Victory

Happy young latin womanI am reading a biography of Winston Churchill called, “The Last Lion – Keeper of The Realm” and Prime Minister Churchill is known for flashing the “V” with his hand for victory! He was a leader of leaders and he possessed a “never give up, never give in” spirit. He believed in his soul that the Allies must conquer the Nazi’s of Germany to have freedom and life.

I’m not a huge football fan, but I love it when the team I’m pulling for wins. I enjoy seeing them celebrate. If my team loses, then I change the channel to avoid watching the victory celebration. (I guess I’m a sore loser.)

As I finished John’s first epistle this am, he reminded me that victory comes through obedience. It’s very simple – follow the Lord’s commands. Check this out…

1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him. This is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God and obey his commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. (1 John 5:1-4 CSB)

Obedience is not flashy but important. Obedience reveals trust. Obedience reveals faith. I don’t always understand what the Lord is speaking into my heart, but I’ve learned to trust Him. I’m learning that I reveal my faith through my obedience to His call upon my life. He calls me to love others. He calls me to serve others. He calls me to forgive. He calls me to be humble. Jesus’ life serves as an example of humble obedience to the Father. He doesn’t call me to go to the cross, but He does call me to follow Him with my whole heart. My life follows my heart. I must lay down some of the things I want, because they are not what is best. He provides for my needs. He instills deep hope in Him.

I can live a victorious life here on earth as a prelude to the big prize – eternal life.  My victorious life begins with simple obedience to His commands – the first is to love.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Foolish

wisdom, stupidity road signThere are many circumstances where I’ve felt foolish before. I’ve done some foolish things and been embarrassed more times than I can count. I usually look foolish when I try to look so smart. It’s better for me to let people think I’m very smart than to open my mouth and let them know I’m not! LOL! Smart people look even smarter around foolish people. I think smart people are a bit overrated though. I’ve seen smart people without common sense. I’ve seem smart people do dumb things. I’ve seem foolish people do smart things.

The Apostle Paul was reminded the church at Corinth that even the smartest people in God’s economy may not be “top of the class” in the world’s economy. Check this out…

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved. 19 For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will set aside the intelligence of the intelligent.

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21 For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of what is preached.

24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, 25 because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21; 24-24 CSB)

I would rather be called foolish in the world’s eyes and wise in the Lord’s eyes. I don’t believe that my faith in God is always logical. I don’t believe that my decisions will always make sense to an unbeliever. I want the Lord to lead my life how He sees fit. I want to follow Him and His ways in my personal journey as well as my business life. I don’t think that there should be a different standard for each. In fact, I think it would be hypocritical of me to act one way at church and another way in business.  This may not make sense to business people, but the Lord is the Ruler of everything including my business. Everything I have and everything I know is subject to Him, without exception.

The Lord’s wisdom is profound.

The Lord’s wisdom trumps any decision that I think I might make.

I trust Him.

He is not illogical or “out there”. He is ALWAYS “spot on” with His Wisdom and insight.

I may be foolish in some people’s eyes, but I want to be brilliant in God’s perspective – that may mean being foolish for His call upon my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Seek & Surrender

 

Businessman seek the solutionI grew up following the rules. I was taught the difference between right and wrong. I definitely “pushed the envelope” and made bad choices at times. I look back now and I have regrets with some of my choices. I heard a great truth last week – “Disobedience is simply unbelief”. (Thanks Shannon Lovelady.)  I was warned and instructed as a kid about touching the hot stove, but I guess I didn’t “believe” my parents and touched in anyway. I was warned and instructed about a lot of things, that I ended up disobeying and trying anyway, only to find out that I was told the truth to begin with. When I look back on this behavior in my past, and even today in my present, it reinforces that my pride leads me to disobedience and erodes my faith.

The people of Judah & Benjamin (aka The Southern Kingdom) started to do things a bit differently under the leadership of King Asa. They went all in. Check this out…

1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. (2 Chronicles 15:1-4 NIV)

I also read that people from the other tribes were coming to Judah because they saw what God was doing and they wanted to be in on it.

I think that there is a really simple truth in this passage. God is not far away and elusive. He is nearby and accessible. There have been times in my life when the Lord has seemed miles away, but it was times I was “hell bent” on doing things my way instead of His way.

When Jesus came, He ushered in grace. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He gives us immediate access to God. During the time of Asa, they could seek God, but it was through the high priest and through sacrifices of animals. Jesus was the final sacrifice needed for sin. He took my sin to the cross and I can now seek the Lord as a cleaned up person. I can go directly to the Lord with anything and everything. I don’t have to wait until I can get to the temple, because the Lord dwells inside me – my heart is a temple of God.

I don’t ever want to get so busy that I don’t take time to surrender my plans and my activities to the Lord. I want to make sure that my actions and my plans are connected with His call upon my life. I don’t want to get so caught up in work that I don’t seek Him first. I don’t want to get so busy and successful that I don’t have time to sit at His feet and seek His heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne