Faith in action

Your faith in action does the following:

Brings understanding that God created everything simply by opening his mouth and allowing words to come out, and if He can do that then He can take care of you in every way.

Causes you to offer God your highest and best.

Causes you to seek Him, and makes it possible for you to please Him.

Warns you about things not yet seen.

Causes you to walk when you don’t know where you are going because you know He will guide you to your promise.

Allows you to know you will birth what God has placed within you because He is faithful in His promises.

Causes you to keep moving forward when you look at what you left behind and have the opportunity to return.

Brings you out of the test victorious.

Causes you to forsake the visible riches in exchange for much greater invisible riches.

Causes you to cast off fear.

Faith tears down walls, and raises the dead. When you look and see that there is no possible way, your faith reassures you that God is in the business of making a way when there is no way.

“Be on your guard, stand firm in your FAITH, be men of courage, be strong.”

 

What cycle are you in?

From my experience there are three primary seasons that we can be in as people, and we walk in these three seasons in cycles. This means that we are always either coming out of one season, standing in one season, or going into another season. These three seasons are the season of climbing the mountain, the season of walking the ridge, and the season of coming down the mountain.

Genesis 8:22-“While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Mountain climbing is hard. A big enough mountain will make you feel like you will never get to the top. It will make you feel like you are always planting and never harvesting. It seems like it will always be the dark, cold, grey skies of winter, and you will never see the warm days of summer. However, if you will just continue to climb when you reach the summit you will find that the cycle of mountain climbing has made you a stronger person. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Walking the mountain ridge is beautiful. You get to harvest the awesome view that only the mountain top can produce. You come out of the shadow, and step into the warm beams of the sun. It feels so easy, and natural to praise God while you are walking the mountain ridge. However, if you stay on the ridge the view becomes boring, and you find that it is impossible to grow any further.

So you have to come down. You have to have the courage to climb down the jagged edge of the mountain, leave the beautiful ridge behind, and walk towards the next higher, more glorious ridge even though you know from experience that the climb is going to be hard.

You can’t climb forever with no rest, the ridge produces no growth, and you have to come down before you can get the to the top of the next mountain.

So what do you do in each one of these seasons? How do you overcome the challenges of life? I think it is safe to say that in detail there can be a lot of answers to these questions, but I will also say that I believe there is one answer to both questions. I have found in my life that the answer is to praise, pursue, and trust God.

It’s easy to praise God when you are on the ridge, but it takes true love for your Father to praise Him and not beg Him during your climb. It’s easy to pursue God when you are climbing, but it takes true love for your Father to pursue Him while you are going down. It’s easy to trust God on the ridge, but you have to know HE TRULY LOVES YOU to trust Him during the hard times when you are fighting the climb, and when you are going down.

This is another way to live the kingdom first life. You praise, pursue, and trust God regardless of how comfortable the season is that you are in.

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi

 

 

 

What is your agenda?

There is something that I have come to know, and that is when you step into your purpose and calling you wake up everyday with an agenda. You start to live your life in a way that you no longer just exist, or do the same things day in and day out for no reason other than that’s what you have to do to get by. Instead of no reason, you find THE reason that you are here. You find that there is something burning inside of you, and you have to find a way to give it expression, or it will consume you. You realize that you may not have it all figured out, but you are more willing to jump blindfolded than to sit and let the fire consume you. You go about your life with an agenda.

Jesus knew He had purpose, and He let people know He had an agenda. Look at these following statements.

I came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). And let me just say He wasn’t just talking about people. I came to serve (Mark 10:45). I came that you may have the more abundant life (John 10:10). I came to reveal the Father, if you have seen Me you have seen Him (John 14:9). I have come to preach the Kingdom of God that is my purpose (Luke 4:43).

I could continue on, and fill pages with these statements of purpose. Jesus didn’t come to just exist, and float along until it was time for the cross. The cross was the culmination of His purpose on this earth, it was not the only purpose. He preached, healed, taught, mentored, fathered, loved, saved, empowered, revealed, etc. Might I say it in this way, He had an agenda given by His Father. I would also say that He has an agenda for you. I can picture Jesus speaking with passion saying HEY! you weren’t created to just float along, and do your own thing. I didn’t just rise again to save you from something, I rose again to save you for something.

God has great purpose for you!

Here is part of the reason I think people avoid coming to their calling and purpose, and waking up with an agenda. It makes it harder. It gives me something that I am accountable to. If I am given much, much will be required. If Jesus was persecuted, I will be persecuted. I don’t want to go through the process of being humbled. I don’t want to bring my life into alignment with the call of God on my life. We don’t want to be courageous, we don’t won’t to endure, we like the ease, and comfort of autopilot.

