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Posts Tagged ‘character’

In the midst of so much turmoil in the world, there are so many voices clamoring for our attention.  They offer finite answers to infinite questions, whereby even genuine revelation from God is often presented as if it is the sum total of what the Lord is saying, instead of part and parcel of a much bigger picture, which no one man could possibly know (1 Cor. 13:9 & 12).  Seekers of truth can easily get caught up running from one would-be Prophet/Teacher to the next, desperately trying to discern God’s priorities in this moment, but I sense that the Lord’s focus remains firmly on the posture of our hearts.  As He told the Prophet Samuel (1 Sam.16:7), He doesn’t regard outward appearances, which includes all the things we’re doing in His name; choosing instead to look at the condition/attitude/posture of our hearts.  While we like to think of our accomplishments “in Jesus’ name” as fruit, He defines fruit (Gal. 5:22-23) as Christ’s heart/character spilling out of us (Col. 1:27).   

The spirit of this age hopes to keep us focused on, and striving to change, what is going on around us, while the Lord is challenging us to look within.  Indeed, His eyes range throughout the earth, looking to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him (2Chron. 16:9).  He promises to work all things to the good of those who love Him and who are called to His purposes (Rom. 8:28), and He is faithful to reward those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).  None of those promises hinge on our performance, or perfect theology, or prophetic insight.  They all rise or fall on the posture of our hearts.  Even the oft quoted 2Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name…” is not about praying for our nation, it’s about the posture of our hearts if we hope for our prayers to be effective. 

God did not consider David a “man after God’s own heart” because of his impeccable character, his valor on the battlefield, or his perfect obedience, it was instead his relentless pursuit of the Father’s will.  What made the tabernacle of David so attractive to the Lord wasn’t the 24/7 nature of the music, it was the insatiable hunger for His presence that fueled it.

We need to quit asking God to send revival, as though we are trying to pry it from His reluctant hand.  He has placed the seeds of revival within the hearts of His people, and we are not waiting on Him to move, He is waiting for us to cultivate the fallow ground.  If we’ve yet to see the promised harvest, it is time to examine the condition of the soil (i.e. our hearts).  If something in the way we teach/preach the “Gospel of Kingdom” has served to take our eyes off the King, then we have taught amiss.

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The enemy would have us believe that we are living in “unprecedented” times & that everything has changed (Eccl 1:9).  But God’s character (Heb 13:8), His calling (Matt 22:37), and our mission (Matt 28:19) remain untouched within this present tense.

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It requires a lot more character to be a Leader than it does to be a Ruler.

 

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There is a significant difference between getting the win and attaining victory.  If the price of the win is our character, integrity and maybe even a bit of our humanity, I would suggest that we’ve missed “victory” all together.  At the end of our lives, our winning percentage, or the number of trophies on our shelf, will not be the ultimate measure of our success.  While we can rationalize that the ends somehow justify the means, the means we chose to gain those ends says everything about who we really are.

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·       You choose to pick your battles, as opposed to reacting to every little situation.

·       You become less concerned with what is popular, and more concerned about what is right.

·       You recognize that boundaries are meant for protection, and not as a barrier to the good stuff.

·       You become less concerned with quantity, and more concerned with quality.

·       You spend more time focusing on the big picture, and less time worrying about minor issues.

·       You become less concerned with your own well-being, and more concerned with the welfare of others.

·       You stop feeling the need to push your way to the front of every line.

·       You become less impressed by people’s accomplishments, and place a greater value on their character.

·       You find yourself being more driven by what needs to be done than by how you feel about it.

·       You spend more time being grateful for what you have than you spend worrying about what you don’t.

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