Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for Leadership

Organizing the Inside – Day 363 For Ourselves and Our Posterity

3The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals 4but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. 5The Lord established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. 6His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord;2 Chronicles 17: 3-6a (NIV)

Security is not found in what others before us have done. We are responsible for establishing our own relationship with God and obeying His calling today. Our biggest responsibility is to fulfill our purpose in our own generation. The great heritage of strong Christian women in my family is not something I take lightly. I’ve seen the stark contrast of the effect of sin in families whose parents and grandparents didn’t know the Lord. For those of us who are here today, the greatest legacy we can leave posterity is one that points to Christ. Business leaders, world-renowned artists and highly acclaimed scholars without a personal relationship with God leave behind nothing of eternal value.

Many people speak of family values; but how many actually live lives that honor those values? Quick to defend their “family values” most make excuses about choices made. What makes it so difficult to see that only what we do for Christ will last? When your last breath is taken what difference will your investments make in the lives of the next generation? Wealth and status, where do they fit in to God’s plan of redemption for your household and future generations? Sure we cherish the tea-cup set my grandmother played with when she was a child, and even the acreage that still holds the family name, but it was her relentless prayers and right choices that will forever reach the lives of our own grandchildren. No one can ever bring back to us wasted years spent in foolish acts of disobedience. Who can return to us the endless hours given toward earning more wealth, instead of answering the call to life?

Secure now a life of prayer and peace. Keep fellowship with God a priority. Do it for yourself, but also for the next generation who will inevitably be affected by the life you choose today. Through trial and success find ways to point out the mighty works of God. Let’s face it; much of what we experience today is a direct result of the choices our parents and their parents’ parents made. I’m not talking about generational curses.  I’m talking about the enormous responsibility we have today to leave behind a legacy that tells a story and shows a path that points to the true meaning of love and prosperity. “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)

Advertisements

Organizing the Inside – Day 354 Be Fearless and Look Straight Ahead!

24Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

27But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am her”

28Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

31Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Matthew 14:24-31 (NLT)

Perfect love drives out all fear. It’s not until we reach the point where our love for God supersedes our love for anything or anyone else, that we can experience life with no fear. Each day as we walk in step with God, He removes the barriers of fear and builds our faith. I don’t believe that this just happens overnight, we must grow in the knowledge of His awesome love. Nothing about this Christian walk is on autopilot. For me, with each new day of trusting Him, I discover that getting out of the boat was only the first step of obedience. Keeping my eyes on Him with each additional step upon water keeps me absolutely FEARLESS! God is so good! He is the author and finisher of our faith.

When God gives the okay, His Word encourages us and we believe we can do anything. Peter asked Jesus to give him permission to come. How many have tried God by asking, “Okay Lord if this is you… let this happen”? We all have looked for a simple sign or nod from the Lord. Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” Jesus told him, “Yes, come.”

Peter being encouraged by the Word, obeyed Jesus, and stepped out on faith. Keeping his eyes upon Jesus, Peter was able to do something no one else (other than Jesus) had ever done. He was the only one willing to get out of the boat. Even after he got out of the boat and was walking on the water, the others remained in the boat. Sometimes you are the only one among the group willing to step out on faith. You may be the only one willing to ask God for what is seemingly impossible.

Peter became distracted by everything that was happening around Him. The strong waves had not stopped, but Peter locked in focus on Jesus as he walked on the water toward Him. When Peter took his eyes off Jesus he began to exchange faith for fear.

Be single-minded and stay focused on what God told you to do. Forget about what the rest are not doing, those who decided to stay in the boat. Focus your attention on Jesus and the goal that is before you. Keep your eyes on Him regardless of the conditions around you. If God said, “Come” then go! Keep the Word He gave you in your heart as you do what others thought was impossible. When you step out on faith you can’t take a poll nor wait for a consensus. If God told you to do something than you have all the agreement you will ever need by agreeing with Him. Jesus asked Peter, “Why did you doubt me?”  We can learn so much from this. When you are walking in faith, you are pleasing God and there is no doubt or fear in faith.

There are two things that Jesus said to His disciples which are written in various ways throughout scripture:  “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” and “Be not afraid.”

