What has God asked you to do? Have you done it?


Let’s not just be hearers of the word, but doers of the word.

Have you ever had a situation where God has prompted you, spoken to you, encouraged you, put something in your heart for you to do something? What did you do about it? How did you respond?

Did you do it? Did you procrastinate? Did you come up with excuses? Did you start but not complete it? Did you do it with all your heart? Did you go about it half-heartedly? Did you do with the excellence that you think God deserves from you?

I can remember a few story where my response wasn’t consistent…

  1. When God prompted me to get involved in my community by joining the HOA board
  2. When God prompted me to step up and be president of the board and then gave me an ultimatum.
  3. When God prompted me to start looking for the place He had put into my heart and head as a child where I could have a horse.
  4. When God prompted me to look for a new job.
  5. When God prompted me to get out of the boat.

These 5 different situations didn’t all have the same response nor did they produce the same result. I recommend that when God prompts you, to start and bring to completion the work He wants to do in and through you.

Story #1: Men’s retreat prompting to get involved in the community

So one fall, I went to the church’s men’s retreat and during one of the evenings after the service, but during the prayer time that followed, I felt God prompting me to step up and stand up for the community I was living in by putting my name in to be on the board. When I got home, I spoke to my wife and agreed to it. I grab an application form and submitted it so that I could be on the ballot for the upcoming election. Prior to the election, I was interviewed by the board where I learned more about what they do as well as where they asked me if I wouldn’t be more interested in being on one of the committees since they get one of their quarterly dues back. I explained that I wanted to get involved in the community and that I was more interested in being on the board than getting paid for my service. The election came and I was elected to the board of our HOA which was made up of approximately 10000 residence. During the planning offsite that takes place after the election, the seats on the board are voted on and I was elected secretary and worked on the board for nearly 3 years.

Story #2: Issues within the board of directors in the HOA and God wanted me to step up.

During my second year on the board when the election took place I was elected vice president. Part way through the year there were some conflicts taking place and at one point what I would consider coup took place where a bunch of the board ended up wanting to remove the president from his role on the board. I wasn’t a part of it, and the way it ended up going down, I ended up being the chair for the meeting as the president was out a funeral, which made it even worse for me as he wasn’t there to speak on his own behalf when he was removed as President and decided to also step down from the board. During that meeting I felt God prompting me to step up and put my name in to be president. I ended up coming up with many excuses as to why I wasn’t ready yet and ended up staying in the VP role based on the nominations and votes. It ended up only lasting a few months as it was time for the new elections and then the new board vote for seats. Prior to the retreat and vote God was still working on me while I was driving to work and back home (where I still has reasons/excuses why I shouldn’t be, based on me rather than on Him), but He had a bigger plan and His timing is perfect. So one day while I was at the gym sitting in the hot tub after working out, I heard a big booming voice say to me “You will be president or you will be nothing!” Wow! That got my attention. I knew I didn’t want to be nothing and the voice was so firm and strong I knew it wasn’t a joke. It freaked me out too as I was looking around and there was nobody to be seen in any of the pool area. I remember leaving and every day up to the election for the board seats saying, God, whatever you want, I will do. Just prior the election for members of the board one of the existing members offered to stay on the board so that she could vote for me and then step down as she needed to step down and take care of her mom was diagnosed with cancer. I told her to go and take care of her mom as I knew that if God wanted me on the board He would take care of that. So she stepped down opening another seat on the board for the community election. It came and new members of the board were added. We had the retreat and two of us were nominated for president, I accepted, and when the vote was taken, I was elected President of the HOA. I later learned (God’s perfect timing) that I the other person won, the staff was ready to quit and walk out on the spot. Wow, God knew what He was doing. Many things took place during my stint as President that I won’t go into here, but just as the info about the staff, there were many things that God had prepared in advance for me to do in this position and I am glad that I stepped up to be the man Go was calling me to be in this season.

Story #3: The dream of an 8 year old boy.

