Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Spartan Path to God:
As fuel is to combustion, so holiness is to fulfilling purpose. Without a deep driven desire to maintain personal holiness, you will never accomplish the task for which you were created. A cleaner engine runs better. The love of God is not realized without being able to first fear God. The fear of the Lord is a prerequisite to receiving the deep places of God, the intimate friendship out of which comes a level of communion where the secret things in God are revealed.
You cannot experience the power of God without an understanding that salvation is free, but to walk in the favor of God, will cost you. Time spent seeking Him with your whole heart, time spent battling and winning against your flesh in temptation struggles where you adamantly scream “no.” I’m not talking about matters of legalism, I’m talking about, how bad do you want to walk blameless before the Lord.
In areas of gray, lurk the enemies of greatness. The difference between great and mediocre men lie in small compromises. There is Holy Spirit power to walk above these, but only in proportion to our hunger for holiness. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for holiness, for they shall be filled.”
It is the good vs. great decisions that a man must make in order to be one in which God is not disappointed.
The message of greasy-grace will not tread water here.
Sloppy Agape creates losers.
God loves each man, but to the select few who demand and struggle for His blessing, there is a special place. A place reserved for these VIP’s, a place of friendship, intimacy, power and favor.
Some practical tools to beginning the Spartan Path to God:
1. Journal your daily focus, triumphs, failures, thoughts and plans. This, even with a few lines, can help you to stay on task to walk the higher ground.
2. Make holiness your goal. Understand that others may, but you may not when it comes to matters such as drinking, lusting, coarse joking, idle communication.
3. Invite conviction: Ask the Holy Spirit to shine the light of His Spirit into every dark recess, revealing the small areas that need cleansing and forsaking. He desires this more than you. Come in faith realizing that this path will bring a smile to the Father’s face.
4. As much as you confess out sin, confess in righteousness. The enemy delights in keeping you pinned down the sin that you have already repented of. Shake it off and tell the devil to go to hell.
5. Turn off your TV.
6. Turn off your TV.
7. Turn off your TV.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Kingdom Production: Take it Like a Man
The essence of manhood is the same as it has been since the garden; let’s face it, we are men. And as such, we are moved and driven and motivated by the same things. In today’s user-friendly, politically correct, gender sensitive Christian community, some leaders are scared to tell it like it is.
The truth is, inside we all want to be mighty men. We all want to be heroes. Testosterone and the Holy Spirit inside us drive us to produce and that’s what we were created for.
The book of 2Samuel, chapter 23, has always caught my interest and cranked something on the inside of me. I’m sure it has done the same for you. We read this about David’s Mighty Men:
David’s Three Men
8 These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite who was leader of the Three—the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle.
9 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder!
11 Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, 12 but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.
David’s Thirty Mighty Men
18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. 19 Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three.
20 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior[ from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 21 Once, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. 22 Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. 23 He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard. (NLT)
What is that differentiated the thirty six from the 3, what is it that made them stand above the others? The answer in its unapologetic and unafraid starkness is simple: …numbers.
Numbers are what make the leaders. Production. Period.
I can hear the theological wheels rolling and the cannons being aimed.
But the truth is, Jesus said in that if a tree is producing, we should prune it so that it produces more. If it doesn’t it is to be “chopped down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 7:19 (NLT)
He also tells us in John 15:8 that “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (KJV)
Remember, in the parable of the talents, that all three “showed up”. Which is the measure of faithfulness and success to most churches. But not to Jesus. His only question was, “How much did you produce?” What happened to the one that didn’t produce? Matthew 25: 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (NLT)
Our production needs to be measured by the things that matter to God.
Our metrics have to be showing production in terms of Kingdom growth.
For the King, the marketplace has been opened for them to plunder and take ground to finance the work of the ministry.
For the Preist, it is souls.
We don’t need anyone to make us feel better about our lack of production. We need someone to unleash us on the enemy and see the casualties mount as satan’s kingdom is destroyed by mighty men. Figure out what you are. Ask God to show you. Then get busy devastating the enemy and producing for the Kingdom.
I know, not a real comforting word. But as we approach the end of time, it is now more important than ever that we get busy with the things that matter most. As Leonard Ravenhill’s tombstone reminds us “Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?”