Are you putting the cart before the horse?

Do you want to get everything fixed or setup before you are willing to go or do? Do you want to get everything perfect and polished before doing or going? Is there something you are doing out of fear or as an excuse to keep you from completing or starting the work that God has planned for you? Which comes back to the old saying of “are you putting the cart before the horse“. As I looked for a reference to share with you on this another quote came up “shut the stable door when the steed is stolen“. They both mean similar things that we are doing it backwards. We don’t need to be perfect before we turn to God. We don’t need to be all buttoned up before we can serve. God loves us right where we are and loves us so much to that doesn’t want to leave us there. He wants to guide us and protect us. He wants to love us and lead us. So turn to God today and ask Him into your heart. Ask Him to help you and all those things that you think you wanted to do before, you now have help so ask Him to help you become all that He has created you to be. And let’s go and change the world!

TGIF: Avoiding Self-Based Faith

by Os Hillman

“We live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7

Where does your hope come from? Where do you put your trust? Do you realize that what you do when you do it as unto the Lord is already doing ministry? Do you realize that you don’t have to do one or the other? Do you consider where you work a mission field? Why do you think God has put you there? Is it for the money? Is it for the relationships? Is it for the lessons? Is it to be an encouragement to others? Is it to be a light of hope? Is it to share His love and glory with others? Are you in a situation “cart before the horse” where you think you need to get so much done at work before you can serve God? We need to consider more about how God can use us than how we can use what we have rather than on how we can “manipulate and plan an outcome” as the later is not faith.

Imagine a life where the only job and the only company you have known since you left university or college God is prompting you to leave after 19 years. Imagine one morning reading as part of your devotional that Peter in faith stepped out of the boat and got to live the supernatural faith of getting to walk on water. Driving to work You ask God if He is asking you to get out of the boat and if the place you work is the boat to let you know which side to get out on. Imagine as you finish your prayer you hear your phone buzz, ring, make some noise and when you look you see you have a received a message that says “Get out of the boat“. Wow! What would you do? How would you get started? Would you get started? He didn’t say what side, just that you need to get out. In my case remembering the message I had before of how a car is easier to steer when it is moving started the process. I went home that night and updated my resume and then liking the new format updated my LinkedIn content. I then reached out to my friends who have moved to various companies and sent them notes that I was “considering a change” and wanted to learn more about where they were at. I looked for openings at their companies as well as through others that LinkedIn recommended. And the journey began. I knew God had helped me in the past by giving me a name during a hard decision process and how it saved me from going the wrong way and so I asked if He could give me a name this time and felt the still quiet voice whisper: “haven’t you been listening?” I had been reaching out to other believers to share my story and those who I have found impactful in my life (not mutually exclusive). So I tried to replay the names that came up and there were 2, but 1 seemed to be lining up with the timeline up until near the very end. When they wanted to bring me in for the in person interviews they asked for my availability so I gave them dates over 2 weeks. They asked for time the week after those 2. And guess what happened? During the 2 weeks they didn’t pick, the 2nd name showed up and I had interviews, I had an open house with the company, and God confirmed to me while driving home through songs on the radio as well as the ultimate confirmation of a rainbow that this was the one. Once I had accepted the offer the day I was going to give my 2 weeks notice God’s timing of what I should be reading was perfect again when I read Job 42:12:

12So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.

That’s right on the very day that I was making the decision to change the 2nd half of my life after 19 years with the same company, God gives me the message which brings comfort and peace, encouragement and hope that the second half of my life is going to be even better than the first half. And as I pointed out to my friend over lunch twice as good. 🙂 When I showed him the text he challenged me as he read “So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.” But I got him to take a look at the numbers in the next sentence and then asked him to compare them with the numbers from the beginning (Job 1:3)– “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys.” To which he responded, your right it is twice as good. 🙂 God will bless us when we are obedient to Him. It may not always be financially, it may be with a great family, it may be with great relationships, it may be with good health, all of which are worth more than anything you can buy. God will meet all your needs, so put your hope and trust and faith in Him!

It wasn’t immediate what the outcome would be,
but God started working the moment I started stepping out.

So let’s put our horse (faith) in place first and then the cart (job, work, plans).

Today Os shares some incredible questions and stories on this topic.

