Kingdom work

When I go to work, I’m going to the Kingdom. I’m not working for the King, I’m working with the King. The Kingdom is not restrained to the walls of the Church. -Kris Vallotton

Many days, I used to drag myself to work.

But its not that I don’t love my jobs, for I do.

Rather its because I wasn’t seeing the bigger perspective about work in general.

Years ago, when in bible college, I dreamed of working in a church. One professor made a comment about how I was too radical to be church acceptable staff material, and my soul took on the weight of that barb.  Not knowing any better at the time, I let my dream of being on church staff fly away into my lost dreams pile.

Fast forward to more recent years.  Spending more time in the Word, I realized that the church in Acts seemed to do more “church-like” Kingdom work outside of the walls of the church buildings, right in the communities, wherever they were.

Immediately my eyes were opened to the reality that church work, Kingdom work, was never meant to be limited inside the walls of a building.

Kingdom work was always intended to be carried within the heart of everyone in the Kingdom, and shared with those who need to hear the Good News that they are welcome in His Kingdom.

  • The Kingdom is within me, for I am His.
  • The Kingdom walks with me, for the King is with me wherever I go.
  • I work with the King, wherever I work
  • All my work matters for His Kingdom when I do it for His Kingdom come and His glory.
  • When I am aligned with His heart for those around me, I am doing Kingdom work.

And I don’t need to be church staff, or in a church building to do so.

I only need to be lead by Holy Spirit, following Jesus’ example and allowing my heart to beat with my Abba’s to do Kingdom work.

For wherever I am, the Kingdom is too.

And the same is true for you!
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porsche vs beater: when quality matters

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Just passed a Porsche in the parking lot on my way to the bus this morning, which jolted my memory back to part of a talk I heard at Kingdom Bound several years ago.

It’s worth revisiting.

We can tend to end up with people based on attraction, can’t we? And jumping to instant conclusions can lead us to settling for a beater when our heart is meant for a Porsche.

God’s heart is set for our best.
Nothing less.

So why do we jump to settle?

Coz we have to wait, and we tend to think we know better when we let our emotions and attractions lead our decision making.

I am gonna take this message, originally about guys & gals, a step further today, and talk about the others we get into bed with.

When you form a partnership or arrangement with a company, church, employer or partnership, you essentially become linked spiritually. Like a marriage.

And if one of you isn’t healthy, you can both become unwell or one of you ends up the other’s punching bag (verbally, emotionally, spiritually..)

We are to be just as careful who we partner with as we are to be wise about choosing our spouse.

I worked for a great organization as a young adult for several years, My last six months there, a new boss was hired who so overloaded the team with her work that we couldn’t get ours done, and then berated us for being lazy. As good as the organization was, it didn’t protect us or allow for complaints up the chain, so the entire team quit within a year.

No one signs up to be treated like crap by their employer. When I met Him, God made it quite clear to me when I was to leave this job.

Several years later, I was working for another well known company. When I started, the company held well-balanced policies to encourage both customer and employee satisfaction. It was a hard job, but one where we all felt supported and encouraged to be our best.

Fast forward a few years to upper management changes, and a new direction for dealing with employees. Not one of encouragement but fear of reprisal. No longer challenged to reach goals, ordered to hit them or else. And the company I thought I was working for revealed its new dark side. Again, God guided me to part ways.

But the silver lining of that departure allowed for me to be hired by a former client who thought I would be a good fit for his small business, and who serves the Lord with no holds barred.

To the world it was a dumb choice, but to the Lord it was the wise choice.

Now my boss would be the first to say he isn’t perfect. but He is relying on the One who is.

And that can make all the difference.

Another former boss I had was not a believer, but believes in pursuing excellence in every detail at work. He was a great boss, and I only left because there was no room to grow. He still models doing his best every day.

Here’s my point.

What looks like a beater on the outside may have the best qualities under the hood.
And sometimes your Porsche has major problems lurking below the surface.

Before you form a partnership, apply for a job, or ask that person you are interested in out on a date, please ask God for His opinion.

First.

And if need be, ask Him to confirm what you think you are hearing.

The Bible is clear on a few things we tend to overlook at times when we are caught up in our emotions:

Don’t throw your pearls before swine.

Your talents are meant to be used where God wants you to use them best, not the enemy’s slop yard.

Also known as….

Don’t leap before you look.

Instead of immediate action, do the hardest thing for yourself in that moment, and wait…

Seek God.
Listen for His voice.
Wait for confirmation.
Then act accordingly.

If you are being pressured in the moment for an immediate answer, answer NO.

If time is of the essence, God will give you the right answer in the right time…His.

Because we can’t always see what is really going on behind the scenes in corporations, in our churches, in our partnerships…

But He can.

He knows each of our hearts, and knows who is the best fit where. (We are part of His body, after all!)

Anything else is settling for second best.

If you are a hard worker, unintentionally accepting a job from a lazy boss will drive you crazy. And God knows it.

Instead of jumping to take the first job you can because you are scared you won’t have enough. ask the God who provides to ensure you have all you need in the wait for the right position yet to come.

He may want you to start your own business, form a new partnership, or work where you never expected you would.

If He is leading you there. He has equipped you to work there.

Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.

Don’t be a yes man at any cost. Ask God for discernment, and reply as He leads. This has been one of the hardest but most precious lessons He has taught me, as I was headed down the road of people pleaser at my own expense. I now pray and wait before I respond, and can tell you there is much blessing to be found in following instead of reacting.

Be careful with whom you end up aligning yourself.

Where our heart is, our treasure is found.

When you give Him your heart, giftedness and willingness to serve where He wants you, you will reap the rewards He has in store for you.

You might think a particular person would be a great business partner, but God knows they are headed down a dangerous road which will negatively impact your business, and you, if you join forces.

