Failures = Opportunities

Stop wasting time beating yourself up over past failures.FAILURES-OPPORTUNITIES-shortcomings-quote-photofromcolekeister

We don’t need to waste time looking at the weight we didn’t lose, the money we didn’t save, the books we didn’t read, etc.  We have nothing to gain by only focusing on our shortcomings and failures. Looking back is the best way to miss the new thing God is doing in front of us.

“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert,” (Isaiah 43:18-19 NASB).

He promises to make rivers in the deserts of our lives. He doesn’t say that He’s going to bring rain because rain is only temporary provision. A river is a consistent supply. He will bring new life to whatever was dead.

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers,” (Psalm 1:3 NASB).

FAILURES-OPPORTUNITIES-miss-new-quote-photofromunsplashsonniehiles.Our past failures aren’t just failures.

 

We should look at them as opportunities for God to bring provision and life to those situations. Just because it didn’t work out in the past doesn’t mean we should simply give up. God wants us to improve, receive promotion and enjoy this life. We all face frustration and confusion along the way. Those are the times we choose not to look back to our former ways and trust that God is making a way in our wilderness. He will show us how to navigate change and push through when things get tough.

I encourage you to look forward to the new thing God wants to do in your life.

Allow Him to bring new life to what you feel is lost or dead. You’ll see Him do amazing things not only in your life, but in the lives of those close to you. As He works in your life, it will spill over and bless others.

What Is The Church?

The basic meaning of the word “Church” in the Bible is “Gathering”.

What is the Church - Primary Purpose quote- photofromunsplashchuttersnapIt’s the gathering of God’s children. In Matthew chapter sixteen Jesus explained how He was going to establish His Church.

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it,’” Matthew 16:15-18 (NASB)

The “rock” that Jesus is building His church on is the revelation of Himself and His finished work.

The primary purpose of the Church is to know Jesus and who we are because of Him. Every good work the Church does comes from a revelation of Jesus Christ.

What-is-the-Church-Greater-quote-photofromunsplashjoshuaearle

He fed people, so we feed people. Jesus healed the sick, so we heal the sick by His power. He cared for the poor and so do we. He loved sinners and we love sinners. When we understand who Jesus is, we will do the things He did. We will truly be His Church. We will do the “greater things” that He promised we would do.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father,” John 14:12

How can we do greater things than Jesus?

How can we expand His church so that even hell can’t stand against it?

We can do these things because the same Holy Spirit that lived in Jesus now lives in us. Jesus was all God and all man, but He was one. We are the Gathering of people filled with the Spirit of Christ. We are many people with the same power that Jesus had. This revelation should motivate us to know Jesus even more and do everything He’s called us to do. 

The Power of Routine

Doing the same thing every day builds momentum for us and sets us up for either success or failure.

We see this work in our relationships, work and many other areas. If we make a habit out of not communicating with or showing affection to our spouse, eventually our relationship will dry up.  If all we ever do at work is check Facebook, text and give less than half our effort, we’ll end up without a job. These are simple examples of a bad routine.

This most definitely applies in our relationship with our heavenly Father. We can allow ourselves to drift away from God when we don’t renew our minds in His Word, spend time with Him in prayer and neglect worshipping Him. We may not notice at first, but after one month, six months or even a year we’ll see that we haven’t grown and our hearts have turned colder toward Him.

This happens because people have a negative view of a routine.

We hear the word “routine” and automatically think “rut”, “monotony” or “boring”. While a daily routine has the ability to be all of those things, it certainly doesn’t have to be.

A routine that is founded on God’s vision for our lives is anything but boring. The problem we have is we allow our routine to choose us, instead of our choosing our routine. We let our jobs, entertainment and TV shows dictate the pace of our lives. As a result, we are bored because there is no life in our lives.

When the events of our day are shaped around God’s plan for us, He will bring color and light back to our lives.

