to say that all relationships are the same and need the same amount of time and attention. The nature and purpose of the relationship will determine the energy and time needed to cultivate it.
God Pulls Strings
Understand and convince yourself every day that God pulls strings. That is what trusting God is right. Having a confidence that he is going to settle everything and make it ok. True faith is confident obedience to God’s word in spite of circumstances or consequences.
How do we know that God is passionate about us? The proof is the cross. Jesus stretched out His hands and they nailed Him to the cross and He was in essence saying, “I’d rather die than live without you. That’s how passionate I am about my creation. I made you. I love you. And I’d rather die than live without you.
Thanksgiving Can Change Your Life
You know what I have found to be true in my life? I have found that I have an overwhelming need to give thanks. There is a desire within me to give thanks to something for what I have. Everything we own, we ultimately received from God and we owe him thanks. James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting sand.” Paul made sure that he let people in the churches know that he was thankful for them. Imagine how much better our church and our relationships would be if we expressed our thanks for each other.
Balance Teaching One
God’s way must be our priority versus the worldly approach that minimizes or negates true justice, righteousness, and godliness. There is a time to do most things, but they must always be done by God’s standards and not the world’s. While God wants us to provide for our families, being a workaholic and failing as a mate or parent is not being balanced. God wants us to study His word but not to the exclusion of everything else, especially one’s other important responsibilities. There is a time to have fun but not when it affects more important personal, family, or spiritual needs. Balance is an aspect of godly love, as shown in Philippians 2:3-4:”Lot nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
The Law of the Picture
The law of the picture says that people do what people see. When leaders show the way with the right actions, their followers copy them and succeed. Great leaders always seem to embody two seemingly disparate qualities. They are both highly visionary and highly practical. Their vision enables them to see beyond the immediate. They can envision what’s coming and what must be done. Leaders possess an understanding of how:
- Mission provides purpose-answering the question. Why?
- Vision provides a picture-answering the question, What?
- Strategy provides a plan-answering the question, How?
- As author Hans Finzel observed, “Leaders are paid to be dreamers. The higher you go in leadership the more your wok is about the future”.