I’ll See If I Can Fit You On My Calendar

When is the last time God spoke to you? I know that question might sound a bit odd to you but shouldn’t you be having regular conversations with God? This is a relationship, right? In relationships we communicate so how is your communication going with God?

People often ask me this question: How do I know what God wants me to do? My response is the same. I simply ask folks, “What are you doing to hear God speak to you?”

In a world so full of email, texting, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all the other technological ways to communicate, no wonder many of us are missing out on hearing God. We check our phone every time it dings for the latest status update but we won’t spend time with God.

Even the Psalmist, David, recognized the need to spend time talking with God. Psalm 27, verse 8 says this:

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

So how do we talk with God? Psalm 46, verse 10 gives us a great place to start the conversation. Here is what this verse tells us:

Be still and know that I am God.

Right there in that small verse is the key to the start of the conversation…be still. That means we need to intentionally set aside time to talk with God. That shouldn’t be a surprise to us. In our earthly relationships we make time to talk with folks. We get together for coffee, lunch, holidays or a variety of reasons just to talk and be together. David tells us we should be doing the same thing to talk with God.

It is in the stillness that you can begin to hear God speak with you. It is in that time that you set aside just to develop the relationship between you and God that you will hear Him speak.

So, be like David who desired to hear God’s voice and like David simply say, Lord, I’m coming. God, I want to hear your voice. Set aside time for the conversation and don’t let anything disturb that special time. You might be surprised by what you’ve been missing and by what God has to say.

Dancing On The Edge

I am amazed at the number of folks who profess Christianity but chose to flirt with sin.  They don’t actually cross the line but they dance on the edge.  In other words, they see how close they can get to sin without getting burned. This is a very dangerous behavior because the bible tells us this will eventually draw us right into the middle of sin.

Psalm 1 says this, Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord.

There is a very subtle progression in these verses that warn us about playing on the edges of sin.  First, these verses caution us not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly.  In other words, don’t be enticed by sin in the first place.  Stay clear and walk away.  If you don’t walk away while you can, the next portion of this passage says we will find ourselves standing in the path of sinners.  You see, we were enticed by sin as we walked in the counsel of the ungodly and now we find ourselves stopped, standing and engaged in sin. Finally, this passage tells us if we don’t choose to get away, we will find ourselves sitting in the seat of the scornful.  We have now embraced sin.

By flirting with sin, by playing along the edges, we are beginning our walk down a path that will eventually lead us to sitting right in the middle of sin.  We will follow the path described in Psalms.  We will walk into sin. We will find ourselves standing in sin and eventually just sit down right in the middle of it.  We have been enticed by sin, we have become engaged in the sin, and finally we find ourselves embracing the sin.

So what is the answer here?  It’s simple.  Don’t play around the edges of sin.  Get away while you can and simply don’t be enticed in the first place.  Next time you are tempted by something that is not of Christ, remember to stop, turn around and go the other way.  Do not be enticed.  Do not become engaged in the sin. Don’t embrace sin.

God has great plans for your life.  Don’t allow yourself to sit and get comfortable in the middle of sin and miss what God has planned for you.

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!

I was talking with a man this week that told me the incredible story of his work history.  This man is clearly an entrepreneur and is wired to be creative.  At one point in his life he landed his dream job.  He was the president of a company; he was having fun at work, making a lot of money, and really enjoying life.

In the blink of an eye he found himself without a job, no income, bills to pay, and a family to support.  He felt like a failure.  He had messed up everything. What would you do if that happened to you?  You see, what you do with failure shows your true character.  What you do when you fail determines the kind of person you are and who you will become.  Here are some things to consider when you fail:

First, at some point in your life you will fail at something.  If you are anything like me you will have multiple failures in life.  So get ready and think about how you will handle failure.  As a friend of mine often says, “Life is full of failures so buy a helmet”.  In other words, understand failure is part of life and prepare for it.

Second, what lessons can you learn from failure?  When you do fail, stop and examine what happened.  As John Maxwell says, you don’t get knocked to the floor very often but while you’re down there, clean up something. Figure out what went wrong and learn from it.

Third, don’t let failure cause you to fear the future.  Remember the man I spoke about earlier?  He took his failure, learned some lessons, cleaned up some things while he was down on the floor, and is now the president of his own company…doing what he loves and enjoying a wonderful life.  Failure didn’t scare him, it challenged him to push harder.

So, when failure happens, learn from your mistakes, get out your mop and clean up some things while you are knocked down, and ask God to give you strength to stand up and charge ahead.

In Psalm 18 we read: God arms me with strength, and He makes my way perfect. So take God at his word.  Not only will he provide strength during times of failure but He will help you get back on track.