Archive for the ‘God’s Will’ Category

October 31st, 2015

God’s Work on Display

“And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” John 9:2-3 (ESV)

For me, this passage is one of the most challenging in all of scripture. Jesus and His disciples happen upon a man, who was born blind, and the disciples, influenced by the common belief of the day, asked what fault existed in this man or his parents that God would judge him by making him blind. Jesus, as He so often does, challenges the false assumptions of the disciples by suggesting to them the cause of this man’s blindness was not his sinfulness nor that of his parents but rather so the glory of God might be displayed through him, which of course it was when Jesus healed him.

What an incredible question this passage presents! Are we, as disciples of Jesus, willing to allow our bodies, our resources, our talents, our failures, indeed everything we have to be used for the work of God to be displayed? When difficulties arise in our lives, when we lose that job or sickness befalls us, are we willing to say to the Lord, “Work through me in this time to display your glory and my ultimate satisfaction and trust in you,” instead of asking, “Why me?” The tendency for us, like that of the disciples, is to ask what we have done to deserve such treatment. We want to know how we can fix it to regain that which we have lost, but what if the purpose is greater than that? What if we have been placed in that situation for God to do a miraculous work through us so that others may see Him and believe?

Are you willing to be used in that way? Are you willing to allow every circumstance in your life to be used for the glory of God? This teaching is challenging, yes, but I suspect our willingness to do so represents a new level of faith in our walk with the Lord.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 31st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category God's Purpose, God's Will, John.
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October 13th, 2015

What Are You Living For?

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.’” John 4:34 (ESV)

God has a mission for you to fulfill. God created you to bloom where He plants you so that you can continue the ministry of Jesus. Your life matters to God. Stay on mission with God.

Jesus lived His earthly life to bring glory to God by doing His will and finishing His work. Jesus was on mission with God. His passion was to do God’s will. When the disciples returned with food for Jesus to eat, Jesus clarified that His appetite was to do God’s will. Jesus recognized the clear mission for which He was sent by God to the earth to fulfill.

  • “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (ESV)

Jesus completed His atoning work on the cross to purchase our salvation. He took the full wrath of God for our sin. Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb and rose three days later. After forty days of post-resurrection appearances, Jesus ascended to heaven. On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to indwell the believers as He promised (John 16:7 & Luke 24:49). Now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us (Rom. 8:34).

Will you embrace the mission of Jesus by doing God’s will and finishing the work He wants to do through you? There are people who need the love of Jesus you possess. Multitudes stand in need of the gift of eternal life that you have received. Bring glory to God by living on mission with Him.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Focus, God's Will, Jesus.
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March 9th, 2015

Discern God’s Will

“On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff.” Numbers 17:8-9 (ESV)

God reveals His will. Even when you are not clear about a direction you should take, God will bring you into the decision making process to reveal His plan. God created you and God has a specific plan for your life. Will you pursue Him daily and trust Him completely? Will you obey what God shows you?

Moses obeyed God’s directive by securing the staffs of the twelve chiefs of Israel. Moses wrote their name on their staff and wrote Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. The morning after Moses placed the twelve staffs in the tent of meeting, he retrieved each staff and noticed that Aaron’s staff had sprouted. Through this very interesting process, God revealed His will.

Perhaps you are going through a season of life in which you would love for God to reveal His will to you in a tangible way. You would be willing to secure a staff or any item that God would use to indicate His will. The reality is that God reveals His will through His Word.

Are you reading your Bible? Are you spending time in prayer and spending time diligently seeking God’s will? As you obey what God has already revealed to you, He will illuminate the path He wants you to take. As you obey, God will show you the way.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, God's Will, Numbers.
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November 15th, 2014

Ask the Right Question

“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” Philippians 1:12 (ESV)

God had transformed Paul from a persecutor of the church to a preacher of the gospel. Later in his journey, the Apostle Paul was instrumental in the birth of the church at Philippi. Paul was fully yielded to the Lordship of Christ and fully surrendered to God’s will. He sought to maintain the posture of living on mission with God and joining God in His redemptive activity.

