Monday, February 7, 2011

The dangers of complacency.

During my walk with God, I've found that the worst times, the times where you really struggle, are when you become complacent in your faith or reach the stage of 'lukewarm'. It's a very easy trap to fall into and sometimes very hard to make your way out of.

Why is it so hard to get out of? Simple answer. You don't realize you've become complacent and no one else realizes for you due to your outward appearance being unchanged.

In the book of Jeremiah, the lands of Israel and Judah have both offended God. Israel, for their disobedience and their sinful ways and Judah for coming to the Lord only in appearance but with no heart.

10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the LORD. 11 The LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah.  Jeremiah 3:10-11 (NIV)

The Lord says that Israel, the sinner and divorced land is more righteous than Judah, the land of fake faith, the people who only show up to God but do not give Him their hearts. This tells us that the Lord is even more annoyed with Judah than Israel. Sometimes we think "Shouldn't God be more disappointed with the ones who have no faith?" But this is not the way of God. God has a heart for ALL people. Israel is like the lost society of today, God hates their deeds but He still loves them. Judah is like the thousands of people who regularly go to church and call themselves Christian even though they continue to sin, continue to run from God and continue to disobey the call of God.

God hates complacency. He hates it when we put on a show, or act holy but then don't follow with actions.

16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16

Being complacent is an abomination to the ways of God and it offends Him massively. So what can we do? Identify complancency within ourselves.

Some general keys to complacency and fixing it:

1. Take note of how you are praying, small things often evolve into big things. Check the words you say, check if you are praying for God's heart or for your own heart. Simply, check your motives.

2. Check who the people you hang around with are. Are they powerfully walking with Christ? Or do they give you a bad influence? Make sure the people who you often hang out with are people who are going to benefit your soul.

3. Give yourself to God in prayer everyday. Ask God if you are becoming complacent or comfortable with your life. See how He feels about it and ask God to fix it.

So, God hates complacency, let's be hardcore instead.

God Bless,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Speaking Positive

Today I just want to go over how powerful the words we say can be, and what the bible teaches on it. We've all heard the age old "Stick and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me" Right? Well, let's all be honest, they can. The power of speech is a huge part of our lives and it affects us all in a multitude of ways.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome  talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

The way we talk in common society is often quite offensive, whether it be a flippant comment about culture, race or any difference between the people around us. Young people also tend to kid alot with jokes and little comments that make you think twice about their true heart for you.

The scripture in Ephesians points out that our talk should only ever be good and wholesome. Our talk should be uplifting, praise-filled, encouraging and enlightening. Condescending, critical or offensive talk does nothing good for a person, it only brings them down. This scripture calls us to build each others up, to be encouraging, to be the light of the world. The benefit of this type of talk is friends around us who are more confident due to the way we speak about them, it also helps them walk into their destiny proud of their faith and confident in our God.

The flipide of this scripture, is that encouraging words will only benefit those who listen. If you are wanting to encourage or bless someone who doesn't want to hear your words (think evangelical context), you are probably going to have to use more than words, you may have to take action to show people your heart for them.

On a different note, criticism is still an option, but only if it will build someone up i.e. constructive criticism. Criticism that hurts someone without picking them back up is actually of no benefit to them and you're only going to do damage. So how to give constructive criticism? I find that the Plaster+Stab+Plaster technique is very effective. What this means is first deliver someone a peice ofpositive encouragement (Plaster). Then tell them what needs to be fixed and remember to offer a solution (Stab).Then follow it up with another peice of encouragement or praise (Plaster). This technique often leaves the critqued person feeling positive instead of sour about the criticism.

God Bless,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Acting out in faith.

I've been asked to go over how to act in your faith. This is handy, as recently my church has been looking alot at what faith is.

So let's start by looking at scripture concerning faith.  
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

So faith is the belief in what we do not see, therefore trusting the Word of God is an act of faith, as we have not personally seen Jesus. But in trusting the Word, we must also adhere to what has been set before us.

James 1:22-24 (NKJV) "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was."

So in being faithful, listening to the Word, we must also act in the word, doing the things it has set us, so as to do the will of God.

There are hundreds of things in the bible about trusting God, ways to act with people ad ways to deal with things. By abiding what the bible teaches, we are trusting in the honesty of the Word of God and thus acting faithfully. 

So what physical ways can you abide the bible? Well, as my audience tends to be teenagers, I'll apply acting in faith to their world. 

Evangelism. It's one of the key parts of our faith. 
Matthew 28:19-20 "19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

Acting in faith with regards to evangelism is simply believing that you are the divine appointment for the people you will talk to. In my personal experience, evangelism works a lot better when you have the faith and belief that God has chosen you to talk to people, where you have faith in God that you are doing His work. Jesus called us to make disciples of all the nations, faith here is trusting in this scripture and believing that we are sent to make those disciples.

Psalm 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Being faithful does not come without it's rewards also. As the Lord calls you to trust in him, and by trusting in him with the things you are unsure of, he will reward you with the desires of your heart.

I've actually differed a lot from what I was originally talking about, but I feel it was important for me to do so. I'll now look at some more practical uses of faith.

James 2:20 "...that faith without works is dead"

This scripture here shows us that having faith is not enough, but we must act out in faith to really understand the true concept of faith. For what man can say he has faith if he is too afraid to use that faith?

Examples of acting in faith:
- Trusting God with your finances. Have the faith God will provide, even when it seems there isn't enough in the bank account.
- Speaking out about Jesus and preaching the Gospel. This is an act of having faith in God's Word and it's promises.
- Seeking the gifts of the spirit. If you have faith in God's word, you must have faith to use the gifts that He wants to give you. If you cannot accept the supernatural, you are not going to receive the gifts.

And above all, listen to God, even when you don't want to. Follow Him instead of the selfishness of your own heart.

Walk faithfully.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Approaching Destiny

This is a blog about faith, about sharing what I've learnt, and about sharing my faith for others to benefit from. I feel it's a part of my destiny to tech people about the word of God, so here I am, with my first blog being about destiny. 

Deut. 1:21
Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up [and] possess [it], as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. (KJV)

This is Moses speaking to the Israelites about the promised land. We can look at how this verse can be applied to our lives in various ways.

We all understand that God has a plan for us, a purpose for our life right? Well let's look at the land/purpose God has lain before us? Just as with the Israelites, it's a great promise. But it is also full of challenges. Following the call of God on your life will involve struggles, battles and trials. The Israelites had to conquer many foes to reclaim the holy land, and so we have to overcome various challenges to fully step into the destiny God has planned for us!

Look at the wording Moses uses "go up and posses it". This wording is simple, direct and imperative. Go and claim your destiny, as it's in your hands. Moses does not tell the Israelites to prepare, to wait or to dilly dally. He commands them to take possession of the land. We must have the same approach with our destiny, we must take possession of it.

Too often we hear Christians who spend their whole lives waiting for other people to get things started for them. Claim destiny as God has given it to you!

The last part of the verse, "fear not, neither be discouraged". You are safe in God's hands, you have no need to be afraid of walking into your destiny. Go forth, young disciples and be everything God has called you to be, seek the gifts of God, seek the fruit of the spirit. Step into the driving seat of your own life and steer yourself toward God's plan for you.

*Questions are always welcome. Publicly on this blog, or privately -