KLOVE Radio Features – August 2021
THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE OPTIONS
If we knew and could trust the perfect motive and qualities of God. Qualities like goodness, kindness, mercy, and complete forgiveness. And, if we could believe a loving God is madly in love with each of us. With these liberating perspectives: how we see God, and how He sees us. We could then realize that God’s plan for each of us is the best of all possible options. What script would you write for each of your children? It pales in comparison to the one He’s already written for them and for you. Embrace the will of God for your life, and you will never be disappointed. You may be sad for a while, but you’ll be blessed for eternity. That’s the great riddle of Earth, and those who believe it, solve it.
OPINIONS VS. CONVICTIONS
The world is loaded with opinions. Social media showcases the bravado of man; each claiming to have the higher thought, the deeper insight; the better way. Anyone can take the stage, grab a mic, and bellow out their truth. “Believe this! Do this!” The Bible clears the air when it says, “Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity.” (Philippians 2:3, TPT) A lot of what people call deep-seated convictions are merely shallow whims. More often than not, they follow the clueless crowd, turning naive minions into cultural clones, moral zombies, and wells without water. Everything in Heaven and Earth will pass away, but only God’s Word and His truth last forever. At the end of the day, Jesus and His Word are the only One’s left standing. Let your convictions be grounded in eternal realities, not earthly fantasies.
THE PRIVILEGE OF SUFFERING
All of us know too well that “suffering” is one of the great challenges in life. The opioid addictions and tragic loss of life due to overdosing and even suicide, can be traced back to being overwhelmed with pain and suffering. Whether it be physical or emotional, suffering can drive you crazy, even tempting you to give up on life altogether. That’s why this next Bible statement is so enigmatic. “For God has graciously given you the privilege, not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for Him.” (Philippians 1:29-30, TPT) A deep truth for any age. But, if you can believe it is indeed the higher ground, God will give you the grace you need to “… ,” (2 Timothy 2:10) and “…in everything give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) For this is the will of God for your life.
THE AGE OF VUCA
Perhaps you’ve heard people refer to the craziness of this age as VUCA. V…U…C…A. An acronym that stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. A combination of qualities that, taken together, characterize the nature of many of the difficult conditions and situations we are increasingly facing in our world. It’s a catchall statement for “Hey, it’s crazy out there!” VUCA. All of which can either drive you crazy, or to your knees, asking God for help. I’m persuaded, the redemptive value of life’s struggles is designed to make you increasingly dependent upon God, and less confident in yourself. The cure for the planets increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, is one thing: a daily dependence on the only perfectly calm, continually stable, and clear-thinking Person in the Universe: God Himself.
WAITING FOR GOD TO MOVE
Are you waiting on God? It’s a clear biblical principle. I believe it and practice it. “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 4:31) But frankly, I’ve found that many times we think we’re waiting for God to move, when it’s actually our move. We’re waiting to be forgiven, and He’s saying, “I forgave you long ago.” We’re waiting for faith to believe, and God’s given us more than a mustard seed. We’re waiting for an answer to a prayer request, and the answer was “No,” but we’re resisting it because we want our own way. The will of God is usually not our preference. While the will of man is often, “I’d rethink that if I were you.” Wait on God but know when it’s your move. More often than not, it usually is.
REMOVING POINTLESS THINGS
One of the great goals each of us should have in life would be to remove the pointless things that torment us. Things like Fear, Doubt, Regret, and Unbelief. Fear is a lie, Doubt will drive you crazy, Regret mangles your memories, and Unbelief is the faith of fools. All are the handiwork of the devil, and the playground of depression. Yet, God promises to cast out all Fear with His perfect love (1 John 4:18), replace our Doubts with single-mindedness (James 1:8), exchange regret for repentance and forgiveness, and undo unbelief with the faith found in God’s Word alone. Pray and believe to remove pointless things from your mind and memories. Your sleep will be sweet, your thoughts will be clear, and your life will be washed with hope that removes all shame.
