Thursday, 9 August 2018

God's Generals - Read These 10 Things I Learned From Dr. Myles Munroe

I have written this article in honor of Dr. Myles Munroe and his wife Ruth, who worked by his side in ministry, here is a list of 10 things that I learned from his teachings:

1. God is a God of Purpose. He does nothing without a purpose. Even though we don’t always know the purpose behind something, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 puts it this way, ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’

Anyone who has lived a little life can tell you that there are circumstances and situations that we sometimes do not understand as they happen, but that their meanings become much clearer later on in life.

Everything that was created by God has a purpose – including us. This leads us to ask much bigger questions that many of us have tried to find the answer to for most of our lives: What is my purpose? Why am I here? What was I put on this earth to do/accomplish? But, knowing that the above statement is true, should lead us to seek answers to these questions from the creat-or, rather than the creat-ed.

2. Where purpose is not known abuse (abnormal use) is inevitable. This is such a profound statement and undeniably true. If everything has a purpose, but it’s purpose is left unknown, we will lack the knowledge of how to use it correctly. Or in other words, we will use it in a way that is ‘abnormal’ to the original use that was intended.
God's Generals - Read These 10 Things I Learned From Dr. Myles Munroe
I’ll admit, I’m not the most technical person in the world, but I can guarantee that I’m not alone in admitting that, when I’ve purchased a new appliance or gadget, rarely, do I ever read the instruction manual in its entirety – if at all.

The result? I end up using the appliance without ever knowing its full maximum potential. I have even run the risk of seeking to purchase another appliance to accomplish the tasks that the first appliance could do, and as a result end up wasting time and money.

The same thing can be said for people that come into our lives. If we do not know the purpose of a person in our lives we will ab-use them. In other words, we will fail to recognize the role they should play in our lives.

We may never know the maximum effect they could have had on our lives. We then run the risk of failing to see their true value, and begin to seek out other people to help us accomplish what that one person was there to do all along. Now that’s a word right there!

Which leads me to lesson number 3.

3. Love is not the foundation for marriage. ... I know, I know, that was a ‘selah’ moment for me too at first, but hear me out.

I’m not trying to burst anyone’s bubble out there, and I’m not married… (yet), so I can’t necessarily speak from experience on the marriage part, but I can see the wisdom in this statement.

Let’s face it, there are things that come up in relationships that can be more powerful than the love in the relationship, (i.e. infidelity, financial trouble, tragedy, unresolved issues, etc.)

The Bible says that we are to get wisdom, but while getting wisdom we should seek to understand. (Proverbs 4:7) By this principle, Dr. Munroe suggests that a successful marriage is based on the application of knowledge. Learning to understand ourselves and each other as a way of better preparing us to approach the various situations that may arise in our relationships with wisdom.

Love is a choice, or another way to say it is – Love is a decision. You make a decision to choose that individual and to work through your idiosyncrasies and stick with it. Does it always work? No. But then you need to make another decision about whether that person is part of your purpose or not, before you say, ‘I do’..

We use the word love so flippantly these days. We love something today and don’t love it tomorrow. And if all you can say is, ‘but I love him, or her’, as a reason to stay with someone, just know that alone will not carry you through the seasons of a lifetime together.

I am a firm believer in preparation through research and study and believe that Dr. Munroe was gifted in this particular area of teaching. I have actually applied some of his teachings in helping me to decide that some relationships were not for me, and I look forward to applying these principles further in marriage one day.

4. Man(kind) was not created to dominate people, but to dominate earth. Sometimes in our pursuit of success and happiness, we fail to remember the responsibility that we as human beings have to the earth itself. It amazes me that our churches, homes and offices, still lack recycling boxes even though we see the effects of global warming and climate change all around us due to an excess and waste of resources.

Contrary to popular belief, the earth will not repair itself! We have an obligation to do our part not just to inhabit the earth, but to look after it too!

5. The poorest person in the world is the person without a dream. Dr. Munroe always advocated for people pursuing their dreams. He often taught that your passion is closely linked to your purpose. So when you pursue your passion you are fulfilling your God-given purpose in life.

