Right focus

Storm

“Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”-Matthew 14:28-30

The disciples find themselves in yet another storm. During the first storm, Jesus is traveling with them (Matthew 8:23-27), but this time, the disciples are left facing the elements of nature alone. Peter had witnessed Jesus previously calm a storm and perform miracles after miracles. So when Jesus comes to them walking on water, Peter’s eyes are on Jesus, in spite of the storm. Peter steps out in faith, believing that at the command of the Lord, He can do the impossible. There’s a boldness that arises in us when we hear the voice of the Lord, whereby our confidence is rooted in the One who calls us. It reads in Acts 4:13 that “when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men… they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” The New Testament followers of Christ courageously preached the Gospel, in obedience of Jesus’ command to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…” (Mark 15:16).

After the initial phase of stepping out in the power and the authority of Christ, comes the process of walking out your calling. Your ability to fulfill God’s intended purpose for your life will be determined by the direction of your focus. After you set sail, storms begin to crash against your boat; doubts from within, negative/critical voices from without, health, family or financial challenges, distractions and worldly lusts that pull your focus away from Christ.

The reason we find ourselves losing battles and sinking spiritually, is because we have taken our eyes off of Jesus;  we start rely on own abilities and resources, we turn to others for direction and validation, and we despair at the storms of life. Peter walked on water, but then he began to sink the moment his focus shifted.  Keeping your eyes turned to Jesus requires a conscious effort, day by day, but only then you will experience the supernatural power of God in your life.

 

In Him,

Aline Ehade

Poured out

poured out

“But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.” Philippians 2:17.

The world’s system of reward and recognition is built to promote self-realization.  In his 1943 original theory of human motivation, Abraham Maslow identified the highest level of human need as “self-actualization”, which he described as a person’s desire for self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth, etc. While we should endeavor to achieve the full potential of our lives, we come to a fork in the road when it comes to the motivation of our pursuits.  Oswald Chambers contrasts the life of self-expenditure that Jesus calls for, to the life driven by self-realization. He writes:

“If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us.”

The function of a vessel is not just to retain what it contains, but to pour our its content for the benefit of others. We must guard ourselves from hoarding and using the gifts and talents that God has deposited in us for personal satisfaction. When Paul answered God’s call to preach the gospel, He was all in. He did not put a cap on how much of himself he was willing to expend for the mission. In expression of his dedication for the sake of the body of Christ, he wrote:  “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.” 2Corinthians 12:15.

Your life is not your own. When you say yes to God, it’s no longer about your personal agenda but His. Present yourself as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) and let God pour you out, for the refreshing of a great many.

In Him,

Aline

Mission not Impossible

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.Luke 10:19

Since the first movie was released in 1996, The Mission Impossible films have been Paramount Pictures’ most successful ventures, grossing over 2 billion dollars at the box office worldwide. The movie keeps its audience on the edge of their seat, as the lead character, secret agent Ethan Hunt played by Tom Cruise goes on perilous missions against identified enemies, equipped with fancy gadgets and commando skills. And who doesn’t love the Mission Impossible theme song?

Believers are God’s agents, chosen as part of a His special force to carry out a mission that will require facing obstacles, perils and even risking our lives. In Luke 10, Jesus appoints and sends out 72 workers to proclaim the Kingdom of God.  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.(Luke 10:3).

God commissions us to preach the Gospel, equipped with the instructions of His Word, and empowered with the full authority of the Holy Spirit.  Yes, we have an adversary, the devil, who opposes us every step of the way but we do not need to fear; the call of God comes with a fully backed assurance of His provision, His protection and His presence. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-20).