One daily while I was driving home, the thought of a dream God had put in my heart about having a horse came back. I remember as a little boy around 8 years old having the great idea that I would get a horse. So I started to try and figure out how I was going to do that since I lived in a subdivision and no on a farm. Maybe a paper route? Did the math and figured out how long it would take to raise the money to buy a horse. Fortunately for me and the horse, I kept doing the math around the cost of keeping a horse and realized the paper route wouldn’t cut it so there ended up being no horse. I remember clearly my talk to God: “God, if you put this crazy idea in the mind of an 8 year old boy and I am supposed to have a horse, can you put it within 20 minutes of the church?” and what answer did I get? The memory of a sermon I had heard which spoke to the point that it is easier to steer a car that is moving. So I realized that I needed to start looking. So I looked online and found 3-4 places for horses nearby that were for sale ranging from 4-7 million which were 3.5-6.5 million too much. Talking with my wife we found out there was a guy at our church who was into real estate so we talked to him and started to look. To shorten the story a bit, 21 houses later, we found one, it was more than my original number I had given, but I hadn’t gone and talked to the bank yet and so I did and we bought the farm. There were people who had their horses on the property already and wondered if we would be ok letting them stay. Of course having horse property with no horses in the field would be a bummer, so we agreed and had great lawn ornaments that moved. J Later after those horses were gone, another friend asked if they could put their horses in our field and give their pony to my oldest daughter. I said yes to the horses, but that they would need to teach my daughter how to take care of and ride the pony they wanted to give her. So they did. I remember turning to God and thanking Him for the great home and allowing me to see the horses, but that I never had one, but how happy that He blessed my daughter with one. Then He reminded me how after one of the first two horses had died that the owner stopped visiting and how I was taking care of the horse for quite a while. He pointed out to me how I had a horse without having to buy it. God is so good.

Story #4: God prompted me to move on for my own good, but I stuck around feeling too comfortable and dealt with the consequences.

It was an incredible time in my career where I was getting awards, rewards, and great complements and encouragement for the work I was doing. I felt nudging and prompting me to move on. But my answer was, “but God it is so great here, I am so comfortable”. That decision cost me some real bumpy roads. The org was blown up. The journey through that process was filled with lies and unmet expectations. The one good thing I learned through the process was the power of forgiveness in healing and being able to move forward. I also learned the importance to obeying God’s prompting. If you want to learn more about this story, scan my blog for forgiveness and unforgiveness and you will learn more about this time and this story.

Story #5: God prompts me with Peter’s story of getting out of the boat.

This was an incredible day and journey while leads me right up to where I am today. One morning my Bible reading was about Peter getting out of the boat and walking to Jesus on the water. As I was driving to Word, I asked God, “If Microsoft is the boat and I am supposed to get out, can you please tell me which side of the boat? As I reached the stop sign and started onto the next road, my phone made its sound that I had a text message and when I looked it said — Get out of the boat.” Wow, I now knew I needed to get started and that God would guide me so that I would get out on the right side of the boat. There are different parts of this story in the blog, but that night I went home and got started by updating my resume and my LinkedIn profile and then sending out emails to some friends at different companies and applying for jobs. Take a look on my blog for entries about “Get out of the boat” and learn more.

God’s plans for our lives are good. God’s timing is perfect. So how will you respond? Will you be obedient? Will be more than just a hearer of the Word, but also a doer of the Word? We all have the benefit and the problem that we have a freewill and are not robots. So just like me, you get to choose for yourself what and how you will respond. Keep listening and then start doing what He is telling you so that you can experience all that God has planned for you.

 

References:

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord for Your Word that never returns void and is always true. I lift up my family, my friends, and everyone who reads this to You Lord in hopes that when You prompt, they will respond. I lift this day up to You Lord and ask that with every thought, word, and action, You will receive the praise, honor, and glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Where are you putting your hope and trust?


Is it somewhere trustworthy? Is it in something or someone who is able to live up to such hope and trust? Have you aligned yourself with the right side?

Consider these two verse:

“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not Mine, forming an alliance, but not by My Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting Me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge.” Isaiah 30:1-2

And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life? Matthew 6:27 (AMP)

When we put our hope and our trust in the right thing we should have peace. When we align ourselves properly, then we should feel safe. When we walk in alignment with God’s wisdom and direction out of love and obedience, we will find a peace that goes beyond all understanding.

