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Week of August 24, 2008

“ . . . Choose life, not death! . . .”  -2 Kings 18:32

        I recently attended an event where the speaker said, “Drug dealers are living, but they don’t have life.”  What a profound statement.

        Christianity is intended to be dynamic, full of challenges and opportunities for high levels of faith, obedience and love.  Consider every victorious Bible character you can think of.  Did they not live on the very edge of life and death?  How about Mary, who conceived a child out of wedlock amid a culture that stoned such women?  And what about Joshua, who fought battle after battle in the Promised Land so that an entire nation would receive their Godly inheritance?  And then there was Moses, who was called out of the wilderness to rescue a nation.  And how about Esther, who came out of her comfort zone in a big way to confront a king and save her people?   And let’s not forget Jesus.

        Were they all not living life to the fullest as they hearkened to their callings, all the while treading carefully in obedience, staying close to the father lest they fall to death?

        Such is the essence of the Christian life.  God has called us into the world, and Jesus is our perfect example.  It is in the face of life and death that our heart is revealed, our current level of confidence and courage and gifting and expertise and training and knowledge and wisdom surfaces in our face.  How limited we are without God’s intervention.  Our medal is tested, our character confronted, and we see our current level of integrity.

        This is not only true for us as individuals, but also for businesses and organizations, including ministries.  One of my frequent prayers is, “God, help me to not miss it,” because with all that is on my plate, I know that my natural ability offers me many opportunities to get too focused on one assignment or distraction and miss the big picture, the fresh manna, the new wine, the daily watering of the word and revelations that will bring me and this ministry new life.  I need the Holy Spirit to help me focus on God more than on what He assigns me and certainly more than the distractions with which the enemy tries to tempt me.

        I want to consistently receive God’s greater vision.  I know that the slice or portion of revelation God first gave to me for this ministry is just the beginning.  And when the winds of change come and God desires to move in a fresh way, I want to be in position to go with His flow.  God has so many more revelations for us, which are all intended to direct us to new life if we will just position our greater focus on Him and sit at His table and receive the fresh manna and new wine He desires to serve us.  God is dynamic.  Jesus is life.  I want to live.  How about you?

        Although we all walk through dry seasons, and God allows this for a time for various purposes, His originally intended norm is not for us to barely make it or just get by.  So much depends upon the freewill choices that He allows us to exercise.  And the bottom line question is, “Will we rise up, or will we shrink back and make fear our God?”

        The people and businesses and ministries I have the greatest respect for are those who know how to live and, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, confront perceived risk.  Consider Rick Warren, who through hearkening to a fresh move of God, was able to turn around the economics of Rwanda.  Does the Great Commission not instruct us to make disciples of all nations?  And how about Franklin Graham, who has made a lifestyle of entering into the most “dangerous” countries and conditions—those that are ravaged by disaster and are often dominated by Islam—to rescue the broken and the lost.  Is that not the heart of Jesus in action?  Is this not living life and giving life?  Look at the fruit.

        As we sit in our comfortable churches and behind our cozy desks, I challenge you to not let mundane, busy (and often petty) circumstances ware you down so that you cannot get to the most important and impacting joys God has for you, like spending time with Him and making a difference in the world.  Beth Moore says it very succinctly and profoundly on the back cover of her book, Praying God’s Word Day by Day: “Beloved, you will never waste time in God’s Word.”  Sit before God and invite Him to help you live again.  Just one revelation from Him can turn your life, business or ministry around.

        Jesus came to save us from death, not only in the afterlife but during our walk on earth.  Are you living a mundane life?  Do you feel like your life is in a rut?  Is fear holding you back, binding you from living the adventure that God has for you?  Perhaps you’ve been deceived by buying into the world’s perspective of success, and you’re disillusioned.  Have you fallen into sin through disobedience and feel like it’s a long journey out?  No life is too destitute for God to restore.  He has been known to accelerate our pace.  And remember, the latter can be greater than the former.  I challenge you to repent and find out what God has just for you.  Then choose to step into life with the Holy Spirit as your guide, and reach your divine destiny.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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