Don’t gloss over the details.

The God who sees each and every wildflower He creates, knows each tear we cry, and hair on our heads? He pays attention to the details.

Become informed about the company you are thinking on working for. Check out their website, look up their financial status. Look at the chatter on their social media & advertising campaigns.

Do the same for the church you are thinking about joining, the organization you are interested in volunteering with, and the person who wants to hire you or go into business with you.

You might be surprised what you may learn. But God isn’t.

Quality matters. You reap what you sow.

God didn’t skimp when He made the world or each of us. He did so to the best of His ability.

We are hardwired to do likewise.

That is why being placed where God wants you to do your best is so important, to all three of the people involved….you, your boss/partner, and God.

You because you are blessed when you do your best for Him.

Your boss/partner will reap the blessings of your best for the business.

God will be blessed because you are using the gifts He gave you where He wants you to, for His glory and Kingdom.

Final Thought:

When we allow God to guide us to the best fit for our skills & gifts, He take us out of the boxing ring of impulsiveness where the enemy has been beating on us, and moves us into the wise open spaces of shelter He has waiting for us. There will be storms ahead, but we will be under the cover of His blessing through our obedience.

God has a place for you in heaven. and a place for you here on earth.

May we ask for His wisdom to see what is under the cover of what we can glimpse in the natural, and never fail to allow Him to safely lead us.

I know this is possible. because He has done it for Moses, David, Paul, Ruth, Rahab and so many more whose history you can read in the Word.

If He can do it for those willing to follow, He will do so for you & I, because He never changes!

Here’s to wise choices led by Wisdom Himself.

Sunday Psalm: Safe Haven

worrying & working
my fingers to the bone
only leads to exhaustion,
and hiding myself within
only leads to frustration.
You have better in store
for me
than that,
Your Spirit reminds me.

Your love
offers a portal of rest.
A safe haven in my storms,
a refuge in the midst of the battles that try to ensnare me,
a home where i am always welcome.
Always & forever.

You calm the storm
raging inside of me
when I come to You,
my safe haven.

You don’t just love me
in a heart adoration devoted overwhelmingly for you kind of way, but in a “Come away with me, my love, and find peace no matter the season, shelter in the storms, in my embrace literally” active kind of love.

Love does.

Your love is real,
and You want to move on my behalf.

Calmer of the storms
swirling inside of me
and all around me,
You invite me to pull
into Your harbor,
anchor myself in You
and find peace, rest
for my soul.

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#hopeinHisPresence

give unto..

Taxes.

Our yearly sweat boiled down into one document submitted to our government, sometimes with tears.

And most of us moan, groan and complain about it.

Yet Jesus took a different tactic:
They sent some Pharisees and followers of Herod to bait him, hoping to catch him saying something incriminating. They came up and said, “Teacher, we know you have integrity, that you are indifferent to public opinion, don’t pander to your students, and teach the way of God accurately. Tell us: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
He knew it was a trick question, and said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Bring me a coin and let me look at it.” They handed him one.
“This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”
“Caesar,” they said.
Jesus said, “Give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”
Their mouths hung open, speechless.
Mark 12:13-17 (MSG)

Much as we grumble and don’t like, most of us, having to pay taxes, the government system was the one we chose. We asked God for kings, and the result is we got what we asked for. People are imperfect, and full of bureaucracy.

But God placed our government, the men and women serving their communities & country. God gave us jobs to help provide for us.

The result? We owe it all to God, the giver of all good things.

And before you wonder, having work is a good thing…just ask someone having a hard time finding a job and making ends meet.

Yet God, through these verses showing us a snippet in the life of Jesus, tells us to pay the government what it is due. And that means taxes: property, municipal and federal.

It also means we need to get it done.

Don’t put it off because you don’t want to put in the work needed, or because you owe money. File on time, figure out how to best pay what you owe if you owe, and plan ahead so you are ready for next year.

If you are fortunate, you get a refund.
Another way God can sometimes surprisingly provide for us.

I have two part time jobs, and recently started doing some freelance from home. I pay tax every pay cheque all year round to the part time jobs, which helps to cover what I might owe for the freelance work. An accountant made that suggestion, which means I would hopefully owe less at income tax time.

There was another time when Jesus made a public point with Peter to pay His taxes:
When they arrived at Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, “Does your teacher pay taxes?”
Peter said, “Of course.”
But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. “Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays—his children or his subjects?”
He answered, “His subjects.”
Jesus said, “Then the children get off free, right? But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.”
Matthew 17:24-27 (MSG)

Jesus made a point, even though He was God’s son, and owns everything, to pay the taxes He owed while He was here on earth. He clearly demonstrated that we are to give those in authority over us what they are due, our taxes.

Whether we like their behavior or not.

Jesus clearly had issues with the religious and political leaders in His day. However, He gave his taxes to both support the temple He went to and the community/country He lived in.

The heart of the matter? Give out of obedience and thankfulness to God, the giver of all we have and are.

Give unto Caesar what is his (our taxes) and give unto God what is His (everything, but especially our praise, worship and gratitude).

Ask Jesus to help us with our finances and spend them as He leads helps us give our money where He has  intends for it to go.

May our attitude be like His.
Without complaint, He gave when He was asked to.

The ultimate sacrifice for us all.

If sin was a tax, it took its toll in full out on Jesus. For me, for you.

And He never complained.
He did it out of love for us.

Now, you may not love your government or paying taxes, but if you love God, we need to leave our complaints aside and pay our taxes out of the great love we have for Him.

For He gave it all.

And He paid for everyone, even the tax collectors or the local politician whom we find embarrassing.

Give to the government what it is due, and give to God all He is due.

Words to remember as our deadline for getting our taxes done draws closer.

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