(17) “MY FATHER IS AT WORK”
An amazing breakthrough came to me after reading Henry Blackaby’s book Experiencing God , that brought to life the words of Jesus after He had offended the religious leaders for healing a man on the sabbath. In reply, Jesus explained His reason for breaking their traditions and living His unpredictable life. “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working…..the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:17,19 A sense of relief gradually settled in my spirit when I realised that my ministry was not dependent on me attending the latest goal setting seminar, or copying the latest success story or unnecessarily continuing church programs that had passed their use by date. Rather, like Jesus, I was to develop an intimate relationship with my heavenly Father, and partner with Him in the things He was already doing. What a relief to find that my Father was already at work and He would provide the resources to complete His work as I followed the prompts of the Holy Spirit (WORDS 18). For my complete article refer
(18) “FOLLOW THE PROMPTS”
To understand how my Father is at work (WORDS 17), I found it important to learn to follow the prompts of the Holy Spirit. It was the prompting of the Holy Spirit that caused Philip to connect with a high ranking Ethiopian in a remote place (Acts 8:29), and that joined Peter to three men who would lead him to a Roman centurion and open the door of the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:19). Following the prompts of the Holy Spirit has
* led me to prepared hearts that have resulted in opportunities to share the gospel.
* opened doors to new and unusual areas of fruitful missionary endeavour.
* guided me to prepare messages that have impacted groups to whom I have spoken.
* led me to special contacts with people after church services.
* caused me to write a particular note to a person whose name was impressed upon me. I don’t always get it right, but life has taken on a whole new level of fruitful adventure since I have understood that my Father is at work which has resulted in me and many others following the prompts of the Holy Spirit.
(19) “THE MOST CREATIVE PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE LIVES WITHIN ME”
There was a time where I used to apologise for myself because I thought I wasn’t gifted with a creative mind. Then one day as I was confessing my lack of creativity, I felt a check in my spirit. A conviction came over me as the Lord broke in and said, “How can you say you don’t have a creative mind when the most creative person in the universe lives within you.” He was referring to the Holy Spirit. I repented of my oversight and then invited the Holy Spirit to take control of my life and to live out His creative influence in all I do. After all He was the Spirit that was involved in the creation of the world. 2 (Genesis 1:2) From that moment on, my life and ministry took on an added dimension. For example, I suddenly decided that our churchwide prayer meetings need not be held in the church building. Rather, on occasions I hired a bus for 120 people to travel around our city to pray on the site of some of the areas in need of breakthrough prayer. The impact was noticeable. If you haven’t already done so, do what I did, and pray for the Holy Spirit, the most creative person in the universe, to live out His creative influence in all you do. And don’t forget to follow the prompts.
(20) “GOD USES ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE TO HIM TO DO EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.”
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and saw that they were unschooled ordinary (ungrammatical idiots – Greek) men, they were astonished and took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) Jesus chose ordinary people not so much for their ability but for their availability; “they left everything and followed Him.” (Luke 5:11,28) It is only when people take the critical step of becoming available, that their ability and gifting become useful. Their authority didn’t come from their education or their academic qualifications; it came from being with Jesus. Every time He sent them out He gave them two things; authority and power that resulted in amazing the people. (Luke 9:1-2, 10:19) This is a simple lesson that has shaped my life and ministry and my praying as I asked the Lord for ordinary people who would make themselves available to Him and had been faithful in little things. As they were trained to serve as spiritual leaders it was my great joy to see AVAILABLE ORDINARY people grow to do EXTRAORDINARY things.
(21) “WE ALWAYS HAVE AN AUDIENCE OF ONE.”
My attitude to life was radically changed when I developed the conviction that in all of life I always had an audience of One. It meant that I was never alone, or that my standard of excellence could be compromised on unimportant occasions, or I could ignore the law of the land as long as I wasn’t in danger of being detected, or that integrity wasn’t a priority if the cashier had miscalculated my refund. Further, it didn’t matter if I didn’t receive the feedback I was expecting for a job well done. For I am running a race “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) and there is coming a day when I will receive my heavenly reward from my audience of One. (Matthew 5:12, Luke 6:23) P.S. I have received some interesting reactions when I have pointed out to cashiers that they had overpaid me. When asked why I pointed out their error, I would reply, “Because I always have an audience of One.”
(22) “HUMILITY ATTRACTS THE PRESENCE OF GOD”
Why was it that God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus? She was from the uninspiring town of Nazareth, she was young and she was unmarried. There seemed to be no logical reason why Mary was chosen until we read the words of her wonderful responsive song of praise; “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour, for He has been MINDFUL OF THE HUMBLE STATE OF HIS SERVANT.” (Luke 1:46-48) And so it was that one of the most important lessons I was ever to learn came home to me, HUMILITY ATTRACTS THE PRESENCE OF GOD. In Isaiah 57:15 God says, “I live in a high and holy place but also with those who are contrite and lowly (HUMBLE) in spirit.” In Mary’s song of praise we see that humility is so important to God because:
1. His glory is safe in the hands of a humble person.
2. the humble person is totally obedient to God.
3. the humble person is totally dependent on God.
4. the humble person hungers for God. No wonder the unknown Mary attracted the presence of God. And you will too as you learn the lesson that the key to attracting the presence of God is humility.
(23) “SHOW ME YOUR VISION AND I WILL PROPHESY YOUR FUTURE” For many years of my life the person who prevented me from realising my God given potential was me. I had never believed that my life would amount to much. But things changed when I met two people who believed in me; my Lord Jesus Christ and my wife Sue. Gradually I started to see myself as God saw me and I began to take faith steps that opened doors I could not have previously imagined. An amazing life of adventure unfolded for me and Sue. There came a time when I felt a prompt to meet the pastor of the largest church in the world. Pastor David Yonggi Cho started a small church in a tent in post war South Korea with 5 people and it grew to 800,000. After writing to Pastor Cho, he responded by inviting me to spend a week at his church. As a result of that week, I still remember one sentence he shared with me. “Show me your vision and I will prophesy your future.” I decided to ask God for a God sized vision and my life with Sue has exceeded my wildest dreams. And I’m not finished yet! I am believing that the best is yet to come. So what about you? If you show me your vision there is a fair chance I can prophesy your future. And don’t forget to ask God for a God sized vision.
(24) “MOMENTUM IS THE LEADER’S BEST FRIEND”
Leaders are people who have insight to see things that followers don’t always see. One of them is the insight to see some critically important but largely invisible things such as atmosphere, morale and momentum. I enjoy watching sporting events, following the ebb and flow of momentum that gives a team a scoring advantage. One of John Maxwell’s laws of leadership is “Momentum is the leader’s best friend.” A classic example of a lack of momentum in the life of Jesus can be found in Matthew 13:58; “And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” Compare this situation with that in Luke 5:17-20 where in contrast it is noted that “the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal the sick.” A few keys I have found in my ministry in regard to momentum are:
* Momentum is fueled by faith
* Momentum flows when people are motivated
* Momentum is an important pre-cursor when change is being made. It is easier to change direction when driving a car that is on the move
* Momentum inspires people to perform at a higher level
* It takes a leader filled with the Holy Spirit to discern the momentum of the Spirit.
So how would you describe the level of momentum in your organization right now?