Where are you in the royal processional?

Christ-centered leadership, Courage, Trust

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Whether you soar as eagles, run ahead, or walk with purpose, makes no difference. God’s plan and purpose for us is that we wait on him and choose to serve him and in return, we can do all of these things at various points in our lives and experience the connectedness and power of Him. When I researched this verse in KJVStrongs, I found that the words “those who wait” referred to qavah or the verb that means to stretch, twist, with tension, enduring, eagerly looking for. When we do this right, we will renew our strength; the old passes away, is removed, and the new (complete youthful replacement, new life) sprouts up in us. We have the strength (ability, strength of Samson) and power to ascend from low to high, to be taken up so that we are not dependent on our effort alone. God takes us up, causes us to soar as effortlessly as a pillar of cloud, drawing us closer to him. We will run like a swift runner, a royal escort of a royal processional, and yet we are not weary because we do not toil in our actions. For this to happen, it cannot be us alone. It’s Him with us, Jesus in us, that makes our burden, our efforts, light. We will walk or march forward moving away and forward, helping others carry their burdens without exhaustion because we are not doing it alone.

According to Gill commentary of this verse (see link below), as Christians, we may experience soaring, running, or walking for Christ dependent on our faith and/or level of spiritual maturity. At least this is my understanding of his commentary. In any case, I now read this verse with a vision of a processional where some will soar, some will be runners or royal escorts and some will walk, carrying the load for others as we all carry out our purpose in this life. Together we are the processional that honors God, we are the introduction, the first faces that others take notice of. We let others know that Jesus is coming back because we soar, run, walk out our lives without exhaustion. Others are waiting and watching us as if a parade that precedes his return. They are in awe of the beauty, not of us in outward appearance, but of our inner appearance, (faith, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, mercy, gentleness, self-control) and coordinated action, together orchestrated perfectly by the author and perfector of our Faith, Jesus! How amazing! What a responsibility. I pray that as we move into 2017, that we remember who we are, the processional of royalty and our role in the parade that will usher in our King!

Jesus, thank you that you chose me, us, to be in your processional. We are beautifully adorned with your mercy and grace and you are proud of our obedience to soar, run, and walk for you. We celebrate your return now, we do this because we know you, the plans you have for us, and trust that we will be joined again. Thank you for faith, mercy, grace and your Holy Spirit whose counsel ensures that we do not deviate from the path laid out for us; that we end our parade in the same location, heaven, with you. When we are in this processional, we are not tired, when we deviate from the path, we are alone and worn. Keep us on the path with your church, carrying the burdens for each other and throwing out your gifts of mercy and grace to those in need and encouraging them to recognize you, our King. In your name, Jesus, our Savior, I pray, Amen!

Gill commentary: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/isaiah/40.htm

KJVStrongs: http://biblehub.com/kjvs/isaiah/40.htm (search vs. 40:31)

 

Searching for an encounter with God

Christ-centered leadership, Leadership Decision-making, Trust, Uncategorized

At the heart of the recounting of Moses on Mt Horeb and the Burning Bush is a love story, one that shows a sovereign God that is committed to us. In the midst of our daily grind, our mundane life, God has each of us on his mind. God is constantly trying to, at even the most generic moments of our life, to focus on him. He desperately wants our attention.

Scripture shows us through the Angel of the Lord he caused a ‘Fire’ to light upon the bush but the bush wasn’t consumed or burned as a means to capture Moses’ attention. Spiritual Food for thought for later, have we been used to get someone’s else attention for God. Were you the flame? Were you the bush? Both were tools in God’s hand but served a totally different purpose and came through a unique experience.

Back to Mt Horeb and Moses, the salient point is near. Sometimes we seek this different experience with God and miss the wonder of his presence. Guilty of this myself at times, please don’t do that, every moment in his presence needs to be cherished.

Instead of Moses marveling in Jehovah’s presence he wanted to see the source of God (the flame.) In hind sight we can easy ridicule or laugh at the notion but if we search our steps we will clearly find moments such as these regarding our behavior. How many times have we been so busy in the mundane or the needless busyness of our lives that we aren’t living in the moment and God shows up and has to say, “Dwight, Dwight! Here I Am. Over Here.”

–by Dwight Herlong

Father God, 

Thank you that you never leave us alone. You realize that we are incapable of ever finding you if we aren’t first seeking you properly (in your word, in our circumstances, in prayer, in fellowship with other Christians). It’s as if we wonder through a maze and at times, when we are in need of direction, you pick us up by the shirt collar and place us down in another part of the maze. Thank you that you do this for us.  Help us to realize the experience of your intervention in our lives, purposed to head us in the right direction, running toward, rather than away from you!  You are amazing!  

In Jesus name, 

Amen (def. this is truth).

I believe [but] Help me in my unbelief!

Christ-centered leadership, Empowerment, Engagement, Leadership Decision-making, Trust

In Mark 9 a father cried out to Jesus to save his child from seizures and to cast out a demon. The disciples had tried and failed. Jesus comes along and says the following:

“If thou canst believe, all things [are] possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:23-24

The boy was instantly healed. The disciples, (those delegated and responsible for spreading the gospel, healing the sick, etc.) were dumbfounded.  “”And when he [Jesus] was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, except prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:28-29.

Now, many western commentaries suggest that this meant that the disciples needed to pray and fast first to be able to heal the boy. Furthermore, some commentaries [depending on the translation] suggest that fasting may or may/not have been part of the prayer to prepare for healing (although most agree it was common practice at the time). The real revelation is that the commentaries assume perhaps wrongly so, that the disciples alone were in charge or empowered to heal the man. In these, the father is an innocent and powerless by-stander. I would like to suggest that Jesus meant that the healing was successful [in part or in whole] because the father prayed (asked Jesus for help) when he said, “I believe. Help me in my unbelief.”

If this is true, then we are reminded again that as leaders, we are stewards over God’s people (at work, in the community, and at home). It is important for us to have faith but this alone will not make lasting change. We must help those followers believe [pray for their unbelief] and be careful not to miss the importance of their equal role in saving and/or healing themselves. In this case, we can learn from the father who plead for help for his lack of faith. The model of behavior here comes from him first in that he humbled himself: 1. recognized ultimate authority; 2. realized his own unbelief and then 3. submitted via prayer for help. It was at that point that Jesus responded and healing took place. By implication, this is the model not only for us but for those modern day “disciples” and Christian leaders.

God is interested in the personal relationship with each of us. He wants every person to believe in Him, not in others who have the ability to lighten our burden (physically or financial heal) or provide temporary sustenance (money, position, etc.). He is interested in eternal healing; the kind that’s lasting and spiritual. He is our source of help and is accessible to all levels, not just those in a leadership position. When we as leaders realize this, we can be so much more effective.

As we model humility [we ourselves ask for help a/k/a prayer], and respond with authority [in Christ] to those around us that ask for help, we realize rewarding leadership beyond that of worldly acknowledgment. God wants to bless us but He wants to make sure that we are acting in accordance with His wishes with the few so that we can be ready to be leaders of many!