Who You Know

 

US President SealI look forward to meeting new people. I usually will give people the “benefit of the doubt” when I first meet them and get to know them. If after I’ve spent some time with them and I learn that their values are much different than mine, I move them into a different spot. Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to visit with US Senators and Congressmen on with the REALTORS on behalf of the private property rights of people I serve in Real Estate. I have also had the privilege to connect with our state officials from the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and our State Senators and State Representatives. I’ve learned to not be impressed with the position they hold but to carefully look at their voting record, their work ethic and how engaging they are personally. Some of our elected officials are genuinely doing their best to make our country and our state a better place for our children and our children’s children. On the flip side of that, some people simply love power and it corrupts them. They learn quickly how to abuse power. I’m disgusted with those individuals. They have forgotten the people who they answer to and they’ve often sold their soul to the evil one.

David pens a Psalm that is beautiful in describing just what the Lord means to him and certainly to me. It is refreshing to know that David, even though he was Israel’s greatest king, he was so humble before God. He didn’t forget where he came from and Who put into leadership. Check this out…

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
    to you our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer,
    to you all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
    you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose
    and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
    of your holy temple.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:1-4,8 NIV)

I don’t ever want to get so full of myself that I forget where I came from. I believe that PRIDE can destroy good people. I believe that HUMILITY is a characteristic that can build the best leaders. I do pray for the men and women who are in leadership of our country, our state and local government. I am not the least bit intimidated by any one of them, because they answer to God, just like everyone else. They also get dressed just like everyone else and they get colds, stomach aches, and their bodies function like everyone else. They are currently in a position of leadership and they are well known by a lot of people – but at the end of the day, they are human and they come under the authority of God.  I do like knowing people in leadership and power, but I’m not going to be over impressed with them because the Lord is the ULTIMATE LEADER of every living being. I want to know Him first and formost.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Speechless

 

Man holding microphoneIf you know me personally, you probably know that I can talk. I’m not super shy, but I’m a little introverted at times. If I’m put on the spot at a moments notice to speak, I can pull it off. I have learned to trust in the Lord to give me the words to speak and the confidence to speak. I can’t remember a time that I’ve been absolutely speechless. When I’m in the presence of someone who is powerful or famous, I might be more careful with what I say. Because of my confidence with the Lord, I usually contribute to most any conversation.

Job had not been speechless until now. The Lord speaks to him, but Job’s response is one of profound respect and honor. Check this out…

1 The Lord said to Job:

2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?

    Let him who accuses God answer him!”

3 Then Job answered the Lord:

4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?

    I put my hand over my mouth.

5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—

    twice, but I will say no more.” (Job 40:1-5 NIV)

I was taught as a youngster to respect those in authority. There may have been times when I’ve been pulled over and presented with a “safe driving award” (aka speeding ticket) and I’ve learned that the best response to the officer in charge is “yes sir or yes ma’am – total respect. I’m being reminded that what I’ve been doing is unsafe to other people on the road. He has the power to make my life very hard. People in authority over me are worthy of my respect. There are some protocols in place if a person in authority abuses that authority.

The Lord created me and wired me for friendship and fellowship with Him as well as my fellow man. He wants me to trust Him without fear. He wants to have a relationship with me and He even made a way. I can talk with Him. I can ask questions. I can petition Him for help and He shows up. There are times though when I’m in His Presence and there are words to adequately describe Him or with which to thank Him. He is certainly worthy of my feeble attempts to thank Him and praise Him for Who He is to me – my Savior, my Redeemer, my Friend.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Authority

decision making concept on blackboardI learned at a very young age that there was always someone in authority over me. It started with my parents teaching me the value of respecting others. I learned to submit to the authority of my teachers at school. I also learned to submit to the authority of the police officers. Even today there are many layers of authority over me as an adult. I can’t just “do as I please” even though I have many freedoms that I can exercise. My freedoms are still lived out under that authority of other leaders.

As I read the book of Isaiah this morning, I was reminded that they simply didn’t get it. They didn’t understand the authority of God and the accountability that comes from His Presence. Check this out….

