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Don’t Run Away

Different AnointingI want to deal with an issue that has severely stunted the growth of the body of Christ. If your goal is to stand firm in your calling, then you’ll find yourself in a leadership position in the church. This is important, because the excellence level of the church will only rise as high as the example of their leadership.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
II Corinthians 15:57-58

There is a dangerous trend in the body of Christ right now toward unfaithfulness in its ministers. The average pastorate is only about two and a half years. Unfortunately, this trickles down to the members.

It seems that church people don’t commit to the Lord’s work anymore. When something happens that they disagree with, they move on to another church. I believe that if someone is truly called, then there should not be this running from church to church.

We know that we have the victory in Christ. The above verse explains that because we have this knowledge we have the ability to stand firm (literally – sit firm). We are to be not moveable. We are to be always super-abounding in God’s effort.

How can we accomplish this? The verse is clear on that point – because we see that our toilthat which requires our strength – was not empty. If I’m going to pour my strength and life into something, then I need to see that it matters in eternity.

Too many leaders in the body of Christ give up because the work starts to get hard. They move on because the people “don’t share their vision.” Or maybe there’s a “personality conflict.” You’ll hear things like, “I have to find a place where God can fulfill His call upon me.”

We’ve bought into the lie that’s a part of corporate America today. Instead of loyalty, there’s trend toward self-promotion. If I can’t get a better pay or benefit package here, I’ll get it somewhere else.

That’s all foolishness. Those statements show a profound inability to grasp what the call of God is all about. That’s why it is of paramount importance that you find exactly where and to whom God is calling you.

A spirit of excellence will take nothing less than the fulfillment of the plan of God for His people. But I’ve found that even many ministers miss the point of their calling.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13

We’ve heard this Scripture a thousand times, but do we really understand its implications? This verse, in context, is talking about the gifts that God has given to men. Many ministers get the wrong impression. These are gifts to the church. The church people are not a gift to us.

The reason why many leaders miss it is because they have the wrong perspective. They think that God has called them to a work, and now they have to find people to help them fulfill it.

As church leaders, we need to realize that the work of the ministry is not about us. We are called to a people. We are then given a vision for the work that we’re to lead them into. A leader is to receive God’s vision for the body of believers, then work to bring them into it.

Question: What’s your vision for the work God has called you to do?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Running Away – Part 3

Genesis 16:13-14
She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her:  “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”  That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

We serve a God of many names.  It is beyond the capability of human speech to adequately describe Him in one simple name.  Each time someone met the God of Heaven and earth, they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to refer to Him by a new name.

He was called Jehovah Rapha, “God my Healer;” El Elyon, “God Most High;” and Addonai, “God Almighty”, just to name a few.  Here Hagar has just come face to face with a new revelation of her Creator.  She knows Him as “The God Who sees me.”

What an awesome thought.  This is the God who created the universe, the One who upholds all things by His mighty power, the King of kings that sits enthroned above the earth.  Yet in spite of all His glory, He sees me.

Think of it.  God does not only see us, He sees me – personally.  He knows my joys, hurts, frustrations, victories, and needs.  The Lord knows me more intimately than I know myself.

As you go before Him today, acknowledge Him as the One who sees everything about you.  This will allow you to rest in His holy presence, knowing that He cares about everything that concerns you.  Bask in the assurance of His love for you.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Running Away – Part 2

Genesis 16:9-10
Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”  The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”

I don’t know about you, but I hate getting instructions like that.  Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case in life.  The only way forward is to go back.

I have learned this the hard way on many occasions.  I love to go on road trips with my wife.  Most of the time it’s great fun.  However, there have been times when I have missed an exit or a road I needed to go down.

That’s when the “man pride” starts to kick in.  Do I keep going forward as if nothing’s wrong?  Do I humble myself, admit the problem, and turn around?  Sometimes it can be a hard decision.

Backtracking is never easy to do.  It requires you to acknowledge that you’re not perfect.  But, the fact is that not turning around can compound the problem.  If I hadn’t gone back to the right exit, who knows where I would have ended up.

In life, don’t be too proud to backtrack.  Sometimes you need to find the place where you last knew you were in God’s plan.  If you find yourself a little “lost” in life, take the time to go before the Lord and seek His wisdom to get you back on track.  Don’t be too afraid or proud to work on the areas He speaks to you about.  Do what is needed to bring restoration.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Running Away – Part 1

Genesis 16:7-8
The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.  And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Here Hagar finds herself in a no-win situation.  She has just become pregnant by Abram, the husband of her mistress, Sarai.  Originally it was at Sarai’s insistence.  But now Hagar is hated and mistreated for her obedience.  She felt no other choice but to run away from the situation.

Many people use outdoor activities as an escape from the problems of life.  I have met many long-distance hikers who are on the trail to “find themselves.”  Just like Hagar, they are trying to get away from their problems.

It’s okay to run away sometimes, as long as we know where we are running to.  When she was asked what she was doing, Hagar admitted her problem.  She told the angel that she was running away.

That’s the first step to healing.  You must admit to yourself and to God that you are trying to cope with something beyond your strength to deal with.

If this describes you, take the time to admit your condition.  Be honest with yourself and seek the wisdom of God to see you through this difficult season.  Let His arms of compassion surround you and begin the process that will lead you back to an abundant life.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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