Archive for the Spirituality Category

Y Heart!

Posted in Spiritual Formation, Spirituality with tags , on May 10, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

One of the reasons why we hold back some of our heart from God is because we can have a false view of who God is. When we view God to be only a judge and not our heavenly Father who loves us and gave his one and only Son for us we approach God with a closed heart. We may worship with open hands but our hearts are closed and guarded.

We must stop approaching our relationship with God in a compartmentalized way, where we have allowed God into most rooms of our lives but not some rooms because they’re too precious to us and we’ve decided that they are off limits. To love God with all your heart is to open all the rooms in your life to God and allow free access to Him.

Scriptures like Luke 10:25-28 show us that life is a matter of the heart. In the natural your heart is the major organ in your body that over the average lifetime beats 2.5 billion times. The same goes for your spiritual heart. Your heart is the epi-centre of your feelings, thoughts, words & actions and the place where God’s Spirit dwells. If you are going to care for your heart, then you need to understand it because understanding something is the basis of care for it.

Issues of the heart are important to talk about but unfortunately I have observed in modern preaching an emphasis on the external symptoms of relationships, finances, time management and sexuality, to name a few. These issues are important in our lives but they are symptoms of a much greater issue – what’s going on inside our hearts.

God’s heart shaping work involves a partnership between us and God. God is committed to shaping and healing our hearts and thus brings to the surface the real condition of our hearts. He doesn’t do this because he wants to find out what’s inside our hearts, he already knows. He does this because we are ignorant and deceived to what’s in our hearts and for us to partner with God we need to know exactly what we are dealing with.

Our role is to be willing and open for God to work in our hearts and bring healing to our brokenness. God uses things like the culture we live in, the community of faith we are apart of, the communion we have with him and the conflict we encounter to shape and mold our hearts to be in alignment with his heart.

God’s goal in shaping our hearts is to help us to be a man or woman after his heart. King David was given the unique and prized brand of being a man after God’s heart. Why? Was it because he was obedient, powerful & successful? No, you can do these and have these things and yet not be in pursuit of God’s heart. David was a student of God’s heart and he was in pursuit of God to know and understand him and this is what God delights in (Jer 9:23-24).

2 Questions to answer: What has happened in your past that has contributed to the current condition of your heart and what is God revealing to you right now about your heart? What are you going to do as a result of your answer?

Lead the Change!

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All Your HEART!

Posted in Intimacy with God, Spirituality with tags , on May 2, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Last night I was crying out to God for more of him. I want a greater connection with Jesus. I want a deeper revelation of who he is in my life and I want a greater moving of his Spirit through my life. In response to these prayers from my heart, God spoke the words of Jeremiah 29:13 in my heart, “You will search for me and you will find me when you search for me with all your heart.”

These words kept echoing in my heart and mind to the point that I asked God, “What does it look like for  me to search for you with all my heart?” To which he answered with 1 key thing – an invitation for me to do and then followed with, “How bad do you want me?”

I began to think about how often the Bible emphasizes approaching God with ALL OF OUR HEART!

The Great Commandment calls us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.” Proverbs 3:5-6 calls us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding but acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and he will make your paths straight.” and Jeremiah 29:13 calls us to, “Seek after God with all of our heart”.

Why does God want all of our heart? Our heart is the source of life. Proverbs says, “Guard your heart for out of it flow the springs (issues) of life.” Your heart is what creates your life. It’s what comes out of your heart that defiles you. It’s out of the abundance and overflow of your heart that the mouth speaks. Your heart represents what’s most important to you and where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If I was completely honest with myself, I have to acknowledge that while I love God so much I guard parts of my heart from him because I don’t trust him with my whole heart. There is apart of me that is skeptical of God’s nature and his welfare in my life. It’s ridiculous to acknowledge but true nonetheless. I want this to change. I want to love God and live life with ALL OF MY HEART. I don’t want one compartment of my heart reserved for me to control, I want to give it all to God and I want to love, trust and pursue him with all of my heart.

How about you?

Lead the Change!

Core Convictions!

Posted in character, Spirituality, values with tags , on April 20, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

“If you don’t know what your non-negotiables are, you won’t negotiate anything. You’re afraid to let go of anything because later you might discover that was a non-negotiable. When you don’t know what’s really important, you treat everything the same. Adaptability is not the result of a hollow core, but of clarity and conviction about what is at your core. Don’t confuse being rigid and unchanging with having convictions.”

Erwin McManus, Author of Wide Awake

Too many of us are like coconuts, hard on the outside and hollow in the centre. We need to be more like peaches, soft on the outside but solid as a rock in the middle. Your core convictions shape everything about your life. They are the standards, principles and values that inform everything you do and how you operate as a person and as an organisation. Without core convictions you set yourself up for a fall because you have no bedrock foundation of beliefs you can point to and say, “That’s why we do what we do around here.”

Core convictions allow you to adapt and be flexible on everything else outside of your core convictions rather than being rigid and needing to control. I want to be an empowering leader but to do so I need to be clear on what’s most important to me and the church I lead so I can empower people around me.

What are your core convictions as an individual, for your family and for the church you are apart of? Think of what constantly is visible, what is important to you and what has become an assumption in your life and you will have arrived at your core convictions. Select no more than 5-6 and put them clearly before you and be mindful of them as you live your life and don’t violate them when faced with pressure to do so, otherwise they are not your core convictions. Methods change, convictions don’t.

Lead the Change!

The Leaders Identity!

Posted in Leadership, Spirituality with tags on March 4, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

A person’s identity has to do with whom we perceive ourselves to be and who we actually are. Our identity is like an inner map and everything we do is in alignment with the map. We mostly function within the boundaries of our personal identity but sometimes we try to camouflage our identity and present ourselves in ways that aren’t true to who we are.

An accurate and positive sense of identity is critical to a healthy & productive life and without it we will tend to gravitate towards 2 extremes: 

  1. We will withdraw from fully engaging in life out of fear that we won’t be adequate.
  2. We will feel driven to aggressively assert ourselves to prove our adequacy.

2 responses emerge out of this:

  1. If you undervalue your worth, you will miss out on the joy of fulfilling the role God has called you to
  2. If your ID isn’t accurate you will over-estimate your worth & abilities to the depreciation of others

Personal identity forms the core reality of our leadership of others for better or worse. Because we live in a fallen world our sense of personal identity is hardly as significant as it should be. As a result we often embark on a painful search for greater significance to enhance our ID. This search impacts how we see reality, what we do with our time and how we relate to others.

The core issues of our personal identity have to do with: How we measure our worth? Whose approval am i seeking? In what or whom is my confidence placed? What am i depending upon to give my life meaning? What is my place in life?

The foundation for all these issues in our identity should be our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our identity in Christ must be the mold in which our character is formed. Genesis 1:26-27 and Galatians 2:20 must become core theological realities in our lives.

Parker Palmer says, “The great spiritual gift that comes as one takes the inward journey is to know for certain that who I am does not depend upon on what I do. Identity does not depend upon titles, or degrees, or function. It depends only on the simple fact that I am a child of God, valued & treasured for what I am.”

Lead the Change!

God’s Reshaping You!

Posted in Spirituality with tags , , , on February 17, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

This morning in my devotional time, the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart the words, “I am reshaping you.” 

My heart resonated with these words as I am going through a sort of metamorphosis spiritually and physically at the moment. In my physical body I have lost over 5 kilos of muscle in the last 8 weeks of my running program. I didn’t need to lose weight but as I am training to set a personal record for 10km this year, I’ve needed to shed some extra kilo’s to get lighter and faster.

As I am changing in the physical, so too God is transforming me in the spiritual. I feel like God is making me leaner, faster and stronger in my spirit-man. My prayer life is stronger than it’s been for a while and God is reworking some of my approach to life and ministry, causing me to scratch my head at times and wonder, “God, what on earth are you doing?” But nevertheless, I have a peace in my heart that this process is very important and what God wants for me.

How about you? What is going on in your spiritual life at the moment and how is it affecting everything else around you? My guess is I am not the only one God is reshaping. I think He is reshaping you as well. The reshaping process is not always easy. It can be downright painful and sometimes very uncertain. It requires you to not lean on your own understanding but to trust in God with all your heart as he refines you until pure gold is revealed.

Don’t check out of the reshaping process too soon and don’t come to conclusions too soon either. Let the process take time or else what will come out may be a little ugly and not what God had in mind. God has to take you through a process because he has a plan for your life. We don’t always understand what God is doing at the time but in hindsight it all makes sense if we stay the course. God’s reshaping you!

Lead the Change!

Nothing More Important!

Posted in Intimacy with God, Spirituality with tags , , , on February 12, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Ps 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”

There is no more important priority than sitting at Jesus feet and spending time communicating with him.

We so easily prioritize everything other than the one thing that brings everything else into alignment. Spending time with Jesus strengthens your body. When you feel like your strength has been sapped and your bones are weary and tired with exhaustion, God’s presence refreshes you and strengthens you.

When you need direction and guidance, God’s Word clears the fog away and illuminates the right decision and and the right path before you. When you need wisdom in handling a difficult situation, God’s Spirit will counsel you and give you a clear solution. When your life feels cluttered and you are overwhelmed by the responsibilities you have, God’s peace will guard your heart and mind and enable you to think clearly about your life. When you feel empty in your spirit, God’s Word will feed you and satisfy your thirst.

Why are you so busy doing everything else other than the one thing that makes sense out of life? Crawl back into the closet and spend time with Jesus. He calls your name today and says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Lead the Change!

Confirming Your Calling!

Posted in ministry, Spirituality with tags on February 2, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Psalm 139:13-16 reveals to us that each of us have been created with a unique and specific calling and purpose. God has given you unique wiring, gifts and passions to compliment the purpose he’s created you for. Because of this reality, I firmly believe, your calling is not your decision but it’s your discovery.

On your journey of discovery you must distinguish between what is your vocation and what is your transcendent calling. The Apostle Paul worked as a tentmaker, church-planter, etc but his calling was to be an Apostle to the Gentiles. paul simply used his vocational skills to fulfill his higher calling. The ideal situation to be in is “Convergence”, where your past experience, vocation and gifts all converge together to enable you to fulfill your higher call.

A divine call will be accompanied by a conviction that heaven has spoken. In Isaiah 6:8 Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” It’s so important to have a word from God but unfortunately their needs to be also an accompanying hunger and demand for the call God gives you in the world around you.

A calling is confirmed not only by a passion in your heart but a hunger & demand for it in the Body of Christ. Over the years I have counseled several people who have felt God call them to something but their has been no demand for the call upon them in the Body of Christ.

We need to pay attention to the holy discontent in our hearts but we also need to listen to people around us and discern the demand and hunger for the passion we feel. Paul said, “Think of yourself with sober judgement, not more highly than you ought but according to the measure of faith God has given you.”

A divine call will commission you with a voice to your generation and their will be a demand for your voice if God has called you to. Don’t stick your head up until you are called and in the meantime keep being faithful with what God has entrusted to you and commit your hearts desire to God and let him open the doors that need opening and close the doors that need to be closed.

Lead the Change!