Wednesday, April 25, 2018

CAN YOUR BOSS SAY THIS ABOUT YOU?

"Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?" (Gen 41:38).

We often get resumes` from people wanting to come to work for us. They think that because we are a Christian organization the pressures and the environment will be so much better than the place where they work. That may be true, but there is a danger in this view.
The Bible says that God has defined the place and time in which we are to live. "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance" (Ps 16:5-6).
God has uniquely gifted you to bring His presence and power in the area of your calling. Once you begin to realize this, God will use you just as He did Joseph with his employer, Pharaoh. Your life should be a testimony of the power, creativity, and servant-hood of Jesus that it impacts your employer to the degree that he says the same thing Pharaoh said about Joseph: "Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the Spirit of God?"
When God accomplishes this in your life He gives you authority in your workplace. You will begin to see others drawn to you. You may begin to be ostracized as well. This too is part of your call. Do not fear this. Embrace it.
We should not be seeking to remove ourselves from the pressure cooker of life, but use that pressure cooker to reveal the power and grace of God through our lives to others. It is here that we will receive our inheritance as we fulfill our purposes in and through our work life call.
Today, ask God to give you supernatural wisdom and discernment to express the Spirit of God through you to your employer.

Monday, April 23, 2018

HEARING GOD ON THE JOB

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong" (1 Cor 1:26-27).

God is raising up a new kind of workplace believer who is experiencing the power of God in their daily work life. Emeka Nywankpa, was a barrister (lawyer) in Nigeria. Emeka spoke at a conference a few years ago on the subject of how the spiritual impacts the physical.
Emeka shared a story about arguing an important Supreme Court case in his country. There were five points to argue in the case. The morning the trial began, he prayed with his wife and junior lawyers in his chambers. During his prayer time, he sensed that the Holy Spirit was telling him, "Do not argue points one through four. Only argue point five." Imagine making such a change just before you are to argue a case before the Supreme Court!
In the courtroom, Emeka announced that he wished to drop points one through four and only wished to argue point five. The judge was shocked, but gave him permission to proceed. He argued point five and sat down. The other attorney got up, and then for twelve minutes stumbled around trying to defend his position, unable to get a coherent word out.
Finally, he approached the bench and said, "Your Lordship, it is unfortunate that my learned friend has dropped the first four points. I wish to yield the case." The other attorney had only prepared for the first four points. Emeka won the case. God had given him a strategy to win his case supernaturally. It made no sense to him, but he obeyed and God gave him victory in a very unusual way.
Isaiah 48:17 tells us "Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.'"
When is the last time you allowed God to give you a strategy to be successful in your work life call and bring glory to His name? This is his desire for you.

Friday, April 20, 2018

KNOWLEDGE THAT IS PRODUCTIVE

"For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." - 2 Peter 1:8

Productivity is a term all workplace believers can relate to. It is the by-product of what we desire from our work. Without productivity, we do not make sales, we do not deliver goods, and we do not achieve our goals. There are things in our work lives that can creep in making us unproductive. The same is true in our walk with God.
The apostle Peter tells us that we can become knowledgeable of Jesus but fail to be effective and productive in our relationship with Him. We are a society that has great knowledge, but our comparable scale of productivity from that knowledge is extremely weighted to the knowledge side. The apostle Peter tells us there is a solution to this dilemma.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8).
Is your Christian experience filled with knowledge, but little power? Is there staleness in your walk with God? Is there unrest in your soul? It may be due to a need to develop character that only the Holy Spirit can develop out of an obedient heart. Ask the Lord today to add these qualities to your faith so that you can be productive as a soldier of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

YOUR WORK

"I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do." - John 17:4
The Lord has revealed to us that the number one thing we are to do is love the Lord our God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. His desire is for us to know Him and the power of His resurrection. These mandates deal with our relationship with Him. The fruit of this relationship must then result in our glorifying Him by completing the work He has given each of us to do. It will become a by-product of this relationship, not an end in itself.
What is the work God has called you to do? Jesus never did anything the Father had not instructed Him to do. He lived in such communion with the Father that He knew when to turn left and when to turn to the right. Is it possible to have such a relationship with our heavenly Father? I think that if it weren't, He would not have given us such an example.
"Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jer. 33:3). What has He called you to do? Perhaps you are called to be the best CPA in your city or the best advertising executive or the best office worker or assembly line person in your company. Whatever work He has called you to do, He will use you as His instrument to accomplish something that He has uniquely prepared you to do.
When our life is complete, what a glorious day it will be if we can each say, "I have completed the work You gave me to do." This will have brought great glory to Him.