  1.  Don’t be afraid
  2.  Do what God says
  3.  Forget about what everyone else does
  4.  Stay focused on Jesus
  5.  Remain fearless
  6.  Do not doubt God
  7.  Keep the Word He gave YOU in your heart

Organizing the Inside – Day 342 Pointing to Christ

26So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.” 27John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ 29It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. 30He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. John 3:26-30 (NLT)

What is your role as a member of the Body of Christ? Depending upon your gifts and purpose we each have different roles. We all however have a common goal and that is to point others to Christ. The way we live our lives should only point one way and that is to Jesus Christ the righteous. John understood his purpose and immediately put an end to any disputes about his ministry. His disciples had almost taken offense to someone other than their group getting attention and doing good work. John made it clear that it wasn’t about him or them, but the work they did was ultimately about the Messiah.

It’s easy to get caught up when you are busy growing and working in ministry. No matter what your role is, the work is not greater than the One you are working for. Of course we want to give, sow and work hard for the kingdom, but we can’t get so involved in the “doing” that we lose sight of whom we are doing it for. Ultimately it’s about Christ, but we are also meant to help others find Him and in doing so we glorify God. Pride and self-centeredness can cause you to lose focus. This can be avoided by submitting to God’s Word daily. This is truly the absolute single most effective way for us to walk with God and live according to His will. His Word is the truth that resides within our heart and it will keep us focused. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

Pointing others to follow Christ is what ministry is about. So many people are without direction and those of us who are Christians know the answer. Show me someone whose life is in turmoil; someone who instead of signs and wonders following them, they only have confusion and drama. Show me this person, and I will show you someone who does not submit to and follow the Word of God. It is one thing to make an appointed time for reading God’s Word, but after that comes the doing. Anyone who studies without following through to apply what they’ve learned, well… they are just stockpiling knowledge and in doing so they are not living a very effective life. Ultimately our role is not much different from John’s which is to point others to Jesus.  Let the message of John become the prayer of our hearts: in that we would decrease and that Jesus would increase.

Organizing the Inside – 337 Power To Be Decisive

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.  1 Kings 18:21 (KJV)

Have you ever been silent when you should have spoken up for what was right?
Have you ever been more fearful of what people would think and remained silent about sin?  Ahab had over four hundred of Baal’s prophets.  Elijah was the only one standing for the Lord, yet He stood boldly knowing that God was with him.  Although it appeared that Elijah was outnumbered by unbelievers, he served the only true and living God, which made him a majority.

As servants of the Most High, we are never outnumbered.  God wants you and me to be willing to stand up against evil.  It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can have the courage to stand against evil.  Jesus told the early church to wait until the Comforter came. He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8 (NIV)

God wants to fill you with the power to stand firm in your beliefs. If you find that you don’t have the boldness you really want, and at times you are not standing up for the truth, help will come.  If in your heart you really are for God, but sometimes you are reluctant to let others know, you’re not alone. Tarry; spend time in prayer specifically seeking the power of the Holy Spirit.  God will not withhold from you the strength and power to be a witness. Ask Him for the power to choose; the power to choose what is right in His eyes and forget about what the masses have to say. (also read Psalm 84:11, Luke 11:11-13 and Acts 2)

Organizing the Inside – Day 336 Through Wisdom She Learned to Avoid False Starts

17But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17, 18 (NLT)

False starts lead to unnecessary pressure. When God speaks to your heart and gives you a specific task to carry out remember to practice wisdom in obedience. It’s great to be excited about the gifts and calling of God, but approach each new venture as a humble act of obedience. If you are like many high achievers when you get an idea from God your reaction is to immediately spring into action. Some Christians live in the movers and shakers lane, and if you’re not moving too you may just have to eat some dust. This method of hot pursuit of their God ordained purpose has (I’m sure) at times left a great deal of carnage behind from others who thought they too were onboard with the vision. In other words practicing accelerated obedience at any cost is not necessarily the best option if you want to enlist the help and support others.

There is nothing wrong with planning first. Actually it prevents a lot of headaches. Planning out your course of action is not only prudent, it saves you from the embarrassment that results from false starts. If more go-getters would only make time to set goals and chart a course of action that others can buy into, they would avoid experiencing the all too familiar humiliation that comes from being overzealous. I get it, when the creative juices are flowing so is the adrenaline. It is critical however that we line up our creative energy with God’s will and timing. When God empowers us to move forward it won’t be with a barrage of unrelenting orders for us to hurry up and act. The Spirit won’t rush us into completing any assignment unless all things are in place. He empowers us to move forward, all the while guiding us gently along the way.