Sometimes obedience to God’s will leads to imprisonment. Paul was imprisoned in Rome and chained to two Roman soldiers rotating shifts every eight hours. Can you imagine being chained to the Apostle Paul for eight hours? God used the very chains that bound Paul to unleash the gospel of grace to throughout the whole palace guard.

When you look into the rear view mirror of your life, maybe you can quickly remember a season of adversity that made no sense at the time. Now, looking back you see how God used that season in your life to build your faith and to bless others. Hindsight gives you a view of clarity that provides comfort.

Our tendency is to ask God, “Why?” We like knowing the reason behind the season of adversity. We find comfort in clarifying the unknown and resolving the mystery of our circumstances. For some reason, we just passionately want to know why God allows certain things into our lives. We convince ourselves, that if we knew why, then we would be able to accept the reality of our circumstances.

Instead of asking why, consider asking what! Start asking, “God, what would you like to accomplish in me and through me in the midst of this season of adversity?” Remember, if God allows it, He will use it to build your faith and to bless others.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Adversity, God's Will, Questions.
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November 14th, 2014

Divine Appointments

“So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.” Acts 16:40 (ESV)

Have you ever been tempted to question God? Maybe you have gone through a season that did not make sense to you and appeared to divert you from God’s will. Paul had delivered a fortune-teller from her demon possession. As you can imagine, her owners where not happy with the cessation of their flow of income. As a result, Paul and Silas were thrown in prison for obeying God’s will.

Just before that encounter, Paul and Silas met Lydia at a place of prayer by the river in Philippi. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message and she and her family had a life changing experience and were baptized. She invited Paul and his companions to her home. Lydia’s home became an oasis.

After Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, they were praying and singing hymns to God when the foundations of the prison were shaken by an earthquake. Chains were loosed and the prison doors flew open. The jailer was about to take his own life until Paul declared that all the prisoners where still there. The jailer fell trembling before Paul and Silas and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Immediately the jailer and his family were baptized. Paul and Silas went to Lydia’s house and met with the believers and encouraged them. God birthed the church of Philippi out of adverse circumstances. Lydia’s home became the church of Philippi.

Don’t underestimate what God wants to do in the midst of your circumstances. God orchestrates divine appointments throughout the terrain of turbulence.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, November 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Adversity, God's Timing, God's Will.
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November 13th, 2014

Gain Clarity

“And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16:10 (ESV)

Fog has the capacity to limit visibility and to stall progress. If you have ever driven in fog you know firsthand the challenge it creates. Living life in a fallen world can be like trying to drive in the fog. The path God wants you to take may not be crystal clear.

Paul and his traveling companions experienced the canopy of fog when they sought to preach the word in the province of Asia. The Holy Spirit prevented them from moving in that direction. When they tried to enter the border of Bithynia, the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. Their path was foggy until Paul had a vision during the night of a man from Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

Sometimes the fog doesn’t lift until God has prepared you for your next assignment. Even when your path doesn’t seem clear, know that God is working to develop you and to prepare the circumstances in your future for the life He has for you. Wait patiently before the Lord and trust in His impeccable timing to reveal to you the step He wants you to take.

Keep yielding to His authority and control in your life. Keep drawing near to God and grow in your daily intimacy with Him. God is passionate about developing the character of Christ in you so that you will be more like Jesus whether the path is foggy or radiantly clear.

Paul did not know it, but God was preparing him for some divine appointments that were positioned just beyond the fog. God sees where you are and He knows exactly where He wants you to be. The fog will lift and you will gain clarity.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Clarity, God's Will, Vision.
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October 12th, 2014

Choose the Right Path

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)

Decisions determine direction and direction determines destination. Life is filled with incremental decisions that place you on a particular path. You can be living in the center of God’s will and make one small decision that causes you to divert from the path God has for you.

Think about the condition of your relationships. Measure the health of your relationship with Christ, your relationship with your spouse, your relationship with your children, and your relationship with others. The decisions you make impact the level of health in each of these relationships. One decision can enhance your relationships or hinder your relationships.

Assess where you are right now in your life. How did you get to where you are? You are a product of the choices you make. When you chose to trust in Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, your forever changed. You made a spiritual decision that placed you in a right relationship with Christ. Consider the choices you made academically to position yourself for a bright future. The location of your residence is a result of a decision you made.