Monday, April 16, 2018

THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM

"This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did." - 1 John 2:5b-6

When Christ came to earth, He came to bring to mankind the gospel of the Kingdom. Over the centuries, the Church has tended to emphasize only a portion of the gospel. That portion is the gospel of salvation. However, Jesus came that we might have more than just salvation. He came to give us a whole new life that was accompanied by signs, wonders, and His Spirit living in us and revealing Himself to us daily. He came so that we might walk on this earth as He did. If our lives are not reflecting the same things as Jesus' did, we must ask why?
I have noticed three distinct types of believers throughout my 24 years of walking with Christ. First, many of us come to Christ out of a need for salvation. Our hearts have been touched by His call on our lives. We reason and analyze the claims of Christ and make a decision for Him. It is the convenient time to accept Him in our lives. This first stage is often characterized by a "Bless me, Lord" attitude toward God. It is the first stage that primarily brings salvation into our lives. Some never really go past this first stage.
The second stage is the crisis stage. A crisis takes place in our lives, and we are motivated to seek Christ with a whole heart. However, this motivation is not out of pure love for Christ; rather, it is motivated by the desire to get out of the pain of living. The motivation is to solve "the what" versus "the why" in my life at the time. This stage is best characterized as "Help me, Lord."
In the third stage we begin to experience the gospel of the Kingdom. It is the place where Jesus resided in His walk with His heavenly Father. It is the place of conviction. The number of people who live at this level are quite few, but these people are experiencing the reality of a walk with God that is foreign to all others. They are seeing daily occurrences of His involvement in their lives. They are motivated by a deep love for Him. They know Him. These people have an attitude characterized by these thoughts, "Have me, Lord; though He slay me, still will I trust Him."
Where are you today? Have you merely accepted His salvation to simply float along? Or do you seek Him with a whole heart only when a crisis occurs? His desire is for you and me to live a life of conviction, motivated by our love for Him and His love for us. This is where we will experience the gospel of the Kingdom.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

PLANNING FOR SUCCESS

"I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps." - Jeremiah 10:23

In business I hear a lot about planning. Every January I hear believers establishing their planning for the year. Corporations establish plans that cover anywhere from one to five years. Individuals establish personal life plans. There is only one problem that I see with most planning done by well-meaning believers. If God is not the originator and director of the plan, then that plan is doomed for failure. So often, Christian workplace believers set out to plan something that seems good in their own mind. The merits of what is being planned can look great, and it can even be a worthy endeavor. However, that is not the point. When Jesus said He came only to do the will of the Father, He could not consider doing anything that was not what the Father wanted, no matter how good or righteous it might appear to be.
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps" (Prov. 16:9). God must give us the vision for what He calls us to do. After we have the vision, we must ask Him if He wants us to take action on that vision and what the action steps entail. The Lord wants to direct each step of the planning process. David learned this lesson when he went to battle against his enemy, the Philistines. One day he inquired of God as to whether he was to go up against the Philistines, and the Lord said, "Yes, but only when you hear the marching in the balsam trees." It is a mistake to reason and analyze in order to come to a decision on a matter. The Lord already knows the answer. It is our responsibility to seek Him to find out His mind on the matter. Our planning must be established in Him. Only when we remain so connected to the source can we be assured of putting God's plan into place. Also, getting that plan confirmed through others will assure that we are not following the deceit of our own heart.
When you begin to plan next time, ask God for His wisdom for establishing the vision and action steps. You will be surprised how well He can plan.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

WHERE DO YOU PLACE YOUR CONFIDENCE?

"Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel." -1 Chronicles 21:1

God always requires total trust in Him alone for our victories in life. Throughout Scripture we are cautioned not to place our trust in the strength of horses, other men or our own abilities. In 1 Chronicles, David's decision to take a census was a failure to keep his trust totally upon the Lord.
David's purpose in counting his population was to assess his military strength, much like the second census taken under Moses (see Numbers 1:2-3). David found 800,000 men eligible for military service in Israel, and 500,000 men in Judah (see 2 Samuel 24:9), more than double the previous head count.
David's commander evidently recognized the grave error that his king was about to make. "But Joab replied, 'May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord's subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?'" (1 Chronicles 21:3).
Joab was right--the census displeased the Lord. David was falling into the temptation of trusting in the size of his army rather than in the Lord. In consequence, God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men.
How do you avoid placing your trust in God today? Do you trust your bank accounts, your skills and the security of your workplace? When you begin to place your faith in these things instead of in the Provider of these things you get into trouble with God.
What a lesson this is for each of us. Today, place your total trust in the Lord for all of your needs.