Day 14: 50 Days of Passion

I had a boss once who explained my experience as a military man like this. At the floor level we only see about 25% of the picture, we experience what is happening immediately around us but don’t have an understanding completely of why, yet we must complete the job. At the supervisor level we learn a bit more and might get us to 45% and then as a manager closer to 60%, as you continue up the levels to the top still no one knows 100% of the truth because the truth of any story has three sides, theirs, yours and what actually happened.

 

“All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”

1 Corinthians 13:12b NLT

 

 

I say all this because we don’t know the whole plan of God for our lives, we don’t know what he has in store for us, nor do we know why certain events or situations occur. God points us, with prompting from the Holy Spirit, in a direction he wants us to go and we as faithful workers should go. Yet many times we expect a full plan laid before us before we make the first step. This is never going to happen. If God gives you a direction take the step of faith and move towards it. One day when you meet face to face he will open your eyes to your life, let you see the whole plan as it unfolded what a highlight reel that will be.

 

Our passion is linked to our faith to step into the plan that God has for us. No matter what % of the plan you understand, if you prompted and confirmed that this is where God is sending you then you should take on that plan. It takes a lot of faith to submit to God’s plans. He tends to put people in areas they are not comfortable with, this is to help you grow as a person as well as spiritually. It is when we continually ignore the plans and callings that our passion or fire starts to fade. I don’t believe God calls us to just tread water and stay in one spot in our faith.

 

Do you want to look back and see that you avoided the plan your whole life? Or would you love to have the Father watch with you and see the proud look on his face when he says, ‘well done good and faithful servant’? Let focus our lives on following Gods plan for our lives and work to fulfill the mission we have been given.

 

 

 

Jesus, I want to walk your plan, even if I don’t know all the variables and details. Show me what I need to be doing to fulfill the mission. Give me the tools and resources required as I can’t do this on my own. Let me be an effective worker in sharing your love to those who need to know you. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

 

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Day 10: 50 Days of Passion

Apathy, malaise and laziness are all symptoms of something much deeper. When you come to realize one of these or any combination have started to creep into your life it becomes time to react to the it. Now we may have bouts of laziness because we are just so busy in life and just need time to unwind, not what I am talking about. Paul had every reason and opportunity to just sulk and do his time in jail. He could have gone deep into depression focusing on the why me. But he didn’t.

 

I am going to keep on being glad, for I know that as you pray for me, and as the Holy Spirit helps me, this is all going to turn out for my good. Philippians 1:19

 

Here in jail Paul was determined to continue on, excited for Christ. He never threw in the towel and give up. He also knew that he could not endure this situation alone.

 

Our lives are not meant to be lived alone. When we isolate ourselves and close ourselves off from other people it is very easy to become aphetic to the world. The ‘whatev’ attitude can become a theme. We were not meant to live a life where we sign along to ‘Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be.”  Paul knew this and put his joy not in his own strength but understood that his joy came from two sources, the Holy Spirit and those praying for him.

 

First, he had people praying for him. Why would this give Paul gladness or joy? When you have someone praying for you it tells you that you are important to them, that you are worthy of their time and care enough to petition your needs before God. Paul would have made his situation know to his friends so they knew what to pray for. He didn’t keep everything to himself, he asked for help. If we keep our needs to ourselves and don’t ask for pray or a helping hand how can we expect to deal with life that is overwhelming us?

 

Second, he acknowledged that the Holy Spirit was there with him. Jesus told us that he would send someone to comfort us. To be comforted we must first be uncomfortable, now I think being in prison would be very uncomfortable. But I believe the Holy Spirit is already with all believers. We were living an uncomfortable life before we met Jesus, on the day we gave our lives to him he sent the Holy Spirit to live with us. Many believers don’t know he is there and don’t take the time to build the relationship that Christ has provided. To have a relationship with God is to have one with all three parts of his being, Father, Son and Spirit. To only communicate with Father and Son is to miss out on the Spirit that is ready willing and able to work wonders in your life.

So, if you are feeling any of these symptoms today and maybe you have continued further down the path into depression, I would suggest the first thing you need to do is pray. Ask God to show you who the Holy Spirit is in your relationship, ask him to reveal Joy in your life. Next tell someone what’s going on, your Pastor, your mentor, your family, a close friend, someone who can begin praying for you. Then with them find someone who can guide you properly, a consoler or Christian therapist, who can work with you to root out what is holding you down.

