Archive for God

Reinvent Intimacy!

Posted in Intimacy with God with tags , , , , on June 17, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

I sat on a panel at a leaders conference recently and answered questions with other speakers. One of the questions centered on hearing God’s voice. I shared with them the importance of reinventing your intimacy with God in different seasons of your life.

Anyone who connects with God on a regular basis needs to freshen up their approach to intimacy with God. We can easily get stale and settle into a comfortable routine that steals the joy from relationship with God. In different seasons, different approaches should be tried.

For me personally I have gone through seasons of going for long walks and conversing with God. I’ve listened to certain teachers and preachers on podcast talking about a subject that I am working through in that moment. I’ve prayed and fasted. I’ve just read Scripture. I’ve listened to worship music or other types of music that challenged me about what I think about God.

You need to be prepared to reinvent your intimacy with God from time to time. For some of you walking on the beach or going on long drives in the country or being out in nature bring you closer to God. Doing something creative, painting, drawing or creating music brings you closer to God. Whatever it is, do it and do it regularly.

What undergirds all of our intimacy with God are the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, rebuke, correction and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

Some of us are seeking God’s voice everywhere else except the Scriptures. God has given us His logos (written) word and most of what God wants to say to you he has revealed in and through His Word. If you posture yourself in the Scriptures, God’s rhema (inspired) word will speak to you and give you wisdom and insight for your life. Those who know the Scriptures aren’t ignorant of the truth and cannot be distracted by lies and false teaching. Study the Word!

Lead the Change!

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When Life doesn’t Work!

Posted in faith, Spirituality, Test, Theology with tags , , , on July 11, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

I have been through a season recently of incredible frustration with God. I don’t know if you have ever been frustrated or even angry at God but I certainly have, on more than a few occasions. My heart has been filled with questions as I began to explore what on earth God was doing in my life and ministry. I’ve attempted to reconcile my reality with what God has promised in my life in the past and the two haven’t added up. During a season like this it’s so easy to become disillusioned with God and your life because you don’t understand what exactly is going on but you know things aren’t working like you think they should.

When you face a season like this you must be very careful to guard your heart from a root of bitterness. Bitterness will dry up your life, relationships and ministry quicker than most things. The enemy of your soul wants you to buy into the deception of bitterness and he will try to convince you that it’s justified and that God can’t be trusted. You must come to your senses and snap in line with Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”

We all face tests along the journey of life. The test I have faced recently is to keep trusting in God’s sovereignty even though I don’t see the fruit I want to see in my life and ministry. We all know the feeling of working your but off for minimal return and you think to yourself, “is it worth it?” or “Am i doing something wrong?” It’s in these moments that you need to step back and get God’s perspective on your circumstances. You need to keep trusting in God’s plan for your life and realize that you are not going to understand everything about the way God works but he does make everything beautiful in its time (Ecc 3:11).

Keep a sweet spirit and don’t let bitterness take you out. Don’t take your frustrations out on the people but seek God and follow his leading. Keep your head down, bum up and keep on keeping on. There will come a brighter day and God will reward the faithfulness of your heart.

Lead the Change!

SEX!

Posted in Creation, global issues, Pop Culture, Sexuality, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2893897527_26ef370f3b1Sex is a cultural icon and we are living in an increasingly sexualised society. 86.2% of men and 83.7% of women in Australia believe sex before marriage is acceptable. What many people fail to understand is that sex isn’t what just happens when 2 people sleep with each other.

We need to re-think what sexuality is. Sexuality is all the ways we as humans strive to connect with the world, God and each other. My Father attended a Billy Graham Evangelistic Conference in Amsterdam several years ago and as many of you know Amsterdam is known world-wide for its red light district. Each square inch in the red light district is utilised to provoke and promote promiscuous sex and self-indulgence. There are lots of people having sexual intercourse with each other in this district but it’s totally unsexual because no true connection is being made between people.

Scholars tell us that one of the latin words for the phrase ‘sex’ is secare which actually means to sever, amputate or disconnect from the whole. Casual sex leaves the individual feeling disconnected and cut off. You can have sex with many different people and yet feel very alone. Contrary to this, it’s actually possible to be a celibate and yet feel connected to many people through rich relationships and therefore be a very sexual person.

Sexuality has 2 dimensions: 1) Our awareness of how profoundly severed and cut off we are and 2) All the ways we go about trying to reconnect. It’s possible to be married and profoundly disconnected because of the secrets that you hold to yourself. You can sleep together with your spouse and yet be really sleeping alone because of the lack of true connection you have with your spouse.

Sexual dysfunction manifests when people constantly move from relationship to relationship, church to church and social group to social group because of a difficulty to commit and connect. You can’t be connected fully until God is at the centre of your sexuality. God is the origin of sex and everything God has created is good (1 Tim 4:3-5).

