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My New Book on Prayer Released!

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book:  IGNITING AN IMPASSIONED PRAYER LIFE – How to Develop the Energized, Extended, and Sustainable Life of Prayer You’ve Always Wanted. Do you wish you were more motivated to pray? Is your prayer life sporadic and...

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What is the best way to pray?

Prayer, like most spiritual practices, is subject to a spectrum of opinion and conviction as to how it is best practiced. Prayer in a word, means different things to different people. Typically we associate prayer with some form of communication and personal encounter with God....

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Leadership Principles and Prayer

When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD… Numbers 11:2 (NIV) Why is prayer often the great omission when it comes to discussion of spiritual leadership? In my humble estimation the topic of leadership is the most frequent focus of...

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October 25th, 2016 · by Tom Stuart · Overcoming, Prayer, Relationship with God

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 ESV

In my last blog post I shared from the Scriptures the critical importance of confidence in our approach to God in prayer. Confidence, or faith, as it is most commonly called in the Bible, is the key to getting answers to prayer. Nobody spells this out more plainly than Jesus. “Therefore I (Jesus) tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NIV Emphasis added).

If you are finding yourself struggling on the believing end of prayer, no need to despair. Our lack of confidence is not a problem for God. He has provided in His word ways to overcome every confidence robber we face, not the least of which are condemnation, confusion as to how to pray according to His will, and mischaracterizations of His divine nature. In the previous blog I addressed the first of these issues – condemnation. There I explained how applying the blood of Jesus is God’s provision for dealing with the accompanying guilt, and is the process whereby He makes us righteous and acceptable to approach His throne of grace with confidence.

Now let us focus on a second way to increase our confidence in prayer – by ridding ourselves of the confusion of not knowing how to pray. Uncertainty with regard to discovering and praying according to the will of God is a debilitating confidence robber. The epistle of James likens this condition to being plagued by doubt, tossed to and fro like a wave of the sea, and terms it “double-mindedness” (James 1:6, 8 NIV). He tells us that such a “person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:7 NIV). Truth be told, nothing deflates our rising expectation for answered prayer like double-mindedness.

But wait, the opposite is also true. Nothing pumps up our prayer expectations like knowing the will of God. No one explains this better than the Apostle John. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV Emphasis Added). These verses lay the foundation upon which every effective prayer should be based – asking according to His will. The challenge, of course, in any given situation which requires prayer, is to discover exactly what the will of God is. This is obviously easier said than done.

What then should a person to do who desires to pray, but is battling double-mindedness and has no confidence as to what the will of God may be?

2. ASK FOR A SPIRIT GIVEN, WORD BASED PRAYER. It is to the Holy Spirit that we must look for confident direction in our praying and it is with a yielded will that we must come to the throne of grace in order to receive that direction. This requires approaching God with an utter dependence upon the Holy Spirit, and a determination to give Him full control of our situation with a “not my will, but thine be done” attitude. We are emboldened to do this because we are promised that “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27 NIV Emphasis added).

There are two primary ways in which the Holy Spirit increases our confidence to pray “in accordance to the will of God.”

The first way is when the Holy Spirit gives us His own words to pray in response to our yielding to Him to pray through us. Typically the words or phrases He gives us to pray extend beyond our own intellectual understanding or are unintelligible altogether, such as tongues or groanings too deep for words. Paul calls this manner of prayer, “praying in the Spirit’ and encourages us to do it “at all times” (Ephesians 6:18 NLT). Jude specifically emphasizes the confidence building aspect of “praying in the Spirit” when he says that through it you are “building yourselves up in your most holy faith” (vs. 1:20 NIV). This means of praying increases our expectation of seeing answers because we know that God is at work using the things He gives us to utter to function like Spirit guided directives to accomplish His will.

The second way the Holy Spirit helps us to pray confidently is by giving a revelatory promise from the Bible that reveals and expresses God’s will for the specific concerns we carry. Praying God’s Word, is the primary means that God has provided for us to pray according to His will. When we pray from the Bible, reciting back to God His own words and will, we do so with an incredible confidence, knowing not only that we are in agreement with Him, but also that He is hearing and agreeing with us.

When the Spirit gives us a timely revelation as to how to pray by illuminating a portion of Scripture it is referred to as a “rhema” word. Rhema is the Greek word used in the New Testament to refer to a now, revelatory “word” from God. For instance, it is “rhema” which is used in the verse “faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 NASB). This verse is encouraging to anyone who lacks confidence in prayer because it promises that God has provided a way that faith can come! And even more importantly, it declares that the means by which faith comes is by receiving a rhema Word from God. This is why it is so important to ask the Holy Spirit for a rhema Word upon which to base our prayer. In so doing faith is released and confidence that God has both heard and will answer, abounds.

