“I’m Not Good Enough!”

7150680_sHave you ever felt that you are not good enough – that you just don’t serve enough, care enough, pray enough, read your Bible enough, or you sin too much?

Those feelings can be good or they can be bad.

If the feelings are because of God’s love drawing you into a closer relationship with Him, and it is your heart’s desire to spend more time with God, serve more, care more,   read God’s Word more and have less sin in your life, then those are good feelings.  The feelings are being generated by God transforming you from the inside out and giving you a desire for more of Him.

However, if the feelings are there because they are fed by condemnation and striving, they are bad feelings.  It is very easy to let feelings push you across a line into becoming works oriented with the result being that a process of striving commences – a process that eliminates the Biblical truth that it is only because of the cross that we are good enough.

God always looks at our hearts – our motives.  The moment I do things only because I “have to” to obtain God’s favour, the process of a works oriented striving starts.  I walk outside of the finished work of the cross.

Sometimes, we also compare ourselves to others.  That person reads their Bible more hours a week than I do!  That other person prays hours and hours longer than I do! That person across the aisle is so much sweeter and kinder to people than me!

Who am I to judge myself or others?  There is only one fair judge and that is God.

What does God’s word say?  Our hope is built on nothing less than the cross and God’s transforming power to make us how He wants us to be — in His time and in His way.  I am not the person  who is sitting beside me or across the aisle.  I am me with my frailties and weaknesses.  We are all in different states of being transformed, and we all have our weaknesses.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NASB)

If you are not perfect and a particular sin seems to still not be totally rooted out of your life and you still fall down a lot — Get up!  Repent and get up!  This is not to say we use grace as a reason to purposely sin; however, we are not perfect and when God has not completed sanctifying a particular area of our life — when we fail — repent and get up!

The getting up is what the righteous do.  If you wallow in self-pity and condemnation the enemy wins.  Instead recognize that God is your righteousness and He forgives!  He will complete the work He has begun in you; but, you are a work in progress.  You are not perfect yet – you are not in Heaven.

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again . . .  (Proverbs 24:16)

You are not good enough and never will be; however, God will make beauty out of your ashes.  Through the process of sanctification, He will transform you.  Just remember, you are a work in progress!

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Dance in the Fire!

IMG_1025I love the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3 of the Bible. These three men made a decision that had enormous consequences.

They were ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar to worship a golden statue he had set up. If they refused to bow and worship his idol, they would die for their disobedience.

They chose to disobey the king.  The backlash to their decision was that they were immediately ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar to be thrown into a fiery furnace. The king was so angry that he even instructed the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual.

When they were thrown into the flames, the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego saved them.  The King jumped to his feet because he could clearly see four men walking around in the fire. That was as I would say, “Unreal!”. How could there be four men walking around in the fire when only three tied up men were thrown into it?

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be in that fire! To be thrown into the fire, to be alive and not burning, to have your chains fall off, and then for God to join you – that would make any person dance for joy in the fire!  I would look at my hands and feet and laugh and dance! Even more incredible would be that my God joined me in the fire!

Here is what the Bible said King Nebuchadnezzar’s response was:

Then Nebuchadnezzar went to the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, come out!  Servants of the Most High God, come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. When they came out, the governors, assistant governors, captains of the soldiers, and royal advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies. Their hair was not burned, their robes were not burned, and they didn’t even smell like smoke!

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their God has sent his angel and saved his servants from the fire!  These three men trusted their God and refused to obey my command. They were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god other than their own.

So I now give this command: Anyone from any nation or language who says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn apart and have his house turned into a pile of stones.  NO OTHER GOD CAN SAVE HIS PEOPLE LIKE THIS.”  (Daniel 3: 26-29 NCV)

The God of the Bible has not changed.  He is the still the same God.  No matter what fire you are thrown into God will immediately free you and join you in the fire – you can dance in the fire!  You will dance in the fire!

There is always a battle in our minds – fear, doubt, and uncertainties try and rule us. Those thoughts are lies!  The truth is God’s Word! The real truth is that God will join you in any fire you are thrown in and you will dance in the fire!

