2 Steps Closer to God

676331_66801405If I could give only two keys to getting really close to God I’d give these steps right here…

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

Psalm 100:4 NASB

Why do I choose this single scripture? Because of the great impact that thanksgiving and praise has on our relationship with God. Not only does it align our thinking but it also positions us for explosive favor! Let me explain…

Thankfulness

Psalm 100:4 says that we enter His gates by way of being thankful. So what does a gate have to do with this? Well first off a gate is obviously an entrance. We get that. We see that. That’s the easy part. As we look further in though we can see an interesting facet of what a gate represents. See in the time of the Bible a city gate was also a meeting place for the elders of the city. If you were invited to a meeting at the gates then you were a favored individual. The Word has all kinds a great things to say about someone who is thankful but obtaining favor with God is just another one of them.

Now just imagine yourself walking into the gates of the Lord’s house. You’re starting to sense His presence. Things just seem to be getting better ever since you went through that gate. There’s favor here…and it’s much harder to complain. His testimonies are healing you now even in the midst of trials! Yes, this is one of those special places where you find rest in the battle.

Praise

It’s really hard to be negative and thankful at the same time so thanksgiving opens us up and gets us in the door. Once we’re in the door and enjoying His presence though, now it’s time to start proclaiming who God is on Earth as He is in Heaven. When we do this we are reminding ourselves of His promises and loosing the Word into the Earth. All of this is generating a lifestyle of faith and ya know what? The Word says that it is impossible to please God without faith.

So you want to be close to God? Please Him with faith.

Now all of a sudden you start pleasing God and His favor is just multiplying over you! Praise is a way to draw near to God and it is a way through which He draws near to us. It’s funny how much the things of this Earth grow strangely dim when He is so big in our mind and speech. When we walk into His courts we then have access to His justice and in the closeness of worship He starts aligning our life.

So maybe you’re low on faith and feeling trampled. Start thanking and praising Him. Even if it’s for things He’s done for others; start thanking Him that He’ll do it for you too. Just decide to fill your mind and your mouth with thankfulness and praise and you will soon find the Lord lifting you up closer and closer to Him.

Don’t let better be the enemy of best. Keep climbing higher and more of the Lord will be discovered. Jesus loves ya!

 

6 Ideas For A More Creative Leader – Part 2

1433983_61997011Hey all! It’s time to finish up the Creative Leader post with Part 2 here. Let’s get right into it with our next point…

4. A Creative Working Environment

Let’s talk more about that lightning rod that catches inspiration from a previous point in Part 1. First off –

What environment can you establish that will generate creative thoughts for you and/or your organization?

If it’s possible; use nature! A lot of people find that when they are able to see nature then they are able to get the light bulb to turn on. It’s no wonder that God’s creation has the ability to spark imagination within those who are made in His image. So can you get to a window? Maybe you can take a quick walk through a park. If all else fails you can even put up pictures of God’s creation that may move you.

As far as layout goes there are actually some companies that will design their buildings to help their people generate ideas. I know this may not be possible for most to do but hey, it’s still really cool to dream! Here’s some ideas if you happen to have access to this possibility…

– There are some software companies that actually design a “hive” workspace where everyone works together in one large room so that they have instant collaboration. Then there are small private areas where they can go to get alone for focus time.

– Other companies will actually design their conference rooms like a residential living room so that it takes on a more family oriented atmosphere. This way it breaks up whatever may be the norm.

– There are even businesses that will design the hallway to the bathroom to be extra long so that employees will be forced to talk to others while they are walking!

– Some places have small out of the way areas where people can go to just allow their mind to wander so that they can recharge. I’ve actually heard of one that puts out a couple chairs and a table with PlayDoh on it so that their people aren’t stuck creating only one type of thing throughout the day. Along these lines if you’ve never seen pictures of Google’s workspace then I really encourage you to check them out. Be warned though; you will never be the same.

5. Balancing Leadership and Management

Okay so let’s say you have this vision. This vision is awesome and wow you really want to make this happen, right? All of a sudden this annoying “management” stuff starts getting in the way though. What? Can’t we just dream and it just works or something? Gosh!

Right…back to reality. Management is needed but if it’s not balanced it can suffocate our ability to dream. If we stop dreaming then we stop creating and that’s why this point has to be here for a more creative leader.

