I really believe God wants to bless us as sons and daughters of God. But I also believe we miss out on the full blessings because we don’t have a clear understanding of how God works. He loves us and His heart is to bless us. There is no doubting that. What I would like to share is one of the ways God blesses us. It has been a revelation to me and something I need to apply more and more in my life.
What is in your hands? God wants to bless you but you have not prepared your field. You have not dug trenches to contain what God has for you.
In the 2 Kings 3:9-20 we read about three kings going for war. But they get to a place where there is no water for the army and livestock. They ask God to help them and He tells them to dig trenches ( 2 Kings 3:16). When they dig the trenches God fills them with water. ( 2 Kings 3:20)
God wants to bless you but He wants you to dig trenches to accomadate the “water”. What are you doing with your hands? Sitting and waiting for God to bless you will not cut it. God requires you put action to your faith. The men had to have faith as they were digging. They had to trust in what God said. God has said some things to us. So we need to prepare for the things He has promised us.
The last example I am going to use is in the next chapter of the same book. 2 Kings 4:1-7 tells us about a woman who is about to lose her two sons because of debt. She goes to the man of God for help and again, he asks her what is in her hand!
Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you [of sale value] in the house?
She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil. 2 Kings 4:2.
That jar of oil was enough for God to bless her. She needed to borrow more jars. But the fact is this. God needed her to have something in her hands. What is in your hands? The woman may of thought her jar was not enough but it was enough for God to do a miracle. It was enough for God to bless her.
And that is the principle I want you to see. God wants to bless you but He will use what is in your hands no matter how small you think it is.
If you don’t have anything in your hands then it is time to put your hands to something. It is time to prepare for the blessings God has for you. It is time to dig trenches.
On my road to fluency I learnt a principle from my mentor which really helped me. He was a psychologist. He taught me, “we make a lot of decisions about our future, not based on what can be, but what has been. Most of the results you get will be based, not upon what can be, but what has been”.
I used to do that. How many times had I stuttered in front of a crowd? How many times had I stuttered when I was on the phone? How many times had I stuttered when I spoke to people one on one?
So you can imagine when opportunities came my way to speak to a crowd. I was freaking out. I was not seeing what could be. Instead, I could see the last time I spoke and how the people responded. I told myself I was not going through that again. For a season I turned down amazing opportunities that God was opening up to me because of something that happened months and even years ago.
It sounds crazy but that is what happens. In some cases a woman will turn down a man’s advances not because he is a cheat or because he is an abuser but because she was abused or cheated in the past by another man. So the man who likes her now can be genuine in his love for her and has her best interests in mind but she won’t be able to see it because of her past experiences.
Are you doing that in your life? Do you look at all the negative things you have been through and make decisions based on them? How many opportunities have you turned down? How many relationships have you turned down because of your past experiences?
We need to change how we see. We need to learn to look at the future when making decisions. We need to learn how to look at opportunities and see what can be instead of what has been. That is what I used to do. “I can’t speak to people now because I stuttered and people laughed at me last week” I would think to myself. And such other thoughts would run through my mind. But I changed the way I see. I started seeing what can be. I saw myself speaking fluently and boldly. I saw peeople responding to what I was saying. These are the kind of pictures I taught myself to see. And that is what you need to start doing. Let us look at two examples from the word. There are so many I could choose from but for now we will look at two examples.
His name was Moses. For his story you will need to read the book of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deutoronomy.
Moses had a lot going on for him. He was a prince of Egypt. But he killed someone and ran away. God then spoke to him in the desert. What an amazing experience he must of had, but in the presence of God he started giving excuses! Why? It was because he was looking at the negative things that had happened in the past and projected them into his future. God wanted to use him to save Israel. What an opportunity to do something amazing! But he didn’t know how to look forward positively. He could not see what could be. He couldn’t see his people’s freedom. Instead he saw his stuttering,
“And Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I am not eloquent or a man of words, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and have a heavy and awkward tongue. Exodus 4:10
I am interested in where he got his view. Did people joke about his stutter? Did he try to speak to people and end up not being able to articulate what he wanted to say?
Whatever the reason it made him draw back in fear. Don’t draw back in fear. Look to what can be. See victory. See success. God wants to use you to do great things. But you need to know how to look forward.
Gideon was someone else who fell into the trap of looking at the negative that happened in the past. For years he had grown up being told his family was the least. For years he was told he was nothing. And when an angel of the Lord came to speak to him he reverted to the past. He never saw what could be. He was looking at what had been and could of missed the call of God on his life. But God was gracious towards him. His story is in the book of Judges chapter 6.
So this is the conclusion, learn to look at what can be. There is so much for you. Don’t draw back into fear. Don’t make decisions based on what has been. As you apply this principle you will see a change.
What is love? There are so many definitions that I could pick from. From scripture we know that love is not an emotion. It is more than that. Love is a decision, a committment you make. Emotion is not enough. We are in error when we think love is just a feeling. When you really love someone you make a decision to be there for them in the good and the bad. Real love speaks about sacrifice. There is a dying to ourselves involved. Love is not easy. We need the Spirit of God to help us love.
The world has painted a picture of love that is wrong. According to the world you can fall in and out of love. According to the world, love is an emotion. That is where it stops. But that is not true. As christians we need to be able to know and understand what love really is.
I would like to share another definition of love that is found in the scriptures.
Another definition of love is being obedient to God. As christians we say we love God but we are not obedient. How many times have we not done what God has called us to do?
If we really love God we will obey Him. John 14:15 says:
If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. (Amplified).
This is how we measure our love for God. Are you obedient?
