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3 “Not Alls” You Need to Watch For

Things aren’t always what they appear to be. In some instances, they are exactly the opposite of what they seem. When it comes to leadership, life and ministry, you need to take a closer look.

THE STORY OF THE WOMAN WITH A BACK PROBLEM TEACHES US SEVERAL KEY THINGS ABOUT LIFE, LEADERSHIP AND MINISTRY. It’s found in Luke 13:10-21. Here are three lessons from that account, and a companion podcast, that can help you take your next steps in your walk with God:

1. NOT ALL PHYSICAL PROBLEMS HAVE PHYSICAL CAUSES. You may be smarter than a sixth grader, but you’re definitely not smarter than Jesus. Even a casual look at Luke 13:10-16 should convince us that some problems that appear to be merely physical have a spiritual cause. How can you determine whether a seemingly physical problem has a spiritual root? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Ask God to probe you and see if there is any unconfessed, unresolved sin in your life – repent and make restitution where applicable. We all have issues we’re working on, and sin. But it’s quite another thing to have conscious, unresolved sin. Such sin creates a “foothold” or “opportunity to the devil” (see Ephesians 4:27). Don’t give the devil an opportunity to wreak havoc in your life by allowing sin to remain unresolved. If you need to face up to anything, rest assured that if you are truly surrendered to God, He will show you what it is and how to resolve it. You may need assistance from friends or peers to help you overcome the sin. You may need to make restitution (pay someone back if you stole from them, for instance). You may need to seek forgiveness. Whatever it is, repent intentionally if there is an issue, thoroughly. And, remember, perpetual repentance is the practice of any true Christ-follower. We should always be turning from sin, ourselves, and the world, toward God.
  2. Deal responsibly with personal, practical matters. Don’t expect God to handle the things you need to handle. If you drive on the wrong side of the road, don’t pray for God to keep you safe. Instead, steer your car to the proper side, and drive accordingly. In other words, be responsible for the things you can handle.
  3. Pray against satanic opposition, asking God to protect, direct and overcome all the obstacles of the devil. Persist in warfare praying.
  4. Ask others to pray for you, with you, trusting God for deliverance. Ask the elders of your church to pray for you and anoint you with oil, keeping in mind there’s no magic here. Oil symbolizes the blessing of God, the Holy Spirit, and God’s healing touch. The elders, and you, must pray in faith, and not do this as a ritual. And you, along with them, must realize that it is God who heals, as we submit to Him. See James 5:13-15.

If the physical problem stops, great. But if it doesn’t, God has other plans, such as developing your character, and a “last hurrah” that you and others may not understand yet. God is writing a book with your life, not a paragraph. He may have a  chapter that comes after the one you are currently in that resolves whatever it is you are currently experiencing. Trust in God, delight yourself in Him, and leave the consequences to Him. I know, as a cancer survivor who lost both parents to cancer, this can be hard! But it is possible. In fact, it’s a certainty if you fully surrender to Jesus. You can trust God to provide you with peace, comfort and power through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4).

2. NOT ALL LEADERS ARE LEADERS. Being in a leadership position only gives you the opportunity to lead. It doesn’t make you a leader. Learn a lesson from the synagogue ruler. He was in a leadership position – but He was not leading the people toward Jesus. He was actually doing the opposite, preserving and protecting the religious activities of the day. But those practices were stifling the movement of God in the midst of the people. And this is where the conflict stems. Here was a man, in position by God, and He missed God when He showed up. Moreover, he was opposed to the plan, purpose and power of God. This should shake every leader or potential leader to the core. The same could happen to you and me. God could put us in a position of leadership – but then we must lead, and lead well. Leaders lead. Get going. Never assume that because you have a title or a position that that makes you a good leader. Good leaders actually lead. And don’t get a big head about it. Godly leaders are humble leaders.

3. NOT ALL MINISTRY IS MINISTRY. The synagogue ruler got mad at Jesus for interrupting the “ministry” he was overseeing. The truth is, Jesus was doing the real ministry, leading a movement of God. The synagogue ruler had a “ministry,” but as far as God was concerned, it was insignificant to the movement of God, the presence of Jesus, and the fruit such real ministry produces. Any true work and movement of God must prioritize loosing of people from satanic bondage and mere religious ritual. Ritual without the movement and presence of Jesus, which alone sets people free, is a waste of everyone’s time. Be careful you’re not calling something a “ministry” when it’s really a miserable comparison. Real ministry is characterized by the movement of God. If you are a church or ministry leader, don’t ever forget this. But even if you are not, and you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you’ve been called into the ministry. (1 Peter 2:5 reminds us that every believer is a priest, ministering to God). Your ministry – God’s ministry in which you have a role – must be ministry done God’s way. Not all “ministry” is ministry. Make God’s ministry through you count. Revisit this need continually.

