Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown" (Num 22:27-31).

Have you ever wanted something so badly that your perception of the situation became distorted? We can force situations so much that we lose perspective.
The Israelites were defeating all their enemies in the Promised Land. Balak, the king of Moab, feared that they would be defeated by the Israelites. Balaam was a prophet of the Lord in whom Balak knew had the power to bless or curse a nation. So, he sent a delegation to get Balaam to curse the nation of Israel. Balaam wanted to do this for a nice fee that would come with his cooperation. However, God was not pleased. "But God said to Balaam, 'Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed'" (Num 22:12).
Balaam was not being obedient to the Lord because he proceeded with his plan. And this was displeasing to the Lord. God sent an angel to stop him and would it not have been for his "talking donkey" he would have been killed by the angel.
In the workplace, we can become driven to achieve. Corporate pressure drives executives to make decisions that can impact many people. We become deceived by the need to succeed at any cost in our venture.
In order to achieve Godly success, we must be sensitive to those around us who can give input to the direction we may be taking. God will confirm His direction in our lives if we are willing to accept input from those around us. It can come through a spouse, a co-worker, a boss, or even a secretary. Be aware of situations that encourage you to press too hard for a particular outcome.
Achieving goals should be a result of following the actions you believe God leads you to take. Let results become a fruit of your strategic actions.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty" (Prov 14:23).

Is there something you would like to accomplish in life but simply cannot find the hours in the day to get started? Many of us suffer from procrastination. We justify putting our dreams aside because we don't believe we have the time or resources to accomplish the task.
Many times people tell me they believe they are called to write a book. I tell them, "Great, if God has called you to write a book, begin to write it." Sometimes the response is: "But I don't have a publisher." "That has nothing to do with it," I say. "That is not your problem. If God calls you to write a book, you are to begin to write. You may not be writing to get published. You may be writing for other purposes."
"The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little" (Deut 7:22). If God has given you a vision to do something, begin by taking baby steps toward that project. Begin to focus on the vision and take action steps toward it. Many times people ask me, "How in the world do you have time to write? You travel so much and seem to have such a full schedule." My answer to them is that I have a specific time of day in which I commit to writing. It is usually between 5 AM and 8 AM. I have found this to be my most creative and productive time. Very little can get in the way of this time if I believe God has given me a project to do.
You will be amazed at what God can do with a little each day. Do not let procrastination prevent you from accomplishing what God may want to do through your life. Make plans today to take baby steps toward the vision that is in your heart.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


"He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze." 2 Samuel 22:35

David was a mighty warrior, and God described him as a man after His
ownheart. God took David through a training ground that could be looked on
as cruel and unusual punishment by many a person. God chose him at a
young age to be the next king, yet King Saul rejected him and hunted
himdown. David was a fugitive for many years. He had uprisings in his own
family, and he had relationship problems. He had a life of extreme ups
and downs. He certainly did not have a life free of problems; he made
mistakes. He was human like all of us, yet he learned from his mistakes
and repented when he failed. This was David's training ground; it made
the man. Without these hardships, it is doubtful David would have
accomplished what he did.
Toward the end of David's life, he recounted his relationship with God.
It is a sermon on God's ways of dealing with a servant leader.It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makesmy feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights.He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You
give me Your shield of victory; You stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn (2 Samuel
God was David's source for everything. God gave him the ability to
achieve the many extraordinary things in his life. It was a lifelong
training ground that moved him from one plateau to another, often
dropping into a ravine of despair and hopelessness from time to time.
These are God's ways. They drive us deeper and deeper into the heart of
Him who has prepared a way for us. Let God take you to the heights or
depths He desires for you. He never promised smooth sailing during the
trip, but He did promise to be the captain and companion along the way.