20171128 - The Power of Routine - Events Shaped quote - photofromunsplashshmiketinnionWe’ll leave behind the dullness of the world and start participating in the building of God’s kingdom.

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

It begins by discovering God’s vision for our lives and building our days around vision.

We have to commit to His plan and choose to do the things that move us toward the goal. There will be times when it seems monotonous and boring. We may even go through seasons where it seems like we’re not growing. In these times we only need to be patient and trust that God is working. Our daily walk with Him will always bear fruit. If we will wait to see what it is, we’ll never be disappointed.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

The Abundant Life: God’s Plan

Living an abundant life shouldn’t just be a dream or a goal; it’s God’s plan for our lives. Abundant-Life-Gods-Plan-Blueprint-quote-photo

God does not randomly hand out blessing and cursing. When you were born God did not say, “I’ve given everyone else a good plan with hope and a future, but it’s going to be different for this one. I’m going to make sure this person never succeeds.”

His plan for all of us is blessing. His blueprint for our lives is abundance.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11 (TLB)

We have to build our lives in accordance with His plans.  

Our Father can plan, envision and give us strategies for abundance, but if we don’t accept His plan and use His strategies, we will live our lives wishing for the abundance that’s already ours.

We were created to live a flourishing, growing, productive life.  Everything we touch should come to life.  We don’t find abundance in our marriages, our jobs, or our possessions; we bring abundance to them.

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper,” Psalm 1:3 (NKJV)

Abundant-Life-Gods-Plan-Carry-quote-photoWe carry blessing everywhere we go.

When we go somewhere God’s favor goes with us. This blessing should be contagious to everyone around us. 

We were born to live a life that overflows with grace and truth. If it overflows, then it should spill onto those around us.

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing,” Genesis 12:2 (NKJV)

We should wake up every day believing in and living this blessed life. We have to be conscious of it so it can elevate our lives and the lives of everyone we meet.

New Beginnings – Radical Faith

Hebrews chapter eleven describes people from the Old Testament who radically trusted God – they had radical faith.

New-Beginnings-Radical-Faith-Decide-that-Gods-Plan-is-is-Better-QuoteThe chapter says again and again it was by faith they saw God do amazing things. All of their stories have a similarity though; God wanted to do a new thing for and through all of them. If they were going to take part in God’s new beginning, then they had to live by faith. The walls of Jericho fell down, the dead were raised, barren women had children and their enemies were defeated; all by faith.

However, they all had to decide that the plan God had for their future was better than what they were leaving behind. The only way they could commit to this decision was by faith. 

“For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them,” (Hebrews 11:14-16).

New-Beginnings-Radical-Faith-By-Faith-Look-Ahead-QuoteBy faith these people looked ahead, knowing that God was going to do what He said He would do.

They had faith that God’s plan was far beyond anything they could imagine on their own.  They willingly left their own plans behind.

These people serve as our example of how to persevere in faith. Even though their outward circumstances were uncomfortable and the situations in front of them seemed impossible they trusted that God would bring them through. We have to do the same if we’re going to see the promises of God come to pass in our lives.

 

For we walk by faith, not by sight,” (2 Corinthians 5:7). New-Beginnings-Radical-Faith-Feelings-are-Temporary-Quote

Keeping our focus on our heavenly Father and His plan for our lives will carry us through on the days we think we can’t make it. Our faith will take hold of His strength and we’ll be able to stay faithful and controlled when the temptation to quit is strong. We’ll know that what we’re feeling is temporary while God’s plan is eternal.

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal,” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Fulfilling God’s Calling

FULFILLING-GODS-CALLING-Originals-quoteWe’ve made it clear in the past few weeks that God has a calling for all of His children.

He made all of us originals in order to fulfill a unique calling.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Some people spend their whole lives searching for this calling. They wander through life confused or frustrated, or a combination of both, because they have yet to find their place.

We should not fall into the trap of thinking that our calling is simply our career.