In summary, whenever you find yourself stumped and lacking confidence as to how to pray, pause and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Expect Him, as the promised Counselor who leads us into all truth, to either give you His words to pray or illuminate a passage from the Bible for you to pray. Latch onto and use these Spirit given prayers as a basis for confidently approaching God and as fuel for persistently beseeching God until an answer is released. You will be amazed at the increase in faith and expectation praying in this way generates.

The final installment of “3 Ways to Increase Your Confidence in Prayer” will be in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned.

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October 18th, 2016 · by Tom Stuart · Overcoming, Prayer, Relationship with God

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 ESV

Confidence. As with many things we approach in life, including the throne of grace, having confidence is often the deciding factor between success in getting what we desire or failure. In the verse above the writer of the book of Hebrews underscores the importance of praying with confidence. This truth is stated even more emphatically later in the book, where he substitutes the word “faith” for “confidence.” “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV Emphasis added).

Since confidence is such a critical requirement when it comes to prayer, what can a person do who lacks faith or confidence? The good news is when you don’t have it, God has provided ways to get it. To begin with, it helps to identify the things that rob us of our confidence. At the top of the list are such issues as condemnation, confusion as to will of God and mischaracterizations of God. When a person lacks confidence, clear ways can be found in the Bible to address these faith robbers and increase our confidence.

With this in mind, here are three ways you can increase your confidence in prayer.

1. Apply the Blood of Jesus – Nothing erodes confidence more than condemnation. As the antithesis of confidence, condemnation is rooted in a consciousness of sin and unworthiness. Being conscious of failures and short comings locks people in a prison of guilt, and hinders the freedom and boldness with which God desires us to approach Him. On the other hand, being free from condemnation increases confidence, and the resultant probability of answered prayer. “If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask” (1 John 3:21-22 NIV Emphasis added). Thankfully there is a biblical antidote for condemnation and it is the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus is God’s provision to cleanse and purify from all unrighteousness and bring those who feel far away from God near to Him (1 Peter 1:12, 1 John 1:7, Ephesians 2:13). The blood of Jesus is God’s nuclear weapon designed to obliterate every self-condemnation and enemy accusation of the devil, and make us confident overcomers (Revelation 12:10-11).

 The power of the blood of Jesus as a confidence builder in entering God’s presence is best explained in the following passage from Hebrews. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus . . . let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience (vs. 19, 22 Emphasis added). Applying the blood of Jesus to “cleanse us from a guilty conscience” is as simple as choosing to confess our sins, and then stand upon the promise that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 NIV).

This purification process by the blood of Jesus, is the only means by which we can be made righteous and acceptable in God’s sight. It alone is the sure and certain foundation of our confidence in approaching Him. Any thought, reliance, or appeal that our access to His throne room presence is based upon our own self efforts at righteousness is folly. The great hymn “Just as I am” penned by Charlotte Elliott way back in 1835, says it so eloquently.

Just as I am without one plea

But that Thy blood was shed for me

And that Thou bidd’st me come to thee 

O Lamb of God I come, I come.

If you have been wrestling with a lack of confidence in prayer due to condemning thoughts and/or a sense of unworthiness determine right now to apply the blood of Jesus to your heart and mind. Make the following confession a declaration of victory in your life:

Through the blood of Jesus, I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil. Through the blood of Jesus, all my sins are forgiven. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, I am cleansed continually from all sin. Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified, made righteous and just-as-if-I’d never sinned. Through the blood of Jesus, I am sanctified, made holy, set apart to God. My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleansed, sanctified by the blood of Jesus. Therefore, Satan has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettled claims against me, all has been settled through the blood of Jesus (Taken from “Secrets of a Prayer Warrior” by Derek Prince).

More on “3 Ways to Increase Your Confidence in Prayer” in the next blog post. To be continued – stay tuned.

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September 6th, 2016 · by Tom Stuart · Holy Spirit Aha's, Prayer, Relationship with God

3 Reasons to Believe an Answer is Coming

“O sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:10 NIV

Everybody wonders at times about unanswered prayer. It’s not uncommon to ask why it is that God never seems to answer some prayers. One could make a Biblical case that certain prayers prayed with wrong motives, lack of faith, unforgiveness, unconfessed sin, and/or not according to God’s etc. will invariably be hindered or delayed in receiving an acceptable answer. But beyond such discernable reasons there yet remains a mystery as to why some prayers are not answered. When faced with the perplexity of unexplainable causes for our prayers remaining unanswered we can easily become discouraged and disheartened in our praying.

