Find the opportunities!

Have you ever felt like the only breaks you were catching were bad breaks? I’ve been there, but we have to keep in mind that God turns bad breaks into big opportunities. The bad breaks, and past experiences are just a way for God to build our resumes and prepare us for future opportunities. Sometimes our greatest opportunities are at the end of the hardest, and scariest situations. Don’t quit prematurely, and miss your God opportunity.

Trust God no matter what the situation is, and look forward in order to locate the opportunities, and be a good steward. Being a good steward of these opportunities will bring success. God is always setting us up for success in accordance with His will for our lives. God wants you to arrive at His destination for you more than you want to get there.  If you are a parent you know how much more you want your kids to succeed than they do themselves especially at a young age.

Don’t let fear keep you from seeing the opportunities, and experiencing what God has for you. The way that you experience big breakthroughs is by continuing to push through your hardest moments, and facing your biggest fears. Something that we need to keep in mind through these things is that almost every fear is learned. A child is afraid of very little until you tell them to be afraid. Parents insert fear into their children without even realizing it. We need to unlearn these fears, and the farther you carry a fear the harder it is for you to unlearn. The way you unlearn these fears is to trust your limitless Father. Allow His word to carry a sound in your life that is louder than any fear. Believe scriptures such as if He is for you who can stand against you, or He will work everything out to my good as I am called according to His purpose. You can not reason with irrational fears, you will either allow experiences to produce confidence or doubt, fear or faith. We have to remember that His perfect love is in us, and perfect love drives out all fear-1 John 4:18.  Part of faith is the process of trusting God, and allowing His perfect love to drive the fear out of our lives.

I have a great example I can share with you about irrational fears concerning my daughter. Long story short, she saw something on t.v. that made her afraid of the bath tub. This 4-year-old little girl went from loving bath time, to being like trying to bathe a cat. THERE WAS NO REASONING WITH HER! Seriously, this was a tough situation. It was the scariest situation of her young life, and one of the hardest for her parents. We all had to figure out how to make it through this ordeal. But patiently enduring(for several weeks!), helping her face her fear, letting her see that her friends were not afraid of bath time, and allowing her trust and faith to build in her mom and dad brought her back to loving bath time. Believing your Father, and trusting in His word will give you the strength to make it through the scariest, hardest situations.

Back to the bath example, one thing that would have never allowed my daughter to get past this fear is letting her run from bath time. If you are afraid of failure, success will not fix it. You will wear yourself out trying to maintain success simply to keep running from failure. The fix for the fear of failure is experiencing failure. It’s like a peanut allergy. I know a young man who was allergic to peanuts, and the way he overcame this allergy was to make trips to a specialist and get exposed to differing amounts of peanuts. That’s how you build immunity to your fears, you face the thing you are afraid of and you find that with God all things are possible. We take fears, and we create huge things out of them in our minds which allows the fear to become way worse the thing you are actually afraid of. Each one of your fears is an opportunity for you to be an overcomer. My daughter is an overcomer. Don’t miss your chance!

Don’t be afraid to take some risks, it could turn into a really cool story you can tell your grandchildren. To go along with this, one of the great things about your experienced pain is that it can be another person’s gain. The more things you have overcome, the more capacity you have to help other people. A person once told me that no one cares about you telling them what not to do in a situation, they only want to hear what they should do. For a time, I believed that person, but I have changed my mind. I know how much value there is not trying to do it the way I tried because I felt all the pain, and struggle to overcome it. So that pain and struggle is now an opportunity for me to help others avoid the same troubles.

Our relationship with God is not formed to make our lives easier. It complicates our lives in all the right ways to transform us into the perfect work He envisioned for us from the start. A marriage complicates your life, but it allows you to see things that are wrong with you that you didn’t even know were wrong which allows you to become more complete. You may think you have life figured out, but having kids will prove you wrong. They will complicate things, but they will cause you to grow. Wealth will complicate your taxes, and success will complicate your schedule. All great things come with complications. In the parable of the talents the reward for good stewardship was not early retirement, it was more responsibility.

God has great things in store for all of you. Find the opportunities!

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