Just. Be. Faithful.

Just. Be. Faithful.

I go to church.

I don’t say that with any sort of pride, but rather with full awareness of my pain, soul-pain, that only finds healing in God.  So I go to God’s hospital – church.

Then, on most mornings, like this Tuesday morning, I like to take my daily dose of “antibiotic”, which is to say I love to linger over God’s Word and extract from it what He wants to infuse into my system so that it starts coursing through my veins.

That’s what He has done this morning.

Took my “antibiotic” in the form of Daniel chapter 6.  Familiar story.  Daniel in the lions’ den.  Pretty much almost everyone knows something about this story.  But do you know that when you’re ingesting the LIVING Word of God, it will impact your system in a very precise way, based on where you are at in that moment of time, or season of life.  How is that for a wonder-drug!  Hits you right where you need it, right when you need, exactly how you need it!  That is SO cool!

As it was this morning.

Just. Be. Faithful.

Why do I keep typing that?

Because I’ve heard two particularly memorable, life-influencing “church-messages” this year and one of them was this past Sunday at Next Level Church – Fort Myers delivered by my friend Kyle Jackson.  And I’m just going to drop the link right here http://subsplash.com/nextlevelchurch/v/ueajsvn to that message in case you choose to spend 30 minutes of time allowing your system to be infused with a cure for what might be ailing you.

What makes a church-message memorable and life-influencing?  Well, I can’t answer that for you, I just know that for me it is when the “big idea” shared marinates in my spirit for days on end and God keeps peeling back layers of my personal onion to show me where His Word, as communicated through His people, is to be applied to the life He’s given me.  So it is with this very simple, three-word mantra:  Just. Be. Faithful.

Back to Daniel chapter 6.  Daniel had an “S” on his chest, not for “Superman” but rather for “Steward”.  “Steward” with a capital “S” for sure…

“Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and princes.”  Daniel 6:3

And Daniel practiced “just being faithful”…

“May your God whom you worship continually, rescue you.” Daniel 6:16

Then, in crunch time, when Daniel was in an impossible situation, the outcome went like this…

“My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they could not hurt me”.  Daniel 6:22

Let me pause and pray for a second…

“Father, help me to just be faithful so that when I find myself in that seemingly impossible situation or temptation that I can KNOW that you will send your angels to attend to me and shut the mouth of my adversary so that he cannot harm me AND that I ‘will be found innocent in your sight’! (v.22)”

When you practice just being faithful, you can be SURE God will show UP and show OFF

“Not a scratch was found on him because he had trusted in his God.” Daniel 6:23

That was the “show up” part.

As I see it, here’s the “show off” part

“Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel.  He had them thrown into the lions’ den…The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den.” Daniel 6:24

Gruesome, I know.  But a good kind of gruesome because there’s no more fitting “end of the road” for a “malicious accuser”.  You’re a child of God!  You’re His precious child!  He WILL protect His kids against anyone or anything that would try to come against one of them.  And He just might show off in the process.

So, have you ever been harassed by the “malicious accuser” of your soul?  Yeah, me too.  Like, pretty much every day.  So, what can we do about it?

  1. Ignore him
  2. Fix your gaze on God
  3. Just. Be. Faithful

Then WATCH what God does to the malicious accuser.  Watch what God does for you as you “worship Him continually”.

Watch God send His angels on your behalf.

Watch God “deliver you from temptation” – watch Him shut the lions’ mouths so they cannot hurt you!

Just. Be. Faithful.

And if you need an example of someone who lived this out, check out our boy Daniel!  And what is the “payoff” for just being faithful?  Well, the payoff is what it’s supposed to be…that God gets the glory!

“Then king Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: 

I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.

For he is the living God, and he will endure forever.  His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end.  He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders…” Daniel 6:25-27

Just be faithful, and you can be sure he will rescue and save you.

Oh, and Daniel received the blessing of “just being faithful”…

“So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius.” Daniel 6:28

Daniel prospered as his soul prospered.

Just. Be. Faithful.

Missions Mandate

Talk about a missions mandate!? In John 9:1-5, as He is walking along, we read about Jesus’ encounter with a blind man.  In answer to his disciples question, “why was this man born blind?”, Jesus answered, “He was born blind so that the power of God could be seen in him”.  We are ALL born blind…we are all born with sin.  The natural condition of sin is accompanied by “blindness”. We all need to be healed of our blindness.  We all need to see with new vision, eternal vision, selfless vision that is submitted to Jesus, rather than selfish vision that submits to no one.

How urgent is the need for this healing in every man, woman, and child?  Jesus answered that question next…”All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. But while I am still here in the world, I am the light of the world”.