The disconnect can happen easily. The main thing to remember is that management only maintains but only leadership can bring change. As you go higher in rank the leadership needs to raise and the management needs to lower. The problem of dream suffocation happens a lot to people at the top because they haven’t delegated enough management to others so that they can lead. As an example, when Steve Jobs was around at Apple he passed a large amount of management off to his second in charge so that he could keep being the creative entrepreneur for the company.

It’s like taking your vitamins. Don’t forget to delegate!

6. Finally – Culture, Culture and some more Culture!

What are people doing when the boss isn’t looking? That’s what defines culture in a workplace. Is your creativity flowing down the ladder?

You already have a culture where you are so why not shape it to be awesome? When we combine all these things we’ve been talking about we arrive at a place where we actually become a culture bomb that ignites people around us. When it’s “just what we do” it becomes electric. People like being a part of something that sets them on fire. Do you want a great platform to be able to talk about the Lord? Be a creator like your Father and the people He wants to hook up to your work will come running. Be a culture bomb for the Kingdom of God!

In closing I just want to mention something here… If someone comes by and wrecks your sand castle it may hurt but hey; it’s okay. It’s sand. You’ll just build a new one! Here’s the thing – Jesus sees the heart and He can restore what the locust has eaten. He can also protect what’s in your heart. Remember through these type of times what Phil. 1:6 says: 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. NASB

I love you guys and gals! Now go make something.

 

Question time! What is one simple change to your workspace that can help generate creative ideas?

6 Ideas For A More Creative Leader – Part 1

Garden Design Blueprint SketchingDo you consider yourself creative? Where would you rate your creativity at? How about compared to others? There’s probably someone you know that you can think of right now that can just blow your mind away when it comes to creativity, isn’t there? So what makes them special? What makes creative people so creative?

Here’s the thing… I don’t like when I hear folks say that they aren’t creative. Ya know why? Because we are made in the image of God! Therefore, we all have ridiculously, amazing, powerful, stupendous, where-in-the-world-did-that-come-from creativity prowess! I mean… let’s not forget where we come from aye?

There can be a number of disconnects that cause us to not see ourselves as creative. Maybe a person hasn’t found their calling yet. Maybe they stopped dreaming a while ago because of a dark moment or their hope being deferred. Whatever the cause; Jesus restores all.

Having said that, I want to bring some ideas that I’ve learned to help leaders (and those who think they aren’t leaders!) generate creativity within themselves as well as in their organizations. I believe that the Lord wants to connect His children to His creative power. He is the light of the world and we can stand to get some of His creativity in us to change this place for the better!

1. Mastery and Discipline Expertise

You know I have to start out at the stewardship level, right? Obviously we have to start from a place where we are dedicated and focused on being our best. We can’t just be our best anywhere though. We need to know where to put all this focus on! Because we are created, we don’t get to choose where our talents are; we get to discover where our talents are. On the individual level this requires research, soul search, and God search.

As far as choosing the right people for the right job though, that’s going to require a more focused hiring process than the norm. Many Fortune 500 companies know this and have made their hiring process to have multiple steps for admittance. In short – hire the best.

When people fit where they are supposed to they learn fast, act fast and adopt fast. They also mesh well with each other and it helps generate excellence within the team. Ask yourself how they will fit into the culture of the organization. The hiring process should be lengthy and deliberate. It isn’t enough to work hard. If you’ve hired a hard-working accountant who is actually an architect on the inside, then you won’t get the full talent that’s needed. God’s gift achieves more than man’s sweat.

2. Reach Outside of the Discipline for Ideas

Bridge Fields – Connecting different fields can give insight! Go look at a completely different industry and see how they deal with what you’re dealing with. Perhaps they’ve found a way to accomplish about the same thing that you are.

Blend Fields – Is there something that you can create that is a hybrid of different fields? Think about how Apple blended tech and artful design together.

