Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Can you leave the washing for someone else to do?

Something the Lord has been speaking to me about recently is leaving people to do what they have been called to do and to step into what I have been called to do.

The other day I had a dream of some friends whose house I was staying at and she left me to do the washing while she went off to do something else, but as she left she felt she needed to come back to me and take over me doing the washing.  It was a control issue in her life as she just couldn't leave me to do it as I was more than capable to do it.  But in the process of her doing this, it meant she missed out on the opportunity that was in front of her.

God was speaking to me to leave people to do what I have given them to do and to move into what He has called me to do.  But for many of us it is very difficult to leave others to do things that have been in your arena to do; they may not do it the same or as well as you could do, but they still can are capable to do it.

Today I was reading about King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26 and the Lord showed me some lessons from his life in a similar respect to what he was showing me in the dream.
Verse 4:  "He did what was right in the eye of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done.  He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God.
Verse 5:  "As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
When the King sought the Lord and lived out of the fear of the Lord he became successful. V15 "His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.
v16 "But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall".
When he became powerful and successful, pride entered his life and he became unfaithful to the Lord.
Many of us when we think we are doing well, we stop seeking the Lord and we start to do things in our own strength.

It was at this point that Uzziah stepped into doing things he was not called to do.  He entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.
V18 "It is not right for you, Uzziah to burn incense to the Lord.  That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense.  Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honoured by the Lord God."
v19  "Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry.  While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead."
When Uzziah stepped into doing things that were not his to do, he became sick.

Many of us I believe are living in a state of sickness, of stress, of depression etc. because we are not doing what the Lord has called us to do, instead we are doing more than we have been called to do for whatever reason.    Sometimes out of necessity but there may be some areas in our lives we need to change, some priorities we need to change in order to remain in the peace we are called as children of God to live in.  We need to learn to let go of things that are not ours that the Lord has asked us to do.  Speaking from personal experience. 😀
Things that we perhaps are very capable at doing and have been doing, but we need to let go and let others step into what the Lord is calling us to do.  We feel like we are indispensable, but it is at this point that we step into pride.

As a leader I am continually speaking to my people to be training up others and doing yourself out of a job, but this can be difficult if we like the position we are in, or like feeling useful, or perhaps feel comfortable in the place we are in, and we cannot see that there are others that are capable of doing what we can do.  But I have found over the years when people let go, there are always others who will step up.   Often others cannot step up until you step out.  Or perhaps the season for what you were doing has now come to an end. 

So I encourage you today to ask the Lord, I am doing what I should be doing?  What you have called me to do?  Because the Lord never gives us more than we can handle and if we find ourselves run down, burnt out or reacting to stuff more easily than we normally would, take some time and spend with the Lord asking him to help you and to find a way to release you from all the stuff that you have taken on that he has not called you to take on.

For me personally, I am having to learn to delegate and let go if things are not how I would want them to be or the way I have done them.  But they are still getting done, and in fact sometimes they are done better than I could do them 😲  But in so doing, it is releasing me to do what I am called to do and its in that place that I find my peace as I function out of the gifts and callings on my life.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

But wait....its not commitment, but rather 'Faithfulness"

Something we have been working through with in the body of Christ is the difficulty for people to commit to something and to continue in it no matter what comes.  We have found people will walk into something believing God has said it, and yet six months down the track, or when difficulty comes, challenges come, offence comes, it doesn't look as they expected, etc. that commitment and belief that God spoke six months earlier is no longer there and we see people walk out of those commitments they once made believing God had spoken.

So does that mean people didn't seek the Lord in the first place?
Did they hear incorrectly?
So does that mean people sought the Lord but now he is saying something different?
So does that mean I have the right to do whatever I like based on how it feels at the time?
If it feels good then I will do it type thing, but if it doesn't then I am gone?

This has been a real struggle for me in leadership as I have found this on a regular basis that people come into the ministry believing this is where God wants them and then they walk out the door when trials and challenges come their way.  If I did this in my marriage I would no longer be married.  Every relationship is challenged, every call of God is tested.

As I have been pondering this and the blog I wrote near the end of last year, I find the word is not commitment but rather the word should be, "faithfulness".

Faithfulness as defined in the Nelsons Bible dictionary as - dependability, loyalty and stability as it describes God in His relationship to human believers.
Faithfulness as defined by 'google' - the quality of being faithful; fidelity.  Synonyms - loyalty, constancy, devotion, trueness, true-heartness, dedication, commitment, allegiance, adherence.
Faithfulness is a fruit of the spirit that the Lord wants to grow in our lives.
Gal 5:22  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control."