Because God is holy, sexuality is holy and before we are able to express our sexuality in a healthy way without being driven by lust or repression, God’s design for our sexuality has to be central in our lives.

Lead the Change!

The spectacular ordinary life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 5, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Zechariah 4:10 exhorts us to not despise the day of small things.

Many of us are looking for the supernatural in the spectacular forgetting that the supernatural is often seen in the ordinary, mundane moments of life.

The dangerwith constantly pursuing the spectacular moments of life is that you come to despise the ordinary and you set yourself up for  disappointment because it’s in the ordinary that your life is most powerfully shaped.

It’s what you do everyday that makes your life extraordinary not what happens to you in one spectacular moment. Spectacular moments do come but they are birthed out of a lifestyle of consistency in the little things.

I am reading a book called ‘Tipping Point’authored by Malcolm Gladwell. In this insightful book Malcolm explores the dynamics that contribute to some product or happening becoming explosively viral and contagious. His conclusion, it’s the compounding of the little things that tips things over the edge and makes them significantly influential.

God didn’t just create the spectacular moments of life, he created the ordinary one’s too. From God’s perspective everything in your life is sacred and of incredible value, even the boring moments.  Maxmise the day you have before you today. Don’t despise the ordinary but see the spectacular in the ordinary because it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

Lead the Change!

Life cannot be summed up by neat formula’s!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

I don’t know about you but i have spent alot of time trying to package my life into nice and neat little compartments that are formulaic and predictable but this is not how life works.

Life is a collision with chaos! Anyone who tells you otherwise have defined their reality outside of the 21st century. Today’s acceleration of change, connectivity and massification of information has created a state of seemingly permanent paradox.

We used to have time and space for resolving life’s contradictions but now we don’t. Life doesn’t arrive incrementally or sequentially anymore but instantaneously and simultaneously. What is the human response to all of this? We create our own reality and simplify to survive.

If you are looking for a one step formula for life, you are living in a virtual reality. It’s not the reality of the world that the rest of us live in. The closest you are going to get is found in Matt 22:37-39 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.” The rest is immaterial and a tributary from this main maxim.

Life needs to be approached with the flexibility to hold the tensions of life’s contradictions in our minds while storing God’s truth up in our hearts. We are living in both uncertain times and predictable times based upon human history and the prophetic nature of God’s Word.

Stop trying to find a formula outside of God and rest in God’s truth because when you know the truth, the truth shall set you free. Freedom doesn’t mean all your questions are answered or life is always rosy. Freedom means you no longer have any excuse to be restrained by the darkness of your own humanity and you are now in the light.

Chaos is what we breathe so learn to be chaordic without being overcome by all that life throws at you. For me being chaordic means responding to life’s pace of contradictions with God’s grace and wrestling with them out of dependance upon God’s truth.

Lead the Change!

What WORD are you living by?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 29, 2008 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

In my devotions this morning i read in Deuteronomy 8:3 “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” God spoke these words to Israel to remind them that no matter what they faced in the wilderness their strength and direction did not come from their own ability to provide for themselves or their own wisdom but from God’s Word.

It’s so easy to live by other people’s words for our lives and let them shape the way we think about ourselves, thus shaping the way we behave and interact with our circumstances. It’s so easy to live by the words of the media and what popular opinion says about the state of the world and what’s most important.

We have to make an intentional decision to live by God’s word over and above all the other words in our lives. We have to consciously position ourselves to receive of God’s living word everyday. We have to posture our hearts to store up the word of God in our hearts. Life’s pressure’s ultimately reveal what’s been stored up in our hearts, other’s words or God’s word.

There is also another truth to this passage and that is, God’s word isn’t static but it’s dynamic. God’s word is rhema as much as it’s logos and God has a word for you today, not just 10 years ago or last year or last month. What is God saying to you today?

I encourage you to examine the words that you are living by and if they are anything other than what God says about you then change it. You don’t live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Lead the Change!

6 Strategic Shifts That Every Growing Leader Needs to Embrace

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2008 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

6 Strategic shifts that every growing leader needs to embrace

Over the last three months Simone and I have recognized that there has been an increase of pressure applied to our lives. This pressure has come in many forms but it’s clear that God has allowed various circumstances to arise to test and prove our level of maturity as leaders.

God already knows the condition of your heart, but often we don’t so God will allow challenging circumstances to arise in our lives to help us see what is really in our hearts. This is to help us become what He wants us to become. When you feel pressure, know that it’s not intended to crush you. God wants to use it to crush the impurities out of you, so what’s left is pure gold.

This testing brings growing pains. In a season of testing, make sure you get perspective on your life. If not, you’ll respond negatively to your circumstances. Talk with someone, specifically a mentor if you can. There’s power in mentoring. You need more than 1 mentor, as each person will contribute something different into your life. Listen to and ask people about their ‘story’ because people’s stories give you perspective on your situation.

I have discovered that there are strategic shifts you must make if you are going to graduate out of the season of growing pains into a season of effective ministry.