“God rarely allows His servant to see beyond the next faith step. However, those who are willing to take the first step and leave the outcome to Him see His works. ” – Os Hillman

“Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord…” – Psalm 107:23-24

Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

Be not afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor of the stormy blast or the storm and ruin of the wicked when it comes [for you will be guiltless], For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden danger]. – Proverbs 3:25-26 (AMP)

Biblical Truth:

When you are caught off guard and become confused, never lose sight of the Lord who is our protector, let Him be your confidence.

Today’s Reading:
Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

Day 263 of 349

  • Jeremiah 13
  • Jeremiah 14
  • Jeremiah 15
  • Isaiah 15

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for this incredible week of closure. May Your hope and Your light
shine in and through me so that others may come to turn to You and ask You for guidance in what they are to do. Help people to seek first the kingdom of God and Your righteousness for it is in this way that all their needs will be met. Lord, grant me wisdom today for every conversation I will have. Help me I pray with every word, every thought, and every action I take so that You will receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


What will you do with the first fruits?

Imagine getting paid, where do you plan to spend the first of it. Consider if you get a bonus, what do you plan to spend first? What is the first priority? Have you heard of the first 10%? Have you heard of the best 10%? Have you heard the word tithe? It isn’t a covenant thing, but a way to show what’s first in your life and how much you trust God.

19Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered. – Genesis 14:19-20

20Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. 22And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.” – Genesis 28:20-22

30“One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy. 31If you want to buy back the Lord’s tenth of the grain or fruit, you must pay its value, plus 20 percent. 32Count off every tenth animal from your herds and flocks and set them apart for the Lord as holy. – Leviticus 27:30-32

26“Give these instructions to the Levites: When you receive from the people of Israel the tithes I have assigned as your allotment, give a tenth of the tithes you receive—a tithe of the tithe—to the Lord as a sacred offering. – Numbers 18:26

8“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12“Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. – Malachi 3:8-12

God doesn’t need our money. He owns everything, we are but stewards. Our giving back to God shows that our trust is in Him. Our giving back 10% shows as a testimony that we can live better with 90% and God’s blessing than we could with 100% and no blessings.

Today’s Devotional from TGIF by Os Hillman speaks about the First Fruits.

First Fruits

“All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into His treasury.”Joshua 6:19

Consider when Joshua crossed the Jordan and had to face Jericho…

“God set a precedent with this battle by instructing them not to take any spoils from it. Unlike future battles, the fruits from this victory were to go into the treasury as a remembrance of their first victory in the Promised Land. In addition, the city of Jericho was to be a lasting monument to God’s faithfulness. God instructed Joshua never to rebuild this city. If they or anyone in the future attempted to rebuild the city, the life of the firstborn would be required. Years later in the days of King Ahab, Hiel the Bethelite attempted to rebuild this city and his firstborn died as a result. God never forgets to enforce His Word. ” – Os Hillman

Os finishes today’s devotional with these questions and checks…

“Is your work a lasting monument to the faithfulness of God in your life? Is it bringing glory to the Father? Are you giving the first fruits from your increase to God? God has encouraged us through this story to give the first fruits of our work to Him so that He will be glorified through our work. This is a tangible way for us to acknowledge that God is the source of all blessing. “– Os Hillman

Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day

My child, hold on to your wisdom and insight. Never let them get away from you. They will provide you with life—a pleasant and happy life. You can go safely on your way and never even stumble. You will not be afraid when you go to bed, and you will sleep soundly through the night. – Proverbs 3:21-24 (GNT)

Biblical Truth:

Wisdom guides us through life, keeps us from temptation so that we can walk in confidence and without fear. We are protected by the one that never sleeps.

Today’s Reading from God’s Word:

Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

Day 262 of 349

  • Jeremiah 10
  • Jeremiah 11
  • Jeremiah 12
  • Isaiah 14

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for Your Word and Your reminder of making sure to keep
first things first and to give You my very best. Be it my work, be it my finances, be it my role as husband and father, I am do it all for it is for Your glory. Lord grant me wisdom today as I prepare for the transition coming in my life. Lord grant me wisdom daily to accomplish Your will. Help me Lord that every thought, word, and deed will bring You praise, honor, and glory I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What’s in your heart? What is motivating you?

Why do you do what you do? What edges need to be chipped away? What parts need to be molded? What needs to be taken down? What needs to be built up? Is the foundation solid? Do you have a cornerstone to start from? Are you doing it all out of love? Are you trusting God? Why do you do what you do?

What’s in your heart? What do people see from the overflow?

18But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. – Matthew 15:18-19

45A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. – Luke 6:45

Let your motivation be love.