3. Expect and Schedule Creativity

There’s this thought that creativity is like lightning striking and you can’t choose when or where. Well that doesn’t mean you can’t hold up a lightning rod in the middle of a field on a stormy day! We can create environments that “catch” creativity. All kinds of people have great inventions in their head. Most of them don’t get them to market though because they aren’t ready for it. Here’s some steps to make creation a routine –

1. Review what’s been done – If change is going to happen then we need a starting point to know if that change is doing us any good. Save the good parts and move on. Be careful not to get stuck on a method! Every organization needs to be reborn at some point.

2. Generate New Ideas – Instill habits within your organization to spend time on creative ideas. Schedule brainstorming! I know this sounds like a no-brainer but sometimes you will hear that there’s “just no time”. Even worse is when no one cares about what the folks down in the trenches are thinking.

3. Test Ideas – Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t let others be afraid to fail! Learn to fail fast and then move on.

4. Use the Best Ideas – In other words; do it right. When you find a good idea take the time to make it really work. One polished idea is better than the clutter of many “ok” ideas.

Part 2 to come…

Question: What is one simple habit that you can establish that will schedule an opportunity for creative ideas?

Becoming Efficient with Time

Time seems to be that one thing folks just can’t get enough of. The interesting thing about it though is that no matter where or to whom we were born we all get 24 hours a day to accomplish life. What we focus that time on is what we become or what we continue to linger as. There are many successful people in this world that even started with nothing that have the same amount of hours as the rest of us. So what’s the difference?

I wanted to bring some tips that I’ve learned from my own fevered searches for understanding on this topic so that time doesn’t remain elusive. I hope it will bring peace to your day and hey…remember that Jesus is the Lord of time and the Restorer of what the locust has eaten!

The 80/20 Rule

Many have probably heard of the 80/20 rule because it’s used in just about every subject. Basically, usually twenty percent of the work that you do is more important than the rest (the 80%). Most of the time you will have twenty percent of your customers responsible for the brunt of your work and/or pay. In the same light, during twenty percent of your workday, you will be at your highest energy level.

Everyone has a peak energy “window” of time in the day where they are able to be the most efficient. It varies from person to person but we definitely want to figure out when that is for us. A lot of times this can coincide with optimal glucose levels in the body as well. In other words, the time of the day where you’ve been without food the longest is probably not the best time to make your most important decisions.

Once you are aware of this you’ll start to see when that time is. From there just start asking “is this an 80 or 20 project?” The key is to do your “20% work” during the time that you are at your peak. When this gets lined up the time starts freeing up more.

Another thing about that window…Protect it! Don’t let people steal your peak time with menial tasks. Broadcast your availability to others so that they know when they shouldn’t interrupt you. If you need to and are able to then get away from the distractions. For instance maturity is paramount with technology at this time. If you have Twitter buzzing your phone clear off the desk then turn it off. Uncle Frank’s post about his new Bassdestroyer 2000 can be liked during the eighty percent time. Unless of course you don’t like the Bassdestroyer 2000…but who wouldn’t?

If a large amount of your time is still being spent on the eighty percent even after you’ve dealt with the twenty percent in your peak time, then the next step comes which is to –

Delegate – Automate – Outsource

If you don’t have to micromanage something and you still are…I wish I had your energy. Leaders lift others up to their own level. The whole purpose of leading is to create other leaders. If you aren’t developing others around you then you aren’t passing the baton. When you stop passing the baton your destiny becomes stagnated because you’ve stopped work on your next promotion.

Here’s something that I try to live by as a general rule for delegation – If it can be done by someone else…it should be done by someone else. Now, that’s not an excuse to become lazy so it has to be said with balance. I’m saying it here because there’s some that need to balance doing everything on their own with this statement. Remember Jesus said you have to love me. :)

What can you delegate, automate, or outsource? Yes maybe you can fix the car for cheaper. How much is your time worth though? After five trips to the store, three YouTube videos watching professionals make it look easy and 6 hours of work did you really get your money back? How much work could you have done focusing on your strengths that God gave you to make a profit faster?

God made you specifically a certain way to answer a problem that the world has. When you find out what that is, you can focus on that strength and then use the success from that to pay others to do what they were created to do. Isn’t it so relieving that you don’t have to be good at everything?

Sleep and Have Fun!

