Faith vs. Foolishness – The Waiting Game

“I believe it will come to pass so therefore I will sit around and wait for God to do it.” On the surface, this bold statement makes its speaker seem like he has great faith, but the deeper you look, you find that his “faith” is actually foolishness.

Miracles do not come to those who just sit around expecting God to do everything. Most of the time, those people just continue to sit around waiting for their miracle.

When did God open the Red Sea? It was not when they were still in Egypt. It was only after the people left their homes, traveled through the desert and were on its shores that God performed the miracle.

One person could have looked at that situation and said, “I have faith God will deliver us so I am going to start moving to that impassible body of water knowing He will deliver me.” Another could have looked at the same situation and said, “I have bigger faith than you because I believe God will open the sea before we even start moving.”

Who had more faith? Why don’t you ask the guy still in bondage in Egypt or maybe you can try his friend who is eating milk and honey in the Promised Land.

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“Limitless” Artilce

Check out Ryan’s new article for ChristianNewsToday.com called “Limitless” by clicking here.

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What’s My Job?

Let’s join a conversation at a recent class reunion:

“… and that’s what I have been doing for a living since high school. What about you, where do you work?”

“I am extremely blessed to have been working in the Lord’s high calling for the last five years. I have my dream job. God has put me in a position where I can do what I love every single day and have the satisfaction that I am making a difference in the world.”

“That’s great, what church are you at?”

“Church? I don’t work for a church, I work at a marketing firm in Scottsdale.”

There is a big misconception that people who are in the ministry are the only ones who are living in God’s high calling, but that is totally false. You don’t have to be employed by a church to be living out your destiny. You can work in the business world, be a student or a stay at home parent. God has given each person a different role to fill in this world and all of them are equally important.

Romans 12:3-8 explains that there are many gifts given to God’s children, and in order for the body of Christ to function at its peak, everyone has to do the thing God has put before them with all their heart.

Doing a report at work is just as spiritual a task as preaching a sermon. Changing your kid’s diaper is just as spiritual as leading worship. The important thing is not the task being performed, but it is whether that person is doing the task God has given him/her.

If you are concerned you are not as good of a Christian as your pastor because he has a better purpose in life, ask yourself, am I doing what God has told me to do? If you answer is yes, you are playing just as important of a role in the kingdom as that pastor.

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Say What?

One of the easiest things to do is to put God in a box and think that He has to move in the same way as He did in the past. People who do this will call themselves “Traditionalists” or “Purists” because they are trying to get things back to the way they were in the past. These people can be even greater enemies to the work of God than the world because they are actively preventing God from moving in a totally new direction that just might be relevant enough to reach a new generation.

In Numbers 22 we pick up the story of Balaam, a prophet of God who was told by God not to travel to a pagan king but he went anyway. Since God realized Balaam would not listen to Him, He had to send something different that Balaam would listen to. For that, God chose a donkey. That donkey provided Balaam with a relevant message that he listened to.

God does not always choose the obvious to reach people. I have seen this at work in my ministry too. In one of the groups I led, we used poker as an outreach tool. We met new people and invited them to my house where we played poker with them and in that relaxed atmosphere, we built relationships with them. These people then became faithful attendees to service where they were encouraged and built up in God.

I have learned that we just cannot put God in a box and think that He has to do things exactly like He did them in the past if we want to be successful. We have to be willing to accept the fact that God may want us to try something different that is relevant to the people we are trying to reach.

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New Series on the Pulse

Starting a new series this week on the Pulse called “Get Off the Mountain” where I will be teaching on what to do after an encounter with God. First message is called “Spiritual Junkies” and will be about people who cannot seem to get enough of God’s presence but never do anything with it. Tune in Thursday at 3:30 on KXXT 1010AM

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Hiding from God #7 – Need to Achieve

In a world where achievement is everything, it is so easy for people to hide themselves in a job or career. They will offer up many of the standard responses when questioned about it: “I need to feed my family. That’s my top priority.” Or there’s the ever popular “I cannot go to church because I work so hard during the week Sunday is my day to relax. You know the Bible says Sunday is a day of rest.”

The excuses are many, but the heart is the same. People hiding themselves from God and His calling upon their lives. They feel that if they can immerse themselves in their career that they will be so busy that they will not feel the need for a relationship with Christ.

These stories never have happy endings because what they do not realize is that no achievement is meant to fill the void Jesus is meant to fill. There simply is no substitute for God. You can try filling your life with a job, but in the end, that job cannot mask the yearning in your heart for a real relationship with your Creator.

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Hiding from God #6 – Not Guilty

“If you only knew who I really was and some of the things I have done, you will see that I am not worth your time.” Such is the way many people respond to God. They have let the guilt of their past hide them from a real relationship with Him.

Everyone has messed up and fallen short at some point in their lives. God knows this and He understands that He is not opening His arms to a bunch of perfect people. He accepts people for who they are.

Even if the past has not been good to you and you have made some mistakes, know that God’s forgiveness brings a fresh start. Remember that in the Bible, Moses was a murderer, David an adulterer and Paul a violent persecutor of the church. All of these men found forgiveness and with that came a second chance.

Hiding behind guilt and shame will only keep you from fully embracing the love God is offering you. Even if you have held onto that guilt for years and always thought that your past will keep you from God, today can be the day where you leave the past behind and embrace the future God has for you.

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The Gift of Patience

Read Ryan’s new article “The Gift of Patience” that he wrote for ChristianNewsToday.com.

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Hear Ryan speak

Hear Ryan’s inspirational message “Extreme Makeover” where he goes over God’s 7 steps to makeover people into the people he created them to be. He will be speaking on Wednesday, August 10th at the Threesixty young adult service at 7:15pm at Phoenix First Assembly church in the Garage.

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Hiding from God #5 – Procrastination

Procrastination plagues all of us. “I will do that assignment tomorrow” or “I can wait another day to get my oil changed” have become phrases common to many of us today. We will put things off until they absolutely have to be done.

You are all probably aware of the problems that come with procrastination, now magnify those a hundred times and that is what procrastination with God is like. People think they can hide from God behind tomorrow. If they keep putting Him off then eventually He will just go away. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

I see this attitude a lot with younger people. I will live it up now and put God off until after I graduate. But when they graduate, it is difficult for them to get that relationship going because of the years of neglect. Then when they reach a dark time in their lives, they wish they could have had a strong relationship established already but it just is not there.

Hiding behind tomorrow never brings you closer to God’s abundant life. Embrace it today and watch what God will do in your life.

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