Be You

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John the Baptist faithfully fulfilled what God had called him to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.  More than once John was asked if he was the Messiah.
He replied with this:
A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:27-28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
John the Baptist knew who he was and he knew who he wasn’t – he was not Jesus.
Reminder: There is only one Savior,  Jesus Christ.
You are not tasked with saving people, that is His job and He is good at it.
Your job is to faithfully point people to Jesus.
Knowing who you are and who you are not is vital in carrying out your own God-given assignment.
When God lays a burden on your heart, it will always be bigger than you and it will be something only He can do through you.
Pride burdens you with a sense of importance that only you can fulfill.
Pride traps you in perpetual misery about all the things you can’t do and about all the gifts you don’t have. Humility sets you free to do what God has called you to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.
You are called to faithfully fulfill the assignment God has given you without trying to be someone you are not or function in gifts God has not given you.
John the Baptist held tight to the attitude that defined his life:
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:30‬ ‭NLT‬‬
It is all about Jesus.
Be honest with others about who you are and point people to Jesus.
Be who God made you to be and endeavor to fulfill what God has called you to do.
What have you been given from heaven to do?
Are you doing it?

Your Destiny Is Waiting…

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…right outside of your comfort zone.

“By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going.”

Hebrews 11: 8 MSG

God has a destiny for you. He has a rich inheritance waiting to be claimed.  An inheritance of unhindered relationship with Him. One where you are free to trust, risk, follow and be used by God to bless others in ways you can’t even imagine.

However, you can not fully take hold of it until you break out of your comfort zones: life as you know it, habits that hold you, mindsets that have molded you.

To get where God has called you, you have to leave the place you are in.

Abraham left his country behind and you are going to have to leave the shelter of some strategic comfort zones in order to go after your own God-ordained inheritance.

The good news is that for every comfort zone you step out of, Jesus has a promise for you to step into and His love to guide you.

God is calling you to an unknown place that will become your home. More than a new plot of land, it is a new way of life.

 

What “way of life” needs to go by the wayside today?

What mindset is holding you back from going after what God has called you to?

What are you afraid of?

 

All That Hinders

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“let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”

Hebrews 12:1b NIV

There is a sense of joy heard in the invitation to throw off all that hinders and run. Like a child running in the field or the dog escaping out of the gate. To run free with faith unhindered and feet untangled in the mission God has created you for.

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews paints the faces and hearts of those who served God with great passion and unflinching faithfulness. Those who suffered, risked, obeyed and followed through in faith.

They are seated in the heavenly grandstands, cheering you on.

Telling you to throw off everything that hinders and run the race God has called you to run.

To hold nothing back.

To let go of fear and embrace the call of God on your life, trusting him to empower you to do it.

Running fast and free is not accomplished by focusing on what is holding you back but by focusing on where you are going.

Turn your face to the finish line and run free.

What is holding you back from running free?

What can you do today to drop it?

What Jesus Prayed for You

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Jesus prayed that you would not be isolated from the world, but that you would infiltrate it with His love.

He prayed that you would be protected from the evil one as you audaciously pursue living out the great commission.

He asked that you would know that you don’t belong to this world but are meant to transform it.

He prayed that the truth and power of His Word would make you whole and complete.

He prayed that His Father would give you marching orders to bring light to the darkness.

And just to make sure you know that he was praying for you, he added:

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”  John 17:20 NLT

Today’s post isn’t about what you should pray but what Jesus is praying for you to live out every day.

Be Bold Today.

What do you need to do to answer God’s prayer for you?

Cautious​ Living

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I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.”

“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that!”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:25 MSG‬‬

When God invests in you, puts something in your hands, in your heart or in your personality, He expects you to do something with it.

This verse says it’s criminal to live cautiously with God given-investments.

The third servant in the story took what his master gave him and “dug a hole and buried it” (vs16).

Beth Moore says “Sometimes, we can protect ourselves right out of our calling.”

Cautious Living is a crime in God’s eyes.

He loves you passionately and wants you to boldly get to work the visions, gifts, and callings that He has given you.

You may be asking God to give you more…but he may be asking, “What are you doing with what I’ve already given you?”

What has God invested in you?

What have you buried in fear?

What does it look like to multiply what God has invested in you?

 

Don’t Settle

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 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.

This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:3- 4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Moses has just told the Israelites that it’s time to cross over to the Promised Land but the nation of former slaves isn’t sure that is a good idea. Maybe they have fought and won a few battles but they were not sure that meant they were ready to possess the promised land. They were beginning to think that being a wanderer in the wilderness wasn’t so bad. They were unsure about going forward. They were thinking about settling for the best they had right then instead of pressing forward for the best God had for them in the future.

It’s not like you haven’t won a couple of battles. You have.

You have faced the lies and begun to live in God’s truth. You have stood your ground and fought for freedom.

But maybe today you are tired.

