How God builds you while you are building your ministry by Rick Warren

Filed under: Abrahamic Covenant,Tentmaking — nateheng at 11:06 pm on Sunday, January 21, 2007

It’s so amazing as I contemplate what’s happening with the ministry of the Lighthouse and various roadblocks Satan is using to misinform, misconstrue and mislead. He’s desperate. Karen just sent this today and it is a pretty accurate reflection of what we’re currently experiencing here, with our home church and with a few normally friendly believers.
AWESOME!! EXCITING!! STRETCHING!! but oh so fulfilling.
Did you know that God uses a very predictable process to build your character? I call this process the “Six Phases of Faith.” If you don’t understand this process, you’ll get discouraged when problems arise. You’ll wonder, “Why is this happening to me?” But if you understand and cooperate with what God is doing in your ministry, your faith – like a muscle that is stretched – will develop great strength.

Phase 1: A dream God gives you a dream! “ an idea, goal, or ambition.”
Every great accomplishment first begins as a God-given dream in someone’s mind. “God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. (Eph. 3:20 LB)

Phase 2: A decision
A dream is worthless until you decide to do something about it. For every 10 dreamers, there’s only one decision-maker. This is the moment of truth where you decide to invest your time, money, energy, and reputation and to let go of security. If you want to walk on water – you must get out of the boat! “You must believe and not doubt ¦ a double-minded man is unstable in all he does.” (James 1:6, 8 GN)

Phase 3: A delay
There is always a time lapse before your dream becomes reality. God uses this waiting period to teach us to trust him. Remember, a delay is not a denial. Maturity is understanding the difference between “no” and “not yet.” God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Hab. 2:3 LB)

Phase 4: A difficulty
Now the problems start popping up. The two most common types: critics and circumstances. Don’t worry. It’s all a part of God’s plan. “At the present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident! “ it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold.” (1 Peter 1:6-7 Ph)

Phase 5: A dead end!
Your situation will deteriorate from difficult to impossible. You are backed into a corner, you reach the end of your rope; it looks hopeless. Congratulations! You are on the edge of a miracle. Trust God. “At that time we were completely overwhelmed ¦ in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we now believe we had this sense of impending disaster so that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves but in God who can raise the dead.” (2 Cor. 1:8-9 Ph)

Phase 6: A deliverance God provides a supernatural answer.
Miraculously, things fall into place! God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections so you can see his greatness. “I expect the Lord to deliver me once again so I will see his goodness to me.” (Ps. 27:13)
Until next week,

Will you go without knowing?

Filed under: Abrahamic Covenant,Tentmaking — nateheng at 9:48 am on Tuesday, January 2, 2007
This morning’s reading in “My Utmost for His Highest,” directly deals with our theme for this website. Enjoy!
January 2nd
Will you go out without knowing?
He went out, not knowing whither he went. Hebrews 11:8.
Have you been ‘out’ in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question—‘What do you expect to do?’ You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder—you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a ‘going out,’ building in confidence on God. “Take no thought for your life, . . . nor yet for your body”—take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you ‘went out.’
Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?
Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him, what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual ‘going out’ in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until, so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.

Chambers, Oswald: My Utmost for His Highest : Selections for the Year. Grand Rapids, MI : Discovery House Publishers, 1993, c1935, S. January 2