VIDEO Obedience to the “Heavenly Vision”

Obedience to the

If we lose “the heavenly vision” God has given us, we alone are responsible— not God. We lose the vision because of our own lack of spiritual growth. If we do not apply our beliefs about God to the issues of everyday life, the vision God has given us will never be fulfilled. The only way to be obedient to “the heavenly vision” is to give our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory. This can be accomplished only when we make a determination to continually remember God’s vision. But the acid test is obedience to the vision in the details of our everyday life— sixty seconds out of every minute, and sixty minutes out of every hour, not just during times of personal prayer or public meetings.

“Though it tarries, wait for it…” (Habakkuk 2:3). We cannot bring the vision to fulfillment through our own efforts, but must live under its inspiration until it fulfills itself. We try to be so practical that we forget the vision. At the very beginning we saw the vision but did not wait for it. We rushed off to do our practical work, and once the vision was fulfilled we could no longer even see it. Waiting for a vision that “tarries” is the true test of our faithfulness to God. It is at the risk of our own soul’s welfare that we get caught up in practical busy-work, only to miss the fulfillment of the vision.

Watch for the storms of God. The only way God plants His saints is through the whirlwind of His storms. Will you be proven to be an empty pod with no seed inside? That will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of the vision you have seen. Let God send you out through His storm, and don’t go until He does. If you select your own spot to be planted, you will prove yourself to be an unproductive, empty pod. However, if you allow God to plant you, you will “bear much fruit” (John 15:8).

It is essential that we live and “walk in the light” of God’s vision for us (1 John 1:7).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

To live a life alone with God does not mean that we live it apart from everyone else. The connection between godly men and women and those associated with them is continually revealed in the Bible, e.g., 1 Timothy 4:10.  Not Knowing Whither, 867 L

 

Advertisements

Mayday!

When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. Psalm 86:7

The international distress signal “Mayday” is always repeated three times in a row—“Mayday-Mayday-Mayday”—so the situation will be clearly understood as a life-threatening emergency. The word was created in 1923 by Frederick Stanley Mockford, a senior radio officer at London’s Croydon Airport. That now-closed facility once had many flights to and from Le Bourget Airport in Paris. According to the National Maritime Museum, Mockford coined Mayday from the French word m’aidez, which means, “help me.”

Throughout King David’s life, he faced life-threatening situations for which there seemed to be no way out. Yet, we read in Psalm 86 that during his darkest hours, David’s confidence was in the Lord. “Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.  When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me” (vv. 6–7).

When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. Psalm 86:7

David also saw beyond the immediate danger by asking God to lead his steps: “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (v. 11). When the crisis was past, he wanted to keep walking with God.

The most difficult situations we face can become doorways to a deeper relationship with our Lord. This begins when we call on Him to help us in our trouble, and also to lead us each day in His way.

Lord, even as we call to You for help today, please help us to keep walking with You when this crisis is over.

God hears our cries for help and leads us in His way.

INSIGHT:In today’s psalm, David asks for God’s help in his time of trouble but looks beyond this difficult time. In verse 11, he asks God to teach him His ways, so he can rely on God’s faithfulness. David knew that learning God’s ways would change the way he responded to the situations of life. Spending time with God, learning who He is and what He has done, draws us close to Him and changes us. What situation are you facing for which you need God’s help?

His Presence Empowers

Psalm 42:1-5

A woman unlocks her front door and walks into an empty house. She drops her purse and bags onto the couch and immediately turns on some music. Have you ever wondered what impulse makes people want to break the silence of a quiet home? The sights and sounds of TVs and radios temporarily meet our need to feel we’re not alone.

God desires an intimate relationship with each person, so He created us with a yearning for His presence. Though He alone can fill that void, people attempt to satisfy their longing with all kinds of relationships and activities. But filling that spot with anything other than the Lord is at best a short-term solution.

The Bible urges us to stop our frenzied search for satisfaction in what the world offers and instead recognize that we should turn to Jesus Christ. Yet so many people pursue substitutes for His presence. Friends, hobbies, and busy schedules provide momentary pleasure while using up precious time that should be spent in quietness before God. And all too often, when the amusement of one good thing wears off, we seek a new activity or person to fill the gap.

Nothing besides the Lord can adequately fill the spot in our life that God has reserved for Himself—noise and busyness will satisfy for just a little while. Our Father’s empowering presence is the only genuine solution. For believers, the Holy Spirit is already present within. What we must do is settle ourselves before God, and He will make Himself known to us.

A First-Century Hymn

“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:11-13)

It has been noted that our text for the day is in poetic language and form. It probably consists of an early hymn that Timothy and the other readers of this epistle knew. It consists of a series of “if . . . then” statements, each an important conditional promise, two with negative connotations and two with positive.