John 14:21 says:
The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]
As you can see, we need to be obedient to the Word of God. When you get a word from God you need to act on it. How much do you value the word? It should be something you esteem very highly.
Our obedience to God’s word reflects the love we have for God. In other words that is how God measures our love for Him. Do you really love God?
John 14:23, 24 says:
Jesus answered, if a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey my teaching]; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.
Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching.
And that is another definition of love. Obedience reflects our love toward God. Do you really love God? Having emotions alone does not cut it. You cannot measure feelings and emotions but you can measure actions.
As christians we are called to love. Let us not be fake. Let us be genuine in our love toward God and each other. Let us make a decision to love the way God wants us to love and not the way the world wants us to love.
There is so much teaching on leadership. There are so many different views on leadership that it makes it hard to decide which is the most effective. Can we say there is one style which stands head and shoulders above the rest? Or can we draw the conclusion that they are all the same?
As a christian we have a model to follow. That model is found in John 13:1-17.
This model was created by the greatest person who ever lived and who still lives! His name is Jesus Christ.
Jesus taught us how we are to be servant leaders. Please understand that Jesus is the Son of God. So coming down to earth in the form of a man was already humbling. But He went even further. The King of Kings then gets a SERVANTS towel and washes His disciples feet!!!
Look at it anyway but that was degrading. It was unheard of. A master would never wash his servants feet!! But Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah washed the disciples feet!!
Peter is the one who speaks up and tries to stop this “madness”. It doesn’t add up in his mind. He tells Jesus, “You will never wash my feet”.
In Peter’s mind, he can’t comprehend how Jesus who is the Son of God can wash his feet. But in the end Jesus washs his feet.
I would like you to take a moment to think about that. Jesus Christ washed His disciples feet. He knew who He was but He still humbled Himself even further by washing their feet.
Are you a servant leader? Do you expect things to be done for you or do you take the lead by doing. As a leader are there certain people you speak to?
Jesus said we are to lead by serving. He changed the world and still does because of how He led. We need to learn how to humble ourselves. As leaders we are called to serve and not to be served. A lot of people aspire to be leaders because they want to be served. They want to be respected. They want to advance their ideals and so on. But leadership is not the place to do that. Leadership is a place where you die to self. Leadership is hard. It should not be taken lightly.
Leadership is a lonely road. When Jesus was in His most important challenge His friends abandoned Him. He was all alone. Leadership requires you to die continually to self. There is a certain amount of responsibility you need to have when you are a leader.
Are you a servant leader? In other words, are you ready to serve?
That is real leadership.
How is your well? You might think that is a weird question but it’s not. It is a very serious question. I was very challenged when my Pastor spoke about this. It really got me thinking about my life.
You take you wherever you go. And there is nothing you can do about that. Who are you as a person? Are you disciplined, do you have an uncontrollable temper, do you use vulgar language, do you lie all the time? You take you wherever you go.
But who you are depends on the state of your well. John 4:14 says:
But whoever takes a drink of water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life.
Jesus said your well will be flowing and bubbling continually within you. But is it? Are your waters clean?
If you are a son or daughter of God and you lie blatantly or cheat, or steal or hurt others then your well is polluted. It has been corrupted. Whenever you take or pay a bribe you are polluting your well. When you gossip about someone you are polluting your well. When you sleep around you are polluting your well. When you watch pornography you are polluting your well. (I have experienced this first hand). When you beat up your wife or abuse your children physically and verbally you are polluting your well. When you cheat you are polluting your well.
The list goes on and on. Is your well clean? What are you doing now that is polluting your well? You need to stop. God’s plan is for your well to be flowing and bubbling continually. Your credibility as a son or daughter of God is damaged when you continually pollute your well. But the great news is that, it’s not too late. If your well is dirty it can be restored to it’s intended purpose. There is hope. Get back to the Word, pray to God. Seek after Him. Set your heart to seek Him. As you do those things your well will become clean. It’s not too late. Clean your well.
And as you do that you will not be ashamed to take you wherever you go. That is a benefit of cleaning your well. So as i close i leave you with this question, what is the condition of your well?
What a week it has been for me. It has been one of learning and discipline. God has been dealing with my heart concerning sin. The crazy thing about this whole matter is, I am the one who started it. I let myself indulge in sin only to find that it had turned into a monster!
I also found out that I had exalted it above GOD. I had made it an idol.
The next craziest thing is, I never told anyone about what I was going through and because of that I was being fake. People would ask me how I was doing and I would say great! But that was a lie. That is what hiding sin can do.
I have now seen that the way forward is to expose sin. It needs to become a habit. As hard as it may be we need to expose the sin we have tried so hard to hide. Hiding it away will only make it worse. It will lead us to a life of duplicity. We become decieved without even knowing it.
Do you have someone who you can be real with? Do you have someone who knows the real you? It will help if you are to live a life of continually exposing sin.
The scripture that has really ministered to me in this season is in Ephesians 4:25 – Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another. (Amplified)
We need to see that we are all part of one body. If one part is hurting, the body fails to function properly. If you are not being real because of sin, the “body” is not functioning at its full capacity. You are needed to complete the “body”. And that is why we cannot keep on being fake. We need to be at a place where we can share our weaknesses because we all part of one body.
The word says that we need to reject falsity. Make a decision to be real. Make a decision to expose sin continuously. Be real with yourself and other people.
Ephesians 5:13 shows us the advantage of being real:
But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light.
Let us make a decision today to be real. You are not alone in this. We are all part of one body. Your part in this story is critical. Reject falsity at all costs. Take a risk and be real. It takes courage to be real.
So let us do this. Amen