One of the primary ways I’ve been tricked after being obedient has been assuming my efforts will bring a desired outcome. Many times, I’ve been wrong, and it caused me to waste a lot of time waiting for a ship that was never coming. Obedience and outcome have nothing to do with each other. As a matter of fact, attachment to a specific outcome can even undo much of the blessing God intended. I go from following Him to trying to be Him. From kneeling before Jesus in full submission, to bowing before my dreams in full deception. “Jesus, my obedience requires no specific response from You to add value. Doing Your will brings its own reward. Whether I receive it on Earth or in eternity, it makes no difference to me. You’ve already chosen the best of all possible options for me.”
THE “ALL ABOUT ME” MINDSET
The ugliest attitude I’ve ever seen in me I call, “It’s all about me!” It fueled the greatest mistakes in my life. So, it was no surprise when I finally learned the pioneer of this destructive mindset was the Devil, Lucifer himself. History is filled with “all about me” people, even seemingly godly leaders. In the Old Testament, when Hezekiah, the King of Judah, was told that because of a self-centered decision on his part his descendants would be taken away as slaves, he thought, “At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.” Hezekiah, a leader the Bible calls righteous and faithful, was still seduced by the “all about me” perspective. Having almost been destroyed by this mindset in my past, I pray every day that God will keep me from being most concerned about what’s best for me.
BIBLE GOATS: “GREATEST OF ALL TIME”
In Ezekiel 14, the Bible elevates three Old Testament luminaries to such a lofty place, that they appear to be, next to Jesus, GOATS: the “Greatest Of All Time.” Noah, Daniel, and Job, when compared to all humanity seem to be considered the premiere leaders of all time. So, what made these men stand out? My assessment is very subjective but will provide some insight. Righteous Noah lived in an age where everyone was so corrupt God had to reboot the planet with a flood and start fresh with Noah and his family. Humble Daniel refused to let his heart be seduced by absolute power. Lastly, persevering Job suffered more than any man aside from Jesus, and yet without blaming God. Righteousness, humility, and perseverance; qualities that would set each of us apart as well.
I’ve often wondered what elevated spiritual giants. I believe it was their micro-obedience: “doing the will of God as He asked them to, not merely what was convenient.” While you and I might balk and walk at the slightest prompting of the Holy Spirit, the unction of God was the very spark that propelled these spiritual giants forward into saying “Yes,” whatever the cost. When we practice micro-obedience, the primary nature of God we’ll encounter is His love. He has captured our heart. But when we operate in macro-obedience, the primary quality of God we encounter is His patience.” He hasn’t given up on us, but our actions are at that point, unblessable. It’s the difference between doing the Word of God, or merely hearing it. Revivals are birthed in micro-obedience! For only then can we experience Heaven’s maximum blessing.
The Bible teaches that as we fall in love with Jesus, we actually become more like Him. That’s what chapter one of Ephesians is talking about when it says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance…” (Ephesians 1:18, NIV) We can be enlightened, even becoming as Jesus said, “…the light of the world,” (Matthew 5:14) if we let the light of Jesus shine in our hearts. But this can only happen if we allow Him to be who He said He is, “…the Light of the world…” (John 8:12) in our own lives. “Jesus, let Your light shine so brightly in me, that Your life may be evident for all to see.”
HOW TO INCREASE GOD’S FAVOR
In the first book of the Bible, the patriarch Jacob learned through trial and error how to activate God’s protection in his life. Having failed two times before, he finally experienced success. Jacob had dug two wells and decided to build an altar after each one. Much to his dismay, both were filled in by the Philistines. So, before digging the third well, he decided to change his sequence. This time, he built an altar of worship to God first, and then dug the well. The result was dramatically different. By relying on God to start with, rather than his own efforts, he activated God’s grace and protection. As Jesus clearly stated, “…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, ESV)