Too Big for Your Boots!

March 9, 2007

Unlike the common phrase of being ‘too big for your boots’, Joshua felt too small for his!!

Having travelling around with the great prophet Moses, being by his side and learning from him, Joshua was terribly daunted upon Moses’ death when he was appointed as the new leader.

In a seemingly humourous debate with God suggesting that maybe the wrong guy had been chosen to replace his master, Joshua shared how he was convinced he was the wrong guy.  Moses’ shoes were too big for him to fill and he felt overwhelmed.

When buying shoes you know what size you are, and spiritually we can think the same.  We can feel thatwe know what our gifts our and where our capability level reaches a maximum… but i believe this is to limit God.

Joshua didn’t think he would fill bigger shoes, and he was right, he couldn’t; but through the power of the Holy Spirit he was able to do more than he thought he could.  God put words into Joshua’s mouth to speak to the nations.

God can do more in you than perhaps you realise.  In the words of Isaiah – ‘widen the tent pegs!’

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A fool for Christ!

March 5, 2007

What fool would be out walking his dogs at 5.30am?

This morning i saw a guy whom i often spot with two large dogs giving them some early morning exercise.  The man walking his dogs could’ve been tucked up in bed or at home checking emails.  Instead he opts for the walk.

Whatever the reason for this craziness i see dedication written all over him.  Yes, the dogs may bring him joy, but they also come with vets bills, mess, and are time takers.

Self sacrifice is a funny thing and is at the centre of what it is to love.  We do seemingly strange things out of love e.g. walk a dog at a ridiculous hour in the morning.

God became human and that was a rather unusual thing to do, an act of self sacrifice when He could’ve stayed safely in heaven but Love drove Him to come and live among us. 

If we haven’t done something sacrificial of later maybe that signals that we’re not being driven by love, but by selfishness – doing that which prospers ‘me’.

Today try do something for someone else which you wouldn’t necessarily WANT to do.  Make a cup of tea for a colleague when you’d rather stay sitting at your desk, or pray with a friend when you’d rather pray on your own for yourself.

Not much of a fun game?

February 28, 2007

Are you feeling like God’s gone for a walk in the park and left you waiting and hanging around? Have you been looking around to see where He’s gone, searching in shop windows, asking around if anyone’s spotted Him? God plays hide and seek with us sometimes to build our faith. If He seems to take a step away and hide, it is to encourage us to take another step towards him, so it’s all about building our faith muscles and believing the truth we know rather than believing what the circumstances tell us.

Keep going if you feel you’ve lost sight of God because He hasn’t left you… He may well just be carrying you at the moment because you need supporting, meaning you’re unable to see him!

Let down gently?

February 23, 2007

How many times have you been hurt or felt let down?

I’ve put my trust in human beings but obviously when i do, i take a risk.  Many times i’ve shared aspects of my life, made myself vulnerable and opened up.  Opening oneself to another is essentially taking the risk to open a door to getting hurt. 

People often say it’s better to have loved and lost than not loved at all.  I think of the friendships i’ve had over the years where i’ve felt damaged or mistreated, but i’m glad i took the risk to get close to those friends even if in some cases i was knocked along the way.

Life is a learning curve and i believe we can receive God’s love in a special and different way when in a place of vulnerability and hurt – when we’ve felt in despair we can let Him minister to our pain rather than being bitter, and in so doing be drawn deeper into His heart.

Friendships are amazing, even when hurt occurs, because there’s something beautiful about two beings, two of God’s creation taking a risk, and trying to imitate the bond of love between the ‘persons’ of the Trinity.

God doesn’t give up on us and is always there for us no matter what we feel about Him.  He won’t let us down, He doesn’t want to hurt us, but Love us to the fullness of Love that we are capable of receiving. 

We need a balance in life between the VIP’s (Very Inspiring People) and the VDPs (Very Draining People) so that we may both give and receive from others, and in doing so draw each other closer to Christ.

Goal!

February 20, 2007

Yesterday i spoke to a teenager who has done more than many adults: met the Queen of England, presidents, prime ministers, sung with the musical greats, been ambassador for a global charity, and more besides.

