Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stand Firm

The fact of the matter is, we all face trials. 

No matter how much you grow in the Lord, no matter how spiritually mature you become, you will face trials...and perhaps even more so as you grow in the Kingdom of God.

Here is the Scripture:

Isaiah 7:9b NLT - Unless your Faith is Firm, I [God] cannot make you stand Firm.

Wow. Meditate on that for a moment.

Some might think, "...but I thought God could do anything! What does He mean, He cannotmake us stand firm??"

This is God's Word, and that is what He said. 

Don't analyze. Don't try to force it into your doctrines and understandings of God's nature...take it at face value.

We, being Firm in our Faith, has a great deal to do with God's Power being evident in our lives.

There is our part, and there is God's part. 

Here is the context of this scripture:

Israel at this time had split into two Kingdoms...the Northern Kingdom was still called "Israel". 
The Southern Kingdom was called, "Judah."

Israel and Syria had allied together and planned to invade Judah, removing Ahaz as King and installing their own. News of this caused the hearts of the people of Judah to "shake as the trees of the forest are shaken in the wind."

However, the Lord sent the Prophet Isaiah with a Word for King Ahaz.

Isaiah 7:7-9 NLT - But this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
"This invasion will never happen;
    it will never take place;
8 for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
9 Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your Faith is Firm,
    I cannot make you stand Firm."

Some of us need to hear that same Word today!

The Enemy's attempted invasion into your life will be an utter failure as we stand firm in our faith!

But we must do our part! Stand Firm!

Don't let the enemy defeat you with fear!

Don't let the enemy steal your Joy! 

Don't let the enemy steal your Peace!

Don't believe his lies and accusations!

You are forgiven, redeemed, bought with a price, healed, cared for, made righteous, and a son or daughter of the Most High God! 

I heard this great quote today:

"How would you treat a friend that lied to you as often as your fears do?"
- Jack W. Hayford

If you are willing to tolerate the devil and his lies, your faith will be weak, and you will remain in fear and defeat.


You can stand Firm today on God's Word and His Promises and move into a position of Victory!

Stand Firm!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Title & Position

I once heard a woman I knew years ago who held a management position with CITI Bank say, "there are 2 motivators to make a good employee. Either pay them more, or give them an important Title."

That really jumped out at me as I considered the Pride of mankind. 

The idea was if an employee feels he is important, a VIP, someone others had to submit to, then he would do a good job. 

That is so empty. 

Everyone wants to feel appreciated and loved. However, if one's drive is about how "great they are" or their level of authority over others...they are putting themselves in a really bad place.

The scriptures say in James 4:6 and Proverbs 3:34:

"God Resists the Proud,
But gives Grace to the Humble."

Do you remember the story of Moses receiving the 10 Commandments up on Mount Sinai? While the people of Israel waited at the bottom of the mountain for Moses to return they grew fearful and impatient.

Now God had made Aaron, Moses' brother, the first High Priest of Israel. 

Although God gave him Title and Position of High Priest, that did not automatically make him a great High Priest.

Watch what he does here:

Exodus 32:1-6
When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. "Come on," they said, "make us some gods who can lead us. We don't know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt."
So Aaron said, "Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me."
3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, "O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!"
Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, "Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!"


"To the LORD??!"

It gets worse. God tells Moses what is happening with the people. When he gets to the bottom of the mountain he is so angry he smashes the 2 Tablets that God had written upon.

21 Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, "What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?"
22 "Don't get so upset, my lord," Aaron replied. "You yourself know how evil these people are. 23 They said to me, 'Make us gods who will lead us. We don't know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.' 24 So I told them, 'Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.' When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire-and out came this calf!"

We see Aaron's lack of integrity here. He blame-shifts onto the people, then straight up lies to Moses about how the Calf came to be, as if it were some supernatural phenomenon. 

Is he so different from people today?

We are all given opportunities to walk in Truth and Integrity or to Compromise. 

Too often we are chasing promotion and elevation, rather than working on our character and allowing God to lift us up.

So many times people get a promotion but do not have what is called, "Staying-Power." They cannot hold onto the higher position because they have not grown enough to maintain it, or their thinking is still that of the previous level.

I can't help but always remember the story of Joseph. Called revealed His plan for Joseph to rule since he was a teenager. 

Joseph was born free, but sold into slavery at age 17. He was then a slave for 11 years in Potiphar's house. Then thrown into Prison for 2 more years. This makes a total of 13 years as slave or prisoner before Pharaoh makes him the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt at age 30!

Contrast Joseph's mindset with Aaron's. 

Joseph knew he was called to rule. Even Slavery and Prison could not deter him from walking in Integrity and Truth. 

Aaron on the other hand, lived his whole life as a Slave. He never knew freedom, nor the responsibility and integrity needed to steward freedom. 

Title and Position did not deter him from walking in a LACK of Integrity and a LACK of Truth.

Jesus taught us a superior way of thinking when it comes to Title & Position:

Luke 22:27
Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

Focus on Serving others and allow God to choose when and what He will promote you to.

This is God's Command and Promise to us:

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.