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11. Magnetic Relationship

June 21, 2017

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Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

Magnets are fascinating. Two objects that draw together simultaneously with torque. The amount of torque is proportional to the magnetic moment as well as the external field. Magnets have been around since ancient times and they serve a lot of purposes today. One of the most important purposes is holding the most important items onto the refrigerator. The magnet produces a magnetic field, which is invisible to the eye. This field is a force that pulls on other materials to attract the two pieces together.

Our relationship with God has similar qualities to a magnetic field. Think about it: There is an invisible force that pulls two pieces together. James 4:8 reminds us that when we draw near to God, he draws near to us. Our magnetic relationship with God is not one sided. He is always moving toward us. Something special happens when we reciprocate the movement. As we move toward God, the torque of the relationship intensifies and he is always faithful to meet us. 

What are you drawing near to in your life? Are there areas in your life where it looks like God isn’t moving? Lean in to him. Trust that when you move, he moves. When you draw near, he draws near. The relationship between you and God is of magnetic proportions. Draw near to God, and watch what happens next.

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12. Sun Stand Still!

June 20, 2017

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So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. Joshua 10:13

There is an interesting story in the book of Joshua. Joshua was leading God’s people into the Promised Land, and what is the first thing they encounter walking into this new season with God? Conflict. After a couple of victories in battle, Joshua and his army come up against one of the toughest battles they will face. Five kings had heard of the victories and decided to make an alliance against the Israelites. As they were fighting, God rained down huge hailstones on the enemy (Joshua 10:11).

Joshua sees how God is fighting for them. As the day grew long, Joshua knew he needed more time to completely defeat the enemy. What he did next was audacious. Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still. Guess what? God answered that request. The sun stood still for 24 hours and Joshua beat every enemy trying to attack him.

God wants to give us every advantage possible to defeat the enemy’s attack on our lives. Have you ever felt like the enemy was coming against you in every direction possible? It is in these moments where God can show up and show up big. Once Joshua saw God was fighting for him, it made it easier for Joshua to make a bold request. We often get so overwhelmed with a vigilant attack from the enemy that we don’t see God’s hand moving on our behalf.

When we begin to adjust our view from how strong the enemy is to how God is fighting for us, our perspective of what to ask for changes. The resolve of Joshua wasn’t just to survive the attack; his resolve was to defeat the enemy. God doesn’t want you to simply survive the attacks of the enemy. God is fighting on your behalf so the enemy can be defeated. With this perspective shift, what is your sun-stand-still request?

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13. One Degree

June 19, 2017

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Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Acts 26:28

Water boils at 212 degrees. When it boils, it creates steam. When enough steam is generated, a locomotive can be powered. At 211 degrees, water is simply … hot. One degree of separation can make a huge difference. With one degree, you can either power steam engines or not. One degree releases the necessary energy to produce movement.

In the book of Acts, Paul encounters a king named Agrippa. Paul, standing in front of this powerful man, gives an entire account of his relationship with Jesus. He talks through his conversion experience and builds a beautiful case for Christ. When the ultimate decision time came for Agrippa, his response was, “Almost!” He was almost convinced, almost ready, almost willing. What a debilitating word!

Maybe you’re reading this, and there are things in your life that God has asked you to give up. There might be someone reading who God has asked you to start something or to take a step of faith in a direction. The question is will you almost do it? 211 degrees with God is comfortable, but one degree will release the necessary energy to produce the movement you have been looking for.

With God, the key to going from 211 degrees to 212 degrees is faith. King Agrippa had all the information needed to make the decision, but He lacked the faith, leaving him at the point of almost. God’s best for your life isn’t a life of almost. Activate your faith and watch God take you from almost to exceedingly more.

What’s your temperature? 

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14. The Power of Praise

June 18, 2017

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Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 118:1

One of the most powerful phrases is “Thank you.” Something happens when we are grateful; our outlook changes. Praise is the greatest form of gratitude. You can’t have negative thoughts when you are praising God’s goodness and thanking him for his mercy. When we praise him, we turn our focus from our surroundings and put our focus on God’s mercy. 

Why is this important? Think about the limits of God’s mercy: There are none! His mercy endures forever. Mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we deserve. Mercy is when he chooses to show kindness toward us instead of judgment. God’s mercy not only endures forever, but is new every morning. The thoughts he has toward you are to show you mercy and kindness on a daily basis.

It is easy to complain, but you will notice something when you complain; everything around begins to take the form of our complaints. If we complain about what we don’t have, it can begin to seem like we never have enough. If we complain about what is happening to us, it can seem like we are always under attack. What we plant, we harvest. When we sow in complaint, we harvest in deficiency because we elect to ignore everything good God is doing for us. But when we praise God, it changes everything. We begin to look at life through the lens of God’s goodness and mercy. Praise changes how situations appear. Instead of seeing an absence of things, we see an abundance of God’s grace. Instead of seeing what is happening to us, we see how God is working through us. Stop and take a 15-second praise break. God is so good and his mercy endures forever!

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15. When Peace Like a River ...

June 17, 2017

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And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts, your minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer in Chicago. He and his wife Anna had five children. In 1871, their young son’s life was taken by pneumonia, and later that same year, they lost much of their business in the Chicago fire. Despite their tragedies, they rebuilt. In 1873, Horatio sent his wife and four daughters on a boat to Europe, where he was going to meet them after finishing some pressing business. Four days into the voyage, their ship hit another ship. All four daughters were lost at sea and only Mrs. Spafford’s life was saved. Horatio got on a boat to meet her in Europe. Four days in his voyage, the captain of ship called to him to show him the very spot his daughters were lost at sea. It was at this moment where Horatio Spafford wrote the famous hymn, “It is Well with My Soul.” In the midst of his hurt and trial, he found a peace from God that was unlike any other. 

Have you ever felt like life was stacked against you? Maybe you are reading this waiting for the other shoe to drop. Anxiety is a real struggle. When anxiety is left unchecked, it keeps people from fully experiencing God, as well as impacts our minds and hearts. When we allow anxiety to have a place in our lives, our heart and attitude towards the promises of God changes. Philippians talks about a peace from God that surpasses all understanding.

There are situations that we go through that will require a peace that goes beyond our understanding. If we stuck to our own understanding, there is a great opportunity to be taken over by the storms of life. When we allow God’s peace to come into our hearts and minds, something powerful happens: anxiety stops. Peace can flow like a river. When peace is there, we have a different outlook and resolve. Even when we are looking at the place of our greatest loss, whatever our lot, even so, it is well with our soul.

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