It’s His vision… delight yourself in Him.

polaroidDo you recall using one of these cameras?  This camera would give you a developed picture in a minute or so.  The picture would literally develop right before your eyes.

I recall going to Washington, DC in eighth grade with one of these cameras.  I was standing in front of Abe Lincoln’s statue at the Lincoln Memorial.  I remember being nervous with excitement as I took that photo.  The picture came out a bit blurry as a result. Over the years the picture has faded and became darker…. much more difficult to see.

Has God given you a vision for your life, family, church, community, or job?  Can you see what it is He wants you to become or do?  I think we become frustrated (at least I know I do) when we can see what He wants yet we are having to wait for the picture to develop.

We live in a world where everything is instant.  We take our phones and other digital gadgets and snap the picture and immediately look to see how well it turned out and immediately show others how great the shot is then immediately post it on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the world to see.

I see “vision” kind of like the development of a Polaroid picture.  I look through the lens and see the future and press the red button to capture the vision.  The film comes out and over time the vision becomes reality.  It slowly develops into the vision I saw before I committed to it.  If you have ever owned one of these cameras you know that after some time the quality of the photo losses its luster… especially if it is not protected.  Just like with any vision we must protect what God has given.

One of the well-known promises in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV).

It’s God’s vision.  Often-times we go through life and forget He has it all planned.  He has given us the Bible to help guide us in this life.  To encourage us when things are dark and without hope.  He gives us the Bible to build us up to encourage others who are in need.  Whatever the vision God has given you protect it, cultivate it, and share it with others.  Keep it before God… after-all it is His vision.  And when the days are long and you seem to think the vision will never come to pass, remember to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and He will give you these things.  (Matthew 6:33).

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4, NIV)

Walk with me (Live), Jesus Culture

While traveling this week I downloaded the music of Jesus Culture featuring Martin Smith.  What an amazing album this is!!  If you have not heard this music and worshiped Jesus with Jesus Culture –  don’t delay!  These are the lyrics of one of the songs along with the video shot from the recording of this worship album.

Author of the world walk with me
Ruler of the earth walk with me
Calmer of the storm walk with me
Healer of my heart walk with me

How I need you
How I need you
Oh Jesus walk with me

Light for every step walk with me
Ruler of each breath walk with me

How I need you
How I need you
Oh Jesus walk with me

How I love you
How I love you
Oh Jesus walk with me

In your presence Lord there is peace – There is rest
In your presence Lord there is life that never ends
In your presence Lord there is joy – There is joy
In your presence Lord there is life that never ends

Oh want you walk with me God
Oh the One who gives me life
The One who gives me joy

How I need you
How I need you
Oh Jesus walk with me

Everyday

How I love you
How I love you
Oh Jesus walk with me

Through every storm and situation – How I need You, God.  How I need You. I need more of Your presence, God.  Everyday – everyday.  I can’t go one single step – one single step without Your presence – God.  Without You the source of my strength – the source of  my joy – the reason I come alive, God.  The reason I come alive is just to be with You – my love – my love – the greatest love – the love of my life – it’s you it’s you –  Jesus want you walk with me

In your presence Lord there is peace – There is rest
In your presence Lord there is life that never ends
In your presence Lord there is joy – There is joy
In your presence Lord there is life that never ends

How I need you
How I need you
Oh Jesus walk with me

How I live you
How I love you
Oh Jesus walk with me

Are you prepared?

Photo by James WhiteThere were two farmers who were both praying for rain.  But only one of them prepared his field.  Which farmer do you think was praying with faith? (Facing the Giants, The Movie)

Do you take a trip or plan your vacation without first counting the cost and consulting a map to determine how you are going to get to your destination?  I know the way to my mother’s house.  But each time I make the trip I consult the map, calculate the cost, and determine how long it is going to take to get there.

John the Baptist came preaching a message of baptism.  He came to prepare the way for people to receive the message Jesus would bring.

“That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.” (Acts 19:4, The Message).

Maybe you have been made ready and you have begun following Jesus.  Now the question is, “What is it he is preparing you for?”  I believe we are always being prepared for something.  God takes all of our experiences in life and puts them together for His purposes and His glory.  He isn’t going to waste anything.  The hinderance to our moving forward tends to come in at a time of failure.  How we respond to that “failure” is crucial to our moving forward.

In Matthew 4, Jesus calls Peter to follow and immediately Peter follows.  Peter spends the next three years with Jesus being prepared for a future that he had not come to a complete understanding of.  Leading up to the time when Jesus was to be crucified – Jesus prepared Peter and the other disciples for what was to come.  In John 21, after the resurrection, Jesus prepares Peter once again for what is still to come.  John tells us Jesus was telling Peter to, “feed his sheep.”  Jesus also hinted to Peter at the kind of death he would suffer.  Once again Jesus says to Peter, “Follow me.”

Peter’s life is an example of the growth we each experience as we follow Jesus.  As we read the Gospels, we see all of the life-lessons each of the disciples experienced as they followed Jesus.  There were a lot of great moments as they followed and trusted him.  But there were also moments of failure… even denial as we read concerning Peter.  Jesus doesn’t give up on the man.  He continues to love, forgive, and prepare.

Maybe you are at a place in life where you have failed in some way.  I hope this is a reminder to you that Jesus loves you.  Jesus forgives you.  And that Jesus is still preparing you for your destiny.  Have you been praying for “rain”? Then prepare your field and get ready for the rain.

Photo by: James White

My best for His glory

2013: Day 1.2013

New things bring about fresh excitement. A New car, a new house, a new job, a new relationship, and a New Year all bring about this fresh excitement. Today being January 1, all of us are probably going to make some sort of commitments to change. We are going to live better-healthier lives by joining the gym, start running, lose weight… the list goes on and on. Maybe for you it is not to get fit physically but rather to be fit spiritually. Both are important. Both can bring about healthier living and greater enjoyment of life.

I have my own, not so little, list of things I want to accomplish in this New Year. I’ve gone over this page -or so of notes in my journal – and the goal of everything on it is ultimately to be closer to God in some way. I want to surrender each point on my list to the will of God. I want to make this year – the year of looking up. I want this to be the year that Oswald Chambers would say, “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest— my best for His glory.” This will start as I look up – from my knees – in prayer… Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

As you begin this New Year, and you focus on the spiritual aspect of your life, don’t forget the fact your decision to follow Jesus or not will have ramifications on those you love the most. Your decision will affect, either way, those you are around on a daily basis. It’s a choice you make. You can’t ignore the fact that if you choose not to make bold commitments for the Lord today you will be delaying or hindering the blessings that He wants to work through you for the sake of those around you – for His glory.

My choice this year is to:

  1. Look up
  2. Daily open my eyes to God’s wonder all around me
  3. Seize every opportunity to encounter God
  4. To be my utmost for His highest – my best for His glory

What do you choose for yourself as you start 2013? Is it for your glory? Or is it for His glory?