The traditional thought about work is that it should be categorized apart from fun. The problem with that is that God created work and He’s the funnest person you’ll ever meet so somewhere there’s been a disconnect. The mindset is what I’m going after with this. The thought that we are going to just go full crazy for eight or more hours straight almost every day of the week just isn’t within the confines of our design. Our brain needs a break and our body does too. God doesn’t want us sedentary in body or in mind.

There are plenty of studies out there that say taking quick naps or just taking a break to play a game or create something small can reset the brain and make us more efficient. I want to challenge you to sharpen the axe throughout the day and see how much of a difference it can make! Eccl. 10:10

 

What are some ways that you break up the day to stay efficient? Leave a comment!

 

How to write a resume… to God.

It’s easy to find resources all over the web on how to write a perfect resume. No matter what employer that you’re applying for, these strategies that they offer will supposedly give you all kinds of advantages over the other applicants, right? I mean that’s at least what they propose.

Here’s the thing though… Jesus said that He went about doing His Father’s business. He literally worked for His Father. He was in the Family business. No matter what you may do whether you wear a white collar, blue collar, or even a camo one, you work for your Father.

The name of our Family business is the Kingdom of God. We may have many different dreams and many different avenues by which we operate in our Father’s company, but at the end of the day our Boss is God Almighty.

Do you realize what amazingly awesome news that is? No matter how high on the totem pole your boss is, he or she isn’t as high as your Father is. When you’re being mistreated or ignored by them it doesn’t matter. Your Lord thinks the world of you and is always watching. If the head of your company sits in an ivory tower all day and is unreachable, God still loves to hear about your ideas and dreams. Remember that promotion comes from God (Psalm 75:6-7). All authority comes from Him and all power comes from Him (Matt 28:18). I understand that we are told to respect our authorities, but who should we endeavor to please and honor the most here?

So… Think about this. We have all this access to God to the point of boldness (Heb 4:16) and we have all this favor from Him. Why don’t we offer our resume to Him? He’s the one that’s hiring us after all. I use that word “hire” loosely seeing as it’s service to Him, but the Lord does reward for faithful service. He is our first Employer. The Bible says to commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established (Prov 16:3). It also says In Deut 28 that everything you set your hands to do will be blessed (according to His will).

After realizing this I decided to submit my resume to God based upon his Word instead of what the world deems important. I base it upon His Word because all of His promises are yes and amen to those who are under the blood of Jesus (2 Cor 1:20).

In a common resume you will see listed a number of credentials. You will usually have past education, past experience, interests, referrals, and usually volunteer experience. So we’re going to list these out before the Lord and submit it to our Employer in an act of prayer for His preferred employment in His Kingdom. Ya ready? Here we go…

Past Education – I submit to You Father all that Your Holy Spirit has taught me and I submit to His ongoing tutoring to make me an excellent five talent servant for your Kingdom.

Past Experience – I submit to You Father all the wilderness times and the character transformation I’ve been through. All the times that you’ve shown me that You were always there and had me in Your hands. I also submit to You all the testimonies I’ve accrued over my time with You as well as the testimonies of those who have gone before me. I do not forget what You have done for them and myself and I claim them as current and “up and coming” in my life. I expect Your Word.

Interests – I submit to You Father the dreams that You have given me. I submit to you my talents, my skills, and my aspirations. Whether they be fleshly or truly from You. Weigh them and let my true inner motives be Godly so that You can use them. Let Your blueprints be manifest in my life.

Referrals – I submit to You Father my one and only referral – Jesus Christ. The Son of God says that I am holy and unreproachable. He said that I’ve gained a seat in the heavenlies. I ask for all that He has afforded me to be and have on Earth as it is in Heaven; that my condition would match my position by the blood of the Lamb.

Volunteer Experience – I submit to You Father that I do more than what I’m paid to do so that I may be considered a steward over more than I have now. I submit to your promotion and thank You for it!

We seal this prayer in the name of the Referral – Jesus Christ. The One who is anointed to preach the gospel to the poor. The gospel which IS the power of God according to Romans 1:16. Amen!

Restitution Plunder

When I was a little boy the most interesting thing to me about the Bible was all the battle stories. Nothing got me more into listening to the Word than hearing a tale about these amazing heroes that just did these ridiculous feats that no one else could do. They were real super heroes! Not the fake kind on the cartoons but ones that actually existed and if God empowered them, then He could empower me too! All I ever really wanted to hear about was David’s mighty men, or Joshua, or those crazy battles in the book of Judges where Samson would win against impossible odds. I can’t forget about the hail that would fall from the sky to destroy the enemy too. That was the icing on the cake.