Fairly recently after an earlier message that came to me one morning after a devotional about Peter getting out of the boat and getting the instruction from God to get out of the boat, I was face with the situation where I was 95% sure where I was going, however, before that interview would happen another interview came into play and so I turned to God for wisdom and discernment. I didn’t want to pick something just because I thought it was right, but because that is where God wanted me. I wanted to go His way trusting that His ways aren’t my ways, but His ways are better than my ways. I wanted to acknowledge Him in everything that I was doing so that He would make my path straight. Even when I started to feel that this new opportunity was the one, I turned to Him because if this was to test my patience and my obedience, I wanted to wait but if this new opportunity was it, I didn’t want to miss it. So I prayed. As I drove home, praying and listening to the songs playing on my radio on Spirit 105.3 ave HHhhHFM, every song was encouraging me that this was it. As I drove along the first highway I was feeling this new opportunity was it. As I turned towards home on the second highway, I drove past my workplace and said, “God, this is feeling like the end of this stage of my career” and as I looked up in the sky right at the end of the highway, I saw a rainbow. God’s sign that He promised to never flood the earth and kill everything again. I thanked God for this sign and praised Him for the work He was preparing in advance for me to do. I didn’t want to miss the mark and pick based on my own understanding or desires, but wanted to go where He wanted me to do so that I could do what He wanted me to do. I have lived through almost 4 years of not having moved back then. I wanted to do it right this time

In this mornings TGIF, Os speaks of the dangers Bad Alliances as he shares:

“Have you ever entered a business relationship with someone you knew you were not supposed to? Throughout the history of Israel, the people were called to come out of an old way of life. Egypt represented that old way; when things got tough, the Israelites reverted to what was comfortable. They always knew they could take a trip to Egypt and find what they lacked. Perhaps this was their reasoning: “If we can’t get it accomplished under the new way, why not go back to the way we used to do it? At least we know we can get it there.”

When God calls us into a walk of faith, we can expect to be tested in this walk. If we enter into alliances that God has not ordained, it will only bring heartache. Such was the case for Israel. “But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace” (Is. 30:3).

Beware what you perceive as an alliance that may advance your business. It may actually bring you great distress if God has not directed you to align it. Ask yourself what the motive is behind this possible alliance. Make sure that it is not based on fear or a quick fix. Get confirmation that God is leading you to make such an alliance. Then you will not end up in the way of Israel, experiencing shame and disgrace.”

In my case, I was walking in faith at work for months, not out of fear, but faith that God was orchestrating what was next for me. I knew that I had nothing to fear. I knew I was released from bitterness and anger because I had already forgiven those who had hurt me. I knew I was being watched and I was sharing God’s faithfulness with those around me so that the fear they were feeling could be chased away. Faith is the antidote of fear. God’s Word speaks to us how we are to live by faith and not by sight. God’s Word speaks to use to fear not, just believe. God’s Word speaks to us that we are to be doing good work, so that was what I was going to do for all those around me’s sake in hope to encourage and build them up because of the God I have put my hope and trust in. So don’t be paralyzed by fear, but turn to God for wisdom and direction. Then be obedient to His instructions because He has your back.

This is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

References:

 

My Prayer:

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 Lord for Your hand in it – bless and protect them, encourage and strengthen them, keep them close to You I pray and keep them from the lies and the tricks of the devil so that they may glorify You. Guide each step we take. Give us the wisdom we need for each decision and the courage to do what is right. And Lord, may every thought, word, and action, bring You praise, honor, and glory I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Make sure you know the difference between assumption, presumption, and faith.


Many place you may find assume and presume used interchangeably since the dictionary has them listed as synonyms. And you know what they say about assume…

One difference we can see if the prefix of the words:

Assume

  • As which means toward
  • Thought or opinion that is held without reason

Presume

  • Pre which means prior to
  • Belief or opinion that is held without the requirement of proof

Now let’s look up these words in the dictionary to see what we find

Dictionary: (pulled using the search “define <WORD>” in Bing where <WORD> is

Assume

  1. suppose something: to accept that something is true without checking or confirming it
  2. take responsibility for something: to start being responsible for something
  3. adopt something: to adopt or take on a quality

