Let God Be God in Your Life (Podcast)




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Psalm 86:10, For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. 11] Teach me Your way, O LORD;   I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.  12] I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. 

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me.

We are living in a world where confusion reigns. Confusion leads to becoming lost. People are not lost because they are going to wind up in the wrong place. They wind up in the wrong place because they are lost. (Willard, Renovation)

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

Belly means to be given up to the pleasures; the innermost part of a man, the soul, heart as the seat of thought, feeling, choice.

The person who is lost is obsessed with self and circumstances. They dismiss the Word while embracing their thoughts and feelings as divine direction. The “god” is their belly. (Phil. 3:19) The lost person does not want God to be God. He is insulted at the suggestion that he is lost, thinking “How dare you speak to me like that? God cannot be lost.”

It is the person who says, “I can do anything I want to do.”

There are three Gods:

1. There is the god made in the image of man. This is the god that people generally believe in—A god who has to serve them. This god does not exist. 

2. There is the god what occupies our thoughts, our minds, guides our decisions, spending, and planning.

3. Then, there is the God who people forget. The living God whom we all have to serve who has a son named Jesus Christ.  The God that exists and is the reason for our existence.

God being God offends human pride because He does not conform to the wishes of people. He doesn’t bow to our agenda. 

Romans 3:18 says, “There is no fear of God before their eyes” 

When the light of God is absent, the intellect become dysfunctional, trying to devise a truth that will be compatible with the basic falsehood that man is god. (Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines)

Indicators of the True God:

  1. Is from everlasting to everlasting
  2. Known to Adam, Abraham, Moses and the pagans of every generation
  3. Has the power to create, destroy, heal and reform 
  4. Passes final judgment
  5. Knows the hearts of people
  6. Knows the motivations of the heart
  7. Has purpose that transcends the lifetime or sensual interests of people
  8. Manifests His presence in the earth through the Holy Spirit
  9. Has a son name Jesus Christ, who is God the Son

Keys to letting God be God in your life;

1.  Allow Him to intervene into your deadness. Dead represents things separated from the life and power of God.

2.  Understand the principle of separation from the world. This does not mean that we don’t engage with world, which we obviously and necessarily do. It means that we are controlled by the world, not even by the COVID, which can become a small “g” God.

3. Obey the Word of God quickly. Find a way to be a doer of the Word. God said don’t forsake assembling yourselves together. When we could meet physically, we met online. 

4. Live from the inside out “Work out your salvation.” Don’t live from the outside in.

He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

5. Don’t believe the lie that says, “You cannot change.” Phil. 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

6. Have no confidence in the philosophies of this world regarding the nature of man, evil and God.

7. Apply God’s word and lessons to your everyday life. Remember David’s words:

Psalm 86:10, For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. 11] Teach me Your way, O LORD;   I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.  12] I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. 

 



 

Day 11 -- PRINCIPLES OF EMPOWERMENT -- The Great Exchange



Isaiah 40:31, But those who hope in the Lord will renew [exchange] their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  

From time to time, we all need renewal and refreshing. The normal activities and challenges of life take a toll. There are also special circumstances like the passing of loved ones or unexpected setbacks in life.
Whatever the situation, God has made a provision through His grace. Grace is everything God has that He makes available to us.  And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

God’s method for renewal is something I call The Great Exchange. This is nothing new. It is a very old and biblical understanding of how God works in our lives. We cannot change ourselves using our own strength. We can make superficial adjustments, but deep and lasting change must come from our Creator. 
The Great Exchange began with Jesus giving His holy life for our sinful lives. He died in our place to take away our sins, and not only our sins but the sins of all people. (1 John 2:2)

As a photographer, I’ve become highly skilled at using my various cameras, but when my camera needs deep cleaning, calibration or repair, I have to send it to Nikon, Canon, Sony or Panasonic. I have to give up use of the camera and exchange my understanding for the manufacturer’s expertise.

Early in 2016, I experienced some pain in my lower leg after a workout. I “diagnosed” myself with a slight Achilles tendon strain (I had a rupture years ago and knew the difference). I put ice on it, rested it, and later began to slowly stretch it (as I “learned” from an almighty Google search!) The pain persisted off and on, so I went to the doctor months later. A specialist diagnosed it as a partially torn Achilles tendon. It was like strands of a rope that had been torn with remaining strands bearing the load. All my efforts only made it worse, especially stretching it.

My best help came from an exchange of my limited (and foolish) diagnosis for a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment. For this injury, surgery was not needed. I had to take pressure off the tendon by wearing a special boot at home and dress boots with a high heel when away from home. The high heel relieved tension on the tendon.

When I exchanged my knowledge for the doctor’s knowledge, my situation changed. 