In fact, what God has called us to do may not be our primary source of income. It could absolutely turn into a career, but we shouldn’t think that it could only be that.

Stay at home mothers know that raising children certainly costs more money than it earns. However, it is a high calling to raise a child that loves their heavenly Father.

One of the main things we should know in finding our calling is that it will evolve and grow over time. We’re probably not going to see it all at once.

-FULFILLING-GODS-CALLING-Waiting-quoteIf we sit around waiting for the one big moment where God shows us everything we’re supposed to do from now until the day we die, we could be waiting for quite some time. In order to find out what our calling, is we have to trust God. Saying that we’re waiting on an answer from Him can turn into an excuse over time.

This mindset of waiting for one big revelation from God about what we’re supposed to do will hold us back more than it will move us forward.

Rather than waiting for a detailed road map of how our calling is going to play out, we should simply take the first step of faith. We should submit our resume for the job that seems beyond our ability; apply for college; we should serve in the ministry at church that challenges us.

FULFILLING-GODS-CALLING-Step-Out-quoteHave faith in the fact that God has prepared good works for us to walk in. We don’t need to stress ourselves by not knowing what’s going to happen in five years.  Focus on what’s right in front of us. As we step out in faith, God will reveal more and more of what He has for us.

Don’t let the fear of making a mistake hold you back from starting. Don’t let not knowing where the finish line is hold you back from starting. You can be sure that if you let fear stop you at the beginning, then you’ll never see the finish.

God’s plan for you is good.

So, even if you make a mistake, the grace and wisdom of God are always available to you.  If you’re unsure of what your calling is, then ask for God’s wisdom and start taking steps of faith. He’s promised to never leave you and He’s given you His Word as a light to your path. You have an amazing destiny to fulfill and it all begins with that first step.

Plans for Life

All of us make plans.

Trust God with Your Plans

We plan vacations. You and I plan to get a promotion or a new job. We plan to have a loving, healthy marriage.

It’s obviously good to have a plan for everything we do. We shouldn’t just float through life without direction or purpose. We should ask ourselves where our plans come from:  Are they product of our own desires? Or are we seeking God?

“Many are the plans of the human heart, but it is the decision of the Lord that endures,” Proverbs 19:21 (NABRE)

If we try to map out our own life based on what we want without ever consulting our heavenly Father, then we are putting ourselves on the fast track for disappointment.

We can plan everything down to the smallest detail, but without God’s involvement our own vision is almost guaranteed to fail.

God is not the one who causes our plans to fail. We don’t succeed alone because we are not wise enough to direct our own path.

“I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course,” Jeremiah 10:23 (NLT)

We were not made to be the leaders of our own lives.

You and I were made to follow our heavenly Father.  But, we don’t always want to submit to His leadership.  This is because we think He’s going to lead us away from what we want. We think that His plan is going to take too long or that the journey will be too hard.

However, when we have a revelation of God’s love for us, we can surrender the plans we have made on our own and begin to live in His vision for our lives.

God loves us infinitely more than we could ever love ourselves. His plan for us comes from His great love. Even though a child may want cake and ice cream for every meal, his father won’t give it to him. Likewise our heavenly Father doesn’t give things that indulge the flesh. When we are carnally minded our spiritual growth is stunted and we limit God’s plan our lives coming to fruition.

We should trust in His plan, because what He wants for us is always greater than what we want for ourselves.

This doesn’t mean that we must get rid of all of our personal desires. It doesn’t mean that God is going to take things away from us. It means that when we seek His will for our lives He will do more than we could ever ask, think or imagine.

I encourage yGuard Your Heart - Life Planou to start involving God in every decision you make. This will have a twofold benefit in your life: You’ll make better decisions because you’re seeking God’s will, and you’ll be more sensitive to His leadership because you’re seeking Him as your number one priority. The plans you make will succeed and last when you make them based on the will of God.