Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Commit Your Work to the Lord

“Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” -Proverbs 16:3

When you go to work each day do you start out with prayer to dedicate the day and your work to God? It makes a big difference when you’re operating from a framework of prayer as a starting point. Sure the job/task may be mundane or not even seem to be remotely related to spiritual matters but it’s important to bring God into even the ordinary parts of your work.

I think that God uses work to develop our character and who we are as people, not only as a way to make a living. That challenging task or difficult person at your workplace presents a great opportunity to turn the situation over to God in prayer and allow Him to step in to give you wisdom and strength.

It goes beyond just the professional workplace to include things like ministry, volunteer activities, hobbies, family, friends, relationships, anything that you spend time doing. Pray about them and commit each activity you’re involved in to the Lord. He will often reveal things to you and give you insight that you’d never have outside of seeking Him about it.

Is it possible to do good work without first committing it to God? Sure it is. But I’d much rather my foundation be grounded in Him and established by Him than strictly through my own efforts. It’s kind of like checking in with the architect before starting construction as well as throughout the project. He can point out trouble spots and better ways of doing things that you might not realize otherwise.

What’s something that you need to commit to the Lord?

In pursuit of His best,


Sunday, April 22, 2012

By Faith Not By Sight

To say that Scott Macintyre is extraordinary is to say that grass is green or water is wet. He just is. As the book develops, his heart shows through and not at all in an arrogant or conceited way. Some people are simply gifted and live incredible lives. His heart is that of a man who desires to inspire people through music and give glory to God.

I had not heard of Scott prior to reading the book and have watched American Idol maybe once. But as a musician and songwriter myself, I closely identified with many of the experiences he described in the songwriting process and performance preparations.

Scott graduated college at the age of 19 and subsequently was a Marshall scholar during which time he obtained a masters degree at the Royal College of Music in London. A year after returning to the US, he and his family went on tour as a singing group. After becoming interested in American Idol on television, he eventually decided to audition. Over the course of the next few months, he went through audition after audition and advanced through round after round, eventually making it to the top 13 before being eliminated in the round of 8.

Simply on the merits of his accomplishments in music and academics, he would already be considered to have lived a remarkable life. But add to this the fact that he’s legally blind with only 2 percent tunnel vision, and the accomplishments take on a whole new dimension. Not only is he blind but while getting his masters degree, he was in end stage kidney failure and had to go through about a year of dialysis followed by a kidney transplant once returning to the US.

Scott is additionally deeply committed to His walk with God, which is apparent all throughout the book. In numerous medical challenges, musical performances, and other events he is constantly lifting up the scenario in prayer and seeking God’s will. His close ties with his family are apparent and the love they have for each other is a model for family life. It is clear that Scott believes both in working and praying very hard in all aspects of his life. Because of his faith, musical gifts, and personality, I think if we ever had the opportunity to interact that we would probably become good friends.

Scott’s story is inspirational to say the least and proves that a person can do so much even with a handicap. He doesn’t use his blindness as an excuse for not doing something but rather works that much harder to overcome challenges and truly lives a full life.

If you’ve already seen him on television or heard his music, the book provides excellent color into who he is and the back story behind his life. For those who’ve not heard of him, he provides great insight into the world of a blind person, what it’s like to live with kidney disease and get a transplant, not to mention the life of a professional pop musician. His faith and trust in God will encourage you to seek God in your life as well. I highly recommend the book.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inquire of the Lord

David consistently inquired of the Lord in numerous scenarios throughout his life. (I Samuel 23:2,4, I Samuel 30:8, 2 Samuel 2:1, 2 Samuel 5:23, I Chronicles 14:10) He knew the importance of staying in direct communication with God and highly valued His input.

In my own life I’ve had experiences where I distinctly sensed that God was leading me to do something or not do something. When I follow the leading, things turn out well but when I don’t, they inevitably go poorly.

Rather than making plans and asking God to bless them, it’s much more effective to inquire of Him ahead of time. Not that having goals and plans are bad but including God as the driver of the process from the start is crucially important.

Inquiring of God is good in both the big and small decisions. Getting in the habit of conversing with Him throughout the day and not just at set times is a great way of seeking His guidance and counsel. It’s just like you might talk with a friend about whatever subject while hanging out.

It’s helpful to remove external distractions when inquiring of Him and get your heart focused. This isn’t always possible in the heat of battle but intentional conversation in the peace and quiet helps facilitate staying in tune with Him when the battle gets thick. If there’s sin in your life, confess it so that you can interact with Him openly and unhindered.

Worship is another great way of preparing your heart to talk with God. Bring offerings of praise to the throne of God and just spend time in His presence. There is joy in His presence. It is there that you can truly commune with Him and seek wisdom.

In pursuit of His best,


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Shall Not Want

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. -Psalm 23:1

The Shepherd's Psalm is such a frequently quoted passage that the meaning can be glossed over by the familiarity. It's good to go back to passages like this from time to time and really meditate on them and not just read them for the comfortable feeling.

The first verse in Psalm 23 speaks volumes in simple imagery. A large amount of our concerns and difficulties lie in the lack of trust or seeking Him as we make plans and goals and strive after them. The Shepherd knows everything going on in our lives and has good plans laid out for us if we will simply abide in Him.

Goals and hard work are good but they're best grounded in sinking this truth into our hearts. We can obtain anything imaginable but will ultimately remain unfulfilled and still seeking if we do not rest in Him and His provision. Only in Him will we be truly satisfied.

Take some time right now to pray about the dreams, desires, and wants in your life. Make sure your focus is on Him and rest in His promises.

In pursuit of His best,

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