There is a mindset in hockey that a player needs to be “quick, but not in a hurry”. Jesus is advocating the same mindset.  We don’t have a lot of time.  We need to be aware and intentional about what we are doing.  “What we are doing about what?” you might ask.  What we are doing about being used of God to heal people of their blindness.  Those who have “new vision” through the grace of God, the blood of Jesus, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit ought to now have a “holy unrest” to see others all around them come to the place where their blindness is turned to sight!  Jesus himself said, “there is little time left…”.

I’ve been investigating getting lasik surgery, for awhile now,  so that I can see better…and I don’t yet know how much it costs, but I know it costs quite a bit.  If I am willing to pay money so that my natural vision might improve for what little time I have left on this earth, how much more should I carry within me the sense of urgency to share with everyone I encounter that there is “clarity of vision” awaiting them – a permanent cure for spiritual blindness – that is far greater than lasik surgery! While there are billboards everywhere for eye doctors who will gladly perform this surgical procedure for a sum, how much greater is it that we have a Savior who has already paid the price that we might see! “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.”!


Get Involved

In the book of John (chapter 5, verse 6) it paints a scene of a man in need and we read “When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’”

Why do we, in many cases, see situations and know about circumstances but fail to even ask the most basic of questions?  Is it because, at some level, we don’t really want to get involved?  Is it that we don’t really want to expend the energy necessary to make a difference in someone else’s life?  Is it because, as author Mark Batterson writes in his book Primal, we’re not really  interested “in being great at the Great Commandment” which is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love others as we do ourselves?

These are questions I’m asking myself today.  Interested to see how God will respond to this Great Commandment curiosity.  It’s worth noting that Jesus didn’t immediately try and fix the man’s problem, rather he sought to foster a relationship.  Foster relationships…that’s a great idea every time!


Unfamiliar Surroundings

Tomorrow morning I will be boarding a flight with my thirteen year old son, along with two other dads and their sons. We are going on a mission trip to Laos and Thailand. We have been preparing over the last several months for this adventure. I’m curious? Have you ever embarked on a mission trip or another type of global travel that took you to very unfamiliar surroundings? What do you remember most from that experience? What was one thing you learned that you haven’t forgotten? Would love to hear your story. Better yet, would love to sit down with you when we return and hear your story. By then, hope to have a few of my own!

What we will be doing:

  1. The first part of the trip, in Thailand, we will be twelve helping hands and feet during an intensive youth discipleship camp.
  2. The middle part of the trip, we will be trekking into mountain villages in northern Laos , led by our host missionary and his son, sharing God’s love and His message of hope!
  3. The last part of the trip, we will help out at the English Teaching school they operate. We will be there to help build relationships with the students.

Most importantly, we will be WORSHIPPING. I’ve read that missions exists because worship doesn’t…that worship is the fuel and goal of missions.

Psalm 97:1 says “The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!”

So our goal for this trip is simple: to worship God as we let His love work through us into the lives of others, our friends in Laos.


Clear Eyes, Strong Body

Finishing well.  Over the last several years, I have watched and learned from people a generation older who stand out from the crowd by their steadfast purpose of living life marked by finishing well.  One such example recently was legengdary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey.  In 2000, at the age of 82, Paul Harvey signed a 10-year contract with ABC Radio networks!  In 2001, he was “forced off the air” for several months because of a virus affecting his vocal cords.  But he returned to work and was still active as he passed his 90th birthday!

3400 years ago, another man’s life captivates my imagination for how strong he finished and what was said of him that defined his legacy.  The bible says that “Moses was 120 years old when he died.  His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated”.   Can you imagine that being said of you?!  There’s all sorts of offers in media today suggesting how you can retain strength and vigor as you age.  My question is, what was Moses’ “secret”?  I believe we have the answer right here: the bible goes on to say that “there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face“.

I go to the gym and exercise my body (not nearly enough, however!).  But for gaining “eyes undimmed and vigor unabated” – clear eyes and a strong body – I have found nothing compares with getting “face to face” with God.  Call it “The Moses Method”!


Full Potential

Had an audible “whow!” moment as I began reading Tony Dungy’s book UNCOMMON.  Opened to the table of contents, landed on “PART IV: YOUR FULL POTENTIAL“, and just had my own private praise moment.  You see, those two words, “FULL POTENTIAL”, have been stirring in my spirit with resounding strength and frequency the last month or so.  “FULL POTENTIAL” has been a theme emerging in my own life, and of course I believe not just for me but for everyone who God gives me favor to experience community with and whom I may influence.  I can’t wait to dig deeper into this notion of “FULL POTENTIAL” and see where it leads.  I love a new trail and I believe this one is going to lead to some amazing places!