15 Jan 2009
Pastor ...... are you yearning for a more productive ministry? If this is true for you, please consider the following.
Three secrets to productivity :
1. Humility :
Why is humility a secret to productivity? First ,because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
When we are attempting to minister to the God of heaven and we are not seeking with all of our hearts to humble ourselves in the sight of God , we are being opposed by the very God we attempt to serve. We know in our minds that God will not give us a pass on the commands of His word, but our culture and the world that we live in and our deceptive hearts shout to us that humility does not really matter, certainly not to the extent that leadership skills and organization and resources and sound business practices matter.
True humility brings the passion to bring glory to God and to become only as visible as is needed to be used to bring God glory. The temptation is very strong to embezzle God's glory when things seem to be moving under His blessings. This is, of course, pride and will only lead to a fall. II Chron 32: 25 AMP " But Hezekiah did not make return [ to the Lord ] according to the benefit done to him, for his heart became proud [ at such spectacular response to his prayer] ; therefore there was wrath upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem"
Faith is very important as it allow us to believe God's word. This seems very simple, but often the downfall of our productivity is that we believe too much depends on what we do and not on what we really believe. Faith allows us to believe what God says about humility and take action to attempt to root pride out of our lives.
It is very interesting that the man God most used as a leader, Moses, was also called the most humble man. Humility and Faith in God are the most irresistible characteristics of a leader. May God give us grace to grow in humility and faith.
When God transfered the leadership of His people, the people who were called by His name, to Joshua He challenged and commanded Joshua three times to be strong and very courageous. Courage is commanded by God! Courage on the part of the leader of God's people is not optional.
Joshua 1:9 (AMP)
Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Application Challenge: Pray each day for thirty days ..... Father show me my pride and give me strength and power from Your Holy Spirit to root it out of my life and ministry. Father show me my lack of faith and give me direction and strength from Your Holy Spirit to strengthen my faith. Father show me my lack of courage and come into the areas of my lack of courage with your word and faith by the power of Your Holy Spirit to significantly strengthen my courage in and through You .... That your name will be built up and glorified! AMEN
There is much that the Lord would have us understand, and much wisdom that He desires to impart to us, but often that we are not able or willing to receive His provisions. Thus we may become poor by our own choices.
Proverbs 14:6 (AMP)
6 A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands.
We do not often use the word scoffer in our every day conversation. The meaning of this word is: to put down, to mock, to show contempt for, or to jeer using words.
As we look into the heart of the person who is described as a scoffer, we see at the root of scoffing is a heart of pride. In the verse in Proverbs above the amplification is insightful …. “ for his attitude blinds and deafens him to it” .
Pride in any of its many forms brings blindness and deafness into our lives. Jesus, when He walked on this earth spoke about having eyes to see and ears to hear.
Matthew 13:13-16 (AMP)
13 This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because having the power of seeing, they do not see; and having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand.
14 In them indeed is the process of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive.
15 For this nation’s heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them.
16 But blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear.
Jesus’ accusation concerning the nation of Judah would not be far astray as we evaluate our nation today. We have become fat and dull. We have become a nation of scoffers particularly as it relates to humbling ourselves before our Creator God. We have become a nation that teaches our children that God did not create the world. We have become a nation that proclaims its right to murder unborn children in the womb. We have become a nation that produces smut and consumes it and exports it to the rest of world in rebellion to a Holy God.
While you individually may not be personally involved in the activities listed above, we do live in a nation and among a people who are scoffers. This can and will rub off on us unless we take specific steps to keep our eyes open and our ears clean to the word of God.
One of the most powerful means to develop open eyes and hearing ears is to make a sincere personal commitment to pursue humility. True humility, in the eyes of God, will bring His blessings, His wisdom, and His direction.
1 Peter 5:5-7 (AMP)
5 Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)—[giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.
6 Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,
7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
Our pride is like a chameleon, when we look in a mirror it blends in and looks just like us. For others, they are able to see our pride more clearly. Thus we often see pride in others and rarely see it in ourselves. The antidote to this “blindness” is to ask God to reveal to you your pride. We can not deal with or root out pride from our lives until we first are able to identify it. You may be thinking that this is not my problem. The test of the truth of this matter is to ask the Lord every day for a month to reveal to you your pride. If you choose to do this with consistent sincerity you can have the confidence based on the character and nature of God, that He will answer this prayer.
1 John 5:14-15 (AMP)
14 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
The consistent pursuit of humility [ in the eyes of God, not to impress men ] will bring wisdom, and blessing and fruitfulness and fulfillment into your life without fail. This is a promise from God.
Proverbs 22:4 (AMP)
4 The reward of humility and the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.