Without a faith such early success could lead to a sense ‘what next?’ about life.  I got to the point where i’d done most of what i’d wanted to and stuff i’d not even dreamed of; i reached the end of the rainbow without greater ambition, but to be in that place so early in years smelt of selfishness.

When i got bored of doing that which God had ordained for my life i got a metaphorically slap on the cheek – my motivation had become ‘what can i get out of life for me?’.

If you lack vision or lack a goal or challenge this day then make LOVE your goal -it’s something which can always be improved on (patience, kindness, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs….).

Sleeping for God

February 19, 2007

Sleep deprivation: a medical term which many could attribute to themselves.

I’ve been challenged lately to consider that getting a good night’s sleep is part of the package of being holy.  When we sleep well we are more alert, more able to pray, more ready to serve God. 

I’m reminded of that age old thing that when a believer says they’re struggling with prayer, the response should be: ‘Have you slept well, eaten well and played well?’.

So many components are needed to make us whole, and sleep is one of them.  If sleep wasn’t important to us, then why do many of us covet a lie-in?

Try to arrange your life so you can get more sleep on some days so you can be more able to serve God – it’s all to build His Kingdom.

p.s. If you already get ample sleep then try the option of ‘playing’ well i.e. doing that which gives you life and joy!

I’ve been on an epic journey of late, battling spiritual blizzards, shooting arrows of faith at mountains which block my path…

It’s been a hard trek, and would’ve been easy to give up during the course of the adventure.  However when you have treasure you’re fighting to get to, it keeps you going, even when things seem impossible – the treasure acts as an incentive to continue, giving you a boost of energy.

Maybe your treasure is your children, your spouse, your friends, your family, or some promises God has made to you personally, or the promise of eternal life itself?

We all have dragons to slay along the way, and they may be around for sometime in the form of challenges at work, or difficulties with a family member or with someone’s health.  Whatever the dragon you have to slay, you need the hope of a treasure, something keeping you going.  Obviously you first need to identify the dragon you’re trying to slay.

Whatever dragon there is in your life, know that in Christ you have the victory over it.

People without vision perish, those without hope give up!

Messy World

February 12, 2007

Sitting on the train this morning i was surrounded by my junk – a hat, coat, bag, and other stuff strewn across the seat next to me.

It was a home from home with the mess about me, but i felt convicted!  If we live in clutter we cannot truly be free, free to be who God created us to be.  Clutter brings stress, it uses up time and acts as a distraction.

I am too busy to order things, and would need a few days off work, but if that means i can live in a peaceful surrounding maybe i should…

If a day is as a thousand years, then taking a day off to tidy might be a wise move.  I need to use each day wisely.

Give us the faith and trust to go against what society expects of us so we may be fully free to be ourselves. 

Share your weakness

February 8, 2007

Yesterday i suggested it was our duty to share with others that which God has given us, but this morning as i walked through the snow to work i realised it was more than passing on our skills and experiences… it was about sharing our weaknesses too!

When you struggle with patience because the 3rd bus of the morning has been cancelled, or when you are irritable with work colleagues due to struggles you’re having at home… it can be a humble thing to do to share that with people.

Of course there are things we need to keep private, but saying to someone ‘i’m sorry if i appear irritable and irrational at the moment, but i have alot of things of my mind’ means you share your moment of weakness but don’t have to divulge personal info.

Someone close to me has been ill for many years and said when they first got ill they had two choices: 1) wallow in self pity which could lead to depression; 2) acknowledge their weakness & allow others to help them out.

It is humbling to have others help you out because it shows that you cannot do it all by yourself, it shows that you have areas of weakness.

Humility and self pity are two very different things: one is about saying -‘things are so bad, poor me’, the other is saying ‘things are tough, so wanted to let you know that i may act out of character or need your support’.

Some of the most profound spiritual experiences i’ve had have been when people i admired for their walk with God shared something of their struggles, sinfulness and weakness – it gives me hope that i too can be holy!