Faith takes you out on a Limb

twainYears ago I started an investment portfolio trusting that it would lead to an early retirement for me and a comfortable future for my son. Well, when the economy tanked, so did my finances. And what did I do, I increased my investments, doubled my tithes and buried my head in my pillow as the economy took an even faster and more steady nose dive, leaving me flat on my face.

When it was over, and I regained consciousness, I had little regret. You see I learned early in my corporate career that big rewards require bigger risks. The more risk you take, the larger the expected return. “Risk and return go hand-in-hand.

And if you think about it, that’s a good faith lesson as well.

For years we have been taught that if we just ask for what we want and trust God, then He will give us what we desire, making life easier. Not much required from us, except belief.

But truth be told, simply “believing” is passive and faith without action is just hope.
Faith requires risk. It forces you to get up out of your easy chair and follow God into a life of adventure. It invests in the future regardless to what the “right now” looks like. It doesn’t comply with ordinary. It walks, talks, thinks and acts differently from the status quo. It’s not passive or shy; it’s assertive and sure; compelling us boldly forward, not in asking for what we want, but grabbing it and heading confidently in the direction of our dreams.

Faith is alive. It doesn’t look for guarantees; instead, it risks it all. It doesn’t hope for the best. It jumps head first into it, expecting something dangerously wonder full to happen. That kind of faith is action and it doesn’t even exist until you start moving.

So many of us live in distress; day after day wanting something more and praying that the god of the lamp will make magic of our lives. So many of us live disappointed and in pain, praying and fasting and believing and still, wondering why life just won’t make sense.

But our lives are our responsibility. And until we move, until we take action, until we risk it all, we only have hope. So go ahead, get up, do something spectacular today… make that phone call, defy your fears, live your dreams. Go out on a limb! After all, isn’t that where all the fruit is?

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Are You Positioned to Recieve from GOD?

Demaryius Thomas, Eric DeckerLast night my friend, Harvey told me that he loves playing flag football. It reminded me of a time when I was a young girl—how I loved playing football with my brother and his friends. We’d gather in the courtyard outside our home and choose up teams. I was never first choice because even though I was fast, I struggled with catching the ball.

My brother Lawrence often got frustrated with me because he’d have to explain the rules of catching over and over again. He’d yell at me to put myself in line with the ball and then just “receive it.” He’d say, “That’s why they’re called receivers Leslie.” Needless to say, I didn’t get in the game very often.

So here I am, XX years later, still not in the game, but I finally know the rules. I know that I must get my shoulders in line with the ball and keep my eyes fixed on it… focusing on it alone and NOT being distracted by all the movement around me. My arms must be extended so that I can receive the ball through a focus created by my hands and I catch with soft fingers that are strong, powerful, slightly bent and straight.

My brain went right away to the parallels of receiving God’s best in my life.
I think that in order to experience a truly supernatural life in Christ Jesus, we need to correctly position ourselves to hear AND receive from Him. We must get our lives in line with His word, focusing on God alone and NOT being distracted by the movement around us so that we CLEARLY hear that still and small voice of the Holy Spirit. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (“rhema”) of God.” “Rhema” is the revealed word – a word that God has brought to light, which is specifically directed at you.

As good receivers, our position is on the offense and our goal is to defeat the opposing team by first receiving from GOD everything that He has directed toward us… even in a crowd, above our worries and in spite of the enemy’s accusations. And so perhaps, it’s not enough for us to just know the rules – perhaps we should get in the game, position ourselves for a good catch by doing what He says – whenever He says it…despite the chaos around us…otherwise, we just get tackled and drop the ball.

I don’t know. Just thinkin…

Does your life reveal a “Spectacular” God?

I was reading an Oswald Chambers devotional the other day that started with some very pointed questions like “Is our attitude today an attitude that comes from our vision of God? Are we expecting God to do greater things than He has ever done? Is there a freshness and vigor in our spiritual outlook?”

As I read those questions, I realized that in many ways my life lacks luster in exhibiting the objective of God—fulfilled, exuberant, expectant, spectacular and confident in the road that He has placed me on. I was not asking nor expecting anything extraordinary from God. In fact, I realized that at times, I’d reduced Him to “human-like” characteristics and even fallen into the “if it be thy will” prayer…. just in case my faith fails me.

But I’m bored with “safe” and “just in case.” I’m bored with prayers that lack luster and shy away from great and enormous expectations of God. I want more from life than that. I want mountains to move and cancers to disappear. I want families alive and thriving, talking donkey heads, open seas and thunderous rolls from heaven. I want miraculous!

John 10:10 says, “Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.”

In Hebrew thought, we are not mere vessels and the world is not a container, spaces to be filled with things. The world is an event in God’s purposes… the temporal manifestation of His conversation with us on the way from beginning to beginning… and we are sojourners filled with His breath of life.

Otherwise, what is this life that the Christ offers? Surely it is far more than being stuffed with a bunch of divine ideas, learning scripture and filling ourselves up with theology that make us fat with revelation but goes nowhere.

I say that if we live as God has purposed for us, than living must be Christ Alive in us—manifesting miracles; passionate, vibrant and awesome as we travel toward the way back home. Life must be filled with hope and great expectations. It must be…. in a word….spectacular…right?

“I don’t know. I was just thinkn’”