Friday, July 13, 2012

The Spirit of Indecision

Indecision - the feeling that you are unable to make a decision. As I look at the definition, indecision can be a good thing or a bad thing. It can be a good thing especially if we're yielding to the will of God. It can be a bad thing if we're indecisive and decide to take matters into our hands.

The focus of this blog is about the spirit of indecision and we taking matters into our own hands. Using the economy as a perfect example, many people are being attacked in so many ways, that indecision smacks them right in the face. Normally you hear, job cuts, pay cuts, healthcare costs rising, entitlements are being taken, no pay raises. That causes immediate indecision for some people.  

Being in the workforce, I find the typical traits. People come and go at a job in a quest for promotions and/or more income, but not really growing - just coasting where they are (hoping to reach retirement without a break in my service to my company). Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It wouldn't come as a surprise that on some level, there's a bit of unhappiness because there's you don't feel fulfilled in life. What eventually happens is having more money becomes a curse because there's no peace and increased stress (especially when you add the pressures of layoffs, and entitlement plans getting cut).  I know for me, having more money does me no good if I don't have my any peace in my body and spirit. I will even add that it doesn't do me any good if my health is deteriorating. It makes no sense to acquire additional money and it compromises everything you believe just so you can temporarily get ahead financially.

This is an excerpt from a blogpost I did April 25, 2011 entitled Complacency & Hebrew Slaves (you can find the entire article in the 2011 archive under the week of 4/25/11: has complacency gotten you to the point where you have amnesia? If so, what do you intend to do about it? Also, why is it that people who are truly complacent remember the insignificant things but ignore the hardships endured to acquire the insignificant things? Think about it, the children of Israel had their backbones beaten just for food. What they should have been thinking about was stepping out on faith to have freedom as well as freedom from the horrible treatment endured by the Egyptians. Now, let's bring it to us: are we being told to love your job and being fed from our employer that we should be thankful that we are working for them? Are you afraid to take a leap of faith and pursue the freedom and talent that God is calling you to because your employer is telling you that nobody is going to take care of you like we do? Remember, misery loves company. Now, those things (benefits and paychecks) are really insignificant; however, we ignore having our jobs threatened, having no raise and/or bonus, having our salaries reduced, and having our retirement funding be reduced in order to have the insignificant things. If we're smart enough, we should remember the horrible treatment more than the insignificant things given to us (which aren't even guarantees). That should in itself cause you to want to break free from complacency.

So, in closing: After you tire yourself from thinking money will make you happy, moving from job to job, seeking contentment in your job (or in your life for that matter), trying to make your OWN plans or solve your OWN problems; rest in the arms of the Father, who loves you, who wants to communicate with you every moment of your life and will cure you from the spirit of indecision by giving you His action plan for your life, and yes, even in these hard economic times. Don't worry if you don't have all of His action plan at this moment, just know that as long as you're in Him, your steps are ordered by Him.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Faithfulness of God

Philippians 1:6 says this: Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

This is a promise that we can take to the bank. It also shows God’s faithfulness to us. Now let’s talk for a moment.

Here it is, 2012 and we could say that we’re in a recession if not depression. I believe this is a test from God to see if we’re going to look to ourselves, our respective president, or to see if God will get us out of the situation we’re in (whether it be for a legitimate reason or not). One thing needs to ring out loud & clear: He wants us to try Him so He can show us His faithfulness. He’s done it with many people in the Bible and I’ll give you a few examples to get you going:
  1. God showed Daniel His faithfulness by shutting the mouths of the lions.
  2. God showed the three Hebrew boys His faithfulness by walking in the fire with them.
  3. God showed the children of Israel His faithfulness when they crossed over the Red Sea.

OK, I think you get it. He will prove His faithfulness to us if we’re in Him and we allow Him to do His work in us. Now many of us are hurt in all areas of life due to the economy, or going through some setbacks, some trials/adversities (financial hardships, physical issues, etc.) and the list goes on. Regardless of how we got in our respective predicament, God wants to demonstrate His faithfulness to us and He wants us to prove our faithfulness to Him in these hard places (not just to get you out and you continue to live like YOU want to). Faithfulness to God always brings promotion (now that could be while we’re still alive or in life eternal).

There may be a few who might question God as to why it’s taking so long to be at the place where WE think we ought to be. Well, think about this: Paul was a tent-maker (that was his profession and where he received his income), but he also held down a ministry. God still provided for Paul and demonstrated His faithfulness to him during his life. I said that to say that for some of you, this might be the path God is taking you on.

Now for some of us, we may be on a course in life, and God may have to divert your plan in life for His plan and purpose for your life. Be faithful to His plan, because there’s a blessing waiting ahead for you because He is faithful.

For some, we may have done foolish things to cause us to be in a pit, drowning in our own sin (self-induced, you might say). If you come to yourself, and return to His love, a blessing is waiting for you because He is faithful.

And for some, we may have to go through a nightmare (financially, loss of a loved one, the devil terrorizing your life, and the list goes on), continue to bless the name of the Lord, because there’s a double blessing waiting for you, knowing in your heart and soul that your Redeemer lives and He is faithful.

Don’t fret, rejoice and continue to demonstrate your faithfulness to Him because He IS good and He is faithful to every promise He made. I can tell you straight up, that my, my, my God is faithful.

In closing: remember that He who started the work in you will be faithful to complete it in you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Complacency & Talents (Round 2)

In fairness to those who didn’t read my blog post Complacency & Talents last year, here’s an excerpt of what I wrote. You can read the entire post filed under the 2011 archives (week of April 18, 2011)

(From April 18, 2011): What talent have you buried? I know a lot of people and many of you have made your talents known to me. And I must ask, what are you doing with them? I beg you not to let them go to waste, because your talent is NOT just for you. Only you can do what you do with the talents that have been bestowed upon you. Now you might think your talent is small, but in God's eyes, it's important! No matter how big or small your talent is it's the ticket to put you where you need to be in your life.

(July 2012)
Matthew 25:14-30 was the focus for that post and it will be the focus for this post. It’s been said that you can learn from people who succeed and from people who fail. Successful people can teach us things; and people who fail can teach us what not to do. I’m going to focus on people who fail for this post. You probably know people who have gone through life “I woulda, shoulda, coulda done this.” They stop there because they don’t want to add this after the phrase, “because I was complacent or I was told to consecrate myself, time and talents and everything which the Lord has blessed me with or which He may bless me to my local church, denomination, or religion.” No legacy is left, no lives were impacted, and the closing chapter of some people’s lives become full of resentment, disappointment, and their attitudes become bitter and mean.

If we are wise, we should learn from them. We know many people around us who have talents or are gifted in a specific area, but they don’t do anything due to fear, negative friends and family, or just downright complacency. I said I was going to reference the scripture in Matthew, let’s go there. A master had servants and gave one servant 5 talents, another 2 and another 1. The first two doubled their talents, and the last one sat on it. Many people stop after verse 26 where the master called the servant who sat on his talent a “wicked and slothful servant!” Verses 28 through 30 are crucial points that we can learn from. The master went on to say this to the slothful servant, take his talent and give it to him who has 10 talents. To everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.

We all have been blessed with a specific talent (some may have more) or a specific ministry that is uniquely different (some of us need to stop trying to be carbon copies of others – that could be a lesson all by itself). Sometimes God will call you to a ministry or to use your talent that may not be lucrative in the natural or appear to minister to people while you're alive; however, that ministry or you using your talent to the fullest while you were alive will leave a legacy after you pass onto life eternal. I beg you my brothers and my sisters to be free from the spirit of complacency.