Spiritual Vitamins: What is God Producing, Prompting, and Inspiring in You?

When God reveals a recurring theme in your life, what is He up to? How will you respond, sensing His perspective versus what the enemy may be trying to stir up?

As I sit in God’s presence this morning with His Word open before me, this light emanates from 1 Thessalonians 1:3 — faith produces work, love prompts labor, and hope inspires endurance.

What is God producing, prompting, inspiring in you? What motives — other than faith and love —must you surrender? What work or labor, not prompted by Him, do you need to abandon to make room for the real thing? Where do you need a fresh infusion of hope to endure regardless of the circumstances?

These are the questions I am asking myself this morning as I sit in His presence in the Light.

Wisdom from a Friend

I shared these thoughts with a few trusted friends, knowing they would stand for me and with me in prayer. Steve Ivaska responded, saying he is in awe of how God weaves people, circumstances, and scripture passages together as part of His master plan and is grateful for the reminder of truth. He gave me permission to share the words he penned on December 10, 2010, less than a month after retiring, just as he was beginning to explore the possibilities for living out his mission statement of “Building Men with Christ-Centered Priorities.”

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NIV).

As I think about my personal objectives and mission, I need to see them unfolding as a “work produced by faith.” I cannot see what lies ahead clearly or the outcome.  It is and will continue to be a “journey of faith.”

Second, it is to be a “labor prompted by love.”  I need to keep this thought front and center…that my motivation needs to be solely that of love: for Christ, my family, and the men whose lives I seek to impact. This isn’t “about me.” It’s not about what I’m doing to fulfill my passion or use my talents or finding something meaningful to do with the rest of my life.  It about the two great commandments: love for my God…with heart, soul, and mind…and love for others (Matthew 22:37-39), using the time, talent and treasures he has entrusted me with.

Third, I must not lose sight that this is a “race of endurance.”  As I run the race and encounter the challenges within, I must not lose sight that the run is inspired by my hope in Christ, the Author and Perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, to make possible my salvation and the opportunities now in front of me.

God has already begun to answer my questions.

TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT


  • Now what about you?  What motives — other than faith and love —must you surrender?
  • What work or labor, not prompted by Him, do you need to abandon to make room for the real thing?
  • Where do you need a fresh infusion of hope to endure regardless of the circumstances?

Please feel free to share your thoughts to encourage others. Click on the speech bubble above to leave a reply…

 

Be a Good Steward of Your Gift and Story

A letter from God that explains why in the world I would start writing a blog at this point in my life… after procrastinating for years…

“Be a good steward of your gift. Be a good steward of your story. These are not separate entities but two facets of stewardship. You are a spark of energy. That spark requires air, the freely moving breath of God at the right time and in the right amount to ignite and cause you to be on fire. Your gift of exhortation can be fanned into flames as you exercise the discipline of writing.

Through your own story and the Truth that God has revealed in your own life regardless of how you felt, you can come alongside many. You can stimulate their faith and affirm them in the ways others have affirmed you (or maybe even more importantly, as you hoped they would.) This will involve doing a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and then sinking yourself into that. It will be God-breathed and you’ll love it even when it is difficult at times.

Don’t waste time on those wanting only temporary solutions. Don’t waste your energy on those who are not interested in being encouraged in grace. Be on the lookout for those who are open to your gift and who can benefit from your story. I AM the Lord your God. I will bring them across your path at just the right time. Seize the opportunity.

Your writing will crystallize for you the areas of practical application of My Word and will be a way of creating tools others can use to take it and run with it. As I told you many years ago, back when you thought I meant to write at that time, don’t worry about the details of how this will all come together. I have been working this process of encouragement out in your life for years and now’s the time for you to capture it before it eludes you again.

Look through your Bible for significant scriptures and dates. Intentionally bring back to your mind key concepts that have gotten you through tough times. Listen to your own testimony. People will relate to you in your struggles and benefit from your experience with Me. I will encourage them through you. The weight of it is on Me… and I can handle it.

You have seen me do this through you as you sink yourself into coaching, teaching, and group facilitation. You really have experienced being fully alive as we’ve partnered together. Now do you dare to believe that we can do this together? Remember that I went to great heights and depths to reclaim this plunder from the enemy for this very purpose… so you can use your gift to make a difference through insightful and creative ideas. Leave no room for doubt. People will grow as a result. They will move forward with Me. I will be glorified and you will be fulfilled. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by a perceived or anticipated lack of results. That particular harvest is up to Me and I truly believe you will be pleasantly surprised at what I can do with just plain Vicki fully surrendered to Me.”

With a letter from God like that, how can I not do this blog?

TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT


  • Now what about you? What action are you inspired to take to be a good steward of your gift and your story?
  • What support do you need to put into place to make it happen… as much as it is up to you?

Let’s put our vision into action and enjoy this harvest together!