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A recent article posted on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter claimed that God is for us and should not be feared. I am sure the author means well, but his perspective is quite misleading and humanistic. Let me explain.

God is for Himself!!

When the nation of Israel was about to attack Jericho, Joshua had this encounter with the Angel of the LORD:

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”

So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Joshua 5:13-14

The Commander of the army of the LORD was neither for Israel nor for their enemies. He was for the LORD; and He was determined to make sure that Israel was for the LORD, as well.

Bringing this forward to the New Covenant, the redemption prophecy in Ezekiel 36 states that God’s salvation of His people is for His name sake.

Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.'” Ezekiel 36:22

Furthermore, we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Jesus commanded that we fear the LORD.

And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Luke 12:4-5

Clearly, Jesus was not talking about awe and reverence here. And He was talking to His friends (i.e., the enemies of God). Speaking of which, we best fear becoming like them. Read the rest of this entry »

Man in Anguish“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

My first foreign mission trip was the longest and most intense experience of the Lord’s presence that I have ever enjoyed. It was frustrating to get back to the “normal” of corporate American life. I had a mission in the workplace, but it just wasn’t the same.

What was the difference? How could I have that experience here at home? Was it even possible?

After much searching, in prayer and conversation with fellow missionaries, I came to a very simple conclusion: The primary difference was “control”. At home, I had it. On the mission field, I did not.

On the mission field, I did not get to decide what I would eat, where I would sleep, nor where I would go to minister each day. It was the first time in my adult life that I was completely out of control.

It was an exhilarating adventure – excitement and fear in just the right measures.

God used that experience to teach me a valuable lesson about myself; and about the life I was choosing to live. Letting go of control has been a long and challenging process. The battle is still going on. I am grateful for His patience and persistence.

Of course, being “out of control” is counter-intuitive. The world tells us it is counter-productive. The risks of losing control are presented – by our flesh and the world – as far greater than anyone would dare assume.

So, let’s stop right here and face one very important fact: Most of God ways are counter-productive in worldly terms, and therefore counter-intuitive to our carnal minds. This issue of control is as old as man’s rebellion in the Garden; it is the decision to be our own king.

Leaders in the workplace – pastors included – are expected (by some very important people) to keep their environments “under control”. For the Christian in these situations, the best question to ask ourselves is, “Whose control?”

Unbeknownst to me at the time, my first foreign mission trip was under God’s control. My inability to control allowed Him to will and do to His good pleasure. His good pleasure was to give me a taste of His kingdom. My experience was an “eternal life knowing” of Him and His Son.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:35

Consider this: Losing control is not something you do (at least not at first). Losing control begins with a desire – a desire that God has put in your heart. Ask Him to stir up that desire; and – here’s the risky part – give you opportunities to be out of control. He will use these to encourage, edify and equip you for joyful, Spirit-filled ministry.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Military Salute from iStockFor by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16

Sometimes the smallest words carry incredible meaning. Take the word “all” for example. All things were created through Him and for Him. Not some things, or even most things. ALL THINGS!!

All things include the place where you spend most of your waking hours – the workplace. Whether you are a business owner, executive, or professional, God has very carefully created the environment where you have authority and influence. This is most encouraging; so don’t forget it.

Now, let’s talk about why He created your workplace. Ultimately, it is “for Him”. What does that mean? It means that for Him to be active in your work, He must be the Boss. Be careful: Boss does not mean partner. There is only one Boss.

If you have not already done so, execute this transaction with God: Father, You are now the Boss. I am now Your faithful steward. What would You have me do for Your kingdom?

Humbly yours and forever His,

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