Avoid false starts. The next time you have a creative idea that you know came from God, seek Him first, and carefully consider your next steps. Each time you are called into action it won’t necessarily require all engines full speed ahead. There may very well be a period of processing and planning; this is also action. He won’t give you a dream and then leave you on your own to sort it out. God not only equips us, He strengthens us and provides us with all that we will ever need to complete His great work. Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)  Avoid life’s false starts by seeking God, practicing wisdom and considering others before moving ahead.

Organizing the Inside – Day 326 Organize Your Environment From the Inside Out & Outside In

6And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NLT)

Does Your Environment Honor God? When I consider organizing the inside I think about how my environment can either help or hinder my efforts. The God we serve is fully aware of all the challenges we are faced with daily. Nevertheless many of the things in our environment that affect our lives adversely can be changed. If you truly want to you can reorganize your environment to reflect a life of loving obedience toward God. Moses wanted the Israelites to be prepared to live differently in the promise land. He wanted them to remember the importance of their relationship with God and how it would influence their lifestyle in the new land they were about to enter. Today we know that our relationship with God is often reflected in how we live. If I love God then the things around my home will reflect that relationship. Organizing a godly environment for you and your family begins with an inward change. The disorder and ungodliness in one’s own environment is simply an outward manifestation of an inward condition.

What is the condition of your environment? Take a closer look at the many influences in the immediate area around you. Do things closely reflect Christian values? The Word of God is what gives us our standard for setting an environment that promotes a godly way of life. Does your environment’s overall condition show submission or rebellion? When Moses gave the Israelites God’s commandments he also gave them instructions for creating a godly environment. The first thing he told them was, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord alone. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 Those instructions continue to serve as a type of school master for organizing our environment; start with the inside (your heart) first. Moses then went on to tell them what to do about the creating the right environment. He told them to surround and immerse themselves in God’s Word. (see verses 7-9)

Think about ways to make your environment more pleasing to God. If Jesus knocked on the door of your home this very moment would you be happy or embarrassed to let Him in. Here is an Environmental Inspection List. Make the necessary changes as God leads you to make sure the environment around you and your family is one that pleases God above all else.

  1. What are the lyrics in the songs you or your children listen to?
  2. What kind of magazines are in your home?
  3. What kind of plots and storylines are in the most recent movies you’ve seen?
  4. What do you do for fun?
  5. Who do you look up to and try to emulate?
  6. What do you discuss during personal phone conversations?
  7. What does your DVD collection look like?

Sin and the world can be very entertaining. The enemy is thrilled when a Christian woman spends her time doing anything other than what God told her to. If your environment diminishes your testimony ask God to help you make changes. What track are you on as a Christian woman? If you are married, whether your husband is saved or unsaved, leading or lagging you should honor him; (Ephesians 5:22 as unto the Lord) but you must also do what God puts on your heart to have an environment that keeps you and your children on the right track. Bottom line is that our environment is a reflection of our relationship with God. Do you agree? Share your thoughts.

Organizing the Inside – Day 325 You’re Just Not Like Most People

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)

The term “like most people” is too often used within the Christian community. The fact is: we are not like most people. We must be ready to accept the appointed responsibility of being a royal priesthood. God wants you and me to be different.
(2 Corinthians 6:17) We have been called out, set aside and consecrated unto God for His good pleasure. We therefore ought to refrain from comparing our lifestyle and choices to this world’s standards of right and wrong.  The things that the world finds perfectly acceptable and permissible we ought to find offensive. We don’t rely on the systems of this world like some; our source and hope is Christ.  Strange and peculiar, particularly odd at times, the world may not understand how we think and react, especially if we think and react like God’s chosen people.

We bring hope and light to a lost and dying generation. “You are the salt of the earth… Matthew 5:13a (NLT) We are different; but not just for the sake of being different, but because we hold up God’s standard of righteousness as warriors in His great army. Therefore let us never again revert to comparing ourselves to the world. Stay away from being like most people; most people are on the wrong road. …For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13b-14 (NIV) Let’s take a stand for what is right and trust God to honor and reward those choices. Having been born again we are no longer of this world. We are strangers in a foreign land, but the Word and hope of God is our song.  Certainly we are in the world, but we are not of the world. We do not love the world nor cling to its systems to prosper and find our way. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the light.” John 14:6 (NLT ) Because He has made Himself known to us, we know the way. He said, “…And you know the way to where I am going.”  John 14:4 (NLT)

14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. John 17:14-16 (NIV)