Archive for the ‘Purpose’ Tag

Meaninglessness

Ravi Zacharias has to be one of my favorite speakers.  I love listening to his podcasts over and over again.  I always walk away challenged and inspired.  I have to admit that sometimes I listen again because I don’t get it the first time, but I don’t mind.  Anyways, listening the other day I was captivated when he quoted G.K. Chesterton.

Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain.  Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.

What do you think?

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What’s in Your Heart?

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 32:24-25 (NIV)

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 32:24-25 (NIV)

But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

2 Chronicles 32:31 (NIV)

Have you ever heard someone say that how you deal with adversity shows a lot about who you are?  I’m sure you have and while this is true we do need to look at the other side of things.  How do you deal with the good things that come to you?  Hezekiah was ill to the point of death and when he prayed God gave him a miraculous sign and healed him.  But the Bible tells us that Hezekiah did not respond to the kindness shown him.  After experiencing the wrath of God he repents and God removes His wrath.  A little while later it said that while some rulers of Babylon (to ask about the miraculous sign) were visiting God left Hezekiah to test Him and see what was in his heart.  In experiencing displays of God’s power and success at every corner the greatest challenge he faced was how he would respond to these good things.

Success can be one of the greatest test we face.  This is a tough test because our natural tendency is to gravitate towards pride.  Instead of an attitude of thankfulness and remembrance we might experience some short-term memory loss and think we did it all.  Instead of praise for God and others our language might be filled with personal pronouns.  These are signs that you are failing the test of success.

So if you are in the midst of this test how do you pass?

  1. Remember – Remember ultimately God is the source and remember you probably didn’t do this alone
  2. Thankfulness – This is one thing that God absolutely loves.  Say thanks for everything you can think of.
  3. Watch – Be mindful of the pronouns you use.

Called from/Called to

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.
1 Kings 19:21 (NIV)

So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.

1 Kings 19:21 (NIV)

Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart. He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.

2 Kings 2:12-13 (NIV)

I can’t remember where I got this from but Peter Marshall once said, “a call of God is a two-sided call–there is a call ‘to‘ a work, and there is a call ‘from‘ the present work.  In the story of Elisha we see the call to and the call from take place.  In both instances Elisha decisively walks away from what he was doing to embrace the new season.  It’s not that what Elisha was doing was unsuccessful or bad but God was calling him from that to what was next.

I think it is harder to move from something we enjoy or have found success in, than it is to move from something we hate or have had difficulty with.  Regardless of what God is calling us from we need to completely embrace the new.  Elisha set the example.  He literally destroyed what represented the past so he could walk into what was next.  If you are in that transitionary season of being called from something to something what do you need to destroy to move forward?

Don’t stop

Good things grow even in the darkest times. – pg. 26 Inc. June 2009

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

This really stuck out to me.  It was in reference to creating a start up in the midst of a recession, but I think this can be applied in every aspect of life in every season of life.  Beyond this quote as Christ-follower  I must also remember what God’s word tells me in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”