Is there any situation in your life that would benefit from the Great Exchange? Jesus is our Specialist! Don’t frustrate yourself or make matters worse by trying to sort things out all by yourself.


Reflection Question: Is there anything you need to exchange for something greater from God?

Key insight I gained today:
Today’s action item based on insight:

Day 10 - PRINCIPLES OF EMPOWERMENT - The Amazing Power of Your Planted Seed



Mark 4:26-28, The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground,  and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.  For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 
There is amazing power both within the seed you sow and within the kingdom of God. Jesus compared the productivity of God’s kingdom to the natural process of sowing and reaping. We have witnessed God’s work in nature all of our lives, so we don’t stop to think about how amazing it is! “For the earth yields crops by itself…” 

We do not fully understand how nature works, we only know that it is reliable, consistent, and highly productive. We receive from nature more than we put in. We should view God’s kingdom in the same manner and trust the process by our participation. Here is a major principle from Jesus’ teaching:
A seed, once planted, GAINS the power to produce and increase. 

The power within a seed can only be released by planting the seed. This is true for every endeavor and for our giving. I traveled with a team of four men to Kenya Africa in November of 2016 for a missions trip.  The members of my church, New Covenant Church, and the friends who donated literally “sowed” us into the lives of the wonderful people of Eldoret and Busia, Kenya. That mission resulted in transformed lives, resourced pastors, encouragement beyond measure, and a lot more that occurred after we departed. Those who supported us had as much to do with the results as those of us who went there!

In August of 2017 we paid off the mortgage on our church facility, became a debt free ministry, and transformed a liability to a major asset! We are not a big church, but the seeds and generosity of a group of godly, willing people sowing into God’s kingdom produced amazing results.

As Jesus said, “…The seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.”

I want to encourage you to always be a giver and a sower of your three “T’s” - your Time, Treasure, and Talents. The farmer, with all his knowledge and skill can produce nothing without putting his seed into the soil. We can only make a difference by getting our “seeds” of action and generosity into the fruitful “soil” of the Kingdom of God!


Reflection Question: Write down the purposes and ministries into which you have sown your seed. Rejoice over each one and expect to receive a harvest!

Key insight I gained today:

Today’s action item based on insight:

Day 9 - PRINCIPLES OF EMPOWERMENT - More With You Than With Them





Psalm 33:16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength...18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy.

Elisha’s servant learned a valuable lesson about man’s limited resources and God as the unlimited Source. 
There is a story in 2 Kings 6:8-20 that describes the Syrian army’s plans to attack Israel being intercepted by the Prophet Elisha, who warned the king of Israel on multiple occasions. Their plans failed on so many occasions that the king of Syria thought there was a spy within his ranks.

However, the king learned that it was the Prophet Elisha who heard his plans through God’s power and warned Israel. In a fit of anger the king of Syria sent his army to Dothan to capture Elisha. The army arrived that evening and encircled the location of Elisha. Notice the reaction of Elisha’s servant:

2 Kings 6:14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”

The young man had a panic attack! He could see that he and Elisha were surrounded and out-numbered. In other words, the two of them did not appear to have the needed resources to defend against this enemy.
Notice Elisha’s calm response based upon his insight, “So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. (v. 16)

We can imagine that the servant could have had a response like, “You’ve got to be kidding! I only see two of us and hundreds of them--with big weapons!”

Elisha’s response should be our response in any circumstance where we feel outnumbered and overmatched. The Bible says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) 

And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”  

God as your Source is always more than the resources of your enemies of adverse circumstances. When your eyes are open, you see your Source more than your limited resources!

Reflection Question: When your eyes are open, what do you see?

Key insight I gained today:

Today’s action item based on insight:

Day 8 - PRINCIPLES OF EMPOWERMENT Your Source & Resource from Heaven to Earth



(Download free devotional PDF ebook www.newcovenant.org)

Philippians 4:11, Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

It is important to understand the difference between source and resources.

Resource: A supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively.

Source: A point of origin or procurement; anything or place from which something comes.

The Apostle Paul “learned” how to handle both lack and abundance. Paul learned how to rely on God as his Source and live in contentment, not in frustration. Trusting in our resources ultimately leads to frustration. 

What is the value of learning how to be “abased?” The only benefit in experiencing lack is learning how to handle yourself within it, navigate through it, and rise out of it! People who have survived lack and overcome it through Christ become both bold and humble by staying connected with their Source. Going forward, they do not feel intimidated or overwhelmed by circumstances. As David said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..” (Psalm 23:1)

Trusting in our resources is relying on a limited supply. Trusting our Source is relying on an unlimited supply. Recognizing our Source puts us in position to receive from God who is our Source. God as Source reigns over all and has an endless supply! 


Reflection Question: Are there any resources in your life that have been mistaken as your Source?

Key insight I gained today:

Today’s action item based on insight: