Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Handling Success

Handling Success
II Chronicles 16:16-31

You are successful by virtue of God’s continual and abundant gifts of grace, provision, and love – all heaped upon you. The more you obey and love Him; the more you make Him the center of your life; and the more you are thankful for the many gifts he has given you, the more you will see Him amazingly at work in every aspect of your life.

Hezekiah was one of the few good kings of Judah to actually love, serve, and obey God as his predecessor, king David had. Scripture makes it clear that Hezekiah was victorious, innovative, and successful in all he undertook. God made Hezekiah look like a champion as the Assyrians were threatening to annihilate Jerusalem. He (God) intervened through many miracles and wonders to rescue the people of Judah. He also gave Hezekiah great riches and honor (v27).

I teach Christ-centered entrepreneurial and personal success as a profession and business. One of the points that you will hear often within the body of our extensive training is that success can actually be one of the worst things that can ever happen to a person if they are not very careful. The primary drawback to success is that it can easily take the place of serving and loving God. We can unwittingly become dependent on success – the accomplishment itself, rather than rightfully depending on God.

The fact is, few individuals handle success well. Why - because with accomplishment, wins, and/or financial gain, pride inevitably steps into the picture. Pride deceives us into thinking that our success is self-created. We get puffed up, thinking our talent, work, and special abilities are the reasons we’ve excelled. We start feeling invincible, and we stop being humble before God. We stop being grateful to Him for His mighty works, while thinking of our success as our own creation. We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that "we’ve got it made". But the fact is, we didn’t make the success. After our initial self-congratulations, we then become dependent on our accolades, titles, positions, and the material objects we’ve received in the process.
Dependence on our success, or anything other than God Himself, is a major mistake!
Hezekiah was greatly esteemed by the people of Judah due to the fact that he was king at the time God performed many mighty miracles - most notably, delivering the land from their powerful enemies. But it wasn’t Hezekiah who was responsible for that success. Yes, he was in office and he received the accolades; but it was God who sent an angel to wipe out the opposing forces (see vv 20-22). Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had to withdraw in disgrace after he had taunted, threatened, and demeaned Hezekiah publicly. To make matters worse, the disgraced Assyrian king was soon-after killed at the sword of his own sons. The rescue of Judah, and Sennacherib’s demise were orchestrated and actuated by God, not Hezekiah.
Hezekiah, according to the worldly viewpoint of his countrymen and even his enemies, was greatly successful. But as we read on, the chronicler says that Hezekiah grew complacent in his success. He took his wealth and victories for granted. When one begins to take his/her success for granted, they tend to forget that it was only by God’s kindness (v25) that they were privileged to receive those signs, healings, and victories.

Today, despite your challenges, you are living a life of success, probably not on a numerical or positional scale that Hezekiah experienced. Nonetheless, you have great success in your life regardless of ledgers or comparisons. Your success, where you are right now, is something you should greatly appreciate and never take for granted. God has given you great miracles, signs, healings, and victories that you should be exceedingly thankful for, regardless of your socio-economic or power level. Your success is not just a past or present phenomenon; your future also holds great promise as well. God has an exciting future for you – one of amplified miracles, favor, blessings, and wealth as you obey and love Him. You can trust in God’s goodness and abundance both now and forever.

The stern side of this message is that God is angered when we don’t recognize the good He has done for us. Hezekiah’s complacency and pride greatly angered God. Vs 25 states, "But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him, and on Judah and Jerusalem."

The story takes a good twist, however. Thankfully, "…Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah." (V26) How are you handling your success? Have you recognized it? Are you thankful to God for it, or are you like Hezekiah prior to his repenting? It is a serious folly to not be fully aware of the success that God has given us. It is also folly to not recognize that He is currently doing a magnificent work in our lives. We must constantly recognize our many blessings, and fall humbly on our knees before Him in expression of our sincere gratitude. Psalm 24:1 makes it clear, "The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." That certainly is all-encompassing, and includes our very selves, as well as our success, accomplishments past, present, and future. He has bestowed many riches on us – many successes, and many miracles are occurring daily for you and for me.

Let us think of ourselves in terms of our success. Each of us has many victories to count and savor. And we continue to be successful as we recognize, love, obey, and depend upon our mighty God. He wants you to know that you are successful. He wants you to know that He is the source of that success. And He wants you to know that he is and always will be faithfully and consistently caring and providing for you.

That is super reason for our humble thanks and our constant adoration, and that is how we should be handling our success – today, right now. To Him be the glory - all praise and gratitude to the God of success, provision, rescue, power, miracles, and wonders!
By: Tim Darnell
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Prayer: Father, we thank you that you have given us great success, regardless of what the world may think. We repent of not recognizing your many gifts and that You are constantly at work in our lives. Thank you, oh Lord, our Creator and great Provider. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Serving the Almighty!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Prepared For Battle...Are You?

God continues to strengthen me and prepare me for battle by surrounding me with mighty Warriors who are without a doubt shielded with the Armor of God found in His Word. I'm sure that many Christians, including me at one time in my life, heard the words "put on the Armor of God" but we truly did not grasp the power in it. We in many ways were, and some still, are not in tune with the supernatural power within His mighty Word. I think many miss the power in the Word because they don't understand that the "comfort zone" is so evil and so "of the world". Christian Warriors reveal the power of mighty Men and Women of God coming together for the purpose of Glofying Him, giving credit where credit is due, preparing each other for battle to build His Kingdom. And that just super charges me with a nuclear battery charge...as Doug Firebaugh would say.
One can be in the Word of God and read the Bible over and over again and be equipped with the Armor of His Word but until they experience the revelation of His Word, they are just missing out...period. I speak this coming from that same experience. The power in the Word with mighty Men and Women of God, Warriors equiped with the Word of God who stand up for Christ and not only listen to the Word but do what it says. The power of your words shared reveal without a doubt that we all know not only who we are but Whose we are.
I find that most people don't immediately see our purpose and it is an enourmous loss for they are truly missing what the Lord is making available for them and it is a challenge the I have to present this gift to them. I accept part of the responsibility for not revealing the message in a way that speaks to them and gets down to the point of meeting their needs. I am able to learn and become equiped by applying the Word of God. Christian Warriors reveal the power and might of God and I continue to gain the wisdom of the power and might of the Lord and what He has created me to be for His sake.
Yes, His Word makes me enthused, inspired, and determined to be congruent with what God's will is in my life and it is an awesome feeling going to battle with Mighty Warriors of God.

With God on our side, Who can be against us?

God Bless!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Don't Just Sit There...Do Something!

 "Get Up And Do Something!"
"Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die? If we say, 'We'll go into the city'-the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let's go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die." 2 Kings 7:3-4

We've all got gifts that are given to us to build up the Body of Christ. The accuracy of the Word of God is infallable. Jesus Christ paid the price for us so that we don't have to work our way into God's favor. All of the prophets of old died and were buried but none of them raised from out of the grave. Only Jesus raised from the dead. Up from the grave He arose. We are all given individual authority. That authority gives us the supernatural power to make things happen so that we don't sit back and watch things happen but that we make them happen. We are given the authority to lead and make a difference. Most people don't care to do anything and rather stay comfortable just being comfortable. Friends, standing for Jesus means being uncomfortable and getting into action and gettin up and doing something.

Your relationship with God gives you the weapons and the power and authority to get up and do something. Your pastor is called to teach and is most likely pretty well versed in the Word of God because he has decided to complete a level of training and get educated in the Word. You have just as much authority and power as your pastor. What makes you any different? You have that same authority to learn the Word as well, you've just got to plug into the Bible and learn the Word of God and then by doing that you build a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ and then you learn to know Him, Like Him and Trust Him just as much as your pastor or any other Christian.

I'd rather move in the direction of potential than to sit down in the obvious. It's time that we start moving out into the potential that God has put into our lives. This potential comes in different forms. Some are very minor and some very much moving.

The older you become the less tolerant you become to unappropriate behaviors and issues. When you are younger in life, you have a tendancy to just let things go and not make an issue of it. Then as you get older you start to question and hold people accountable. You might say it's because you are getting older and you are more cranky. Listen, It's not older and cranky but It's wiser and more mature. You don't just sit there and say, oh well, whatever will be will be. No!!! Listen, when the enemy steals your stuff, you are to get your stuff back seven times. The devil comes to rob, kill, steal and destroy. You can't just sit there and do nothing, you've got to do something. God gives you the authority to go into the enemies camp and get your stuff back. Be known to be a spiritually violent man in the enemies camp.

Here are a couple things to understand:

1. You are never more teachable then when you are most vulnerable
What this means is that when you are confronted with a challenge or an uncomfortable situation and you don't know what to do, you become vulnerable and you learn. You fall off a cliff and hold on to a branch and you're just hanging there, you become vulnerable. You're open to many differenct ways to get you out of that situation.

2. You're never more alert than when it's too late
Picture yourself cleaning a fireplace getting ready for the winter and you just get all absorbed into vaccuming out the fireplace. You are in the fireplace and the fireplace is all clean and you turn around and look into the room and it's completely black from smut and ashes you just vaccumed out into the air in the room.

We need to learn about our authority. God's given us authority and ability in Genisis Chapter 1. He's given us authority and dominion over everything. Over every creature in this earth. You are given every tool that you need so that you don't just sit there and take it but that you take back the authority given to you.

There are Giants to Slay and Kingdoms to build and we come together as Chrisitans and ask that we be raised up, turned loose and guided to do the work you created us to do. The Bible tells us it is not works that get us into heaven, Eph 2:8-9. For if your heart believes and you confess with your mouth that Jesus is your savior and that he died and rose again and ask Jesus into your life, you are saved. Religion makes it tough and God makes it easy. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and me and He tells us that we will do even greater things than Him so Lord we pray for complete authority and power to get up and do something and to make a difference for you.

Do business with God and your life will be changed forever and ultimately your eternity will be changed forever.

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