Today’s Devotional by Os Hillman in TGIF:

Tests of the Heart

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.”Deuteronomy 8:2

When will you be obedient to God?

  • The good times?
  • The tough times?
  • All the time?

Trust God. He wants what is best for you. Be obedient all the time.

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you” – Deuteronomy 8:3-5

He wants to teach us new things. He wants to show us how He will still provide, it may just be in a different way. It may mean miracles like you have never seen before. How will we grow and what will we learn? Just remember… Trust Him.

Os closes with this question for you and for me:

What desert experience has He brought into your life lately? Perhaps it is a lean time in business. Perhaps it is a new environment. Whatever it is, when God decides to bring new disciplines into our lives by bringing us into the desert, do not fear the heat that is sure to come. He is walking beside you in order to test you and find out what is really in your heart. Ask for His grace to pass the test. He wants to bring all of His children into the Promised Land.

A great word was spoken last night “discipline isn’t punishment” – @SteveJamison

Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. – Proverbs 3:7-8 (NLT)

Biblical Truth

Do not rely on your own understanding but have confidence in the counsel of God and abandon your evil ways. A virtuous life is good for both a healthy body and a healthy soul.

Today’s Reading:

Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

Day 261 of 349

  • Jeremiah 7
  • Jeremiah 8
  • Jeremiah 9
  • Isaiah 13

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for my family and for the incredible miracles You have allowed me to experience. Help me Lord to see what isn’t seen and hear what isn’t heard. Grant me
wisdom for every situation that You allow me to enter into so that I may speak hope, love, life into those around me. Lord, I pray Your hand of protection over my family today. As we are in different place, my trust is in You as each one of us is in the place You want us to be. Help me Lord to be a good ambassador for You and to share Your grace and Your glory with those around me. Lord, may every thought, word, and action I take bring You praise, honor, and glory I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Where are you at? Have you left the door open?

When we take a look at our lives and what we are doing, saying, and thinking, we might see that we are missing the mark, we are going against God’s Word, we are leaving the door of our soul open because of our sins. When we sin, it opens the door for correction and for judgment. When we sin, it puts God in the place where He could rightfully and justly pull away His hand of protection and allow us to be tormented by the enemy of our soul to try and bring us back into alignment. Where are you at? Is the door being left open?

TGIF: Unrighteous Acts

by Os Hillman

…”Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?”Nehemiah 5:9

Take some time today to go to God and ask Him to search your heart, your mind, and your activities to reveal if there are things that need taken care of, reconciliation, and restoration. Allow God to prompt and correct you so that You don’t have to deal with the other option.

As God’s Word says:

24Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them. – Proverbs 13:24

and we see the benefit through David of allowing God to correct us even though it will still cost us something in 2 Samuel 24 after he had taken the census that God had told him not to.

10But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing.”

11The next morning the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, who was David’s seer. This was the message: 12“Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’”

13So Gad came to David and asked him, “Will you choose three years of famine throughout your land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout your land? Think this over and decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”

14“I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”

That’s right, David chose to let God punish them rather than to allow human hands to get to provide justice. In TGIF today, we see that Os makes a similar recommendation in his closing. Check out TGIF today to read the full details.

As Christian workplace believers we must make sure that our practices are righteous in God’s sight. If not, we can expect the enemy to be released to judge that sin. Ask the Lord today if there is any unrighteousness in your business practices that makes you vulnerable to judgment.” – Os Hillman

Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day

Look for it as hard as you would for silver or some hidden treasure. If you do, you will know what it means to fear the Lord and you will succeed in learning about God. – Proverbs 2:4-5 (GNT)

Biblical Truth:

Worship the Lord and seek His will and understanding with enthusiasm and determination.

Today’s Reading:
Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

Day 260 of 349

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You Lord for being my rock and my fortress, my light and my lamp, my
guide and and my comforter, my hope and my wisdom. Lord, help me today as I start the weekend with my little ones to be the dad they need and to bless them and protect them as I should. Help me Lord to be the dad they need me to be. Help me Lord to glorify You in and through it. As I look to You, search me Lord and help me to remove anything that would get in the way of me completing the work You have planned in advance for me to accomplish. May every word, every thought, and every action bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What is in control of who you are, how you respond, what you do?

LOVE? IS IT fear?

Are your actions because of your love for others and your love for God? Are your actions because of your fear of others and what they may think or say? Are you doing what you do because you love to serve others or love the work you are doing? Are you doing what you do out of fear of the unknown, out of fear of rejection, out of fear of loss, out of fear of …?

When we do it out of love incredible things happen. When we do it in love we let others receive the grace, the love, the hope, the joy that is building up within us. We help others to see the difference and help others with a hand-up rather than a hand-out.

When we are struck by fear, it paralyses and keeps you from being everything that you could be and doing everything you are capable of. When we are acting out of fear we may do things that aren’t healthy for us mentally, physically, or emotionally since we don’t trust.

This morning as I looked to the devotionals I try to read daily TGIF by Os Hillman has the following post:

Fears That Keep Us From His Presence

by Os Hillman

“Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So He got into the boat and left.”Luke 8:37

How do you respond to the miraculous? How do you respond to signs and wonders? How do you respond to quiet whispers when nobody is there? How do you respond to loud booming voices when nobody is there? I tend to respond in amazement, in excitement, in shock, in awe.

When I was praying driving over the hill about morning reading that day which was about Peter getting out of the boat and walking on water. When I was praying that if the company I work for is the boat and I am supposed to get out just let me know what side. When I got to the other side of the mountain and as I completed my prayer my phone makes the you have a text message sound and I looked at it and it was a Tweet from Twitter that said “get out of the boat”, my response was wow it is amazing how God can use technology to speak right into my question. I didn’t get a message about what side, so I figured I had a bit of time. So I went home that night and updated my resume, updated my linkedin profile, and started reaching out to friends who worked at different places with a subject line of “Considering a change”.

When I was praying God are we getting close as I was looking outside at a drizzly grey day. A sun break appeared and a rainbow appeared. I left for home that day as the day came to an end and all the way home be it mist on the road or water in the sky, it was rainbow road… rainbows everywhere. The joy that filled me. The excitement the overflowed within me. The amazement of how good God is just flooded into me.

Or when I felt so good about one of the companies but wanted to make sure I went where God wanted me to go and every song on the radio spoke to yes, this is it, this is the time, this is the one for you, this is the one you have been waiting for and then when I asked God are we coming to the end of this journey as I approached the off-ramp from the highway and saw a rainbow at the end of the highway in the sky, WOW.

In today’s devotional though, Os shares:

Jesus did many miracles when He lived on earth. One of those miracles involved the deliverance of a demon-possessed man. The people of the community witnessed this awesome demonstration of God’s power when Jesus commanded the demon spirit to come out of the man and go into the herd of nearby pigs. The man was healed and sat at Jesus’ feet.
You would expect the people who witnessed this to embrace Jesus as one performing good deeds and to honor Him. The opposite was true. Instead, they were overcome with fear. Why? Many of us respond the same way to Jesus when He does an out-of-the-ordinary act among His people. We are fearful because we have never personally experienced this before. So, we draw wrong judgments. The result is that Jesus removes Himself from us.

Do you know how much God can do?

20Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. – Ephesians 3:20

Is it new for you? Is it a new way that He has responded? Is He responding outside of the box that you think He lives in? His Word tells us:

8“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. – Isaiah 55:8

Os‘ devotional today speaks about something I have been telling some people of late and it is that we need to be doing things in love which provides power rather than fear which causes paralysis. Are you working crazy hours because of your love and a deadline or out of fear that if you get behind your done? Are you working crazy hours out of love? Are you working crazy ours out of fear? This is just an example of where love and fear generate not only different actions but internal responses to your actions.

Os’ puts it this way:

The Lord is able to do far exceeding above what we think. Jesus does not remain in the places where there is fear of His goodness. It is often subconscious fears that prevent us from going to a deeper level with Him. The people in Gerasenes could not benefit from Jesus’ presence because of their fears.
Have you feared Jesus because of what He might require of you? Have you feared that He might ask of you something you are not prepared to give? Do not let your fears drive Him from your presence. His motive is always love for His children. You can trust Him.

So today let’s do it … whatever we need to do … IN LOVE and out of LOVE!

Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

“But whoever listens to me will have security. He will be safe, with no reason to be afraid.” — Proverbs 1:33 (GNT)

Biblical Truth:

When we seek and follow the counsel of God we are assured of being safe from evil and have no reason to fear it.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I lift up my family to You and
ask for Your hand of protection and guidance over each of us. Grant us wisdom for every conversation and every decision we need to make. I pray Lord as we go different ways that You will put a covering of protection over my friends and family so that in and through You Lord there will be great rejoicing about Your love. Help me today I pray to shine for You as a husband, a dad, and a friend so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.