buildingbodies4christ

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Archive for the tag “Step of Faith”

Kingdom Purpose

Over the years, I have listened to many speakers on health-related topics as well as biblical-based teachings. Every once in a while, I will run across a webinar or series of talks on a particular subject that interests me that has nothing to do with health or the Bible. I listened to a series a couple of weeks ago on money. I let this message marinate since that time to discern what should be shared on this blog site.

Usually I post my health-related articles on my newsletter, which I post on my Denise4Health Facebook page (you can “like” my page to get my articles). The biblical-based articles I post on this site. I have chosen to write this article for this site because it does have a spiritual application. Jesus taught quite a bit about money – usually the relationship we have with it. We all know how to spend it really well. But do we really have God’s perspective on it? After all, the money we receive comes from Him. It’s all His – we’re just managers of His resources.

The series started out with a talk on debt. I have often heard how debt was bad, but one of the speakers talked about how the wealthy use debt to increase their wealth. Let me give you a bit of my back story. One of my previous jobs was with a real estate company who purchased or built buildings for leasing purposes. They would get so excited when the banks would raise their debt ceilings to increase the loan potential and thus buy or build more buildings. I would get perplexed when that would happen. I thought debt was a bad thing so why would they want more of it?

I had a bit of a light bulb moment when the speakers revealed the reasoning behind the debt. Money is supposed to work for us. Apparently my former employer understood this concept and it made good business sense. They used the banks money to make them money and fulfill their vision of why they were in business – to provide quality buildings for businesses and to make some money for their shareholders (or that was my concept of their vision).

Debt was interesting from that perspective but I don’t foresee going into debt to make money for myself – just not going to happen. However, there were other speakers on different aspects of investing to create wealth. We might have a bad concept of wealth – money is the root of evil. However, wealth isn’t really a bad thing. Yes, the love of money is – the Bible tells us so. But wealth can be used to God’s advantage. God is looking for someone to fund His vision.

In Joel 2:28, we are told in the last days old men will dream dreams and young men will see visions. Totally out of context; but maybe in the last days, the old ones will be funding the visions of the young ones. Just a thought.

I believe in divine connections – old and young alike, we are called to help one another fulfill God’s vision. I also believe God calls all His people to be investors. But most of us don’t know how to invest. And most of us don’t have additional money to invest. Most of us live from paycheck to paycheck barely making ends meet. We survive rather than thrive. I believe God wants us to thrive; it’s better for His Kingdom. We just have to learn how to manage money wisely. Like Jesus’ disciples, we have to be taught the skills to help the Kingdom.

We have many teachings from Jesus on money. One story concerned three managers (Luke 19 and Matthew 25) who were left in charge of the business (gold) while the master was away. Another story concerned the rich man building bigger barns (found in Luke 12). The first story was about increasing what the master gave the servants (investors for the Kingdom) and the second story was about sharing the increase God gives us and not storing it up in bigger barns (bank accounts) for the future.

This is not about socialism – take from the rich to give to the poor; but giving in response to what has been done for us. The first century Christians shared with those in need. It’s what made them different from the rest of the world. We are to learn how to put God’s money to work for His Kingdom purpose. I believe this is the true definition of wealth. We all need to learn how to be wealthy and it might be we have to take a risk or two to get there.

We can all be risk adverse; I know I avoid it, if possible. However, I believe someone is going to be called to fund someone else’s vision for God’s purpose. It will take a step of faith to be that someone. In order to be that someone, we need to get our finances under control. We need the resources to be able to fund the vision.

Like any skill, we have to learn how to master the skill of building wealth to build His Kingdom. It means surrendering to God – everything is His – and let Him direct our steps to financial freedom and wealth investing. Just saying “yes” to His vision means He gets the glory and we get the blessings. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:29-34

What are you doing?

Several weeks ago, I read a couple of Andy Andrew’s books. I love his writings. He has great insight. He said in one of his earlier books that his mentor, Jones, gave him biographies to read. Jones said biographies give perspective. Andy went on to write in the Traveler’s Gift about what he discovered in those biographies.

In the book The Noticer, Andy writes about Jones. In one of his meetings with Jones, they were sharing a meal on a beach. Jones asked Andy what he was doing right then. Andy responded eating fish and chips on the beach. Jones said that was the problem with people today, they lacked perspective. Andy asked what he meant. Jones replied – “you’re eating fish and chips on a beach; I am eating surf and turf with an ocean view!” It’s all about perspective. We all need a new perspective.

