Monthly Archives: April 2012
What an incredible post. Worthy of being spread. Enjoy it. God bless. Darryl.
An important question asked in a multitude of different ways by a culture of searching hearts.
Some say we cannot know for sure, others have traded one god for another, moving from church pew to bar stool, from sermon to seminar.
Each of us is a worshipper, what differs is our brand of god.
With that said, perhaps the essential question is this…
Does the god of your devotion have any regard for you at all?
Does the empty bottle weep over the man ruined by his addiction, or the tabloid greave for the girl crushed by false perfection, starving herself in the pursuit of a lie.
Our brand of god reveals our sense of self .
We can choose to waste our worship, our lives, on lesser gods. Or we can open our eyes to the liberating truth that we are far more valuable than that.
Each of us is a treasure of the rarest kind…
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I don’t know if I can agree with the concept that familiarity breeds contempt. I mean, I get what they’re trying to say with the whole thing, but instead of highlighting the true root problem, they’re attacking the relational aspect of human character. And the bigger problem for me is that by attacking the relational aspect of human nature, they are essentially attacking the image of God created in us, in humans.
You see, familiarity breeds familiarity, not contempt. Unfulfilled expectation breeds contempt. And expectations are at the end of it all, self centred. This is the root problem. People don’t fall out of love because they spend too much time with each other, but because one of them expects, desires or demands more from the other person (see Philippians 2:3-4).
Indeed, in an environment of love, familiarity should be breed commonality, fulfilment and contentment. People should be so aware of what the other’s passions, dreams and desires are, that they are moving towards fulfilling it, therein then becoming one in mind with the other. They then become familiar (that is like minded or the same) with the other (see 2 Corinthians 13:11 & 1 Peter 3:8).
Marriage teaches us this very thing. Some people like Paul know it instinctively (by the grace of God). Others need marriage to teach them it. So too, when we give up our own expectations of God, we can become familiar in spirit with Him and therein attain the goals that He wishes to attain (Philippians 1:27).
If familiarity did indeed breed contempt, then eternity would be a very awful place; for how could we be expected to live for eternity with a familiar God if all it did was lead to a distaste of Him?
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say
Unless otherwise noted, all references are from the New King James Version
Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (4) Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
2 Corinthians 13:11 … Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
Philippians 1:27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
What do a mammoth, a sloth and a tiger have in common? In reality nothing! But in the movie Ice Age (1), we are introduced to these three animals who share the common goal of having to return a human child to its parents. The mammoth despises the sloth, the sloth fears the tiger, and the tiger wants to eat them both. Even though they make the unlikeliest of travelling companions, by the end of the movie they are a herd.
What is it that made these three unlikely animal characters become a herd? In a word – time. As they travelled with each other and got to know each other, their hearts started to connect and they started to see past their differences, even their prejudices.
Our Christian walk is much the same. For starters, every single one of us (even the unbeliever) shares a common goal – we are all travelling towards eternity (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). For Christians, it will be an eternity in heaven (John 14:6). For unbelievers, not. But the truth is that we all share this common journey of travelling towards eternity.
And as we all know, as we travel this common journey called life, there are those people that we like and those people that we dislike. But as true as it is for the Ice Age characters, so it is for us too – the longer that we journey with others, the more and more we start to connect with them, start to like them, start to love them. And when love prevails, it covers over a multitude of offences (see 1 Peter 4:8).
This is why relational discipleship is so important. God needs you to be prepared to journey with other people. He may even allow “difficult” people to be a part of that journey. He may never intend for it to be short term. And it may even be that He wants something to change in YOU.
Are you ready to be used by God? Are you ready to take a long term view of your discipleship relationships? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say
Unless otherwise noted, all references are from the New International Version.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Over the last two weeks we have looked at 6 keys that help us to hear God speak to us personally. But whilst I was typing this summary of those 6 keys, I was asking God if there were any other keys that I needed to mention. And there was. As a bonus, I have added the 7th key at the bottom of this summary.
Key # 1 : God speaks to us when we really want it (read Okay! So my dog is finally dead!!). The Bible says that if we seek God with all our heart, then we will find Him. Seeking him with all our heart is not limited to specific times, occasions or events, but everything.
Key # 2 : God speaks to us in stages (read Revelation by Elimination). When God speaks to us, He doesn’t always give us the full picture. As we obediently obey each of His ‘minor’ revelations, he reveals more to us.
Key # 3 : God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible (read The Never Ending Story). The more we read it, the more we become a part of it, the more we hear God in it. Even for our daily decisions.
Key # 4 : God speaks to us through other people (read Husbands: Listen to your wives). As people speak to us, the truth of God’s word (as impressed by the Holy Spirit) will resonate within us. The challenge is that many times we are “closed” to hearing God speak through people because of our biases towards those people.
Key # 5 : God speaks to us through dreams and visions (read Feed them pineapple). Peter himself declared the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy which states this very clearly. It is nearly as if God knew that our lives in this modern age would be too busy to hear Him during the day. This post deals with how to use the Bible to help interpret the dream and how God then uses the Bible to also affirm the dream.
Key # 6 : When God speaks to us, we must walk by faith and not by sight (read When victory comes from chaos). Many times, after we have obeyed God’s word in our lives, there is an immediate period of opposition and it seems that our lives are going in the opposite direction of what we believe God (and us) intended. Remain strong. God’s purposes will prevail.