Presume

  1. believe something to be true: to accept that something is almost certain to be correct even though there is no proof of it, on the grounds that it is extremely likely
  2. seem to prove something: to indicate the existence or truth of something
  3. behave arrogantly or overconfidently: to behave so inconsiderately, disrespectfully, or overconfidently as to do something without being entitled or qualified to do it

Faith we will show not only the dictionary definition, but also the Biblical one from Hebrews 11:1 with different translations

Faith

  1. belief or trust: belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof
  2. religion or religious group: a system of religious belief, or the group of people who adhere to it
  3. trust in God: belief in and devotion to God

Bible: (Hebrews 11)

  • 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (KJV)
  • 1NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (AMP)
  • 1Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)
  • 1-2The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. (MSG)

In today’s devotional we read about the danger and the outcome when David presumed how they could bring the arc back (Presumption Versus Faith)

“The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and He struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.” 1 Chronicles 13:10

Os Hillman puts it this way:

“A life of faith often requires us to leave God’s work alone. Responding to a need out of a desire to help move a vision along can be the greatest challenge for a Christian entrepreneur. There is a fine line between presumption and faith.

Uzzah learned that presumption could cost him his life. He was part of the crew that was to move the ark with the help of a team of oxen. When the way became rough, Uzzah responded in a natural way. He grabbed the ark to steady it. When he did, he was immediately struck down. God said it was forbidden to touch the ark. King David mourned the death of his servant and argued with God about this loss. Walking with God in the workplace requires sensitivity to balancing our God-given talents and operating in the power of the Holy Spirit in and through our work life. A mentor once told me, “You almost have to hold back your natural gifting to ensure that God is the one who is guiding you. If not, you will not know if it is through your skill versus His hand that you are accomplishing the work.” I find this the most challenging aspect of a walk with God in the workplace.

You can only grow in your understanding of this balance by being accountable to others in the process. By having other committed Christians walking close to you, they become the safety net to keep you from presumption and the deceit of the heart. God also gives godly spouses to help many in this area.”

As we walk through life, we will face many challenges, trials, tests, troubles and when we put our trust in God, we find that we can make it because in this world we will face trials, but Jesus tells us that we don’t need to worry because He overcame the world. So let’s walk in faith believing and trusting God. Let’s not presume or assume, but walk with God, talk with God, and hear from God so that we can be an accomplish everything that God desires for us to be.

So let’s take a hold of what Matthew 6 speaks to us: Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Matthew 6:25-26 (AMP)

And as we read in 365 Fear Nots verse of the day today: “God is able to provide for all our needs and guard against evil. If we choose to trust in Him instead of worrying about things of the world it is better for our souls.”

References:

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thanks You Lord for the incredible blessings of Your Word and my family. May today be filled with Your presence and may every thought, word, and action bring You praise, honor, and glory  I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wait for it, wait for it…


Ever get the message that things are going to change? How do you respond? Do you become anxious? Do you become nervous? Do you get excited? Are you patient? Are you prepared? Are you getting ready? Are you doing anything about it?

I remember my different responses and at varying points in my life, I would of responded yes to each of them. But I have learned through God’s Word and my experiences and studies that not all of these are good for you nor help you.

Consider the feeling in your gut… If you are nervous, anxious, or excited they all feel the same, it is how we allow our brains to interpret these signals that make the difference. I have even told others, like my daughter that we need to program that feeling in our gut to mean excited.

God’s Word tells us: “6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” — Philippians 4:6-7

In other translations, it said “Be anxious for nothing“.

By programming your brain to be excited rather than anxious or nervous, you end up getting ready to go rather than getting ready to flee or cower. Either way your body is ready for action, it is just that one of them is a positive action.

Next is being prepared. When I received the message that morning back in February “get out of the boat”, I didn’t freak out in bad way, I was excited that God would speak to me even through a Twitter Tweet to answer my prayer question “If Microsoft if the boat and I am supposed to get out, can you let me know which side?” I didn’t know what side, however, I knew to determine what side I had to be prepared. That night I went home and started the process. I updated my resume (check), I updated my LinkedIn profile (check), and then I started to reach out to some friends who I have worked with over the years with an email with a subject like “I am considering a change”. Through this process I sent out my resume, I applied for some jobs, and kept monitoring opportunities through job listing sites. I had some interviews, but through it all, I kept telling God to only open the door that I am supposed to walk through. (help me to know which side of the boat to get out on – like Peter. I wanted to keep my eyes on Jesus!)