Like many, I have prayed for situations in people’s lives that required major breakthroughs – such things as healing or relationship reconciliation, only to see my prayers go unanswered. In addition there are prayers beseeching the Lord for the salvation of loved ones that I have been praying for longer than the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness – still no answer.

There are basically three possible answers to any given prayer: “yes,” “not yet,” and “no.” With this in mind, for years I have kept a prayer journal, with two columns. In one column I write a one sentence summary of the prayer I am praying with the corresponding start date and in the other column I log the result with a date when the answer comes. I would estimate that my journal documents a 75% success rate with both columns filled to my satisfaction – i.e. I got my “yes.” That leaves approximately 25% of my prayers, whether big or small, that have been answered by God with a “not yet” or a flat out “no.” I suspect, I’m not unusual in this regard.

As I have grappled with the unanswered prayers in my life I have found hope and comfort in reminding myself of three fundamental truths. These truths have to do with the fatherly nature of God, the seed nature of prayer, and the importance of keeping an eternal perspective. Whenever I have acknowledged and chosen to meditate upon these truths, the Holy Spirit invariably begins to blow upon the embers of my discouraged heart and once again fan into the flame my passion to persist in prayer. With that great benefit in mind, I offer them here for your consideration with the expectation that they will encourage you the way they never cease to encourage me.

1. THE FATHERLY NATURE OF GOD – He is a loving Father who wants what is best for each of His children, including me and you! Throughout the Bible, and particularly in the Gospels, this portrayal of God as a loving Father is inextricably linked to prayer. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins His quintessential teaching on prayer with the instruction to direct our prayers to “Our father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9 NIV). A short time later, in the familiar “Ask, Seek, Knock” discussion on prayer, He underscores this “loving heavenly Father” aspect of God’s nature when He states “your Father in heaven gives good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11 NIV)! He says this as an encouragement to all who feel like God is not answering their prayers the way they desire; specifically for those who think they have received a stone when they’ve asked for bread, or a snake when they’ve asked for fish (Matthew 7:9). It is critical for us to take note and lay to heart what Jesus is saying in the passage. He is seeking to firmly establish in our hearts this truth: we have a heavenly Father who wants what is best for us, and having the power to grant it, intends to do so.

Practically, this means that even though it may appear He has given us a stone when we asked for bread, if we are committed to patiently holding it in faith, it will eventually turn into bread. This means that when our prayers seem to go unanswered, we must nevertheless cling to our Father’s promise that in the end, He will see to it that all things “work together for good” (Romans 8:28). When we experience God’s fatherly love for us we can be assured that there really are no unanswered prayers for a child of God. Even a “not yet” or a “no” are ultimately an acceptable answer because in essence our heavenly Father is saying “There is something better I have in mind for you!”

I invite you to join me in being encouraged by this wonderful truth. Our loving Father’s answer for our unanswered prayers is that He has something better in planned for us!

2. THE SEED NATURE OF PRAYER – Prayers are like seeds sown into the ground, there is a germination time that must be fulfilled before the answer springs forth. Germination is the process a seed goes through, given the proper soil temperature and moisture, in which it breaks forth sending a root down in the soil and a shoot up above ground. God’s timing in answering prayer, like the germination time for seeds, requires the convergence of the right circumstances and His predetermined purposes before the answer appears.

Understanding the seed nature of prayer encourages us especially in those times when we pray prayers and see absolutely nothing happening as a result. Just as we know that seeds sown are germinating and preparing to sprout out of sight, we can be assured that the prayers we sow are also generating answers out of our sight. This infuses us with hope in the “not yet” season just as a farmer waiting with expectation for his crop to come in and mature before the harvest. In both cases, confidence in the germination waiting process, sustains our belief that the day will come when we will enjoy the fruits of our labors.

So, if you see nothing happening as a result of your prayers, be encouraged as you consider the seed nature of prayer. God is secretly preparing an answer that will be released in His perfect timing.

3. THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE – We need to reckon with the fact that this life is not all there is. Some prayers will not be answered to our satisfaction in this lifetime. As Christians who believe in resurrection life, death is not the cut off period for answered prayer. Only in heaven, when we finally see Jesus face to face, will we fully comprehend God’s purposeful resolution to the unanswered prayers in our lives.

It is instructive to consider the instance of Moses pleading with the Lord for him to cross over the Jordan and see the promised land before his death. In denying Moses’ plea God’s answer seemed harsh: “That is enough . . . do not speak to me anymore about this matter” (Deuteronomy 3: 26 NIV). But even though Moses only saw it from afar and died having never set foot in the land, it was not the final answer to his prayer or the end of the story. Remarkably, it took fourteen hundred years waiting in heaven, for him to finally discover that God had something better in mind in answer to his prayer. It was not until the coming of Jesus that we see God fulfilling the desire of Moses’ heart, and that far beyond his wildest expectations. Miraculously Moses does eventually set foot in the land of promise when God sends him to take his place with Elijah, atop the Mount of Transfiguration to talk personally with Jesus (Matthew 17:3).

The case can be made that many saints, ourselves included, may have to continue to wait in eternity for the final answers to our prayers . Does that mean that there is prayer in heaven? The book of Revelation, in which the veil is drawn back for a view into the machinations of heaven, indicates there is. When the fifth seal is opened, God shows John the souls of those who have been martyred for their witness, crying out with loud voices. “O sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 6:10 NIV)? What an intriguing and insightful picture as we realize that the answer to their prayers is still germinating. “Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been (Revelation 6:11 NIV). God’s assurance of an eventual answer to their prayers, and compassionate sustaining grace for these precious saints is noteworthy. It should inspire all of us in our waiting.

Dealing with unanswered prayer can be so frustrating and perplexing. But as we’ve seen, realizing the Fatherly nature of God, the seed nature of prayer and keeping an eternal perspective can provide the encouragement we need to keep praying. These three truths convince us that just because we do not see any results, does not mean God has ceased listening or has chosen not to answer us. To the contrary, He just may be preparing an answer that in His timing will prove to exceed our expectations. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV).

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August 30th, 2016 · by Tom Stuart · Prayer

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 14-15 NIV

Most people would agree that the major challenge to praying faith-filled, prevailing prayers is to find out God’s will and pray it back to Him. While at times discovering His will may seem a daunting task, it is not as shrouded in darkness as some may tend to assume. Thankfully God in His providence has given us “a lamp for [our] feet, a light on [our] path” with which to guide us to His will, and it is called His Word (Psalm 119:105 NIV).

Praying God’s Word with the help and illumination of the Holy Spirit, is therefore the primary means God has provided for us to pray according to His will. The Bible, which contains all of God’s words and promises, is among other things a prayer book. When we pray from the Bible, reciting back to God His own words and will, we do so with an incredible confidence, knowing not only that we are in agreement with Him, but also that He is hearing and agreeing with us. When that happens, we cannot help but believe that answers to our prayers are sure to come.

Psalm 119, the longest recorded prayer in the Bible is illustrative of this priority of praying according to God’s word/will. In this Psalm, in which God’s Word is likened to a lamp and a light, we find its author David, appealing to God repeatedly on that basis. At least twenty four times, we see David asking God to hear and answer him based on God’s own “word,” “promises,” or “laws.” “Remember your word to your servant.” “Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live.” “Preserve my life according to your laws” (Psalm 119:49, 116, 156 NIV emphasis added).

All the great intercessors in the Bible, like David, prayed the Word of God back to Him. Consider Moses, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Nehemiah, the Prophets, Peter, Paul, especially Jesus. They all made it their practice to base their powerful, prevailing prayers upon words and promises God Himself had spoken. Like Jeremiah, they knew the commitment God places upon fulfilling His promises. “I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled” (Jeremiah 1:12 NIV emphasis added). If all these greats prayed God’s words and promises back to Him, how much more should we?

In the New Testament, Paul strategically links God’s word and prayer in his teaching about the armor of God and spiritual warfare. In this familiar Ephesian’s passage, we are instructed to “put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11 NIV). As the various pieces of armor are listed it is instructive to note that the only piece of armor that is offensive in nature is the last one mentioned – “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17 NIV). Many make the mistake of thinking that the instructions regarding the “full armor” conclude with this verse.” The next verse however is critically important in understanding how the sword of the Spirit is to be used. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV emphasis added). This gives us added insight that “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” is to be wielded as an offensive weapon through Spirit inspired and directed prayer. When the sword of the Spirit is thus engaged by praying the word of God, enemies are defeated, promises fulfilled, and victories won.