Friday, July 18, 2008


"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not
your own lips." Proverbs 27:2

Many years of owning and operating an ad agency taught me that
positioning was defined as a place or position that a product, service,
or person held in the mind of the audience. We knew that often
perception was reality for people, regardless of the truth. For years, I
spent time and money seeking to position our company in the minds of our
prospective clients. Although it would seem that is a natural and
logical marketing function, I later discovered there is a dangerous flaw
when we attempt to position ourselves by promoting our own attributes. I
discovered that positioning is a by-product of who we are and what we
do, not an end in itself.
King David was my first biblical lesson in coming to understand the
difference. Here was a man who had committed adultery and murder, and
failed many times in his family life. Yet, God describes David as a "man
after God's own heart." Isn't that interesting? Why would God describe
someone who had obviously failed in many areas as one who was after
God's own heart? Throughout David's life, we find frequent descriptions
made by God: "So David's fame spread throughout every land..." (1 Chron.
14:17). Although David did make many mistakes, his heart was soft toward
God and sought to praise Him. David wrote the majority of the Psalms.
God honored what was in David's heart, not his perfection. I believe
that God's strategic placement of David was so that we may learn from
and be drawn to the attribute of David that God primarily wanted him
known for—a heart bent toward Him. His positioning was a by-product of
who he was, not an end in itself. In our business and personal life, our
positioning among those who will know us should be a by-product of our
life and service, not an end itself.
What is your "position" today among your peers? I once asked my Bible
study group to ask others, "What do you think of when someone mentions
my name?" This exercise can bring some interesting revelations. It
might motivate us to make some changes, or it might confirm that God is
doing a great work in you.

Monday, July 14, 2008


"In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions; your old men will dream dreams." - Acts 2:17

"I need to meet with you," said the man from England during a break at a conference overseas. We walked outside to have a coffee break and sat down. "God wants you to know that He removed your finances in order to reserve His reward for you in Heaven. He has done you a great service."I was shocked. I'd never met this gentleman before. How would he have known I had lost a half million dollars in the previous few years, virtually all of my financial net worth, to some unusual calamities? We shared for the next several minutes.
That week, during our lunch and dinner times, I had been enjoying wonderful, juicy oranges from this island in the Mediterranean Sea. It came time for the gentleman and I to conclude our coffee break. We bowed in prayer. As we prayed, the man began to describe a picture he was seeing in his mind."I see a picture of a large orange tree. The tree is full of large, ripened oranges. They are beginning to fall to the ground. You are the tree!"Again, I looked at the man with shock and amazement, and now tears in my eyes."You are the third person in three years that has had a similar vision during a prayer time like this.
The first two people were also strangers to me."I went back into the meeting rejoicing that God could be so personal in my life. He used a servant who had gone through similar trials to supernaturally speak a word of encouragement in a way that I would know it was God who was speaking.There are times when God supernaturally speaks into our lives. He does this to demonstrate His power, His love, and His intimacy with us. Do not be surprised if God sends one of His messengers to speak into your life when you need it most. Be open to how God might want to speak into your life today.He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers (Psalm 1:3).

Friday, July 11, 2008


"With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared." - Judges 6:21

How does God call people into His service? There is a clear pattern in the way God calls men and women into service for Him. Almost every major leader has been called while he or she was in the midst of performing his or her everyday vocation. Peter was a fisherman; Matthew, a tax collector; Luke, a physician; Paul, a tentmaker; Moses, a shepherd; Jesus, a carpenter; and so on.When God called Gideon to free the people of Israel from the oppression of the Amalekites, he did so while Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress. Like Moses, Gideon argued with God, saying his family was nothing special, so how could he be used of God to save Israel? Gideon acknowledged God by preparing an offering to Him. The angel did an interesting thing with Gideon's offering; he took the tip of his staff and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. As with Moses, God chose to do a miracle with a staff, the instrument that symbolized Gideon's work life. Why would God do this? It is because God wants us to know that the tools He has given each of us are the tools He wants to use to demonstrate His power. However, in order for that to happen, we must yield our tools to Him for miracles to be manifested through them.Have you yielded your tools to the Lord? God wants you to have an overriding ministry objective to your work life. He doesn't want you to leave your work; He wants to work through your work. Allow Him to do that today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." - Hebrews 12:15

The enemy of our souls has a very specific strategy to destroy relationships. Whether these relationships are in business, marriage, or friendships, the strategy is the same. A conflict arises, judgments are made, and feelings are hurt. What happens next is the defining point of whether the enemy gains a foothold, or the grace of God covers the wrong.When a root of bitterness is allowed to be planted and grown, it not only affects that person, but it also affects all others who are involved. It is like a cancer.Breaking satan's foothold requires at least one person to press into God's grace. It cannot happen when either party "feels" like it, for none of us will ever feel like forgiving. None of us feel like talking when we have been hurt.
Our natural response is to withdraw or lash out at the offending party. It is only obedience that allows God's grace to cover the wrongs incurred. This grace prevents the parties from becoming victims who will seek compensation for their pain.The next time you are hurt by someone, realize the gravity of the crossroads where you find yourself. Choose grace instead of bitterness. Then you will be free to move past the hurt, and a root of bitterness will not be given opportunity to grow.