The word shift means to change from one position to another. It means to move from where you are to where you need to be. Leadership requires shifts of all kinds at various levels. There are constant shifts each of us need to make. E.g. in ministry, with people, resources, etc because the essence of leadership is inspiring people to move. A leader is someone who moves people from where they are to where they need to be. Moses was called to lead and move Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land.

In order to become more effective leaders publicly, we need to make the shifts internally. We want a culture of growth and learning in our church. Unless we make the internal structural shifts in our spirit and in our lives, we’re not going to be able to make the external, public shifts in our leadership that we need to make. This is where leadership is won or lost – in our hearts, in the area of our personal lives. Leadership flows from the inside out.

There are 6 strategic shifts that you need to embrace if you are going to grow as a leader : 

1. A Pressure shift – from comfortable to chaotic

The sign that you are entering into a growing pains phase is an increase of pressure applied to your life. The making of a leader – by Robert Clinton is a great resource to help you understand the boundary events that mark specific transitions in your life journey.

Pressure will be applied to transition you from where you are to where God wants you to be. Pressure is the amount of force applied to something/an area. A large amount of force/pressure will be applied to :

1)    Your schedule – You need to know that pressure will be applied.

2)    Your relationships – marriage, kids, friends.

3)    Your capacity

4)    Your finances

In this pressure shift you’ll feel overwhelmed with what’s being expected of you. There’ll be a tendency to emotional extremes. You’ll feel like your spiritual insides are about to explode! Generally you’ll respond in one of 2 ways :

1)    You’ll push harder

2)    You sideline yourself

Often how you respond will be based on your personality. Either option isn’t going to help you grow! The answer often is go contrary to what you think you should do. Work less but spend more time with God.

Your work becomes God-time. When you face a pressure shift from the comfortable to the chaotic, go and hide away in your prayer closet – that becomes your work! If you don’t get God’s perspective in a pressure shift you’ll crash.

2. A dependency shift from yourself to God (Read 2 Cor 1:8-10)

    Recognise that you are absolutely inadequate for the task you face. You must arrive at that point, or else you won’t see the fruit and breakthrough you want to see. Get over you!!

    Recognising this requires an attitude of humility. God will never ignore someone who humbles himself before Him. Loosen your grip on what you can control and trust everything to God’s sovereignty. Don’t meddle with the details and try to control the details of your life! 

    Focus yourself on God’s grace, presence and sovereignty. God’s power is made perfect in weakness. This is a dependency shift from your self to God.

    3. A Capacity shift – from coping to conquering

      The word capacity means the measure of your ability to receive, hold or absorb. Your capacity as a leader is the measure of your ability to lead others. If you’re going to lead more people you’re going to need to increase your capacity.

      Leadership involves building capacity into your life. You can try and grow yourself as much as you’d like to, but nothing will grow your capacity quicker than bring thrown in the deep end of life.

      Growing pains demand an increase in capacity physically, emotionally and mentally. But the most important increase in capacity is spiritually. Read 1 Timothy 4:8. Increasing your capacity is a holistic process that requires you to respond positively to all of the shifts required of you.

      4. A Role shift – from working in the ministry to working on the ministry

        Growing pains require you to look at your role through a different lens to what you’ve looked at in the past. No longer can you settle for being a human doing in your role. You have to decide that you’re going to become a human being.

        You must stop doing everything and start delegating most things that others can do so that you can be who God has called you to be. Some of us are not in a position to delegate most things. Some of us have a role to be doing the most things. But that’s a part of you doing the being. Eg. gift of helps.  

        You can’t do everything. Take a step back from the day to day tasks and work on the ministry. Embrace a culture of delegation.

        Exodus 18:13-23.

        Senior Pastor’s Job Description :

        1)    Chief Intercessor on behalf of their congregation. Prayer must be a scheduled priority in the leaders life.

        2)    Teach God’s word to the congregation. Preparation and preaching must be a scheduled priority.

        3)    Be an example of Christ-likeness. Show them how to live. My words and actions must show you how to live.

        4)    Clarify the congregation’s role and responsibilities.

        5)    Appoint leaders to oversee ministries and pastoral care of congregation. People who have character, integrity, chemistry with you. 

        5. A theological shift – from law to grace

          Growing pains reveal what areas of your theology need to be refined. Your perspectives of life, ministry and people are sharpened.

          Growing pains reveal it’s more about what Christ has already done for you rather than it is about what He can do for you. Living by law makes you self-conscious, living by grace makes you Christ-conscious.

          Just do what God has called you to do, delegate everything else, and trust the sovereignty and grace of God to do what you can’t control.

          6. A heart shift – from barreness to fruitfulness

            Personal growth is less about what you do and more about what you allow God to do in you. Transformation of the heart requires deep change. Nothing will shift in you without deep change. Read John 15: 4 & 5.