Well today I want to talk about another awesome battle of supernatural strength. This one isn’t usually heard about though because it’s nestled right in there in the middle of a bunch of those “begats” in 1 Chronicles. You know… that book you ignore and then go and read 1 Kings instead.

I see you…

Jesus sees you…

Anyway, I just want to point out 1 Chronicles 5:18-22. Real short and sweet, but powerful –

18 The sons of Reuben and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, consisting of valiant men, men who bore shield and sword and shot with bow and were skillful in battle, were 44,760, who went to war. 19 They made war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. 20 They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him. 21 They took away their cattle: their 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep, 2,000 donkeys; and 100,000 men. 22 For many fell slain, because the war was of God. And they settled in their place until the exile. NASB

Here’s the thing that makes this fight for the promised land different. This is not the days of Joshua. Quite some time has gone by since the days when all the tribes were supposed to get their allotment of the land of Canaan. These folks had been waiting a long time. Their portion had been postponed. If this sounds familiar, just wait because I hear the story ends well.

Think about this though… All the cattle, camels, sheep, and donkeys were never raised by the Israelite. These soldiers didn’t tend any of those animals. Nope; not one. Not a single day did they have to heft out the feed bag or fight off predators to protect them. All they had to do was become valiant and skillful in battle with the sword, shield and bow. All the days that they were sitting outside their rightful portion God just had the Canaanites raising that plunder for them.

When the time came for breakthrough, all of the character development and training paid off and God walked them in and gave them the farm. God has plunder for each and everyone of us that grants restitution for our time spent in the wilderness. This truly shows that even when the enemy tries to offer us a “shortcut” to success, it’s not really the quickest way. The alternate path will have us meander about to and fro until we finally end up in true poverty. God’s way is quicker. He’s just waiting for the right time and a few valiant soldiers.

So let’s take these heroes as a testimony for what God can do through us and be heroes for our God, our families, and our nation!

Keep your sword down on the whetstone, your shield polished, and your fletchings dry. You have a farm to inherit.

Used Mantle for Sale. Great Condition – Only Dropped Once.

So you’re walking along in life, praying for revival, and for God to heal the land you love. All of a sudden you come across a crumpled up piece of cloth laying on the ground. It’s old. No telling how old actually…

You get closer to inspect it – there’s a singe around the edges and it seems to still smell like the fire that burned around it long ago. Another whiff and your mind is filled with someone else’s memories. Memories of tireless nights of prayer and fasting. Something about it just feels like hard work.

Was that sawdust?

Maybe it was the smell of the morning catch floating down the cobbled streets of a renaissance harbor city. Or, even older still, as dreams of eldritch peoples who stood watching the Messiah ascend into heaven are painted onto the easel of your mind.

You feel a tightening of the senses as the air grows still…

Another passerby has stopped to gaze at the abandoned mantle and again they wonder, “Will you pick us up?”

Some prayers and missions from the Lord are for our time and some are for the future generation. No one knew this better than King David who was tasked with preparing the supplies for the building of the temple which his son Solomon would later do. One of the key candidacies of inheritance and possessing the promised land that we find throughout the Bible is that of generational transfer.

Whenever the children of Israel didn’t pass on a good relationship with God to their children, bad things always pursued. Peruse through both of the Book of Kings and it tells the story. It’s called passing the baton and it has to be something that we do on purpose. What about the other way though? The Bible says that God turns the hearts of the sons to the Fathers too.

When Elisha picked up his spiritual father’s mantle, he walked over to the Jordan and called upon the God of Elijah. Not “My God”, but “Dad’s God”. Why did he do that? Elijah was gone. He’s in heaven now. He’s bye-bye. Does God answer the prayers of former generations? Absolutely. Through us, that is.

Just think about this. You have Elisha standing there with what has been used many times as the example of an empasse (the Jordan River) standing in his way. The rest of his life was on that other side; everything he was called to do and to use the double-portion anointing for.

