People who are
achievers work hard to get where they want to be in life. They put in the time
and effort to study hard for an education so they can be the best at what they
want to do. They may work overtime for the down payment on a new home. Some
will punish their bodies physically in order to accomplish the glory of winning
at sports or looking like a movie star. People who party put everything into
getting drunk, thinking that will make them happy. Some work hard all week so
they can afford to play at the lake, beach or park on the weekend.
What I wonder is
why many of these same people have a "que sera, sera" attitude about God. They
would really like to know him better so sometimes they sit in church waiting for
it to happen. They want great faith by asking for it and when they don't get it
they come to the astounding conclusion that God doesn't want them to have it.
We are willing to
fight for everything else we want except God. Then we say, "it must not be his
will." If the Bible says we can have something, it is God's will for us to have
it and if we don't see it happen the problem is not that God doesn't want 'me'
to have it. The problem is we only ask God for help when we think we need it
and avoid him the rest of the time. We can't spend five minutes a week
considering God and three hours a night watching television and then ask him
confidently to meet our needs. What we spend the most time at is what we do.
People who want a
college degree have a goal ahead of them to achieve. Athletes practice to win
the race and those who labor do so for the reward of a paycheck. These winners
do not have a lot of time for leisure as we are coming to know it in the U.S.
Their eyes are set on the goal of being the best.
If you do not have
what you want in life, it is because of the priorities you set a long time ago:
priorities such as giving yourself permission to sleep until noon, not doing
your homework, partying every night with your friends or convincing yourself
that you don't have time to read your Bible. Maybe church has been a priority
but not God or you've been persuaded that there are no jobs so why go out and
look. The goal you have set before you is failure and that is what you have
With a failure
mentality it is no wonder so many people are confused about their relationship
with God. He is a positive, you can do it kind of God who does not fit into our
way of thinking. However, if we let him he will change our thinking and our
priorities, causing us to succeed and be a winner in our relationship with him.
This in turn filters down causing us to succeed in every area of our life.
What does the
Bible say about our priorities? Lots of things and I know we can take any
scripture out of context to prove whatever we want it to mean but we must also
recognize that we are using Bible principles to function in this world on a
daily basis. God has placed certain abilities within us so we can function in
this world but his intention was for us to use these abilities to know him
first, then work with him to conquer the part of the world he has given us.
The Bible says,
Teacher, which is the most important commandment in
the law of Moses? Jesus replied,
You must love the Lord
your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the
first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:36-38
Meditate on the
word, give yourself completely to it, and the change will be seen by everyone.
I Tim. 5:16
Only one person
can win a race. Run so that it will be you who wins. 1 Co. 9:24
Get rid of
anything that keeps you from running the race God has given you. Heb. 12:1
Study to receive
God's approval. Then you will know the truth and not be ashamed. 2 Tim. 2:15
Deep in our hearts
we have a desire to know and be close to God but we have shut the door on the
box we put him in and can't find the key we locked it with.
The key is the
same key we use to achieve in the world: priorities. We will work hard to obtain
what we think is important in the natural and we must put the same importance on
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
Are you facing a situation in your life that seems to have
no answer? Philip was a man who found himself in a situation that wasn't
his making or his responsibility to fix. It was Jesus' ministry and his
responsibility to handle whatever needed to be done but all of a sudden Philip
found himself in the spotlight as Jesus asked him where they could buy food to feed
over 5,000 people.
Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of
people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where
can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He
was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to
feed them!” John 6:5-6
Why did he ask Philip where they could 'buy' food
knowing they didn't have enough money to buy it? Jesus wanted to show how
limited we are in our own ability to do what needs to be done in the HIS ministry.
Philip's answer reflects the world's way of thinking but it also pointed out
that he was aware that wasn't a solution that would work.
When we face situations we can't handle we often hear
these questions, "What are you going to do? How are you going to pay? Where will
you get the money?" Jesus is still asking these questions, even though he
already knows what he wants to do.
Philip could easily have gone to the other disciples
sharing how bad the situation was and asking them to give so they could feed the
hungry. He could have taken up an offering from the people to pay for the
food but I guess if they had the money they would have bought their own food. He
could have organized a caravan of raiders to attack a town and take what they
wanted. He could have written letters with pictures of starving kids, begging
people to 'listen to God' and send him money.
But Jesus already knew what he wanted to do and he
knows what he wants to do in your situation. Philip's answer showed how
overwhelmed he was to be the answer to the problem. In essence he said,
"This is too much for me to handle."
When a miracle occurs there is no way to explain how it
happens. If Philip had taken an offering or sought funds that would have
been an answer to the situation but not a miracle. The world has a way of
doing things that seems wise in their own eyes. Sadly, we Christians often
take the world's way and say it is God's way. It is no wonder the world laughs
at our miracles. They can see how it was done.
We are boasting a lot of things about God and then
working to make them happen because we really don't believe God will do it.
We expect God to provide the money we need to fund our dreams but we limit him
to the world's way of doing things. We have shoved him into a box, only
letting him operate if we can control how it is done.
God asks, "What are you going to do about this
I answer, "I don't have what it takes to to do anything
Then he steps in and does a miracle that no one can
point a finger at, saying, "I can do the same thing."
God help me to always see Jesus as the answer to my
problems. I can't work hard enough to produce miracles. I can't think fast
enough to figure out God's solution. I don't want to be the answer to anyone's
problems. I don't want to spend my days trying to raise funds or talk people out
of their money to "help" do God's work.
But God is asking me what I am going to do about what
is going on in the world today. He is asking you the same thing.
GET THE STARS OUT
OF YOUR EYES
Jesus didn't give
performances when he worked miracles, healed the sick or cast out demons. He
didn't care what people thought about what he was doing and he never sought to
How did the operating
of the gifts of the Spirit deteriorate into a spectator sport? Could it be we
have blown that aspect of the Gospel out of proportion? The gifts should be a
sign to the unbeliever that God is real but we have turned it into Christian
entertainment, seeking the gifts instead of the giver.
Christians flock to
huge stadiums to hear popular preachers, hoping to see a miracle. You hear about
buses filled with church people traveling many miles to be in a healing service.
What you don't hear about is advertisements encouraging non-christians to come.
We aren't going into the world to show them what God can do. We are expecting
them to come to us whether we invite them or not.
Everything Jesus did
pointedly showed how good and loving God is. He healed the lost, not the
Pharisees. We have a problem being compassionate with our brothers and sisters
in Christ much less having it for the world.
Jesus was able to do
what he did because he spent more time in prayer with God than sitting in a
building waiting for people to come to him. He was saturated with the presence
of God and didn't have to set up special meetings, telling people he would heal
them. He just walked out into the world and let the Holy Spirit draw people to
If we could break free
of our pre-conceived ideas of how things should be done (this is religious
thinking) we might be able to do the greater works Jesus said we would do?
People today are star-struck, looking for someone they can look up to, someone
to worship. We Christians need to get the stars out of our eyes so we can show
them the true One who is worthy of worship.