Friday, February 18, 2011

Expert Opinion

Acts 27:11
11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.

Have you ever been in a situation where it seemed that expert opinion was the way to go but to your surprise it did more harm than good? For the centurion it proved disastrous. The men were on a ship sailing to Italy but found it difficult every step of the way. The centurion's decision to follow expert opinion eventually led them into a rough storm that resulted in the crashing of the ship. Paul offered a piece of advice but because he was not the expert his opinion was disregarded. Paul gave what is called "godly" advice as opposed to "expert" or "degreed" opinion. Paper or experience behind a name is seen as expert. Experts are not always right. Experts may give their educated opinion but that opinion does not see from the angles that God sees, which is all.

There will be times when many of us will be faced with the decision of "godly" advice vs. "expert/educated" opinion. It may be in matters of health, family, love relationships, career, finances, etc. Pay close attention because seeking the Lord's advice will always be paramount to others no matter how many degrees or years of experience exist. Like the centurion, you may hit a snag you don't see coming and it could very well cost you your life or the life of others.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Weapon of Mass Destruction

Psalm 10:7

7 Their mouths are full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under their tongues.

Do you know what the most power weapons of mass destruction are? Per the NIV Study Bible, curses, lies and threats were the most common weapons of the tongue in Israel. But has that really changed at all. Yes there are guns, knives and bombs but any of those wounds can also heal and don't necessarily spread. Did you know the strongest form of marketing is word of mouth? Why? Because the tongue is powerful. If something is good people will hear about it. If something is bad, it spreads like wildfire.

James 3:8
8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

So what does this mean? The tongue though it's a small muscle, it's very mighty. Any thing negative spreads like a cancer. The only defeater of this weapon is the power of our Lord!! Only God has the power to shut the mouths of those who lie in wait for a way to destroy. Only God has the ability to steer rejection and objection and bring one to acknowledgement and approval.

So if you are facing a weapon of mass destruction, call on the diffuser and the word he has supplied as our sword.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Set In Motion

Romans 10:20

20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”[a

Has it ever appeared that something wasn't in your plan but later you found out it was God's plan all along? The apostle Paul addressed the church in Romans regarding God's plan for the Gentiles. God knew long before he sent Jesus to us that he would be rejected by his own people. Therefore, he would make salvation through Jesus Christ known to those who were not considered to be the chosen people. It was done in with the understanding that one day, Jesus would be accepted by the people of Israel. The apostle Paul was sent to expose the Gentiles to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. God always creates with the end in mind so therefore everything is already set in motion.

What does this mean for us? It means that wherever you are right now, God already knew you would be there. Where you're going, he already knows. The idea is that at some point you will mold your will to what his will is for you because he wants you to be the very best that he created you to be. He wants it for all of us. So even when it doesn't look like wherever you are was not in your plan, God already knew about it. You are where you are because there's something for you to learn. Learn it, so you can move forward.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When the Student Is Ready...

Proverbs 2:2-3

2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,

Have you ever heard the saying "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear"? It's actually a Buddhist proverb but one that holds true. King Solomon was considered the wisest and wealthiest man of Old Testament times. When the kingship was turned over to him by his father David, instead of seeking wealth, he sought God for wisdom. Because he didn't ask God for anything else, he blessed him greatly. Turning your ear to wisdom and applying signifies that one is ready to listen and obey. There are some things we just have to be willing to ask for. King Solomon suggests that we ought to ask for insight and understanding. How else will we know what to do?

There comes a point in our lives where we must know that once we ask for insight and understanding, we must be ready for the results. It may not be what we want to hear but it will be what we need to hear to move to the next level.

May our hearts be at a place of readiness so we can gain wisdom and understanding.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Parallels and Connecting Dots

Ezekiel 24:15-16

15 The word of the LORD came to me: 16 “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears.

Did you know that God draws parallels in our lives? For the prophet Ezekiel he did just that. Ezekiel's life was reflective of what he wanted to teach to the people of Israel. The remnant left in Jerusalem thought they had been spared because of their own righteousness and God wanted to show that it was because he chose to do so and for no other reason. And he used the life of Ezekiel to teach it. Ezekiel had been obedient to God and gave the word of the Lord just as it was given to him but that did not stop God from removing things or people from his life. He took Ezekiel's wife. As devastating as it was God didn't want him to respond the way most responded because it was to show what he was doing in the life of the people of Israel.

God speaks to us in parallel ways. Is there something being played out in multiple areas of your life? There are usually parallels in more than one area but sometimes we forget to connect the dots.