He then calls upon the God of Elijah, or the God of the previous generation. He was calling upon God to answer and finish the work that He started in Elijah and to remember any unanswered prayers that were supposed to happen through Elisha. That power is what split the Jordan river and propelled Elisha into his ministry. What an awesome weapon!

Just know that the total fulfillment of your call is beyond you. It will always require the next generations to fully reveal the gigantic and grandiose vision that God has for you. On the flip-side, we all need to be locked into the previous generations so that we can be propelled with all the backup that’s available. Otherwise, we are stuck to reinventing the wheel at every new generation.

The key is to get connected backwards and forwards. In other words, get mentors and also people you can pour into. We have all this power and there’s so many mantles laying around (or brand new ones from Heaven) that no one has picked up because it costs something. Some anointings can only exist within certain lifestyles. If we want the results of Daniel, then we gotta pay the lifestyle price.

So get connected at the local church and find yourself some mentors. Read their books, listen to their teachings, and get to know some of them on a personal level. Then, be a river and not a reservoir. Give out to others what you receive!

It’s calling to you. The drumming in the deep. The heat of the fire. Let its weightiness drape over your shoulders and strike that Jordan! New lands await.

The Sickle and the Sword

Have you been tithing and giving but haven’t quite seen the breakthrough that you’ve been praying for? There’s a lot of principles to nail down like maturity, being a cheerful giver, making sure the core motives are right, sowing into good soil sources and so on. Then there’s the whole “right season” thing that we have no control over. Needless to say, it takes soaking into the Word to really get it. It has to become our true profession. The reason for that is because obtaining God’s abundance requires that we change more than our circumstances change. I mean, that’s the easy stuff. One angel on assignment from God can change everything around us. The thing that takes time is us, right?

Let’s say you’ve done all those things though. I’m not bringing forth a hypothetical perfection here. I’m just saying…hey, you’ve been working on and doing everything you know to do… and still no dice. What gives? Does it really take this long to get to harvest season? Well I can’t answer that because I’m not the sovereign God. Here’s the thing though… there’s a lot of great Word speaking people using the principles of what I’d call the sickle (the sowing and reaping principles) but just think about this; all of Israel’s blessings were about when they would obtain their promised land. While they were in the wilderness they just got charity.

Free bread falling from Heaven every day. Free bread that only came in bread form…not seed form for sowing. Why? The soil in the wilderness can’t produce a crop, so God had to give them bread. The problem is that you can’t multiply with bread. You can only consume it. You can’t save it up like seed and you can’t invest it.

That mana went bad quickly. After all, God didn’t plan on them being there next week, so it didn’t have to have a long shelf-life. Each day though, He’d look down to see if they had taken good soil from the enemy’s hands and…sigh…nope. “Well Gabriel, I guess you’ll have to wipe off some crumbs from the angel’s mess hall table onto them again. They still haven’t matured and attacked.”

Sound familiar? Perhaps a weekly check that just gets you by until next week might jar your memory. It’s kind of hard to disciple the nations if we only have grocery money for our own families. God has more available than that. So how do we get it from Heaven to Earth? I mean they pave the streets with the stuff up there!

So we use the sickle like the Word instructs us to and that’s good. What I propose is that next we need to pick up the sword in the other hand and start laying siege to what God has promised us.

Now, don’t be discouraged about all your sowing and think that you’ve been wasting it. God’s guarantee on return still stands. The obstacle that we have to get by is the fact that He’s been stockpiling it into the silos of our promised land. Within that place, there are others who are tasked with gathering it up for us. This is found in Eccl 2:26, Deut 6:10-11, 1 Chron 5:18-22, and Josh 24:13.

All of these instances show the fruit of the sword or plunder. Some harvests are won by the sickle; others are won by the sword. As you engage in spiritual warfare over your calling or region, you loose what God has tasked sinners to gather up for you. Ever wonder why the 5 talent servant got the 1 talent servant’s portion from Matt 25? This is why. As soon as someone moves from an investor in God’s kingdom to a hoarder, he reverts back to the curse laid upon sinners to gather up riches for the righteous in Eccl 2:26. If you’ve wondered about that whole “wealth of the wicked laid up for the righteous” thing, that’s what it’s talking about. It also happens to be another good reason not to be jealous when the wicked prosper. They’ve been ordered to. The real problem is that somewhere, a Christian hasn’t taken their inheritance yet.