 

Through the process since I knew God was at work, I had to be patient because I wasn’t sure what side of the boat. Even up till the week before I picked/took/accepted the job I wasn’t sure but kept asking God for wisdom and patience as I wanted to go where He wanted me to go. And when the time came, I was ready and God’s even confirmed it in many ways (on the way from the open house, through songs on the radio and a rainbow at the end of the road as I drove by my old office area, I knew and on the day I was putting my resignation, my devotional was Job 41:12).

Through it all I was ready and actively pursuing what God would do in and through me. And even now just over two months in, I am still excited about this new journey I am on.

God has a plan. God has a timeline. God has a purpose. Trust Him and do your part.

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” — Habakkuk 2:3

 

 God is more interested in our character than our comfort and if we aren’t obedient to His correction, we can end up delaying the outcome.

And as Os puts it I his concluding paragraph: “Although it is sometimes difficult to understand, the Lord is just and gracious in His dealings with His children. When He does decide to move on our behalf, we will appreciate the delay and will often understand the reason it was needed. ” — When the Lord Tarries

So where are you at? Are you seeking through taking time in God’s Word today? Are you taking what you read and asking God how it applies to your life? Are you responding with excitement and patience, getting prepared for His plan and His purpose? Today is a new day so what will you do with it?

 

Resources:

 
My Prayer:
Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything in it. I lift up this day to You and ask Lord for Your wisdom and discernment so that in everything that I do, I think, or I say that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Life is made up of a lot of small things with a few big ones mixed in.


There are many life lessons to be learned by just living life. To do this we end up going through the ups and downs of the journey which help form us into the person we are today. It’s not for nothing, as God’s Word tells us how He uses all things for good. When you consider how you walk through your day, how would describe your character based on what you say and how  you respond to others? What do your actions speak about you and what you believe? Do they speak to your faith in God? Do they speak to your hope for what is yet to come? Do they speak of your trust in God? Different things will happen throughout our lives that test us and allow us to see what we are standing on, what we are made of, and what makes us tick. As we are molded like clay, we have a choice in what we will do, what we will take away for the various situations. Life isn’t a bunch of huge events that hit you every day, but rather a set of smaller events with a few big ones mixed in.

When I consider my life looking back, I remember many of the big events (at work, as President of a large HOA, at home, at church) and the journey of life with many smaller events (which are less clear, but the journey is part of my memory). I remember God using me at work and big results and outcomes because His hand was in it. I remember God using me in my community when He spoke “you will be president or you will be nothing” and so I stepped up and helped lead the board into the next phase for the association. I remember my children being born, the new homes God had picked for us, and God’s provision for my family. I remember the big events like Jammin’ Against the Darkness in Seattle and Portland, the opening of the new building, the concerts and getting to me some of the guest because of my service. God will use the big events to remind you and keep encouraging you to not give up and to press forward. God will use the small events to help mold you into the person of God that He desires you to be. It gives us the opportunity to prove that we are trustworthy. It gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. It gives us the opportunity to grow and become more like God.

With living life, the key is to be faithful, to learn to be faithful, to show God that you are trying to become more like Him. God’s got a plan for you, it is good and gives you a hope and a future.

As we walk through life, stick close to God. He will never leave us nor abandon us. We have a freewill so we may start walking the wrong way, but if we will keep our eyes on Him and be obedient to the Spirit, He will lead us and guide us down the right path into eternity.

 

References:

 

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You Lord for the incredible blessings of my family, friends, neighborhood, church, and work. Lord, this is Your day so I lift it up to You and ask Lord for Your wisdom as I walk into it. As I step out today, may Your hand lead me and guide, may Your voice comfort and encourage me. As I seek Your will through Your Word, I ask Lord for Your hand to keep me walking down the straight and narrow so that in and through my life, You will be glorified. Help me Lord to be a great husband. Help me Lord to be a great dad. Help me Lord to be a great friend. May every thought, word, and action bring You praise, honor, and glory I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.