Think on these things: Staying Connected

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“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.”¬†– Psalm 143:8


Two of the greatest inventions of my time have been the laptop computer and e-mail. The laptop means I no longer have to stay in one place to be productive in my business life. E-mail has allowed me to stay connected to people all around the world with the touch of a button.

My greatest frustration is when either of these does not work. Sometimes e-mail cannot be used because I can’t get a connection. Sometimes I cannot use my laptop because I have not properly charged it, and then the charge runs out while I am on an airplane. Both of these situations mean I am unable to tap into the resource that allows me to fulfill my calling in my work to the fullest.

The morning time with God is much like these situations. God pours His Word into my spirit, and I am recharged. This recharging has an important effect on my day. It allows me the greatest opportunity to hear the small voice that directs my steps. If I refuse to “get connected,” I risk following my own ways of fulfilling the duties of my day. It sets forth the opportunity for God to speak into my spirit what He desires for me each day. It allows me to focus on God’s purposes, not mine.

The only way to know someone is to spend time with him or her. The only way to discern the voice of another is to hear that person’s voice. David, the author of this psalm, was a warrior, king, and businessman. He understood this principle of connecting with God in the morning. His morning allowed him to connect with God’s love, renew his trust in Him, and hear His directions for his life. Shouldn’t you and I do the same?

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Think on these things: Are you a threat to the kingdom of darkness?

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If satan and his demons had a board meeting and your name came before the board, what would they say? Would they say that you are one of their most feared enemies and they needed to keep many demons harassing and opposing you? Or would they say, “Gentlemen, this person poses no threat to our activities. Leave him alone. He needs no help from us.” There are millions of church-going believers sitting in pews Sunday after Sunday who pose little threat to the kingdom of darkness.

Are you a threat to the kingdom of darkness?

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message,

Morning Meditation: God’s Selection Process

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God’s Selection Process

“So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, ‘Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.'” Judges 7:5

Would you ever take on an army of 100,000 with only 300 men? Sound preposterous? I agree. However, this is exactly what happened with Gideon. It was bad enough that he began with 10,000 against 100,000, but this was too many men according to God. He would not allow Gideon to fight with this many soldiers, because the temptation would still remain to believe that it was the strength of his army that won the victory. God told Gideon to pare down his army to a mere 300. This would ensure that God would receive total credit for the victory. This is a law in the Kingdom of God. All glory must go to Him. “Announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained” (Judg. 7:3).

Now there are 10,000 men left but that was still too many. God gave Gideon an interesting selection method for the 300 as he took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink” (Judg. 7:5b). What was the significance of this? Those soldiers who lapped water like a dog were soldiers who were more aware of the enemy around them compared to those who kneeled to drink. The lappers were men who were on constant guard to the danger around them, keeping their eyes up and looking about them. The others could be easily picked off.

If you and I are going to be one of God’s elite, we must be battle ready. We must be sensitive to the spiritual dangers around us. We must be trained to go about our business while, at the same time, discern when the enemy of our souls is prowling about seeking to destroy us. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Beware of the spiritual dangers around you.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Morning Meditation: What will be written on your epitaph / tombstone?

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What will be written on your epitaph? How do you want people to remember you? What type of legacy will your life leave behind?

I interviewed a very successful and powerful man one time for a magazine when this question came up. The man ran an international business that is a household name to all. He was a professed Christian, but he had difficulty answering my question. “I always knew someone would ask that question some day. I am not sure I am any more prepared to answer it now either,” was the man’s answer. He grappled for a few nice words, but it was clear he had not seriously considered his life much beyond his business success.

It is said of George Washington Carver that he got up early in the morning each day to walk alone and pray. He asked God how he was to spend his day and what He wanted to teach him that day. Carver grew up at the close of the Civil War in a one-room shanty on the home of Moses Carver – the man who owned his mother. The Ku Klux Klan had abducted him and his mother, selling her to new owners. He was later found and returned to his owner, but his mother was never seen again.

