How To Win Every Battle!

Reading: Psalm 59:10 “My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.”

Are you struggling with uncertainty, fear, discouragement, or just feel like the world is against you?

In the context of this Psalm, David is running for his life. King Saul is hunting him down like a criminal. At this point, Saul sent men to do a stakeout on David’s house with the intent of killing him as soon as he shows his face. Of course, David hasn’t done anything wrong. He is trusting God to make things right – to level the playing field – to defend him against his enemies that are unjustly prosecuting him.

In this moment of uncertainty, fear, and totally unfair treatment, David knows that God will meet him right there in that place. David draws on the revelation of God’s unfailing love. He taps into the steadfast love of God knowing that he’s not alone in his battle. He knows deep down that there’s a love from God that brings security, peace and justice. He knows that because he is loved by God with an unconditional and unending love, he will see victory over his enemies.

I know for sure I’m not perfect and neither are you. Sometimes we make choices that land us facing an enemy (problem, challenge, fear) with our backs against the wall. Sometimes we land there because of circumstances beyond our control. But in any case, it is possible to win every battle when you stand in faith with God! You win because God is with you. You win because God’s love for you is steadfast, immovable. You win because God always wins! 

I don’t know what you’re facing today, but I know you want to beat it. I know you feel like you’re losing the battle, but you want to win. I know you feel like it’s unfair and hopeless. But I also know this; God will grant you to look in triumph over your situation. I know this because God never loses a battle. If your faith is in him, rest assured that he is with you and you will never lose either!

Keep REACHING FORWARD today! Victory is coming to you!

 

The Power of the First Step!

ImageDeep inside of you is a nagging that begs an answer. Most people have desires that go unmet, dreams that go unfulfilled, and potential that goes untapped. You think about it often and perhaps even daily. You are a leader with a vision that only you can see. You are bound by something with a hope to be free. You are a parent with a desire to do it right. You are a spouse yearning for a dream-like marriage. You are “just you” trying to be “a better you.”

A better you in whatever area you are thinking about is possible. In fact, it is closer to becoming a reality than you think. Whether you are dreaming about starting that business or overcoming an addiction, there is only one thing standing in your way; THE FIRST STEP!

Five enemies to your future that are broken by the power of the first step!

1. Fear – Fear is generally the primary enemy that prevents you and I from taking that first step. We are afraid of failure, rejection, or the commitment it will require.

2. Lack of Confidence – Taking the first step will immediately boost your level of confidence. It’s difficult to believe that you can run a marathon; but it’s less difficult to believe that you can run a mile. Taking the first step is about breaking “it” down into realistic steps that are achievable and will direct you toward your goal. Your confidence will grow with each step.

3. Inaction – It should go without saying, but failure to act is the one thing that will prevent you from ever achieving what you are constantly thinking about. Taking the first step will get you moving in the right direction. You don’t have to get there overnight, you just have to get moving!

4. Routine – Your daily routine can be a serious enemy to your future because you are stuck in old habits; such as, staying up too late, watching too much TV, eating out too much, etc. Taking the first step will cause you to not only break old habits, but it will help you create new and more productive habits. The best routine to have in your life is the one that will create your desired future.

5. Hopelessness – This one is for those who have given up on their desire, dream or vision. Sooner or later the hope that you have of your desired future will become lost. Hope deferred will make the heart sick. Taking that first step will rekindle the flame of hope that once existed setting you back on course.

In order for you to REACH FORWARD toward that desire, dream, or vision and tap into your full potential, all you have to do is take the first step. There is power in that first step that will defeat more enemies in your life than you realize. I encourage you today to trust God with that first step…and get to stepping into your future!

What enemies to our future did I miss? Feel free to share in the conversation.

The Truth About Serving in the Church

One of our small group leaders shared an insight that she discovered while discussing serving among small group members. The discussion revealed that most people want to serve in ministry, but they are plagued and often paralyzed by the following questions: Can God really use me? Does God want to use me after what I’ve done? Am I worthy enough for such an important role? What if I fail? Am I qualified to serve in ministry?