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What is Your Destiny?

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“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” (Psalm 37:3-7 TNIV)

When God gives a dream, a destiny, a land to be possessed; have you noticed that often it does not happen overnight? 

God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt into the promised land. On the day Moses was called, he did not have any idea of the obstacles he would encounter to walk out his destiny. 

After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died in sight of the promised land but not in the promised land. Doesn’t this seem unfair! Was Moses a failure? Did Moses not walk into his destiny?

“There has never again been a prophet in Israel like Moses.  The [Lord] spoke face to face with him …” (Deuteronomy 34:10)

Perhaps our human perspective of what our destiny should look like sometimes gets overshadowed by our own opinions of what success is. Perhaps God’s success looks different than what we think it should look like. 

The Bible says that there was never a prophet in Israel like Moses. In other words, Moses definitely was not a failure. He definitely walked into his destiny; however, in our earthly thinking, it appears like Moses did not walk into the promised land. He made a mistake … he failed.

We are human! We all make mistakes. Does that mean God says our destiny is ruined because of our mistakes? 

I believe that God viewed the overall success of Moses in being that He spoke face to face with Moses. Moses’ success was not determined by what he accomplished on earth – it was ultimately determined on his relationship with God. It was determined by Moses following God and being with God. When Moses was with God face to face, Moses walked in his destiny.

Moses was called to lead the children of Israel to the Promise Land. He was a success – the children of Israel arrived!

In the end, even when Moses had messed up a bit during his lifetime, God’s big picture perspective says that Moses was a success and that Moses walked into his destiny.  Because of Moses’ faith and relationship with God, his small human failures were wiped away in light of the big picture of eternity.

Sometimes we put heavy weights on ourselves of having to always get it right.  Sometimes failures can be used by God. God has through every generation used the stories of Moses to help and teach us. 

“Six days later Jesus took Peter and the brothers James and John with him. They went up on a very high mountain where they could be alone. There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed. His face was shining like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. All at once Moses and Elijah were there talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:1-3)

There are so many people in the Old Testament that Jesus could have talked to in front of Peter, James, and John. However, Moses again was brought into the limelight for all generations to see that he definitely was in the promised land in Heaven. God fulfilled Moses’ destiny in spite of some human failures. God’s perspective is different than ours. 

Has God given you a dream? Do you sometimes fret and get annoyed and push and try to make it happen in your own strength? I have been there! We all have been there!

Be still! 

Keep your relationship with God as the central purpose of your life. Hear His words, and do what He says. Don’t look at the results around you with human eyes.

Perhaps the results you are seeing right now are not even close to what you think they should look like in earthly success … BUT God!!  Yes, GOD!!!  God knows your destiny, and He knows what true success is. Trust Him! Be still and have patience and see God’s hand fulfill your destiny!

In Matthew 14, Peter was so bold and said, “Jesus, if it is really you, call me to come into the water.” Jesus called. 

Peter boldly jumped out of the boat and into the water. After a few steps, Peter looked down at the waves. He heard the wind. He saw that there was nothing from a human earthly perspective to keep him from sinking and drowning. There was no earthly foundation only water which humans cannot walk on. 

Peter took his eyes off Jesus and cried, “Jesus save me!”  Of course, whenever His eyes were back on Jesus, he was saved.  But Peter did walk on the water when he kept his eyes on Jesus and not the perspectives of an earthly human .

Take your eyes off earthly results and set your perspective on the things of God and not what you see around you. No matter if everything around you resounds with the words “failure” – know that God’s destiny for you is not failure. Don’t look at the waves and the impossibilities. 

Look into Jesus’ eyes .. walk to Him with your eyes never faltering from His … grab unto Him and keep moving one step, another step, another step … don’t stop! 

Someday you will be able to see the big picture perspective and see what God did with your walk of faith on earth. Let Heaven’s perspective come to earth … and let God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven in your life.

When others see with earthly eyes, choose to look into God’s eyes and see life from His perspective instead of through the darkly coloured sunglasses of earthly humans.

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