Your thoughts?

 If you like solid Bible teaching and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate the Courage Matters App, available on iTunes and Google Play. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GenesisYork.com— and be sure to introduce yourself. This is all made possible by generous listeners, readers, and supporters like you. Please consider giving towards Courage Matters to ensure our nation has the opportunity to hear the message of TRUTH and LOVE. You can donate by clicking the “Give” tab on CourageMatters.com or on the Courage Matters app.

Life of Christ #60: Clean Your Frying Pan and Let Jesus Cook

Not all physical problems are physical problems. Not all leaders are leaders. Not all ministry is ministry. In this message, we’ll see how Jesus leads, why He did things the way He did, and why we should do things that enable Him to do the “cooking.” Your marriage, relationships, leadership and ministry will enter an entirely new dimension as you learn what it means to see things from God’s perspective as you lead, minister and move with God.

Life of Christ, #59: 3 Big Mistakes You Can Make With God – and How to Avoid Them

There are three big mistakes you can make with God. In this message, you’ll learn what they are – and how to avoid them. 

If you like solid Bible teaching and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate the Courage Matters App, available on iTunes and Google Play. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GenesisYork.com— and be sure to introduce yourself. This is all made possible by generous listeners, readers, and supporters like you. Please consider giving towards Courage Matters to ensure our nation has the opportunity to hear the message of TRUTH and LOVE. You can donate by clicking the “Give” tab on CourageMatters.com or on the Courage Matters app.

3 Mistakes You Can Avoid With God

  There are 3 big mistakes you can make with God. But you don’t have to. The choice is up to you.

WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. Some are small and others big. While all mistakes are costly, the big ones can be so significant that they affect every area of life. And, sometimes, big mistakes can cost us for the rest of our lives. Here are three big mistakes you can make with God – and how you can avoid them.

1. BIG MISTAKE #1: CONCERN YOURSELF WITH THE OPINIONS OF PEOPLE RATHER THAN THE OPINION OF GOD. There’s something in each of us that seeks to find significance by comparing ourselves to others. But that doesn’t make it right. Doing so is a slow boat to nowhere. Recognize your own propensity to compare yourself to other people, and make it your ambition to know and embrace only what God says about you. Read the Bible, and look for what God says about you. Disregard everything else. Choose to do so. It takes  a lifetime to master – but it can be mastered. It’s also THE greatest motivator in all of life. You can’t afford to delay this any longer. Get busy and discover the truth about you – from God’s perspective.

2. BIG MISTAKE #2: IGNORE WAYS THAT GOD MIGHT BE TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION. Take a long look at Proverbs 3:11 and Hebrews 12:5-13 and ask yourself if God has been trying to get your attention through the circumstances of your life. Have you been listening? It’s a big mistake to go through life with a deaf ear toward God. Don’t just take a casual look at Hebrews 12:5-13. Find a quiet place, pray before you read it, and then read through it – slowly. How has God been trying to get your attention? What is He trying to teach you about Himself, and about yourself, in the circumstances of life? Stop fighting what He’s trying to teach you. Resisting God is an exercise in futility anyway. Stop wasting precious time you’ll never get back. Pay attention – God has been speaking to YOU.

3. BIG MISTAKE #3: SEE REPENTANCE AS A ONE-TIME EVENT RATHER THAN A PERPETUAL PRACTICE. We often think that repentance is something we do once. But the whole idea of surrendering to Jesus Christ in the first place is that it’s the beginning of a new lifestyle. True repentance leads to repentance. Think about it, and God will give you insight. Take it one step further and put it into action.

Your thoughts?

If you like solid Bible teaching and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate the Courage Matters App, available on iTunes and Google Play. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GenesisYork.com— and be sure to introduce yourself. This is all made possible by generous listeners, readers, and supporters like you. Please consider giving towards Courage Matters to ensure our nation has the opportunity to hear the message of TRUTH and LOVE. You can donate by clicking the “Give” tab on CourageMatters.com or on the Courage Matters app.

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