6 I was angry with my people
    and desecrated my inheritance;
I gave them into your hand,
    and you showed them no mercy.
Even on the aged
    you laid a very heavy yoke.
7 You said, “I am for ever –
    the eternal queen!”
But you did not consider these things
    or reflect on what might happen.
10 You have trusted in your wickedness
    and have said, “No one sees me.”
Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you
    when you say to yourself,
    “I am, and there is none besides me.” (Isaiah 47:6-7,10 NIV)

 

Even the most powerful man in the free world – the President of the United States is under the authority of the people who elected him to office. He is also under the authority of Congress.   Every person I know is under authority at some level. It is a very dangerous place to live thinking that you answer to no one and that you can do anything you want. That thinking will lead to destruction. There were other leaders in the past that thought that they could do anything they wanted and the other nations held them accountable for their atrocities.

I have placed my life under the authority of God. I listen to Him for guidance and direction. He has given me wisdom to lead my family. He has given me wisdom to serve and lead others. While I may have some level of authority over others, I’m never out from under the authority of the Lord.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Respect & Reverence

Core ValuesThere are people I respect simply because of the position they hold. I may not know them personally where I can call them by their first name, but I know them by their position. For example, a local judge is “your honor” or the governor of our state is “Governor” or “sir” for sure. It would not be appropriate for me to walk up to the President of the United States and call him “Barak”. I may disagree with decisions he’s made or many of his policies, however he still should be addressed as “Mr. President”.

My respect and reverence to the Lord should operate in another stratosphere. On one hand, I’m communicating with the Creator of the Universe and on the other hand, He’s my Father, my Confidant, my Friend. The Lord’s Presence in me creates a certain amount of respect and reverence for Him as well as others in authority over me.  Check this out….

Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,

    at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turned the rock into a pool,

    the hard rock into springs of water. (Psalm 114:7-8 NIV)

 

I’ve been upset with God before at something He didn’t do but could have done for me or for a good friend. I don’t always understand the ways of the Lord, but I’ve learned to trust Him – period. I also don’t always understand the decisions of those in authority over our state or country, but I will certainly show them respect because of the position they hold. I used to attack people in authority with my words and be extremely ugly toward them personally and I didn’t even know them. There is a right way and a wrong way to “push back” to those in authority over my life. There is a right way and a wrong way to “push back” on the Lord. At then end of they day, I trust Him. I trust Him to help direct even those who are in authority over me.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Calling

Teaching ConceptThis is defined as “a strong urge toward a particular way of life or career”. I believe that God calls on me all the time. I believe that God called me into local ministry many years ago. I also believe He is still leading/calling me today to be His kid and His mouthpiece to others.  The Lord continues to reveal Himself to me as I walk with Him daily. I believe that this “strong urge toward something”, is the Holy Spirit directing my path. The Lord spoke clearly to the apostle Paul about what was next. Check this out….

11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” (Acts 23:11 NIV) 

I believe that my role is to listen to the Lord as He speaks and let Him direct my path. I don’t believe the Lord condemns me when my “hearing” is bad, but I believe I’m in the “sweet spot” of obedience and blessing when I listen and walk where He leads, when He leads.

I believe the Lord speaks to me in my role as a husband, Dad and in my work as REALTOR. I have been given the awesome privilege of leading others and the Lord will direct my path IF I will listen and have the courage to follow His lead. He has never led me down the wrong path.

This subject is especially close to my heart today as my daughter moved to Mississippi to follow the call of God upon her heart. She is being obedient to the call. Obedience honors the One in Authority over us. My service to the Lord honors Him. He calls me to a life of obedience and that call sometimes goes against my “comfort zone”.  I want to listen to the call of God upon my life today and I want to honor Him by walking out His calling for me!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Authority

legal gavel, scales and law bookI grew up being taught to respect authority. If the person in charge gave instructions, I was taught to listen and pay respect to them because of their position. I have done my share of disrespecting authority. I struggle a good bit with “speed limit” signs and their authority over traffic.  There are “Authorities” everywhere. I still try to show respect for the position of a person in authority even if I disagree with their opinion or their behavior.

When Jesus first began teaching, He didn’t have authority, but His teaching and healing soon gained Him respect. Check this out….

31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.
33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area. (Luke 4:31-37 NIV)

When Jesus began His ministry, He had just returned from a wilderness experience where He was fasting and praying. He overcame the temptation of the evil one and was strong in the Holy Spirit. People noticed the “authority” with which He spoke. They were amazed at His teaching and the power of His words.

I want to give Jesus “AUTHORITY” over my life and me today. I want Him to add and subtract whatever and wherever necessary to shape me and mold me to His likeness and His will.  When He has full reign over me, I can live and act under His authority and it shows in my everyday, walking around life. He is Lord!

Pressing On!
Dwayne