Sunday, January 25, 2015

Don’t let evil and the world distract you

Are you too busy doing lots of the 'right' things? 

2 Corinthians 2:11 (The Voice) It’s my duty to make sure that Satan does not win even a small victory over us, for we don’t want to be na├»ve and then fall prey to his schemes.

These are my notes from a sermon by Dr. David Jeremiah on spiritual warfare and identifying the enemy.

Satan is the original jet setter (Job 2:2). But how many of us don’t stop to realize that he is in the world tempting us with his arsenal of worldly pleasures which are powerful distractions?

Dr. Jeremiah is preaching a powerful series and he mentioned a devotional by Bob Gass that caught my attention.

I googled it and found the list that I’m sharing below. You and I need to be aware of the ways the world stops us from hearing God’s voice and His call. Since 2006 I've made major lifestyle changes so I’m better equipped to hear and obey God’s call, but I really needed this reminder. I think we all do. I hope you will copy and post this where you can be reminded that satan’s distractions show up in all parts of our lives and we innocently go along...

Devotional by Bob Gass:
Addressing a worldwide convention of demons, satan told them: As long as Christians stay close to God we've no power over them, so:
(1) Keep them busy with non-essentials.
(2) Tempt them to overspend and go into debt.
(3) Make them work long hours to maintain empty lifestyles.
(4) Discourage them from spending family time, for when homes disintegrate there's no refuge from work.
(5) Overstimulate their minds with television and computers so that they can't hear God speaking to them.
(6) Fill their coffee tables and nightstands with newspapers and magazines so they've no time for Bible reading.
(7) Flood their letter boxes with sweepstakes, promotions and get-rich-quick schemes; keep them chasing material things.
(8) Put glamorous models on TV and on magazine covers to keep them focused on outward appearances; that way they'll be dissatisfied with themselves and their mates.
(9) Make sure couples are too exhausted for physical intimacy; that way they'll be tempted to look elsewhere.
(10) Emphasize Santa and the Easter Bunny; that way you'll divert them from the real meaning of Christmas and Easter.
(11) Involve them in 'good' causes so they won't have any time for 'eternal' ones.
(12) Make them self-sufficient. Keep them so busy working in their own strength that they'll never know the joy of God's power working through them.

Do these twelve things faithfully. I promise it’ll work!

Have you figured out the difference between being busy and being successful in what God's called you to do?

Sometimes being B-U-S-Y just means Being Under Satan's Yoke!

1 John 5:19
Have confidence in the fact that we belong to God, but also know that the world around us is in the grips of the evil one.

Monday, January 19, 2015

When the old life tempts you


1 Peter 4:1-2
Since Christ suffered and underwent pain, you must have the same attitude he did; you must be ready to suffer, too. For remember, when your body suffers, sin loses its power, and you won’t be spending the rest of your life chasing after evil desires but will be anxious to do the will of God. 

3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things the godless enjoy—sex sin, lust, getting drunk, wild parties, drinking bouts, and the worship of idols, and other terrible sins. 

You'll never have peace when you turn back.

If you've fallen away. Return.

Your Father is still home waiting. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Living strong in the Lord

Setting and achieving goals that matter

Romans 12:11 Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord.  (This is my Scripture for 2015).

My main goal in 2015 is to go deeper in my spiritual journey with the Lord.
I never want to be satisfied in the place I am unless I am certain that God has put me there.

According the Dr. David Jeremiah, most of us think we're too busy and we are. But much of our “busyness” is the result of how we choose to spend our non-working hours. He goes on to say that Christians should step back and take a bigger and longer view of where we are in life.

I'm asking myself hard questions.
Am I still passionate about kingdom building and am I using that passion as a vibrant witness for Christ? Or do I need to be still and listen for other instructions?

Time isn't on our side - Psalm 90:10a We may journey through life for 70 years; some may live and breathe 80 years—if we are strong.

In the January issue of the Turning Point Magazine and Devotional, Dr. Jeremiah reminds us that time ticks away and provides some tips to help us do what God assigns.

1. Keep in mind that God has placed us on earth for a fleeting time.
2.  De-clutter our schedules so we can do what matters to God.
3. Take advantage of small segments of time.
4. Take time for the most important things.

I don't want to do what I've always done for Christ. I will take that extra step that requires faith to really live the passion that God put in my heart years ago. What about new passions Christ wants for me? I don't want same old - same old. Can you relate? 

Pastor Rob Morgan writes in his new book, Mastering Life Before It's Too Late: Biblical Strategies for a Lifetime of Purpose, that we're not always going to do great things. But if Christ assigns something that we complete, then it's greater in God's eyes than a magnificent task like building the pyramids.

The entire point is to seek God's will in whatever we do consistently.
Do not just stay in one comfortable spot repeating actions and behaviors over and over without God's confirmation. Dr. Jeremiah offers these suggestions for seeking expanded or new opportunities to serve.

1. Believe that God wants you to flourish and be fruitful.
2. Get involved - take a risk.
3. Look for the open door.
4. Trust God is with you.
5. Seek God's will and listen!

Key messageWe don't need a map from God for the next five years - just one for today!

Get what you really want out of life.
I'm challenging myself to go deeper to break my comfort zone, to zip into the discomfort zone and tiptoe in the delusional zone as Michael Hyatt calls the zones most of us live in when it comes to goal setting.

Hyatt’s blog focuses on intentional leadership and he primarily writes on personal development, leadership, productivity, platform and publishing with a Christian perspective. His emails come directly to my main mailbox because I count on and respect his keen insights on many topics -- he’s practical and down-to-earth. His video on how to pack your trip bags better is a favorite. These are my notes from his webinar on goal setting.

Believe you can win.
Be aware and clear on your own self-limiting beliefs.
Watch the internal narrative that informs your mindset. Be careful what you say to yourself and others. Don’t internalize the negative aspects of personality tests.

Get past the past. Your future doesn’t include your past.

Set the right kind of goals you can stick to.
Goals must be 1) specific 2) measurable and 3) have a deadline.

Tap into the power of motivation.
Identify why you want to do it, what will keep you going and what 3-7 tasks you need to do to achieve your goal.

Beat procrastination.
“You don’t have to be great to start. But you have to start to be great.” – Zig ZiglarHyatt says you don’t have to see the entire plan -- just get started and the steps will be progressively clear. Trust that your action steps will help you reach the goal. Get out of distractions and ask for God’s help.

Set big goals – God can help achieve them.
One of my ministries is to share my spiritual insights. My blogging and social media ministries reach people around the world. So I'm asking God what my next steps should be.  I will diligently seek His guidance each and every day of my life in all things I plan, seek or want to do.

I hope this post encourages you to move forward with the things God wants to do through your life. Live a passionate life and don't settle for mediocre. Serve His Kingdom because it will come!

All the best in 2015!