Carver grew up at the height of racial discrimination, yet he had overcome all these obstacles to become one of the most influential men in the history of the United States. He made many discoveries with the use of peanuts and sweet potatoes. However, after he recommended farmers to plant peanuts and sweet potatoes instead of cotton, he was led into his greatest trial. The farmers lost even more money due to the lack of market for peanuts and sweet potatoes. Carver cried out to the Lord, “Mr. Creator, why did You make the peanut?” Many years later, he shared that God led him back to his lab and worked with him to discover some 300 marketable products from the peanut. Likewise, he made over 100 discoveries from the sweet potato. These new products created a demand for peanuts and sweet potatoes, and they were major contributors to rejuvenating the Southern economy.

As he made new discoveries, he never became successful monetarily, but he overcame great rejection during his lifetime for being black. He was offered six-figure income opportunities from Henry Ford, and he became friends with presidents of his day, yet he knew what God had called him to do. His epitaph read:

He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.”

[John Woodbridge, More Than Conquerors (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1992), 312.]

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Morning Meditation: Bad Alliances

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“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not Mine, forming an alliance, but not by My Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting Me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge.”¬†Isaiah 30:1-2

Have you ever entered a business relationship with someone you knew you were not supposed to? Throughout the history of Israel, the people were called to come out of an old way of life. Egypt represented that old way; when things got tough, the Israelites reverted to what was comfortable. They always knew they could take a trip to Egypt and find what they lacked. Perhaps this was their reasoning: “If we can’t get it accomplished under the new way, why not go back to the way we used to do it? At least we know we can get it there.”

When God calls us into a walk of faith, we can expect to be tested in this walk. If we enter into alliances that God has not ordained, it will only bring heartache. Such was the case for Israel. “But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace” (Is. 30:3).

Beware what you perceive as an alliance that may advance your business. It may actually bring you great distress if God has not directed you to align it. Ask yourself what the motive is behind this possible alliance. Make sure that it is not based on fear or a quick fix. Get confirmation that God is leading you to make such an alliance. Then you will not end up in the way of Israel, experiencing shame and disgrace.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Morning Meditation: So, how many demons do you think are assigned to you?

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“greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” 1 Jn. 4:4b KJV.

If you are seeking to fully follow the Lord, you can expect harassment from the enemy. God permits temptation because it drives us deeper into the soil of God. These times reveal God’s power to keep us and walk us through the temptations. Our message becomes fruitful when it is born out of obedience and suffering for His name. Do not consider it strange if you find yourself fighting major battles the more obedient you become to the Master. God desires each of us to become a feared enemy of hell in order to affect satan’s domain. When you begin to feel harassed, chances are you are beginning to affect the kingdom of darkness, and satan doesn’t like this. So, how many demons do you think are assigned to you?

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message

Morning Meditation: Living As If You Were Dead

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“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11

What are the things that arouse the strongest emotions in you? Perhaps it is a rude motorist who cuts you off in traffic. Perhaps it is the anger you feel when you are wrongfully accused. Perhaps it is frustration that results from not having enough money to meet perceived needs. When do emotions turn into sin? Anger itself is not sin. Jesus had righteous anger when they sold doves in the temple.

Whenever our peace is upset over events and circumstances in life, we have moved past emotions into sin. Sin says that circumstances of life now dictate anxiety, worry, fear, or anger. Consider the attributes of a dead man. He does not get angry when slandered. He does not worry about the future. He does not fear what can be done to him. Why? Because he is dead. Nothing can harm a dead man.

Christ said we are to live as if we are dead – dead to the temptation of responding to stimuli in our life that are designed to stir up the sinful nature that resides in each of us. We do not have to respond to that nature; we can consider it dead. Christ said He is enough. When He is our all in all, nothing can move us. If we are moved, then Christ is not our all in all. This does not mean we cannot have strong emotion about our circumstance, it means we do not sin. Christ had strong emotions in the Garden of Gethsemane, yet He sinned not.

 

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Morning Meditation: Are you part of the remnant of workplace believers whom God is calling out today?

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Are you part of the remnant of workplace believers whom God is calling out today? Do not let the business of today’s workplace sidetrack you from the importance of God’s agenda for you. Can you recall the day God’s Spirit rested on you? Have you walked in that anointing since that day? Satan’s strategy is to keep us distracted with the urgency of the moment versus the importance of eternity. Ask God what your priorities should be today. Make His priorities your priorities.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.