These questions have existed in the hearts and minds of people since ancient times. Moses didn’t think he could speak eloquently enough and Gideon felt unworthy. Solomon felt unqualified to be king of Israel and Elijah once felt all alone. The Apostle Paul once had as his life mission to destroy the movement of Christianity, yet ended up as one of the greatest missionaries of all time and wrote over half of the New Testament.

The point is this: God doesn’t choose the qualified, the worthy, the social elite or the super gifted and talented;

Serving God is the natural response of our relationship with Him.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph 2:10).

The more we grow in our relationship with God the more we want others to experience His love and goodness. It is out of our relationship with Him that we realize the results of our serving lie in His hands. The answers are clear: of course we’re not qualified, worthy or fully equipped…in our own strength and wisdom. However, God has created each and every one of us to have a place of service in His kingdom (1 Cor 12:7). He has gifted each and every person to do their part in order to make the Body of Christ whole (1 Cor 12:12; Romans 12).

The issue that we really struggle with is fear; fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of rejection, fear of making a mistake, and so on. Like Moses, Gideon and so many others, the reason we struggle with these fears is because our focus is on ourselves. When you and I begin to focus on the power and purposes of God, our fears become smaller and smaller. It’s not to say that we will not always have some level of apprehension when asked to step out in faith and serve, but when our focus is on God and His purposes He will give us the courage we need to step forward.

The purpose for which God has designed you is in the context of fulfilling His purposes in the earth.

I want to encourage you today with the truth that God created you for a specific purpose. He has not designed your purpose to make you someone uniquely special for all the world to see. Rather, He has made you uniquely special so that you can do your part in fulfilling His purposes in the earth. You don’t have to figure it all out to get started.  Trust Him to lead you, guide you, and equip you to do the thing He’s asking you to do. If you are unsure, start somewhere! Trust me when I say this:

You will begin to hear God more clearly when you are serving His purposes.

Just start somewhere and allow Him to lead you! The classroom of serving is where we learn how God has truly gifted us. Jump in and get ready to embark on the greatest journey of your life!

Keep REACHING FORWARD in your relationship with Christ and He will walk with you into your destiny!

Comments welcome!

Leading in Uncharted Waters!

20120111-105458.jpgOne of the greatest lessons I learned in the Military was how to move forward when I lacked confidence. A lack of confidence is about fear of the unknown. Fear of the unknown causes us to over-plan and under-execute. Planning must be thorough, but to plan to your fears instead of to your vision will cause stagnation and loss of opportunity. We used the acronym SURVIVAL as a guide to help us navigate through unknown environments. Apply them to your environment as appropriate.

S – Size up the situation: Know your surroundings. Gather the facts. What resources do you need? Know what is going on around you and what others are saying.

U – Undo haste makes waste or use all your senses: Take your time and use discernment. Careless mistakes happen when you lack patience.

R – Remember where you are: Consistently evaluate your current capabilities. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Know where you are headed while focusing on your next step.

V – Value living: Cling tightly to the things that are most important in life; faith, family, friendships, fun.

I – Improvise: Do the best you can with what you have. Don’t make excuses. If you are starving and all you have is a can of fruit and no can opener, you will find a way to get in the can. My old saying was, “get in that can!”

V – Vanquish fear and pain: Push through the fear and pain; both are only temporary. My good friend Ben Cavazos used to say, “pain is temporary, glory is forever!”

A – Act like the natives: Be relevant in your environment. Act like you belong. I’m not saying compromise your values. Edgy is okay, but people avoid aliens.

L – Learn basic skills: Being an expert in the basics will always bring success. Don’t forget that it is doing the little things right that makes the big things possible.

Keep REACHING FORWARD and don’t let fear of the unknown stop you!

Feel free to comment on how you have survived the unknown.