cropped-cwibuk.jpg

God’s agenda, or our agenda?

Whose agenda are you following, yours or God’s? How can you tell if it’s God’s?

For some this question has no relevance because God doesn’t feature much in their lives anyway. They see Him, at worse, as an out dated idea or myth with no place in modern society, or at best, a bit of a killjoy.

But for those of us who see Him as the One by whose ‘will they were created and have their being’, following His agenda is pretty important.

Look at me!

I once had a dream about lots of people at an event and the lady at the front was speaking, which was pretty much okay. But then she began singing and as she did so she seemed deeply engrossed with her own performance and trying to get everyone to look at her. She was oblivious to what others were doing or thinking.

Meanwhile those in the room, who were listening before, began behaving pretty much the same. They were busy chatting to one another and taking out stuff they had brought to sell or to promote what they were doing. They weren’t interested in what the speaker had to say, or with her singing, and couldn’t wait for the main event to be over so they could get on with their own agenda.

Then there was the toilet: it was disgusting. There was human waste and discarded toilet tissue all over the place.

Whose agenda?

I see this as God saying people are more interested in their own agenda than His. They come not to hear what He has to say, or to do what He wants them to do, but everyone wants to do their own thing. When they start doing this, others copy them.

The result of what it looks like to God is what that toilet looked like.

Social media is like that. We all go to it with our own agenda, though that doesn’t mean that we don’t go to it with God’s agenda… but it’s a model that helps us understand. I have to take this and apply it to my own motivations and the decisions I make. I really don’t want to look like the toilet.

When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain His apostles mistook His agenda for something else. They wanted Him to build earthly altars to Himself and the two prophets with Him in the transfiguration. They wanted to worship them right there on the mountain but Jesus’ agenda was not to reign over Israel in an earthly temple.

The same point was made when Peter tried to save Jesus from the death He came to die. Jesus plainly told Peter that he had no idea what God’s agenda really was.

Threats to God’s agenda

One of the most dangerous things to God’s agenda is following what the world is doing when it comes to the call on our lives. The road is narrow and few there be that find it. If we look at the lives of Jesus, Peter, Paul or any one of the other apostles we will see that they walked a pretty narrow path, sticking to what God had called them to do even in the face of others suggesting or telling them they shouldn’t do it that way. What does following God’s agenda look like to you?

For me, when we follow God’s agenda it looks a bit like the outline of love or charity in 1 Corinthians 13. It will not be puffed up, seeking its own, or envious of anyone.

It will never fail, but produce fruit that remains, and it will do so without sorrow.

 

cropped-cwibuk.jpg

Now you know the purpose of women’s groups

Women have always had special friendships and science explains why.

I recently read a blog post about a lecture at Stanford University on the relationship between stress and disease during which the head of psychiatry said that one of the best things a woman can do for her health is to nurture her relationships with her female friends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

He said women connect with each other differently: they tend to share their feelings and to talk more than men. Because of this, they create support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences.

Apparently, while we are sharing we produce a chemical called serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. The lecturer concluded by saying that these relationships are as good for our health and wellbeing as physical exercise. No wonder you feel so good after a good talk and cry!

Women’s business, ministry and social groups in the bible and throughout history

I thought about this in relation to the way women’s lives were during biblical times and have been down the ages.

Women spent a lot of their time together providing this type of moral support and encouragement. They delivered each other’s babies. They reaped, weaved, sewed and performed other work together. They met up at the water well during the evenings. They visited each other, served at the temple in worship and prayer and, later as the new church began to grow, held prayer meetings in their homes and in other places outside the city gates.

Women played pivotal roles as a group. Many of them supported Jesus’ ministry from their own means. They turned up at the tomb to embalm the body of Jesus, having earlier spent time together to prepare the spices and ointments.

Later, when the Jews wanted to incite hatred against the new bold followers of Jesus Christ their targets included groups of influential women in the community.

The periodical gathering of women provided something good in their lives and has been a pattern consistent throughout history, but at least now you know why.

 

cropped-cwibuk.jpg

Business was God’s idea, not man’s

God set the first example of Spirit-led business by creating a world with some awesome resources that are a blessing to its inhabitants. And then He employed Adam as the first worker to take care of them.

Fast forward to the preparation of the arrival of the Israelites into the Promised Land and we see Moses through the Holy Spirit speaking some insightful words over their future. He said:

 

Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

And,

The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

 

Both the city and the field are synonymous with living and working, so whether you work in agriculture or in administration, God shows His plan is to bless the work of your hands, so much so that the nation you live in is blessed and doesn’t have to borrow from any other.

Why does God care about business? When we look back to Genesis we see that after God finished creating the world, He created the domain of work to maintain His creation and blessing. Business is the vehicle He chose to use to take care of the earth and its inhabitants.

There is also a reflection of our Father passing on to us the possibility of the same sense of satisfaction He felt when He looked at His work and said, ‘It is good.’ We too can feel a sense of satisfaction and pleasure from the work we carry out.

Business in our hands

Today, in our fallen world, business has an even greater function because it is, in the right hands, a vehicle to do good, to lift people from poverty and obscurity, to give them a sense of respect and worth, and to empower them to sustain their own lives and to replicate that family by family. Done right, it shows the glory of God’s righteousness.

The writer Landa Cope, who is the founding dean of the College of Communication for the University of the Nations, says God has an agenda for business. It can be summed up as:

So that His children can be a blessing to others through the creation of goods and services that improve the quality of life where quality of life is missing.

Now, at least to me, this declares His kingdom here on earth. Seeking His righteous as we pursue business will ‘add all these things’ not only to our lives but to the lives of others too.

It is good.

Quoted verses taken from Deuteronomy 28: 3, 12

 

cropped-cwibuk.jpg

On the topic of power

The Leveson Inquiry illustrates the topic of power.

Lord Leveson had the power to summon anyone to appear under oath as a witness to give evidence during his inquiry into the culture, ethics and practice of the press.

Mr Leveson exercised that power to call a number of people from ordinary and celebrity life to the witness box.

And they obeyed.

If Lord Leveson had not exercised his power, the witnesses would never have come and he would never have received an outcome. But he called them and they came because they recognised his authority.

It made me think of the power that God has given to us as His children.

Every demon in heaven and earth knows you have that power.

Power to pull down and to build up, to call things into being, to call things that aren’t as though they are and to bind things in heaven and on earth. This power is real, but it won’t work unless you use it.

Knowing the power you have changes the way you think, the way you behave, the way you approach problems, the expectations you have for your life, including your business.

 

What is power, and where does it come from?

Well, Mr Leveson got his power from Mr Cameron.

Mr Cameron got his power from God.

Power is the authority to change things and all power belongs to God.

And God has given all of us a great supply. How will you use yours each day?

 

 

1 Chronicles 29:11
Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.