Devotional: God’s timing

“But the angel said, ‘I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because you won’t believe me, you’ll be unable to say a word until the day of your son’s birth. Every word I’ve spoken to you will come true on time – God’s time.” (Luke 1:20)

This story talks about a priest named Zachariah who – along with his wife – feared God and had a clear conscience in upholding His law and loving the Lord; and how the angel Gabriel had come to him during his priestly duties to give him the good news that he would have a son. Zachariah didn’t believe him because he and his wife were way too old to have children – even if the news was from God – and so Gabriel muted him until the day God delivered the son he announced.

Although verbally and consciously I am certain of God’s provision on His timing; but I’m pretty sure there are times I get ancy and exhibit disbelief in my actions. I go on ahead and do things I’m certain God will give me, but on my own time and terms. I am impatient – which is partial obedience. And I know that partial obedience is the same as full-on disobedience. And time and time again, it either doesn’t work, it doesn’t work to its fullest potential, it does work and creates an ego that destroys me later, and it’s inconsistent and unreliable. I’m tired of not doing it right the first time, and tired of getting wishy-washy results – and they always happen when God’s not at the heart of it all.

Lord – in this story, Gabriel had to mute Zachariah’s ability to speak. I pray for the strength to be able to mute my own feelings and completely, wholeheartedly, and wholespiritedly trust You on not only what You’ve promised to provide for me, but that it will come right on time when I need it most.

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Devotional: Purpose versus provision

“For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Chris in God.” (Col. 3:3)

A great reminder about how things are prioritized here on Earth, and how God does things above. I easily get tempted to go after provision first, instead of the Provider. Which – if I say it that way – doesn’t make sense, right?

It’s like trying to chase a few bucks and having to do it over and over again; versus finding the ATM machine itself that will always dispense.

God promises that if we seek Him first, provision for all of our needs and more will be taken care of. He has all of the answers we will need in business, health, relationships, and finances – and they are waiting on the other side of faith and going after God’s heart. Not only that, we will experience peace and life and fulfillment of the ultimate purpose that God has put in my life to do/have/be.

Devotional: Purpose

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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“But He said, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.'” (Luke 4:43)

This reminds me of the famous quote by Mark Twain: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Since resigning from Fransmart, I’ve been feeling some confusion, loss, and frustration to finding out what my next move is as part of my purpose. A big part of who I was, was embedded in my 10-year tenure at Fransmart; which actually tells me it was a little unhealthy (not the company but my inadvertent placement of its priority in my life) and a validation of why I had to leave.

My identity should be in Christ, and that Fransmart – or any work I do – is just a vessel for exhibiting God’s Good News, love, and opportunity to have meaning and impact.

The goal isn’t to make money or to make a name for myself. The goal is to make a name for God and serve the Kingdom with the collision of my gifts, talents, passions, relationships, and assignment from Heaven. Provision always follows obedience.

I can breathe easier at the reminder that knowing and serving my purpose is a life-long journey of self-discovery; and that instead of focusing on the fact that I’m not there yet, I could focus on what I DO know about my purpose.

It’s to love the Lord; it’s to serve as many people as possible; and it’s to share my story. If I do my part, isn’t the problem of figuring “it” out actually not mine but God’s to provide? And hasn’t He always provided?

Devotional: Encountering the supernatural in our everyday lives

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)

I want to experience miracles every day in my life. Assurance of this requires two things: that I ask for unexplainable blessings every morning in His name; and that I have a change of perception. Every day that I’m alive, breathing, playing with my kids, being with my beautiful wife, doing meaningful work…all of that is a supernatural thing.

Devotional: Proactive and reactive dependence on Him

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.” (Gen. 32:24)

This part of the story in the Bible takes place long after Jacob had fled his family for screwing over his brother Esau (he conned his brother into giving him his birthright, and poached their father’s blessing meant for his brother), and was now in a situation where he’d have to face him again. He was very fearful that Esau would take revenge on him and his family for what he did; and pleaded with God for mercy.

Jacob couldn’t use his own power to get out of this situation. He was so scared of encountering his brother that he refused to move from his hiding place without God’s protection and presence – to the point where he wrestled with one of God’s angels and wouldn’t let him go until God agreed to watch over him.

Do things need to get really bad before we depend on God with all of our mind, heart, soul, and body? While it’s amazing that God’s love is unconditional and He will always be there even when we neglect Him, it’s unfair to our Father for only coming to Him when we need him (imagine trying to do that with your parent, spouse, best friend, sibling, etc.), and you’d be selling yourself short by not having his power, provision, and protection from the beginning to end of all your circumstances.

Instead of making prayer your “Hail Mary” strategy when you’ve exhausted all of your other resources, why not make consulting with God your first line of defense and attack against difficult, disappointing, uncertain times?

Devotional: Your success is guaranteed by Him

This is part of a series called “Devotionals.”

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“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”  (1 Cor 2:3-5).

I love this passage.

In the Marketplace Leaders “Today God Is First” devotional, Os Hillman reminds me that sometimes, I need to withold my natural gifting to insure that God is in whatever I am doing.

That means that I shouldn’t rely completely on my God-given experiences, talents, and knowledge for the outcome of whatever I desire; over-dependence on them could make me forget that God is Lord over my outcome, and not leave enough room for Him to do His work. And I’d rather He do my work lol!

Don’t let your gifts go to waste, however. Use them to help people. Use them to give God all of the glory. Use it to build His Kingdom here on Earth as it is in heaven. But there will be a ceiling to those gifts – whether it be an impossible deadline, a task beyond your skill level, or a debilitating circumstance. At this point, do not stress, fear, or feel discouraged. Leave the remaining workload to Him, leave the outcome to Him, thank Him in advance, and let Him carry on.

God wants you to know that it is by His hand that you are successful; not by your own merit.

Rest, recharge & redirection 

Good morning to the my audience of three (the blog reader who stumbled on this by accident, my dog Sugar who was sitting on my lap when I wrote this, and myself when I was editing lol!) #sosad

Pastor Rick Warren at my Saddleback Church has always reminded me that in order to know how something works and what the function of something is, you need to consult the Owners Manual. And with that logic, if God is my Creator, then it’d be wise to look to the Bible to see what I was built for and how to use me correctly so that I don’t miss my purpose or harm myself or others.

It’s a combination of being young, immature, and too proud; being seduced to get my guidance elsewhere; and needing to hear it 1,000 times before it seeps in (I’m quite stubborn)…but I never really tried to read the Bible, interpret it, and apply it until recently.

And just like meditation, exercising, etc…it’s been life-changing.

Here’s a Bible verse that I’m going to try and memorize, keep it in my heart, and use it to drive everything I do this week and beyond. Hoping it does wonders for your soul as well, and inspires you to open the Bible so that God can open His mouth.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the right paths for His name’s sake” (Psalm 21:1-3).

How can I not be comforted and secured by this passage? Not “most” or “some” of my needs are met – ALL of them are…so I can stop looking in all sorts of unhelpful, unhealthy, and unusual places.

We are a product of our environment, and if our surroundings are beautiful (green pastures) and nourishing (still waters) – then we can truly relax.

Many things can recharge my body and mind i.e. Nutritious foods, meditation, exercise – but they are only temporary, and God isn’t about short-term leases. He goes past the physical, mental, and emotional layers of my my being and makes sure my soul revving at 100%. That’s more sustainable and powerful.

And most importantly, he eliminates stress, uncertainty, and lost time and energy by putting me in the right direction.

I truly don’t need to look anywhere else for provision. You can’t get a better deal than this.