 

If you want a renewed passion in life I pray that apathy, malaise and laziness will become things of the past. A passion like the one Paul has in prison will ignite our cities if we will allow the Holy Spirit to move in our lives. We must start praying for one another, lifting up the needs and calling out for the Spirit to move. Passion beings in prayer, revival starts in our heart, our love for Christ must overflow and reach this world.

 

Father, we need a renewed passion. We pray for those who are feeling depressed, either full borne, or on the road to. Jesus send the Holy Spirit to those people and show them the path they are on so they can ask for help. Let us gather around them, encourage them, love them, show them that they are important. We pray that you will move in their lives and ours. Let you love overflow us so that we can reach those in our communities who don’t know you and need to meet you. Give us a Joy that can’t be explained. Amen

Day 7: 50 Days of Impact

How do you impact those around you who don’t think that their life is missing anything? What do you give to the person who has everything? There is nothing in our own strength that we can do to convince a person they need a savior. The Holy Spirit’s role is to impart on the hearts of unbelievers the need for a savior, convict them that what they are doing is sinful. We need to be open to be used by him in reaching them.

 

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.”

1 Peter 1:18-20 NLT

 

Take some time today to thank God for the ransom paid so that you might live. If it wasn’t for Jesus sacrifice on the cross and resurrection all that we believe would be nothing. But I am so thankful that it means so much.

 

Pray today that Jesus will be revealed to your friends, family, coworkers and the random people you meet each day. I pray that the Holy Spirit will give you words and guidance to connect and share Christ’s love to them. I pray that we can share the hope we have in him.

 

Dear Jesus, I don’t want to hoard your salvation. Give me a passion to share it with others. I don’t want to be like the foolish worker who hid his coin, lest I be thrown out for not multiplying what you have given me. Open my lips and guide in me in the words needed to share your love. Amen

 

Day 25: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 25: Lately I have been understanding more of the role of the Holy Spirit in my life. He is my advocate who is by my side guiding me along my path, helping me make the right choices, letting me know when I make the wrong ones. To trust his guidance and correction isn’t natural, our sinful nature wants to be in control of everything. To submit to him will not only change your life it will empower you to do amazing things.

DAY TWENTY-FIVE

God saw what was going on with Israel. God understood. (Exodus 2:25 MSG)

God is invested in your life. Do not think for one second that God doesn’t care what is happening to you. With millions of people all over the world calling out to God it is easy to think that God is too busy for you. You would be wrong.

God understands exactly what we need to make it in this world. He is always there providing us with ways to improve our lives, we just need to listen to them.

I sometimes relate free will to a choose your own adventure book, you can be given a couple choices and what you choose will affect the rest of your story. I challenge you when you come to one of those choices to ask the author of your life which page to turn to. I wish like in the books you could flip ahead and find which one was the best choice, but we don’t get that option in life, so praying is the options we must choose.

Think what your going through isn’t something God has already seen? Probably not, He understands you. He knows, cares and loves.

Dear Jesus, help me to come to you with my life choices, I know that You understand what is going on in my life. I need some advice and I don’t think the choice I would make is the right one. I wanted to go down the path You have set out for me, help me get there. Amen

Day 49: 50 Days of Change

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We are a people who like to try to control our own lives. We would rather live our lives as we are reading a ‘choose your own adventure book’ then to submit to someone else’s plans for our lives. We believe that we know what is best for our lives, our families and everything that we are in contact with. 

Have you ever owned a gps? A navigation tool that helps you get to where you need to go. I have had one and when you enter your destination it expects you to follow it. But as stuburn humanity I believe that the gps is wrong and doesn’t want to take me the most effective route, so I take turns that go against what it tells me. The machine itself gets frustrated and recalculates, it keeps redirecting me as I get lost by trying to control how I get to me destination.

Do we sometimes do this with God? We ask him for a path to take and when he shows us we then decide to make our own way. We see an alternative that should get us to the same desired result, but n the end it cause us much pain, discomfort and detours. We are called to trust the Lord, not just a little but with al our hearts. To submit to him is to know him, then to press in and seek his will for your life will reveal which path to take. 

So are you following his lead or are you trying to forge your own path? Maybe just maybe it is time to trust him and see where he will lead you.