“If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him.” Elsewhere we read, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13).

“If we suffer [literally, ‘endure’], we shall also reign with him.” “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21).

“If we deny him, he also will deny us.” Christ said, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).

“If we believe not [literally, are unfaithful], yet he abideth faithful.” His promises are sure whether they be warnings of judgment or promises of blessing. God promised Joshua: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage” (Joshua 1:5-6).

Our text begins with the statement “It is a faithful saying,” and ends with “he cannot deny himself.” We can be sure that He will live up to His end of the bargain. His very nature demands it. JDM

“I know that Thou canst do everything.”

Job 42:1-13

Job 42:1, 2

The patriarch made an unreserved submission. He felt that the very idea of judging the conduct of the Almighty was preposterous. Omnipotence and Omniscience render the thought of calling the Eternal into question superlatively ridiculous.

Job 42:3

That first question of the Lord abides in his memory, and now in humble wonder at his own temerity he asks it of himself. It is tantamount to that apostolic question, “Nay, but O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” The patriarch illuminated with new light sees his own folly, and humbly confesses it before the Lord. A very great part of our religious talk consists of utterances which we ourselves do not understand, and all our complaining is based upon ignorance.

Job 42:4

Job desired to enter God’s school, and to be taught of him. He will no longer be a pleader but a humble enquirer.

Job 42:6

Hearing goes for little till the Lord’s arm is revealed in a man’s heart. Caryl well observes, “No man knoweth what a nothing he is in knowledge, grace, and goodness till the Lord is pleased to reveal himself to him.” While we compare ourselves with ourselves, or with others who are below us, we fancy ourselves important personages, but when the Lord unveils himself we become as nothing in our own eyes. The more we see of God the less shall we think of ourselves. Sound knowledge is the death of conceit.

Job 42:7

Out of zeal to defend God’s providence they were not fair in argument. We have no business to defend truth with lies or suppressions. God will have honest defenders or none. He is displeased with untruthful advocates even though they fancy that they are upon the Lord’s side, and at any rate desire to be so.

Job 42:8

Let us never judge others, for it may be we may come to be indebted to them for their prayers. We may have to crave their intercession, therefore let us not now judge them harshly.

Job 42:9

If the Lord accepted Job and blessed his friends for his sake, how much more doth he accept the Lord Jesus Christ who offered himself a sacrifice for sin, and how safe we, his poor offending friends, are in him.

Job 42:10

When in a forgiving spirit we pray for those who have behaved harshly to us some blessing is in store for us.

Job 42:11-13

Thus shall the Lord’s procedures vindicate themselves, and his people shall be no losers by their afflictions.

 

If peace and plenty crown my days,

They help me, Lord, to speak thy praise;

If bread of sorrows be my food,

Those sorrows work my real good.

 

I would not change my blest estate

For all that earth calls good or great;

And while my faith can keep her hold,

I envy not the sinner’s gold.

 

Why Not Bring Others Into the Project?

Romans 12:3

When a person is a brand-new leader, he often mistakenly assumes that being a leader means he has to know it all. As a result, he puts himself under unnecessary stress, trying to project himself as one who knows everything. His need to appear as an “expert” at everything reveals an immature understanding of what true leadership is all about.

When a leader keeps everything in his own hands and doesn’t allow anyone else to do anything, this leads to frustration for the team members working with him. It is especially frustrating when there are people surrounding the leader who know the answers, who are experts in their fields, and who really could help. But they have to silently sit by and just watch the leader struggle as he tries to be “Mr. Super Leader,” never asking his team for help.

No one has all the answers! The smartest leaders in the world are those who realize both their gifts and their limitations. A leader is being wise when he recognizes his need for gifted, talented, willing-minded people to chip in and help him effectively do what he is called to do. No one can do it all alone.

If you will open your eyes and look around, you’ll find that God has graciously surrounded you with the very people you need. They are just waiting for your invitation to help you nurture your God-given dreams, visions, and projects and bring them to fulfillment.

In Romans 12:3, Paul spoke about our need for others in our lives. He said, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

If anyone could have thought highly of himself, it was Paul—and he would have been correct! He formerly had been a lawyer, politician, and Pharisee. No doubt he was also once very wealthy. Now Paul could claim that he had seen Jesus and had been taught by Him (Galatians 1:12). In regard to his own apostleship, he acknowledged that his apostleship to the Gentiles was “mighty” (Galatians 2:8). In fact, it was so mighty that when those who were appointed as apostles before Paul saw the great grace in his life, they extended to him the right hand of fellowship and invited him into their inner sanctum. In Second Peter 3:16, Peter writes that the profound nature of Paul’s revelation was so extraordinary that even he wrestled to comprehend it all.