Monday, July 7, 2008


"Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord's covenant moved from the camp." - Numbers 14:44

The people of Israel were brought out of Egypt to enter a new land-the Promised Land. This land was not handed over to them freely; it required the removing of God's enemies through battle. It required a partnership between God and the people. As long as the people remained true to God, they were victorious.The people were camped at Kadesh Barnea, near the border entrance to the long-awaited Promised Land. All the hardships of their journey from Egypt were now culminating at this important crossing.
However, Joshua and Caleb were the only scouts who proclaimed faith in God to take them into the land and conquer their enemies. The other spies saw all the dangers and refused to take the risk. The people of the camp shrank in fear because of their report. They decided not to enter in.God was angered at the people for their lack of faith. Moses had to intercede on their behalf. Once they realized what they had done, it was too late. But they thought their repentance was enough to right their wrong. They presumed this was all that was necessary.Moses informed them they were deceived in their presumption of God's favor. They went to battle against the Amalekites only to be soundly defeated. Those who returned did not understand why they lost the battle.
It is important for us to know whether we have God's hand upon our endeavors. Presumption leads to failure. God's favor leads to success. Ask God to confirm His hand on your endeavors...."If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here" (Exodus 33:15).

Friday, July 4, 2008


" ...they were unaware of it. - Luke 2:43

Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. Jesus was 12 years old. They were evidently very distracted by the excitement and business of the Feast. In fact, Mary and Joseph began their return trip to Nazareth only to realize well into the trip that Jesus was not with them. It would be three days before they would be reunited with their 12-year-old son. It caused quite a scare in Mary and Joseph, and they reprimanded Jesus for "wandering" off.
As a parent, I find this story truly amazing. How can parents of the Son of God not know their son is not in their presence? Yet this story illustrates how each of us can become so busy that we continue to operate not realizing that Jesus is no longer with us. Obviously, there was very little fellowship taking place between Jesus and His parents during the trip.Are you experiencing daily, even moment-by-moment, fellowship with Jesus? If not, you will wake up one day and realize Jesus is not with you in your endeavors.
It may, like Mary and Joseph, create a certain fear in you that you may have lost a very important relationship. Doing business without Jesus' presence leaves us powerless and prone to live in fear. Jesus said He would never leave or forsake His children. However, we can walk away from His fellowship by refusing to be with Him. Do not let this happen to you. He longs to have daily fellowship with you because He loves you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! "- 1 John 3:1a

"I have an important business meeting in the morning. Would you please set the alarm for 5:30 a.m.?" I said to my wife."Oh, that won't be necessary. Just tell the Lord what time you want to wake up. He does it for me all the time," my wife said. I rolled my eyes in disbelief. "Well, I'd feel more comfortable if we set the alarm.""Okay, ye of little faith. But just to prove my point I am going to ask the Lord to wake us up just before 5:30."The next morning I awoke before the alarm went off. I looked at the clock. It read 5:15. I looked at my wife, who had just awakened at the same time with an I-told-you-so smile. Sometimes we wrongfully view God as someone we go to for only the "big things." The idea of "bothering God" for such a trivial matter seems foolish and presumptuous.
However, when you were a child and had to get up in the morning for school, didn't your mom or dad come wake you up? They were your parents, and you could come to them with the most trivial concerns or requests. Why would our heavenly Father be any less approachable? Perhaps our problem is that we simply have not developed a level of intimacy with God so that we feel the freedom to approach Him at these daily, routine levels. We often operate with an unwritten code that says our needs must have a certain degree of importance or crisis before we come to God with them. This is not God's character towards us.
Does the Lord desire this level of intimacy with you and me? The apostle Paul exhorted us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17 KJV). There is never a caution to pray only about matters of greater importance.Today, go to God with matters that you might view as trivial and would normally avoid bringing to God. Ask God to increase your level of intimacy with Him. You may even be able to get rid of your alarm clock.