Father, all to often we try to guide our own lives down roads that ultimatly lead to nothing. Sometimes the end is harmless but other times they can cause much pain. I pray that we start trusting you more in our descisions and life choices. Holy Spirit reveal to us the path to follow and choices we must make. We want to reach people for you, we want to build the kingdom, they matter to you so the matter to me. Amen

Day 48: 50 Days of Change

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So many times we have read this verse and many other just like it and expect that God will give us anything we ask for. We more often then not skim over the four words ‘anything that pleases him’, in favour of ‘anything that pleases us’. Where did the confidence that John was writing about here come from? If you were to read the previous part of this chapter you would read about what it means to have faith in the Son of God. It also tells us what it means to truly love God. 

Yet so many ask for things that are just not pleasing to God. He knows what the results will be if he was to give you every desire of your heart. If he had answered your teenage prayer to date that high school crush, or given you all the answers for the test you forgot to study for. Maybe you prayed for money or stuff, he understands we need money but asking him to be rich is not something that pleases him, money can corrupt. 

But as often the case, people walk away from God because he doesn’t give them everything they prayed for, the job, the perfect spouse, status. They become bitter and angry at God because he withheld something they really wanted like a spoiled child not getting what they asked for. As a parent I know that my kids won’t always agree with the decisions I make, they will ask for things and I will have to say no. This isn’t because I am trying to be mean, it is because I believe I know what’s best for their development. 

What I love about kids compared to adults is that they get over the NO. They may have a fit but it is only temporary, they in general will not try to walk away from you if you say no to them. The may stamp around, cause a scene, say somethings they may regret, but at day’s end they will be back for a hug, tell you they love you, moving past the NO. 

So today will you become like a child and move past the no? God is a good father and wants to give you good things, not everything we ask for is good for us. Trust that even though we may not agree with him he has our best in mind. Why would we not trust the God who created us? Loves us? Saved us from sin. Don’t stop asking, keep praying, trust he will give you the best answer.

Father, it is hard for us to understand why you would say no to things we ask for. Sometimes they are request that will harm us other times we don’t see how they wouldn’t be answe. Help us to continually trust that you know what’s best for us, as you created us, one might assume you have a good understanding what we need. I ask father you will guide us in reaching the lost. Holy Spirit give us wisdom and opportunities every day to share the love of Jesus with our friends, family, coworkers and anyone who will listen. They matter to you so the matter to me. Amen

Day 47: 50 Days of Change

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It is hard to fathom why one who has a relationship with God would replace him with something else. But we hear of believers, elders and even leaders walking away from him all the time. One might make the assumption that these believers never truly believed, as some have the notion that salvation cannot be discarded. What has truly happened is these folks have given up their relationship. Somewhere along the line sin got a hold inside and slowly but surely took them down a path away from God. 

God didn’t abandon them, he didn’t leave them, but at some point they left him. They pushed aside the truth and the counsel of the Holy Spirit for an idea that what te wanted was right and for them. One of the startiling things that I see is leaders who drop out of leadership not only abandoning their church but in many case leaving their spouses. This is so heartbreaking as it can be a domino effect on those who admire and have been mentored by these leaders. They should know better but we don’t know what is going on in their lives and hearts.

This is where we as believers are failing each other. If we were more involved in each other’s lives personally we would become more intune to our brothers and sisters needs and troubles. Maybe we would be able to see things in the early stages and cut them off before they decide to walk away from God completely. It would be so much easier if we knew what was going to happen with a time machine, but we pray and hope that the issues we resolve early will allievate any big mistakes down the road. Ultimatly it is between the person and God, but he can and will use us to build each other up, like iron sharpening iron. 

This could be you, you maybe testing the waters of sin and not sure where the undertow is. But if your testing one day it will pull you under. I beg of you ask for help, cry out to God to pull you out now, send brothers and sisters of the faith to help you through this time of confusion. We need to ask for help, push past our pride, se that we are failing and need assistance. What we do with our lives as believers does not only affect us. It affect all around us, don’t be fooled that it’s my life and what I do doesn’t affect others.

Father, if anyone reading this is tempting their relationship with you by flirting with sin, I pray that right now you will show them the consiquences of their actions. Holy Spirit surround them with believers who will hold them accountable in love, building them up and loving them. It is not to late for them to cry out for forgiveness and change their behaviour, let them se that their actions affect others. God we ask that we will be used by you to reach others who may not know you at all or maybe did but have replaced you with something else. Give us the words to speak and wisdom to share with them your love. They matter you you God so they matter to us, amen.