Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Leadership Thought

It seems there are two things God isn't really happy about in regards to aspirations toward leadership.

The first is "ambition":

  • Romans 2:6,8 says that God will render wrath and indignation upon those who are selfishly ambitious. Ouch!
  • 1 Peter 5:5,6 says God is against those who exalt themselves, and we need to humble ourselves and He would exalt us in the right time.
The second is "reluctance".
  • Boy did God become angry with Moses when he asked God to deliver Israel through someone else because he didn't feel qualified (Exodus 4:10-14).
  • And God told Jeremiah not to disqualify himself because he was a youth and he was afraid (Jeremiah 1:7-8).
So what does the Lord want? Apparently His timing is not our own, and we must cultivate a heart of patience (waiting) and humility for the when and if. Additionally, the Lord wants us to be a willing vessel. Many times when we think we can do it, He says, "no you can't". And then when we think we cannot do it, He says, "yes you can".

Thus, it seems He wants us to wait (when we think we can), and to be willing (when we think we can't).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Faith Romances God

I came across this intriguing quote from Winkie Pratney in his message, "Little Crumbs for Little Dogs". (You can subscribe to his podcast here and download it through the iTunes store.) What do you think is meant by this quote: "Faith romances God"?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Frustration vs. Patience

I was recently involved in some plumbing projects in my house. Can I say "I hate plumbing!"? As I was buying materials from a local hardware store, the owner gave me one piece of advice: "Be patient."

Many times when I have embarked on house-projects-that-shouldn't-take- very-long-but-always-do, I would find myself in the place of being overwhelmed and frustrated. But after this man gave me advice about being patient, I found, that even in very overwhelming circumstances, I didn't have to get frustrated. I came to the conclusion that "frustration is an enemy, patience is an ally."

Sure it took me 9 days to replace my shower diverter -- because not only was the diverter bad, but I discovered the walls in the shower needed replaced because of water damage -- but I got the job done well. Since then I've had several major repair jobs (house and vehicle) all at once, that took extremely longer than they should have, but I've found patience is a friend in these overwhelming circumstances.

(Now you know why I hire so much work out!)


It seems that Jesus has a special place in his heart for people who are broken, crushed, down-and-out. "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34) and "I dwell... with the contrite and lowly of spirit" (Isaiah 57). He was with Joseph during 13 years of cruel isolation and slavery, and showed favor to him in a place of affliction and suffering. And with David: he was anointed as king, and then spent years on the run, hiding out in caves from a king that would destroy him.

Many times we are in crushing circumstances that are beyond our control. And the natural tendency is to kick, scream, fight, vindicate ourselves... and run from brokenness. But this is the very place we will find the embrace of God. He is near to the brokenhearted. He is with the contrite (crushed) and lowly of spirit. And many times we feel like He is so far away. A friend recently shared this verse (his life-verse) with me: "So now, descendants of Jacob, trust in your God and return to him. Be loyal and just, and wait patiently for your God to act" (Hosea 12:6).

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for God is with me" (Psalm 23).

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