Several years ago, I mentioned to my aunt I would love to quit my job and just write. Guess what I am doing today? I quit my job five years ago; and I write blogs, I write a monthly newsletter on health and wellness, and I wrote two books. I never told my aunt how I could afford to do it because there was no way I saw myself doing it. It was insane to even contemplate such a thing. But somehow, I took that step of faith; and God has sustained me throughout this time. Sometimes I get down and out because I can’t afford to do the things I want to do – like travel or buy things I want instead of things I need. I see the things I lack instead of the things I can do. I have a very flexible schedule. I love to be able to talk with my neighbors in the yard on a sunny afternoon. I go to the gym when I want. I can sleep in when I have had a bad night, etc.

Before I left my job in 2011, I had a dream or a vision. The only thing I remember about this dream was a sliding glass door that I tried to close. The door popped back open when I attempted to close it. When the door popped open, I immediately woke up and was very afraid that someone was in the room with me. But God gave me peace, and I went right back to sleep. So, what was that vision all about? Was it about leaving the job? I hadn’t thought about it for years until this week when Christine Caine spoke about the “moving past the past.” She also spoke about perspective.

In her talk, she said we all have a gate (or door) of opportunity right before us. The past is on one side, and the future is on the other. Many times we are stuck at the gate. The gate is not to keep us in but to let us out. If there was no gate, then it would be a prison. But Jesus gave us a gate. He said He is the gate (John 10:7, 9). He is the one who opens the door of the opportunity to go out and help other prisoners be set free. With freedom comes responsibility. Our current circumstance is not a prison. It’s just a training ground for what we need in the future. The season we’re in currently will pass one day. It’s what we learn in the current circumstances that can bring a blessing from it and benefit someone else.

Christine said (commenting on 2 Kings 7:1-6) there’s power in the question “Why stay here until we die?” We sit at the gate waiting on something to fall from the sky – like the supernatural manna from heaven. The gate is not the end point. God could provide manna from heaven while we wait at the gate, but what if the best thing lay just beyond the door? It may take a risky step or three to get out of the comfortable, complacency where we sit today. When God says move, it’s time to move. We can go forward in the confidence that God goes with us. We might be afraid, but we still need to move forward. The future is out there, not behind our prison walls. It just takes a new perspective to see the possibilities. So, what are you doing? Are you eating fish and chips or surf and turf with an ocean view?

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You, my brothers (and sisters), were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. Galatians 5: 1-2, 13

Stirring It Up

I heard a sermon from TD Jakes in November that has stuck with me. In it he gave an illustration of an eagle building a nest for the eaglets to be born. The nest is nicely placed high with little room for error. The nest is made with all the sticks pointing outward. It is made for comfort for the young eaglet. The eagle readies the nest just in time for the arrival of the eaglets. The nest is the comfortable place as long as the eaglet is small. The eagle will begin to stir up the nest so that the sticks are now pointing inward as the eaglet becomes too large for the nest. This creates an environment that is less than suitable for comfort and more likely to cause the eaglet to hop out of the nest. However, once out of the nest, the eaglet is forced to live on the very edge of the cliff or fly.

I was interested in this topic as I began to notice how my life has been much like that of the eaglet. I had been living in my comfortable nest for too many years. Slowly, as I began to grow in my spiritual life, God began to stir up my nest. The first sign of growth was moving to a new city with a message on my heart – God had a plan for me in my new city. I moved to a new place and settled down again. I had another growth spurt, and the nest was stirred even more. Each time, the place of comfort became a place of discontent. The comfortable place was becoming too small for me as I was growing up. Eventually, I was hanging on to the ledge. It was either stay on the edge and eventually die; or take a step of faith and fly.

I chose to fly. One of the great things about eagle’s wings is this: they can travel great distances with little energy being expended. They are carried on the air current. They travel as far as a hummingbird. The hummingbird lives only about 18 months whereas the eagle lives for years. Sometimes I feel like the hummingbird flying with all my strength. I need to remember I have eagle’s wings. The Holy Spirit has provided the current; I am just along for the ride. I can be carried great distances, if I will allow the Holy Spirit to move me. God has stirred up my nest both physically and spiritually. I am no longer content to being as I was. I want more. I want greater distances. I want higher perspectives. I want His vision for my life. I want His wind beneath my wings. I want to soar to greater heights for His glory!

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

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