Key # 7 : God speaks to us in silence. Sometimes God uses silence as an answer. I have found this especially when I have asked God for something and He has already given me an answer for, but the answer is one that I “don’t like”. So I go to Him in prayer again, trying to twist His arm. On these occasions His answer to my prayers are normally silence. That silence is God speaking to us, affirming His original answer. The other reason why God answers in silence is because He is not wanting you to actually do anything pertaining to the reason you are seeking Him. His silence is His way of saying be patient and wait. Your response is to do exactly that : wait. Don’t rush ahead of God.
I hope that you will be encouraged as you hear God speaking to you.
Are there any other keys that you have discovered in order to hear God speak to you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say
This folks, is the real test when hearing from God. You’ve prayed, you’ve fasted, you’ve ‘seeked’ Him, you’ve found Him, you’ve heard Him speak to you, you’ve done what He’s said. But you have no victory! In fact, since doing what He’s told you to do, it seems as if all hell has broken loose. And everything in your life seems upside down or in disarray.
Don’t feel alone!!
Six or seven years ago I faced a promotion choice; I could stay with the company that I had been with for a decade and take up the most sought after management position in my field in my company, or I could leave the company and take up another management position in an international company. Both offered a significant salary increase plus benefits, but taking the one would require relocation.
So we prayed and felt God say that I must take the international management position. We believed that this was the answer as it offered the salary increase without having to relocate, which was important as my wife was but about a month away from giving birth. This ‘answer’ suited our needs and we took it as been providential of God.
Two months after leaving my very stable job and salary with the very real prospect of internal promotion, to take up the external promotion that God had told us to do, I handed in my resignation with the new company. My world was upside down.
My wife was struggling with a colicky baby. I started this new opportunity three days after my son was born and as a result, was not around enough to support her. The new company wanted even more time out of me. Accommodating international trading times was non-conducive. And I was spending a lot of extra time travelling to and from the new offices.
I did not understand what was going on.
I did not understand where I was headed.
I did not understand where God was headed.
And the thought that ran through my head, was did I hear God right? If I did, why was everything in a mess?
When I asked God, He gave me a vision:
I was standing at the edge of a cliff. As I looked over the cliff, all I could see were clouds. I could not see the bottom. And I sensed God was telling me to step over the cliff. God wanted me to trust Him.
During this period of turmoil I had been counselling with my pastor of the church that I was in at that time, and another trusted mentor. BOTH of them told me that it would be better for me to leave the new company ONLY once I had something else lined up. The problem was that each time I prayed to God, I got the same vision.
So I made a decision.
Before going to work that morning, I went to go tell my pastor that despite his and other’s advice, I was going to work to hand in my resignation. It was a brief, matter-of-fact meeting. I left the office and drove to work.
Five minutes into driving, my phone rang. I pulled over and answered the call. It was my pastor. He told me that as I left the office, he received a phone call from one of the staff. This person was handing in their resignation and the church was now in ‘desperate’ need of someone to fill that position. Would I be interested?
God had prevailed. And the rest as they say, is His-story.
David experienced a very similar set of circumstances. After being anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel, he spends many years being persecuted and hunted before finally becoming king (see 1 Samuel 16 through to 2 Samuel 5:4). You read in the Psalms his many cries of how long before God brings about the fulfilment of His stated promise (see Psalm 13). In fact, I cannot even compare his running for his very life, to my period of inconvenience. Yet he remained faithful to the word that God had given him, and persevered in waiting for the fulfilment of that word.
So, here are some pointers when facing a similar experience:
- Don’t doubt yourself. Satan will come to you as he did in the Garden of Eden and ask, “Did God really say …?” (see Genesis 3:1). Expect it. He wants you to lose your faith in God.
- Remain faithful to the word you have received; don’t add to it. Eve replied accurately when she said that God had indeed said that they must not eat of the specific tree, but then added to what God had said (see Genesis 3:2-3). It allowed a rebuttal from Satan to cause confusion.
- Use the word you have received. Ephesians 6:17 says that when we stand firm against the enemy, we must wield the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This ‘word’ in Greek is rhema not logos (as in John 1:1) and is used mostly of God’s utterances or revelations. When God has spoken to you, He has given you a rhema-word. Fight back the doubt and the circumstances by remembering and standing firm on the rhema-word that God has spoken to you.
When we do these things,
we become patient
And in the end, out of the disorder, confusion, and chaos, God’s purposes prevail and we have victory. Just like David.
Are there other ‘steps’ to follow that you have discovered? Share your victory after anarchy testimony with us and others. You can leave a comment by clicking here.
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say
Unless otherwise noted, all references are from the New International Version
1 Samuel 16:13 through various to 2 Samuel 5:4
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah. (19:18) When David had fled and made his escape … (20:1) Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to take my life?” (21:10) That day David fled … (27:4) … David had fled … (2 Samuel 5:4) David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.
Psalms 13:1-6 For the director of music. A psalm of David. How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (2) How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? (3) Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; (4) my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. (5) But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. (6) I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Genesis 3:2-3 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, (3) but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” (compare with Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”)
Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word ([rhema] of God.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God.