The best way I know how to articulate my personal example of this is that with no purpose, or agenda I could make choices that were inconsistent. I didn’t have to schedule my days, I could just go to work and come home. Sometimes I could buy things with cash while other times I could just take out a loan. Some days I could choose to empower other people while other days I could just worry about myself. Without an agenda I wouldn’t have to worry about my family structure. I wouldn’t have to make sure my wife and I were on the same page because if you don’t have a purpose, and an agenda you aren’t worried about being accountable to it. You can just avoid the hard things.

When you decide to step up, and swing the door wide open to God’s purpose for your life, you find out that your agenda needs to be consistent with His purpose for you because your agenda is accountable to that purpose. Furthermore, your spouse and anyone else with you needs to align their agenda with the purpose God has placed on you all. You may say to yourself I don’t want to go around, and around with my spouse or my business partner about this (whatever it is), but let me just say this…It is so worth it.

Again, God has great purpose for you! Be courageous enough to make yourself accountable to it, and compromise less!

Live your life Kingdom First!

Levi

Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something?

There have been a lot of things in my life that I have done that someone told me before hand I could not do. With that being said there are still times in my life that I am not confident that I can really succeed in the things that God has told me I will do in His Kingdom. Sometimes I am discouraged by what others say, and sometimes I have an inner struggle about what I can do. I build my confidence in these areas by telling myself that I can do whatever God has called me to do because He is leading me, and empowering me. I remind myself of the things He has already done. Sometimes we get so focused on the gap before us that we forget about the gaps He has already helped us through that are behind us. The road behind us was once full of gulfs that seemed impassable, but now that we are on the other side we forget part of the lesson we learned by making it through. God is always faithful. He was faithful in your past, He is faithful in your present, and He will be faithful in your future.

A simple personal story:

When I was called to help start a new church, I was excited, and ready to see God work through this new church. I was ready to see the Lord build His church, and build a family of believers in this new area. I was ready to take my place in His plan, and do all that He called me to do while I was there. As the church grew, and we implemented structure and culture it was time to do our first set of ministry interviews for our first true church members, and see how we could connect them to what God was doing. One of the first interviews I read (I didn’t personally sit with this particular person) could have been very destructive. To say it simply, this person said that I should be replaced. I would be lying if I said that didn’t sting a little bit, and make me think. However, I didn’t think about it for very long, just a few minutes. It was God that called me there, and His word carries veto power. People can have discouraging words, opinions, and tell you that you can’t do something, or that you should be replaced because they don’t like your style, but none of those things can over rule what God says. God closed that gap, and several years later I am not being replaced, instead I will soon be proud to see a man step up further into the plans the Lord has for him, and I will continue on in the plans He has for me. Seek first His Kingdom, and don’t worry about the naysayers.

My life story is full of this stuff. I grew up on the poor side of town, on the wrong side of the tracks, with the bad family reputation, etc. I have always been told about the things I couldn’t do, but with God all things are possible, and my Father God always tells me about what I CAN do!

Lets look at a little bit different example from 1 Samuel 17. David and Goliath.

Long story short David ends up hearing from the naysayers before he stepped onto the battlefield with Goliath. His brothers, and Saul discouraged him. He was told he couldn’t do it. He was told the gap, or in this case the giant in front of him was too big. David’s response is important. He says I had giants in my past, and the Lord delivered me in my past. I have killed bears, I have killed lions, and with the Lord I will kill this giant too. It is also important to note that David did it from who he was as a person. He didn’t try to be something he wasn’t. He removed the armor that Saul placed on him, and he took the tools of a shepherd on to the battlefield.

The gaps you have crossed, and the giants you have killed in your past are preparation for the ones that are to come. They are reminders that God has delivered you before, He is delivering you now, and He will deliver you in the future. You can do everything He has called you to do because He is limitless, and He never fails you!

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi

 

 

The courage to dream big

If you have the courage to dream big, you must have the tenacity to dream long. Most big dreams don’t happen over night. A tree does not produce edible fruit the same month it is planted in the ground. It takes many seasons, and the tree must be pruned many times for the tree to produce it’s best fruit possible. You must be willing to go through the process if you want your dream to become reality. You need the courage and tenacity to wait, you have to be a waiter.

A waiter in your favorite restaurant serves. The waiter’s whole function is to serve you to the best of their ability while you are in their restaurant. Serving is one of the ways we can live a Kingdom first life, and I am convinced that serving God and His people on your journey is the path to realizing your big dream, or promise. So what does this mean? It means that when it feels like you are making good progress you serve, and when it feels like you are stuck and nothing is going as planned you continue to serve. Serve with intentions to honor your Father, and His people.

Now let’s get real, nobody likes to wait. It can be frustrating, and tiresome; however, you will always gain way more than you lose if you just stay the course. Even if you don’t know exactly what your next step is, you can continue to serve as you let Holy Spirit guide you. If you’re like me you have a deep desire to do all that God has called you to do, and you want to get where He wants you to go, and to that I say be encouraged because He CREATED you to do those things, and He wants you to reach your destination more than you do.

So have the courage to dream big, and have the tenacity to dream long. You have a good Father, and he has great things in store for you!

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi