Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul.

Invictus Unconquorerable

Daily Spirit & Word 560: Awards to Avoid in Achievement.

“Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul”

 

Good morning my friends, we live in an culture that is driven by success and achievement.

Your youngsters are monitored for and the school is graded by their ACHIEVEMENTS.

People are attracted to schools that consistently ‘perform’ the best, parents look at the records of a school’s achievements before even considering walking through the doors to view the school.

Whilst we all applaud an individual’s successes and achievements; and quite rightly too, because a lot of effort, toil, sweat, dedication and study is exerted to gain those: merits, awards and diplomas. However, there are certain pitfalls, traps and dangers that we need to be aware of in a culture steeped in mindset of success and achievement.

For if we only live for the awards and applauds of men and women in our life, then we’ll be living far below God’s Kingdom Standards of success and achievement.

Just as a proud parents cheers their child on in the School or College Sport’s Day, so we, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, have a Heavenly Father, who’s watching, cheering, waving, longing and waiting for each and every one of us to win our race that’s been marked our for us.

1) Avoid being totally Self-Sufficient:

In the films; The Dead Poet’s Society and ‘Invictus’.

There is a repeated motto: “I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL”

INVICTUS (Unconquerable). (See notes below).

By William Ernest Henley (I885).

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul

Nelson Mandela meditated regularly upon this poem during his incarceration in South Africa and read it to fellow prisoners. Barak Obama read the last two stansas at Nelson Mandela memorial service.

Whilst we all long to see a degree of the ability of individuals to be able to LEARN for themselves, and to INVESTIGATE and to DISCOVER. Because we know that the BIGGEST milestones in life are the ones we’ve made our own BREAKTHROUGHS in learning and discovery.

However, in becoming totally SELF-SUFFICIENT (to be the CAPTAIN of your own soul) there is also a danger: Because there comes a point when an individual becomes reluctant to seek help or ask for advice or able to receive instruction.

Just like solid polished granite is impervious to water, so is the individual to the LORD’S instruction, who’s become totally SELF-Sufficient.

 Why should we avoid being totally self-sufficient?

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Most Important: One thing that people long for more than anything else in our Success and Achievement driven culture is: POPULARITY. How do we know we’re ‘popular’? Because we have lots of ‘friends’. Friends are marked by ‘LIKES’ or ‘SNAPS’ or ‘STARS’ or “G+s” in SOCIAL MEDIA or HITS on Websites.

However, we must note, that when we’re only driven by being popular in the eyes of the world, we’re in danger of allowing our HEARTS to TURN AWAY FROM THE LORD.

When we’re TRUSTING IN: MAN (FLESHLY STRENGTH) for our STRENGTH (i.e. we measure our strength by fleshly prowess, fleshly skill, fleshly ability, fleshly might) then we’re NOT trusting in or relying upon the LORD.

It’s OK to have a degree of Self-Sufficiency: It’s healthy, but to be TOTALLY Self-Sufficient can lead our hearts away from the LORD.

Jesus is calling you and me today: Instead of being totally self-sufficient to be DEPENDENT: To trust in and rely upon the LORD. Not the strength of the flesh.

READ THIS OUT ALOUD (Remember ‘faith’ comes by hearing God’s Word).

Proverbs 3:1-15

1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 
2  for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 
3  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 
4  Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. 
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 
7  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 
8  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 
10  then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 
11  My son, do not despise the LORD’S discipline and do not resent his rebuke
12  because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 
13  Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 
14  for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 
15  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

It’s HEAVENLY WISDOM followers of Jesus need to strive for, not fleshly success and achievement.

How we look in God’s EYES is much more important than the eyes of others.

Question: Who is the CAPTAIN of your soul? Is it you, yourself (your flesh, will, strength and achievements) or is it Jesus the Lord who created the Universe, who knows time’s beginning and end?

Let Jesus be your Captain today.

2) Avoid Being Outstanding: (Measuring Yourself Against Others).

  • To WOWzer them with your brilliance!
    To DAZZLE them with your results!
  • To BUCKLE them with your beating all records!
  • To BLIND them with your DAZZLING personality!

Listen to what Jesus is calling His followers to be like:

Jesus however, calls you to be “nothing:”

Jeremiah 45:5  “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not…”

Philippians 2:3  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

This is Jesus calling you to be like HIMSELF: Humble, Gentle, Kind, Generous, Gracious and Loving.

He’s doesn’t care about nor is He impressed by your; Dazzling results, beating records, brilliant brain.

He’s going to give you an Eternal WOWzer if you are; humble and kind, Loving and Patient, warm and welcoming, faithful and true.

Avoid measuring yourself or comparing yourself to others, what’s more important is how do I compare to Jesus?

Avoid Being Outstanding (at the expense of others).

3) Avoid The Pull Of POWER:

We all want our children, grandchildren, friends and family to be a force for good in the world, to be men and women of renown, to be the People the world will look up to one day.

However; we should be very wary of POWER for power’s sake.

There is a danger in:

  • Desiring to be Powerful
  • Desiring to WIN at all costs
  • Desiring to Manipulate the Circumstances.
  • Desiring to CONTROL the Outcomes.
  • Desiring To Let Everyone KNOW who’s the BOSS. 

Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

My friends, Jesus is calling you to a wonderful life of abundance.

However, in order to do that and to be His SUCCESSFUL, BRILLIANT AND DAZZLING follower.

He wants to set you free from the dangers of fleshly success and achievement.

LIKE ANY GOOD PARENT;

  • He wants you to be more popular than you do.
  • He wants you to be more successful than you do.
  • He wants you to be more powerful than you can imagine.

However, He knows the HEAVENLY PATHWAY is;

Hebrews 12:1-4

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Jesus is Calling YOU:

  • to shoot your PRIDE: Stop being self-sufficient: Depend upon Him.
  • to kill your ATTITUDE: Stop feeling the need to be OUTSTANDING (from other) but to Shine for His Glory.
  • to die to SELF: Power and Control (Horrible). Powerful and Controlling (Nasty, Evil, Manipulative). Instead; BE FILLED WITH Holy Spirit Power, THIS WILL lead you to desire building up OTHERS UP in Christ’s body.

Can you hear your Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit? God (in Trinity) is cheering for you to win the race that’s been marked out for you.

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO FOLLOW JESUS’ PATHWAYS; Then you can REALLY BEGIN TO LIVE and LEAVE A LEGACY THAT WILL LAST FOREVER.

I’m going to ask followers of Jesus to declare;

“Jesus is the Master of my fate

Jesus is the Captain of my soul”

 

God bless you, the Lord fill you with His Spirit. NOW: go and get RESULTS for His GLORY THAT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME AND ETERNITY.

Don.

NOTES:

In the Poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Written in 1885, You’ll note that it is a rejection of God.

He recognises that the world is DARK (Needs illumination).

The Darkness is world-wide (from Pole to Pole).

Rejects the ONE God. (whatever gods).

Recognises he’s created with a soul.

He accepts circumstance (chance, destiny).

Doesn’t recognise / rejecting that God is in control.

He thinks this life is all there is,

just darkness (shade) on the other side of life.

Yet, that feeling finds him “unafraid”.

“It matter not how straight the gate”

He knows about the narrow path and the narrow gate,

but he doesn’t care (It matters not).

He knows that God’s Keeping a Record of His life.

“How charged with punishments the scroll”

And that God promises His wrath, anger and punishments

for breaking His commandments.

He’s rejecting the LORD as his final destiny

“I am the master of my fate”

He’s rejecting the LORDSHIP of Christ.

“I am the Captain of my soul”.

Existential Poets.

 

Choose This Day Whom You Shall Sever

Daily Spirit & Word, 440: Choose This Day Whom You Shall Serve.

As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

Choose this day whom you shall serve
Choose this day whom you shall serve

 

 Daily Spirit & Word, 440: Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve.

As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

Good morning my friends, it was a wonderful Saturday which began with the Preacher’s Breakfast and ended with picking up the Grandchildren from Kids Space in Croydon. They enjoyed the whole day with their father, but by the time we got home they were all fast asleep in the car and it meant a tip-toe up to bed and gingerly getting them ready, trying not to rouse them from slumber.

Grandchildren at McDonalds Purley Way
Grandchildren at McDonalds Purley Way

If that is how we love our children and grandchildren, then as Christians we need to know our Heavenly Father loves us even more. We get warm-fuzzy-feelings when we see them happy, imagine Father’s joy when He knows we’re thrilled with His company and blessings?

Joshua 24:14-15
14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

My grandchildren have been staying with us over the last few days whilst their bathroom is being re-decorated and walls in the hallway and one bedroom being re-plastered, by the time they get out of bed I’ve been up praying and studying the Bible, but they come into my study and want to know everything. They’ll say, “Papa, what are you doing?” I’ll tell them, “Why are you doing that Papa?” they are naturally full of questions and interested in what Papa is doing, but what are they really doing? They are trying to get Papa’s full attention. Because I love them, I can’t deny them my heart, they win and we end up eating breakfast together.

For us, Christians, our FATHER is longing for us to wake up and be with Him. To ask Him the question, “What are you doing Abba?” (Daddy, Father) Knowing the Father’s will and what He wants us to do is critical to our walk and witness in the world. When you wake up in the morning you are faced with the same choice Joshua put before the People of Israel: to cast aside all other worldly desires, all those things that would tug your heart and devotion away from your Heavenly Father and to choose each and every morning “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”.

Joshua brought them to this point after leading the people for many years. What was it that Joshua had discovered in all that time? He’d been selected by the LORD as Israel’s leader, but before he took the reigns the Lord said to him; take time to read this for it’s very important in answering that question:

Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant:  “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. No-one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Now can you see why Joshua would say, “Choose this day whom you will serve” and “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD”.

  • That LORD has been with Joshua.
  • The LORD had given him victory.
  • The LORD had given him the land of promise.
  • The LORD had defeated and driven out the enemy before them.
  • The LORD was with them all they way.

His repeated promise to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Choosing the LORD over the Promises and Pull of the world 
Guarantees SUCCESS and VICTORY in the Christian life.

Jesus gave the same kind of invitation many times and in different ways; “Take up your cross daily”. “Follow me and I will make you …”, “Take my yoke…” “Learn from me….” “Come to me…”

My friends, when we choose each day to be with our Father, the same God as Joshua’s, offering the same promises to you and me, we’re choosing VICTORY, we’re choosing SUCCESS, we’re choosing Divine COMPANIONSHIP and we’re choosing BLESSINGS beyond belief.

 

Joshua was reflecting back in chapter 14 what the LORD had done and decided he and his family were going to continue with the LORD. As you reflect back over your Spiritual Walk with Jesus, can you see that choosing Him over the world and it’s powerful pull has been better by far?

 

I know that I can, because each time, as a Christian, I’ve wandered away from Jesus will for my life, when I’ve neglected being with Him, when I’ve left off reading His Word, my life would become darkness, the Lord would seem distant and every decision I made whilst not being with Him was doubtful. However, when I’m with Jesus, being in His presence daily; in prayer, worship, study, desiring His will and way in my life, there’s everything He promised Joshua and more. My heart cries out to Him right now; “Oh to be in your Presence LORD! To sit at Your feet… this is my desire”

 

Just as my grandchildren know they can get Papa’s attention, you too will be assured of Father God’s Holy attention and He’ll be with you; BUT you’ve got a solemn choice to make each day.

 

The pull of the world, it’s false promises of delight, joy, happiness, success, prosperity, fulfilment and prestige in the eyes of others is POWERFUL. There’s no doubt about that, but when you weigh it up, all of that, against the overwhelming JOY in being with, walking with, talking with and enjoying FATHER’S presence with you all through the day, we can easily say to the world with all it’s glittering glow, “No, as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD”.Come AND be in your Heavenly Father’s will today.

 

Come AND be in your Heavenly Father’s presence today.

Come AND be and He’ll be, as He promised, with you everywhere your feet touch and you’ll know true VICTORY in life.

Have and AWESOME Sunday with your Heavenly Father.

Don.

Song of Praise.
To be in Your presence,
to sit at Your feet.
Where Your love surrounds me,
And makes me complete.

This is my desire,
Oh LORD,
This is my desire.
This is my desire,
Oh LORD,
This is my desire.

Can also be read on St Luke’s Facebook Page.