How do you take a promise land then? How do you use the sword of the Lord? Well, that’s a broad subject and the posts on this site will continue to point towards that goal, but before we get into more teachings on it later, I just want to point out the first key. A major key to the breakthrough that Daniel received that brought wealth transfer and promised land aquisition to Ezra, Nehemiah, and many others. That key is what most call the “Daniel fast”.

The amazing thing about Daniel’s 3 week fast is that it wasn’t about quantity; it was about quality. He just decided that he wasn’t going to please the flesh. See it never actually says he planned on stopping after 3 weeks. It just says that the breakthrough came after 3 weeks. He got desperate enough to change his lifestyle to one that only pleased God. Lo and behold, it made things move.

To be put simply, a lifestyle that’s sacrificed to please only God develops character. That more mature character then is able to handle higher level anointings and promotions in the spirit realm. Finally, the higher level anointings bring with them the higher level angelic assignments that walk in and move mountains. So start loosing those angel armies and keep pressing in. Go for it! We can take the promises in the Word and declare and stand on them in our prayer times. Jesus makes us overwhelming conquerors!

It’s time. Fighting is optional. Winning isn’t.

No One Say The “G” Word!

Can I talk about the G word here? It won’t offend you will it? It can be a very offensive word afterall…and no, I’m not talking about God so you’ll have to think of something else. Come on, you can guess it. It’s something most churches in the western world rarely talk about. You’ve even probably never heard a message preached on it before.

Think you have it now? How about this… I’m going to put down the Hebrew translation first and then maybe you can guess it. The reason why I’m going to do that is because this word has been somewhat miss-defined for quite a long time now. So here’s the first parts of the definition for your clue from Strong’s Concordance…

Zalal – to shake (as in the wind) i.e. to quake: Fig – to be loose morally, worthless or prodigal.

So what in the world starts with a “G” in English that defines this? It apparently deals with immorality so, how could I say it’s not usually talked about in churches today? Well, because I’m talking about Zalal, which translates in English to… Gluttony.

Yep. Sure does! It’s not until the last parts of the definition that it gets to the eating part. Now before you shut your eyes, plug your ears, and start yelling “lalalalalala!”, did that definition say exactly that eating more than what your stomach should handle was the root sin? Did it say eating unhealthy food was the root sin either? No. Now those things can very well be outliers, but they aren’t the main problem. That’s why it’s been miss-defined. We eat a lot, feel bad about it and let condemnation come in or we’ve decided that it’s not a battle we care to take on. In other words, we ignore gluttony as if it’s an ancient, vestigial remain of a bygone Judaical philosophy. Ya know, like those kosher law things.

The root issue though is that when people make the choice to let their tongue (the flesh) decide how they are to steward the living and holy sacrifice from Romans 12, they’ve just set up an idol before God. Instant moral issue.

The infamous G word is shown here in Prov 23:20-21 which says…

20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags. NASB

Ouch! So apparently God says that the result of gluttony is the same as the result of drunkenness. At this point you may say “Wait a minute Ryan… I shout the preacher down when he gets on a tangent about Christians who drink, but pity the fool that takes my twinkies! So… where does that put me?”

I’m just going to put a space here for that timeless, single cricket chirp…

Okay, so now that we’ve paused, sat in a hippie drum circle, talked about our feelings and how hard life is, we can move on. Ya good? Awesome.

The Bible says that the power of life and death are in the tongue. We automatically assume that’s talking only about our speech, right? The tongue doesn’t just talk though; it tastes too! There are so many of us in the body of Christ that are willing to give up anything for the gospel, but it’s amazing how much the flesh is unchecked and allowed to reek havoc through our lives in this area.

I don’t think I need to list the reasons. They’re listed in the obituaries of our newspapers every day. We can talk about binding familiar spirits and generational curses, but after those are dealt with, most of the time it’s not the devil that gets passed down; it’s the cookbook.

Is God first in our stewardship of health? Are we ensuring that we give Him the maximum amount of years of service that we can? Are we speaking the Word of healing and then suffocating the angelic assignments through bad stewardship? Could it be that we are nullifying the Word with tradition (Mark 7:13) through incorrect habits?