Yet Paul is the one who admonishes us not to think too highly of ourselves but to learn to view ourselves “soberly.” The word “soberly” is the Greek word sophroneo, and it means to be of sound mind; to be reasonable; to be balanced and levelheaded in the way one thinks; to maintain a proper appraisal, measurement, or value; to think clearly about one’s limitations. In other words, we are not to pretend to be more than we are!

Although Paul stood in a class by himself and could boast of unprecedented accomplishments, he recognized his need for other members of the team. That’s why he leaned so heavily on Timothy, Titus, Luke, Barnabas, Silas, Sosthenes, and others. The understanding of his own limitations is the reason Paul could rejoice that others were on his team. Thus, he could write with no sense of being threatened by someone else, “I planted, but Apollos watered….” Apollos contributed a part that Paul would never have brought into the project. Paul was a dynamic planter, but Apollos was an excellent nurturer. Paul needed all his team members to bring his job to maturity.

Of course, you need to recognize your own God-given abilities and use them. God wants you to develop your gifts and use your talents to become the very best you can be. But when you come to the edge of your limitations, realize that it’s all right for you to say:

  • “This is too much for me!”
  • “This a project that I’m not anointed to do!”
  • “This demands gifts and talents that I don’t possess!”
  • “This is a time for someone else to take the lead!”
  • “This assignment is going to take teamwork, because I can’t do it by myself.”

God intended for you to be a part of a team! If you try to act like you can do everything on your own, you’re going to find it quite humiliating when you fail miserably in front of everyone.

Trying to tackle a huge project all by yourself is the surest way to end up embarrassed in front of others. When you fail and fall flat on your face, you’ll regret that you didn’t say, “I think someone else can do this job better than I can. This is simply not where I’m most gifted. Who can help me out with this project?”

So instead of thinking too highly of yourself and attempting to go it alone with every project you undertake, be smart! Develop a team mentality. Bring others into the project with you as the Lord leads. Recognize your limitations, and seek out those who have the gifts and talents you need. Rather than try to figure everything out by yourself, let the people around you contribute their thoughts, views, and insights. Let them use the talents and abilities God gave them. You can accomplish a whole lot more as a team than you can do by yourself.

The next time you set out to accomplish a task God has assigned to you, remember—there are other members of the Body of Christ too! You’re not the only one who is called and has faith. God has gifted His entire Body with faith and spiritual gifts. Rather than trying to do it all by yourself, think “soberly.” Recognize your limitations, and allow other people to be used by God too!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, give me the grace to recognize both my abilities and limitations. Help me be unafraid to admit when I’ve overstepped my bounds and tried to tackle something bigger than my abilities. In those moments, please enable me to ask others to join the project and to help me do what I cannot accomplish by myself. I really need You to help me overcome my weaknesses and my fears that others may be better gifted than I am. I know You have placed people all around me to be blessings in my life, so today I am turning to You. Help me recognize these people and receive them as the blessings You intend for them to be.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am part of a team as God intended for me to be! I don’t think too highly of myself, nor do I attempt to go it alone with every project I undertake. I have a team mentality. I recognize my limitations and seek out those who have the gifts and talents I need. Rather than try to figure out everything by myself, I let the people around me contribute their thoughts, views, and insights. I want them to use the talents and abilities God gave them, because we can do a whole lot more as a team than I can do by myself.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Do you feel secure enough to say, “This project is too big for me; I need someone else to step in and help me”?
  2. If you were really honest with yourself, would you have to confess that at times you’ve put a lot of pressure on yourself to do everything when there were others who could have pitched in and helped?
  3. Are you the kind of person who includes others, or do you shut out other people, giving them no chance to contribute their gifts, talents, or ideas?

Recognize your limitations, and seek out those who have the gifts and talents you need. You can accomplish a whole lot more as a team than you can do by yourself.

 

Stay The Course

QUESTION: “At what point do I fold up my tent and discontinue the pilgrimage with Christ?

 

Paul, castigated by the very folks he had brought to Christ, set forth the cost of his private pilgrimage:

  • Judged by his fellow believers
  • Condemned to death
  • A spectacle to others
  • A fool for Christ
  • Weak
  • Without honor
  • Hungry and thirsty
  • Poorly clothed
  • Roughly treated
  • Homeless
  • Toiled with his own hands
  • Reviled
  • Persecuted
  • Slandered
  • Viewed as the scum and dregs of the earth (See 1 Corinthians 4:3-5, 9-13)

How could he possibly survive? Simply because he was able to view the temporal in light of the eternal:

 

This is the reason we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength.

 

These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain.

 

We are lookingnot at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible are transitory: It is the invisible things that are really permanent.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Phillips Translation)

 

So hang in there — Eternity is just one heartbeat away!

 

%d bloggers like this: