Personal Development

The Narrow Way Forward

Narrow Path in the ForestI thought of this Bible verse today in church:

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14

I felt a prompt from the Holy Spirit to share this with those who read my blogs, Facebook and other posts:

God has a new level for you to enter into in your job, career, family relationships or friendship relationships.  However, it’s a narrow way.  There will be sacrifice.  You and I must choose to stop or sacrifice some things and learn or start practicing new things.

This means change and few of us like change.  However, leadership trainer John Maxwell said, “To go up you must give up.”  We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results.  We must do something new in our job search, work habits, thinking or actions and attitudes toward others.

This verse says “few find it.”  I pray that you and I will be one of the few who are willing to make personal or relational changes to move to the next level.

Think about what this means to you.  What attitudes or ways of thinking must you change?  What habits must you change?  What relationships must you change?  What must you start doing that is a stretch for you?  What must you stop doing that is painful for you to give up?

This Narrow Gate is not forever; its a pathway leading you to an open and broad area where you can be more free, more effective, happier and please God in a greater way.  Don’t look at it as a constriction, but a temporary process to get you to where God wants you.  However, I think I can tell you with confidence and experience that these Narrow Ways will come frequently in your life.  Some choose it and move forward.  Some do not choose it and stay the same.

Personal Development, Uncategorized

Running on Empty

EmptyThis is from my John Maxwell Study Bible with slight additions by me:

The story is 2 Kings 4:1-7 in the Bible.  One day the prophet Elisha meets a woman with nothing – no husband, no income, no food, no future hope.   The prophet tells her to gather what she has and she returns with a jar of oil and several empty jars from her neighbors.   Elisha begins to pour her oil into the empty jars and he just keeps on pouring until all the jars are full.  Only then does the oil in the first jar run out.  Interestingly enough the woman gets as much oil as she has empty jars.  She then takes the oil, sells it and pays her debt and lives off the rest.

There is something about “nothing” that moves the hand of God.  He allows us to find ourselves in “empty places” where we can lean on nothing except Him and His provision.  He loves to show Himself strong toward us.  However, we often don’t look to Him in full faith until we’re in a place of need.  If we are not experiencing God’s presence and provision could it be we are not empty enough?  Could it be we’re not looking to Him and expecting Him to meet us with what we have in our hands?  Could it be that we don’t believe what little strength or resources we have are enough for Him to work with?

This story teaches us the following lessons:

1.  God can do a miracle in even the most desperate and hopeless circumstances.

2.  God will use whatever little we have if we offer it to Him.

3.  God works in our life through faith and obedience.

4.  Allow God to empty you of yourself so you can find the fullness of Him.