Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pause, Reflect, What Are We Doing? by Robert Ricciardelli

We are all living in a fast paced, hard driven, make it happen world. I know this world well, and have operated in it for most my life by the worlds standards and measures. By the grace of God, the Lord took us out of the Matrix several years ago. Through continued trials and tests, Father has forged in us a resolve, and a faith in Him, that otherwise had been and would have continued to be minimized. As we travel, we see common patterns that limit our effectiveness and ability to be Kingdom ambassadors to the world. If we do not pause, reflect, and hear correctly, we will often look back and say, wow, so much time has passed and very little of what we had intended to do, ever got in motion.

PAUSE… Be Still and know I am God

“Pause”, “Be Still”, can that really happen in our lives on a regular basis? We all know it should, and should know that it is vital if we want to be “Father Pleasers”, and hear from Him on what He has to say, and how He sees things going. This does not have to be in the form of a ritual, but just time with Him. He will take every moment you give to Him and make something good out of it. As we pause long enough to hear His voice, we can now then move on and reflect based on His divine plans.

REFLECT… Navigational fine tuning

His ways are not our ways should always be part of our reflection. As we look into the spiritual mirror of our existence, how much of our lives are spent reacting to the world and its systems. How much worry or focus is given to these very same systems? Even Jesus reminded us to give to Caesar and His systems, what is his, and to give to God what was due Him, which are our very lives. Jesus was not concerned with politics, He operated beyond the worldly systems, while still within them. He was in them but not OF them. We must begin, or continue our conversations with the Father to hear His plan, engage with it, and seek His voice for the next steps. Then we can seriously begin to objectively ask the real question, what are we doing?

WHAT ARE WE DOING?... Good question, but do we have the answer?

God never intended for religion. He intended to have a people; called by His name to steward, be productive, and carry His presence to those around us and to the nations. Does sitting in a church service each week hearing a good message and worshipping together give us all of what we need? Are we living our experience of being the church through two hours on Sunday and maybe a home cell on Thursday? Are we active in our thoughts and communications with the Father in everyday life? Are we being transformed by His presence? Is the transformation manifesting selectively depending on the people we engage with or the environment we are in?

I love corporate worship and the time you can have when you come together, whether it is Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, but what are we doing in between those corporate gatherings? It is great to have a corporate vision, but do we have an identifiable vision and revelation from God for ourselves. Are we living our lives thinking we are okay because we sit and listen to great preaching and have a wonderful church expression each week, or are we allowing the Holy Spirit to mobilize us every single day into His purposes and plans?

His Kingdom wants to encompass everything. The King and His righteousness desires to influence everything we are and everything we do. We must pause, reflect, and examine all that we are and all that we do. How is our heart towards those who have rejected us? Do we forgive, do we love, or do we just move on?

How do we treat co-workers that are different than us in their beliefs and lifestyles? Are we praying for them, loving them, or do we sit back in judgment of them?

Those who run businesses, have you examined how you are treating employees, customers, vendors in light of His love and His Word? Are we living in the revelation that the Father is your Senior Partner in business and in life, and have you been making important decisions without Him? Are you living in the reality that people are God’s greatest asset, Always?

These are the types of questions we ask in our coaching and consulting of others. Here a few beginning steps..

Some Steps towards Kingdom reality
  • We must all continue to migrate towards relationship with Him first, which is the only hope of real and lasting transformational change.
  • We must examine our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate and reflect back to us the things that we may not be aware of. Once revealed, our love for Him should motivate us to take the steps He shows us to get healed, get whole, and forgive or release others to Him.
  • We must look at our daily activities and check and see if the actions please the Father or grieve the Father. We should decide today to be “Father Pleasers”. We also must recognize that religious activities do not cut it in pleasing the Father in everyday life. How we treat our spouses, how we love our children, how we give without having to receive, how we become absorbed with Him and others, rather than self.
  • Talk to Him continuously. Jesus only did and said what the Father gave Him to do and say. Jesus is always our model. Sometimes Jesus would turn away the crowd, the noise, the ministry stuff, to get away with the Father. So must we. He loves to hear from you and He is big enough to listen to the gripes and complaints. He is also big enough to show you that the gripes and complaints are insignificant in light of His eternal plans for you.
  • Just love. God is love. Everything about Him oozes love. Love does not mean we ignore justice. His perfect Love always includes truth and justice. But how our hearts move towards truth and justice often reveals where we are in His love. Love seems to gravitate towards healing and restoration, rather than judgment. You will find that your life does not matter and will pursue loving those who have hated and rejected you. You will pray for your enemies and you will begin relationships with those who are different than you.
  • Walk humbly before your God and others. When I write, I am writing these things to myself. I thank God for my development, but boy I have a long way to go, just ask my wife. The more I know, the more I don’t know and the more it keeps me pressed into Him. If you think you are nearing completion, think again. You’ve come a long way baby, but He has eternity waiting and changes are going to happen. I have found it much easier to be a willing partner with the Lord. He loves us enough to make our path straight, but it is so much better to get on the right path first, rather than being extracted from the ways we thought were the right ones…
Lord we embrace your path today. Illuminate all things to us and we choose to follow all that you show us. Forgive us for our rebellion, and our religious ways that have brought us a false comfort. Show us how we can truly live and move and have our being with you each moment for your glory alone, Amen.

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