Sometimes the choices others make impact you directly. Perhaps someone in your family made a poor choice that led them down a path filled with consequences. You are now reaping a portion of what they have sown. God will give you the grace to navigate that path. Remember, if God allows it, He will use it! If God allowed the consequences to drift in your direction, He will use them for your good and His glory.

Walk in unbroken fellowship with the Lord and ask Him to enable you to discern His will. Ask the Lord to illuminate the path He wants you to take for His glory.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Choices, Discernment, God's Will.
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October 1st, 2014

God’s Sovereignty

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-12 (ESV)

Has your life ever become complicated and messy? Have you traveled down a road you never thought you would view? Living in a fallen world tends to cause us to experience unexpected turns in life. Either we make poor choices or the decisions of others negatively affect us. It may be a relationship that has diverted into unhealthy patterns or personal behaviors that drift away from God’s best.

The good news is that God is sovereign. He rules and He reigns. He always has the final say in any and every situation. Even when you make a disastrous move, God can orchestrate your path for your good and His glory. Notice how our Bible verse says that God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. He is God! There is nothing that is impossible with Him. He can handle your situation. He can handle your relationships.

God orchestrates everything we encounter to bring about His will. Right now your current challenge may seem like an uphill climb dragging two dead elephants. God can take any difficult situation and orchestrate the details to conform to His plan.

Are you willing to surrender your hurts, your frustrations, your disappointments, and your fears to God? Release them and entrust them to God’s sovereign care. He is the master conductor in the orchestra called life.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Sovereignty, Trust.
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September 7th, 2014

Start with Prayer

“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12 (ESV)

Major decisions require major clarity. Jesus was about to make a major decision that would change the course of human history. Of all the disciples showing interest in following Jesus, it was now time for Jesus to choose twelve of them and designate them as apostles. Instead of glancing out and randomly securing twelve of them, Jesus found a place of solitude on a mountainside to have unhurried time alone with God in prayer. Jesus spent the entire night praying to God. His number one priority was not building a team, but rather receiving clarity from God through prayer. Jesus oriented His life around knowing and doing God’s will.

Are you in the center of God’s will? It is so easy to hastily jump into life and be cascaded with the wave of busyness. We fill our lives with excessive activities and consuming commitments having never paused long enough to hear from God. Our natural proclivity is to launch into activity. We often feel as though motion is a mark of progress. The problem is that you may be moving in the wrong direction. You may be on the wrong path.

How do you receive clarity from God? First, recognize that God loves you and has a specific plan for your life. You were made by God and for His glory. God invites you into His story. Secondly, God wants to reveal His plan to you. As Henry Blackaby says, “God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purpose, and His ways.” Thirdly, spend unhurried time alone with God in prayer to seek His face and to learn to recognize His voice. Then, simply obey what God shows you along the way.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 7th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Clarity, God's Will, Prayer.
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August 18th, 2014

Renewing Your Mind

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

There is an immense gravitational pull to succumb to the allurements of the world. We combat the pattern of this world, the flaming arrows of the evil one, and the cravings of the flesh. Choosing to conform to the path of worldliness dilutes our spiritual passion and distorts our spiritual focus. We will bypass God’s best for us. We will forfeit God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.

God gives us the freedom to choose our path. We do not have to travel down the lane of lust or the highway of hostility or the sidewalk of selfishness. We can choose to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Floating down the river of culture and allowing the current of compromise to corrode our character is not God’s will for us. God did not sacrifice His only Son in order for us to drift into sin.

Renew your mind by replacing sin with Scripture, by replacing falsehood with truth, and by replacing self-centeredness with Christlikeness. Be transformed by renewing your mind. Scrape off the peeling paint of improper thinking and apply the fresh paint of God’s Holy Word. Your life is too valuable to allow corrupt thinking to occupy your mind. God’s plan for your life is too important to waste another moment allowing toxic thoughts to contaminate your mind.

Unload your mind! Make room for God’s Word to take full possession of your mind. Make a commitment to feed on God’s Word daily. Seek to memorize a verse each week, internalize that verse, and then align your thinking with that verse.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Will, Renewal, Transformation.
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