One thing is sure. Jesus gives victory and releases us from the bondage of bad habits and soulish comfort derived from food. For any problem we have, God has a promise. Matt 11:30 states “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” We can trade our old burdens for His lighter burden. That also includes going too far the other way because of a feeling of condemnation.

Excellence in service to the Master is possible when the focus is on getting the lifestyle right, instead of just a seasonal diet. If you are doubting because of past attempts that failed, I want to encourage you that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. It’s not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God that you can mount up with wings like an eagle and run and not be weary; walk and not faint!

– Phil 4:13, Zech 4:6, Is 40:31. Who or what is stronger than Jesus?

Leading People or Maintaining Robots

When we go to work and look around, do we see a vibrant environment full of inspiration and creativity, or do we find ourselves drained of purpose and just trying to get by? The “another day, another dollar” saying truly is a sad edict hung over many a head across this globe. I’d also venture to say that it’s not within the confines of Heaven’s original blueprints for humanity either.

I’ve heard before (and honestly have thought myself) some say that they just wish we could have a good dictator come in and “just… fix everything!” Ya know… just for a little bit. Whether this be about our governments or perhaps frustrations with red tape or management issues at our workplaces. We just want things to work right! Right?

Here’s the problem… Jesus, no matter how supreme and omnipotent, doesn’t act like a dictator. Why? Because God’s way of leading doesn’t require it. The reason for that is that we are created to be loved and to love. Therefore, when Jesus loves us, the core of our design is touched in such a way that though we have free will, we voluntarily subjugate ourselves to Him (John 14:15). It works this way because once you are convinced of someone’s sincere love, it is much easier to be persuaded of their cause.

On the other hand, though you strive for the most holy of stances, if you lack the purveyance of genuine friendship, you will be hard-pressed to win over a single soul.

I say “soul” because that’s exactly what we are dealing with. If you only want a robot in your following, then simply appease people on their basest of levels. Like for instance, merely a paycheck (shelter, food, water). We’ll call it the “carrot on a stick” motivator. You may also use this base motivation as leverage. For instance when the boss pulls out the whip and says “work harder or you’re fired!”.

If you want to activate what God puts on the inside of people though, and as a leader you need that to accomplish your vision, you have to go a level deeper. A good Godly leader needs to touch the heaven that’s inside his people to get the Lord’s answer manifested in his business or organization. To attain inspiration, there must first be a conducive environment for that to come through. Every organization rises and falls due to its leadership, so the responsibility to cultivate a heavenly atmosphere lies within the lap of the leaders.

Most places are filled with robots and most places are filled with managers instead of leaders. Should not the marketplace influence coming from the Church be different? If we invest at the robot level we will lead followers. If we invest in people, we will lead leaders, and that’s where the real multiplication begins.

Jesus used both the whip (cleansing the temple) and the carrot (miracles and provision) as tools, but that’s all they were. The spirit of His leadership is firmly grounded in love and a passion for bringing others up to His level instead of leaving them behind in the dirt. Jesus produces leaders. We can actually see whole cities mentioned in the Bible where they were offered the carrot but were blinded to the love and as a result they didn’t turn (Matt 11:20-24). Though He performed many miracles, they weren’t won to His cause. Neither benefits nor great pay can join people to vision. It must be love.

Why did certain people reject Jesus? 2 Cor 3:14-16 shows us that those who are so used to a cold, law-based life (The cycle of tradition – Mark 7:13) are veiled to the light and love of Jesus. In fact, in the aforementioned Matt 11:20-24, the only cities that were being rebuked were the ones that had the law readily available to them. Unveiling prayer then, must be an added component for the people we lead so that we may have as many as can be on board with God’s dream for the organization.

With these principles in place, the raised bar of activation within the company or group acts as a filter for those who refuse to be excellent. It is when the leadership is content with mediocre that “flies in the ointment” stay on board. As a result of God’s love in leadership, I believe Jesus can bring Christian influence to the top of the marketplace and make the competition wonder why our people are so alive and firsts in innovation.

So, I want you to know that Jesus loves you and I love you, and you’re more than normal. You’re an overwhelming conqueror!