When Jim and I were called overseas to mission work, there was a phrase that rang in our ears from people as they prepared us for cross cultural mission - "culture shock".
Which means; the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone when they are suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.
Along with this phrase came the expectation that within two years we would 'hit the wall'.  Which meant like in marriage we would get over the 'honeymoon' phase and real life would begin and it would be challenging.

This is often when our 'faithfulness' gets tested - when we are in 'culture shock'.  Its easy to be faithful when things are going well, but when our world views are being challenged, when our culture is being changed, when our attitudes are needing to shift, that is when we really find out where the fruit of faithfulness is in our lives.  

So when Jim and I were told we would 'hit the wall' within two years we decided in our heart right then and there that we would not, because that is not the spirit Christ has given us.  He says, we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.  He says we are called to be overcomers.  He says don't worry about tomorrow and that he would give us enough grace for each day.  And although yes we did face challenges and it was not easy at times, and we wanted to come home and give it all away, we committed ourselves to being faithful to the word of God, to what He had called us to that we knew that we knew this was where God wanted us despite come what may.  We decided to 'stand firm and not let anything move us (1 Cor 12)' as was one of the words God had given us before leaving for the mission field.  We learnt what it was to rely on God's strength and not our own as we cried out to him to uphold us in pain when our only daughter at the age of 10 was in a different country away from us, when challenges faced us that threatened our lives, when relationships were being tested.

So I encourage you to let 'faithfulness' be a fruit in the spirit that is cultivated and grown in your life.  To pray to the Lord to help you be an overcomer in the situations you find yourselves in and to cry out to him for the help that you need and not to look to man but to look to the promises and the words that he has given you, that hold you on course for what He has for you.

Matt 7:12 "In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you. For this is the essence of the Law and the prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.…"
   Its easy to walk down the path where many follow, and in the current world view that we live in people walk down the path that 'feels good' and does what they want, this is not the path that the Lord has called his followers to be on.  He calls us to faithfulness, he calls us to be overcomers, he calls us to lay down our lives for others which is the narrow gate but it is one that leads to life and life abundantly as we learn to trust him and to know him and His faithfulness toward us!  He is faithful even when we are faithless 😊

Thursday, 12 January 2017

In childlike faith.... I wait

In childlike faith, I have declared what I have seen.
In childlike faith, I have believed that what I have seen my Papa has no problem in doing.
In childlike faith I have stepped out… but found that doors have been closed - FOR NOW.....
That others around me didn’t see what I saw,
That finances didn’t come to do what I believed in,
That people didn’t stand with me,
That for whatever reason that I blamed everyone else for the state of my heart.

And so day by day in disappointment of spirit, my dream becomes less to what I see in front of me,
Day by day by spirit starts to no longer believe for the ‘big’ vision that the Lord showed me,
Day by day my childlike faith becomes beset by conditions, “if that happens, then I will do this”.
And I find the once full of faith child is putting conditions on the steps of which she takes.

And yet his word says “Those who trust in the Lord will not be put to shame”.
And yet his word says “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will run and not grow weary, the will walk and not be faint”.
And yet his word says “That He is able to do more than I think, ask or imagine”. 
He is the “God of the impossible”.

And so I wait,
And so I watch,
And so I learn to trust that what He says He will do, He will do.

"My time frame is not yours" He says to me.
My thinking says “I am ready”.
His says, “There are still many things for you to learn’.
Day by day I surrender all.
Day by day I learn to walk, waiting, trusting, believing in the impossible of those things on my heart.
Day by day I question and continue to put on the altar the disappointment of my heart.
Day by day I choose to believe His word and stand in faith not on what I have seen but what I believe.
Day by day I come to him in tears and in that place His Holy Spirit renews my heart.

He renews my hopes,
He renews my dreams,
He whispers - keep going, don’t give up,
He encourages me on.

Until I can see with eyes that are willing,
Until I can see that there is something bigger being worked out in the foundations of my faith,
Until I can see that it’s not just about me but about all those he wants to bring alongside me,
Until I can see that He wants ALL the glory, not just some of it,
Until I can see that He is good and His plans are good despite how things may look.
Until I know that He is God and I learn to let go and rest and trust in Him.

And so I wait, with childlike faith being restored, renewed day by day.
And so I wait with eager expectation of what He is going to teach and show me today.
And so I wait and learn to ‘rest’ in Him and that ‘He’ is more than enough without the dream
and vision coming to pass.
That He and His presence is more than enough to satisfy every place in my heart.
That actually I only want Him and Him alone and without the journey of obedience in the day to day, I would not understand that He is the only living water that satisfies every place in my heart.
That the dream and vision is only a bypass of the relationship with Him that can not be surpassed.
That Eternity Life is found in Knowing Him and being Known by Him, not anything I can do for Him and with Him.  And finally I rest…..I believe…… I trust….. with fullness and childlike faith of Heart.