You don’t want to give up or go back, but making camp where you are may seem like a great idea.

My friend, go ahead and rest.

Get your breath back.

Get your vision back.

Remind yourself of God’s vision and get moving.

Don’t settle for good enough, fight for God’s best in every area of your life.

Risk It.

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“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent…’
The Master was furious...
Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb.”
Matthew 25: 24,26,30 MSG
When you step out in faith and put yourself out there, life will push back.
It’s not going to be easy and you will make mistakes.
A mistake means that you are trying, so pick yourself up off the ground and try again.
Do something new.
Relate to people in a new way.
Reach out beyond your comfort zone.
Take that step of faith …again.
Risk failure.
Failure is not fatal.
You will never get anywhere if you run back to what you know at every challenge.
God is calling you to grow.
So my friend, go ahead get out there, make lots of mistakes, risk and invest what God has placed in your hands.

Faith Walk

That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.” ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why did the people of Israel weep? 

Because 10 of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the promised land came back saying it was impossible. And the people believed them instead of believing God. 

They mourned as if they were already defeated when in truth, they had not even begun.

Be careful how you use your imagination. You can feed your worst fears or you can feed God’s best hopes for your life.

This nation of former slaves looked at the promised land in fear because it was going to be difficult.

They wanted the promise but only if God was going to make it easy for them.

Stepping into your promised land isn’t going to be easy.

You are going to have to fight for it.

Fight fear, the lies of the enemy, your own ingrown old slave mentality.

Getting there is going to be one step of faith after another.

It will always be a faith walk.

You are going to have to trust God to give you what you will need, when you will need it, to do what He has called you to do.

What daunting task has God put before you?

What impossible thing are you facing?

Who are you putting your faith in- yourself or God?

Wipe your tears, lace up your shoes and start walking toward your promised land.

I will join you. 


Tree by Tree

“LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭16:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In California, we lived in valleys that were surrounded by mountains but here in Florida, we live in flatlands that are surrounded by tropical jungle. Dense and dark looking (at least to this city girl’s eyes) and I shutter to think of what lives there.

The first month we were here I got the opportunity to watch a plot of it being cleared. What seemed impossible slowly materialized before my eyes. Every time I drove by, a little more of it had been cleared, a few more palm trees pulled out. By three weeks into it, it was a bare scarred piece of land had been stripped clean and walled by the jungle on two sides. It rains every day here in the summer and less than month later, grass was growing and the land looked as if it had never been a jungle at all.

It reminded of what my friend, Rene wrote me after she moved to Tennessee:

“I was looking out my back window into the forest, thinking how beautiful it was. I was also looking at how dense it was and that I could not see my way through. It made me think of how often we can not see a way through, but God can. We don’t even know what is on the other side. Is there a cliff, an ocean, a valley?

That day in Streams in the Desert, the verse was Joshua 17:18. “The forested hill country will be yours.” All I could think about is how? It said, “God instructed them (the tribes of Israel) to clear the forest.” It also stated, “Gain wealth from the terraced slopes that are now hidden by the forests.”

I realized that God was saying to clear the forest it needed to be tree by tree, action by action. I also loved that by doing this God will bless you with the territory you are discovering.

To gain His will it is tree by tree.

I have been waiting a lot. So, for me, it meant to take action. To do! I can not stay in my camp among the forest waiting while I tend to that.

It is time to knock a few trees down, and as I do, I also realized things will become clearer. God is going to show me the way.”

Maybe today you feel like the territory God has given you is lacking room to grow in or that it is as uninhabitable as a dense jungle or forest.

I want to encourage you to take hold of the lot you have been given and begin to go after clearing it, tree by tree with His strength.

You don’t have to do it all today. Just tackle the tree that is right in front of you.

Deal with one issue at a time.

Reconcile one relationship at a time.

Be obedient to Him one day at a time.

Trust Jesus to make a way where you can see no way.

It is time to grow. To get out of the place you have been camping and begin to tackle the land God has given you.

God has already given you what you need to do it.

Unstuck 

“See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Before them was the Promised Land. A land for them to conquer, settle in and prosper in but they were afraid.

They saw the giants and established city walls and were discouraged.

They only saw the insurmountable obstacles in front of them instead of seeing the unlimited power of their God to overcome those obstacles.

It is easy to see why: the promised land holds fierce battles, starting over and learning new skills, like how to grow your own food. No more mana in the promised land.

In the life of a Christian, the promised land is living fully in Christ. Taking hold of His promises and living in His power. It means following, obeying and trusting Him in all circumstances.

It also means that there will be fierce battles with your flesh. Some would rather go back to slavery and assured of being fed than starting over again and learning new skills.

It is time for you to go forward, start over and learn new skills.

It is time to leave the mountain you have been stuck on and move on to the life in Christ that has been provided to you by the cross.

How do you get unstuck?

Stop listening to your fears and start obeying your God.

Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.