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Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”[b] 32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” 34 Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water. 1 kings 18
We’ve got to get ready in the simple every day parts of our lives. If you want fire in your life you don’t just go “boom here I am, I’m ready” – you prepare.
The amazing encounter with God, the fire falling on the altar came after the altar was rebuilt, after the trench was dug, after the wood was cut and after the ox was prepared. All of these elements take work. Digging. Building. Hard Labour. Elijah had to prepare for the fire to come.
Paul puts it like this – fan into flame. Press on. Run the race.
Chop the wood. Pray. Read the Bible. Go to church. Serve. Give. Worship.
Do the everyday things to make your life an altar for the fire to fall.
Chopping the wood takes time, effort, and consistency. It is often done in the unseen places, in private preparation.
Have you ever watched a movie and been amazed at the transformation of an actor? I know things like that fascinate me and I am a geek so often will look up stuff about the behind the scenes information about movies and actors.
For example, Hugh Jackman used to run on a treadmill at the gym and sing at the top of his lungs to prepare for Les Mis.
Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson spent so many hours training with their lightsabers for the highly coordinated battles that they had to actually slow down the footage because they were too good.
Here’s a geeky thing for you: when Star Wars – The Phantom Menace was released in 1999 2.2 million employees in the US skipped word to see the movie. This unauthorized absence was estimated to have cost the US economy $293million!
We see the finished product and enjoy the entertainment but behind the scenes someone has spent hours preparing for that role.
Your life is telling a story and this year is a brand new chapter in that adventure.
What are the everyday private things, the behind the scenes things, the decisions, the actions, the disciples, that frame your life and prepare you for the highlight reel moments?
What are the habits that you have curated that build your life a life of faithfulness?
What are the intentional actions that you do to build your marriage, to love on your kids, to connect with those in your world, to grow in your calling and steward the life that God has given you?
Character is learning how to make the little choices along the way that ultimately add up to who we become. It’s learning when to say yes and when to say no.
Building a lifestyle of worship, of faithfulness, of passion and purpose chops the wood and gets you ready for the fire to fall.
It’s like you’re painting a massive target on your life saying here am I Lord, send me!
i loved Jon Acuffs 30 Days of Hustle month 5 email today – its been my story.
Patience and pressing on, building the dream and being faithful with the today.
My big dream involves preaching and I remember driving home from church one day – 8 months pregnant – and kinda miffed at the situation. I had recently completed a preaching course through my church and all the guys in the class were out itinerant preaching and living the dream… but here I was.
Pregnant as. And then i was going to be feeding and mothering.
Doors were closed because of life was happening to me. Good life nonetheless, but life that seemed be putting the brakes on me living out my dream, or even making progress on living my dream!
They were going from A – B on the journey, having the adventures.
As I was driving, feeling miffed, I felt God remind me that He made me a woman.
I was like, yeah… but then He said it again.
And it hit me.
He made me a mother and a woman and a wife and knew the journey I would take.
I am blessed that i now preach regularly in my church. I’m so blessed and grateful for the opportunities I have and have had. I have spoken at 3 women’s conferences and teach in our SAS programme. We lead the best housegroup in the world of amazing young adults and I’m a Leading and Loving It ConnectLIVE leader. So blessed. So grateful.
Have patience. dreams do come true.
Keep hustling and preparing.
Even when pregnant I wrote messages and journalled and blogged. Prepared. Patiently.
God is the dream giver and the dream fulfiller.
"This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."
Corrie Ten Boom
Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said.Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?"Yes, go," she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother.Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him.When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water." Exodus 2:1-10
what a mother of faith! she is even recorded in the great chapter of heroes of the faith – Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
it must of taken a lot of courage to hide a newborn and then to place that newborn into a basket and into the river. we often have quite a sanitized picture of this in our head but as the mother of 2 i know babies are loud, sometimes hard to please, smelly and time consuming. i also, after watching a doco on egypt on tv, know that the river Nile has crocodiles and other creatures in it that could have overturned the basket and drowned (and eaten!) the baby. yikes!
but i love how God works.
God enabled this mother to care for her baby in secret.
again this is one of those life moments where the odds look impossible. there were few options available to moses’ parents. but they made a choice of faith. they made a choice to follow the nudge of God to save their child.
and then God guided this baby in a basket through the dangers of the river to the one person in all of egypt that could pronounce safety over him, the princess.
God had a plan and a purpose for this child and so He orchestrated his safety and his circumstances.
when i am facing obstacles and impossibilities i want to be like moses’ mother, resolved to find a way and resolved to trust God. i will let God and let God. sometimes that is the best course of action as God can guide the currents of my life and my circumstances to the right direction, forward into destiny.
God is awesome in his power to preserve and protect.
God is awesome in His ability to help us in our times of crisis. God is at his best when our circumstances are at its worst.
God is awesome in his ability to accomplish His will, regardless of the circumstances.
how many times are we cruising through life and then BAM
unseen health issue
unseen behaviour issues in our families
unseen emotional weariness
unseen bad news
unseen brick walls and obstacles
how can we live prepared for the unforseen things – without living in fear?
1. prepare emotionally
– live a life that is emotionally full – connected relationships, rest time etc. having an emotionally full tank means we are more emotionally secure and prepared to deal with the unforseen.
ps our emotional reactions are a CHOICE – we can fall apart or we can CHOOSE life and peace and hope and faith
ps our ability to emotionally RESPOND to a situation will affect those around us and as mothers and wives we often set the TEMPERATURE
2. prepare spiritually
– know what the promises of God are, know how to pray, be connected in church with people who will pray with you, be connected to God so He’s not a stranger. find your HOPE and REST and STRENGTH in GOD despite and within the circumstances
ps life is full of risk and *stuff* – but doesn’t mean we are unequipped to go through them, God will enable us to be in every season.
ps we are not helpless wimps. we are women of God. we are called to pray and see change and breakthrough. sometimes the very thing that is needed is aggressive active prayer
eg Moses’ mother, Joseph, paul
eg my own health issues and different ways of praying (eg stomping around the house!)
3. prepare your perspective
– look at life as an adventure and the challenges as stepping stones to greatness and strength, not as disasters to derail you. also remember WHO is in charge of your life – God. He holds the universe in His hands. when i remember THIS perspective i am then aware that nothing catches God unaware, nothing is unseen to Him and so i can trust Him more or easier.
eg paul said he was content in all circumstances and that through hardship he learned about the comfort of God so that he could in turn comfort others.
your unforseen *whatever* does not need to be the end of you.
the great things God will do through you are going to grow in the soil of persistence, prayer, obedience and sacrifice. that means there will be plenty of plowing and pruning. that is the way living things grow, whether you’re talking about vegetables or vision. steven furtick
God loves us too much to take us through the short cut. He knows we might see what’s required and go back to where we started. So sometimes He takes us on a detour. Jon Acuff