Every person, who longs to prevail with God in prayer, must make the study and use of the Scriptures a lifelong priority. Since it is the Word of God from which formulate our prayers and draw our firepower, having an intimate working knowledge of the Bible is of the utmost importance. Do you realize that setting aside just fifteen minutes each day to read the Bible will enable anyone who does so to search its entire sixty-six books once every year for prayer ammunition? Ironically, that is less than a sixth of the amount a time the average person spends on the internet daily. Just think of the multiplied benefit in spending time studying and praying the Word of God instead of wasting such valuable time in frivolous pursuits.

One of the great benefits of proclaiming the Word of God in our prayers is the confidence it gives us in believing God hears and answers. The Apostle John, who had the enviable experience of learning how to pray at the feet of Jesus, points this out in his first Epistle. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 14-15 NIV emphasis added). The Apostle Paul also underscores this when He says that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 NIV). As a result, it is not uncommon for those praying Scripture to actually sense faith rising up within themselves as they hear the word of God proclaimed from their own lips. With the increase in confidence, comes a heightened expectation that God is going to do something in response to our prayer. Such faith is not only to pleasing to God, but it also releases His answers (Hebrews 11:6).

If you are not already committed to the regular practice praying the Word of God, would you consider asking God to help you do so? 

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February 23rd, 2016 · by Tom Stuart · Growth & Development, Life Balance, Overcoming

Stay in Your Lane

When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:21-22 NIV

Years ago I was invited to a meeting with a couple of Christian leaders in our city with the purpose of exploring a cooperative ministry effort. I knew each of the men and was familiar with the intensity and dedication with which each led their well established and successful ministries. As I was making the thirty minute drive across town on the freeway I decided to take the time to pray for the meeting. Almost immediately I heard these words, whispered by the Holy Spirit “Stay in your lane!” At that moment traffic was fairly heavy on the four lane stretch of road that I was on and my first impulse was to warily check the lanes on either side of me.

Assured that everything was alright, I figured I would stay in the lane in which I was driving until I needed to exit and turned my attention to what the Lord really intended with the words “stay in your lane.” I knew it was a word of wisdom for me as it related to the meeting. The lane I was being warned to stay in was my lane and focus of ministry. God was reminding me of the importance of fixing my heart clearly on His calling and purpose for my life, and not being drawn or forced out of that lane into the lane of another. Having this quickened in my spirit brought a sense of peace with the realization that there was sure to be pressure in the meeting to change ministry lanes.

When I arrived and the meeting got underway it was readily evident that the two men already had an agreed upon agenda. They had a cooperative plan for a worthy ministry goal which they wanted me to merge into, but which clearly was in a lane beyond the purview of the ministry I represented. To have submitted to their plan would draw me out of the lane of ministry to which God had called me and forced me to function outside of my gifts and abilities. Because of the “stay in your lane” word, I had no trouble politely declining their offer while blessing them in the unique lane of ministry to which God had obviously called them.

There is an inherent danger in taking our eyes off the lane or path God has us on by comparing or compromising our life and ministry with another. God has given each of us unique gifts and grace that are matched to unique tasks and callings. Jesus’ rebuke of Peter, in reference to his comparing himself to John, is a great illustration of this point (John 21:21-22). When He says “What is that to you? You must follow me” He is in essence saying “forget the other person’s lane – just stay in your lane!”

It is akin to the realization young David had to as he prepared to fight Goliath. When King Saul attempted to dress David in his armor, it not only did not fit him, it would have hindered him and likely caused his defeat (1 Samuel 17:38-39). Being drawn into functioning like someone else is always a trap. It inevitably diminishes what we are best at while forcing us into areas we are not good at.

Peter’s temptation to compare himself to John is the same temptation we all face. It can lead to compromises we will eventually regret. This is why Paul writes “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12 NIV). Simply put, the comparison game is just not wise!

Do you know the lane God has called you to abide in as you serve Him with the unique gifts and abilities He has given you? Are you staying in your lane while finding joy and fruitfulness? Or, are you struggling outside your assigned lane in a lane God never called or equipped you to function? If you feel frustrated, oppressed, compromised, or trapped in what you are doing to serve God, you just might be in the wrong lane.

If you do sense you are in the wrong lane, maybe Paul’s question to the Galatians applies to you. “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth” (Galatians 5:7 NIV)? In other words, who or what forced you out of your lane? Have you been deceived through comparing yourself to someone else into trying to do something you are not equipped or called to do?

Give heed then to Jesus’ words to Peter who was more focused on John than Jesus – “What is that to you? You must follow me.”

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