There are always going to be reasons to ignore our dreams. Reasons why we feel it’s hard to leave our jobs; reasons why we feel that it’s too late to start a business; reasons why we feel that our dreams are impossible to fulfill.

But are those reasons enough?

We all know people who have said, ‘I’ve always wanted to (…), but didn’t have the money’ , or, ‘I always thought I would go into (…), but you can’t make a living doing that.’

In fact it might have even been you that said these words.

So, we stop dreaming and stay in the job that we’re not passionate about, in an effort to make more money, or to have more financial stability. And while our bank accounts may be full, inside we feel empty. What’s worse is that some of our bank accounts still aren’t full!

I think somewhere down the line we’ve been made to believe that dreams are illusions. That they are merely daydreams that take up space in the corners of our minds, drifting in and out of our conscious thoughts, rather than being actual goals that we should aspire to fulfill.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not for one second suggesting that anyone should quit their jobs, or that work is not important- it most definitely is! But, I also feel it is important to find ways in which to support our dreams. They were given to us for a reason and we should never be afraid to find out what that is.

6. Sight is a function of the eyes, but vision is a function of the heart. Just as we always want to ensure that our eyes are healthy so that we can see clearly, we should also ensure that our hearts are healthy so that our vision will not be obstructed by the issues that cloud the heart. (I’ll just leave that one right there…)

7. Wherever there is no management God retards growth. In other words whatever you mismanage you will lose. This sounds like common sense, but I’ve learned in life that common sense is NOT common!

Learning to look after and manage what you are given is intrinsic to your personal growth and development. This is a principle that can be applied to everything from finances to our gifts and talents.

God expects us to do something with what we’ve been given and there are consequences that come from not using our gifts and talents, money and opportunities wisely – mostly frustration!

8. Failure is not the absence of success. Failure is the neglect of trying. Let’s face it many of us have one or two things that we would love to do, but haven’t tried for fear of failure.

We all want to succeed in life and sometimes we may avoid situations that do not seem profitable. The thing about not trying means that we will never have to suffer the embarrassment of not achieving the goals we set out to achieve.

The danger, however, is that we could be missing out on the opportunity to accomplish our dreams, or even miss out on the chance to learn valuable lessons that could give us relevant information for our future.

Nobody likes to feel pain, nobody liked to fail, and nobody likes to expend their energy without seeing the fruits of their labour. But, I know from personal experience, it is far better to take the bumps and bruises of failed attempts, and learn from your mistakes, rather than kick yourself and live with regret that you never tried.

9. “A true leader knows that greatness and potential needs balance, obedience and discipline. I have had the experience of seeing great leaders, and have been in leadership positions myself, and I can attest to this statement.

First, let me deal with obedience. Every leader needs someone to follow – a mentor, a guide, someone who is more experienced than themselves that is able help them avoid pitfalls and someone to whom they can be held accountable.

Obedience requires a level of submission, meaning that you are willing to do what is required, sometimes whether you really want to or not, in order to ensure success.

It is less about the struggle of power and more about a recognition that there is a cause that is greater than you, and sometimes in order to get things done you’ve got to acquiesce to those who may know more about the subject than you do.

Discipline goes right alongside obedience as it is required in order to keep yourself and others accountable in achieving goals- especially during times of conflict. If you can’t exercise self control to manage your own emotions, then how can you expect anyone else to?

I’ve decided to address balance last, because it is probably the most challenging of the three. When you want to succeed it can be difficult to have an appropriate work-life balance. You may work late hours, take work home with you, drag it along with you on the weekends, or even on holidays – all in the name of being successful.

I know that to some extent this may be necessary at times- particularly if you’re your own boss. But I’ve learned that this is the quickest way to suffer from stress and burn out.

I think sometimes we misunderstand balance. We often believe that balance is an equal measure of all things, but I believe that true balance is the right measures of the right things. Those elements may change from time to time, as will the measurements, but the key is to be able to discern what is needed at the right time.

This requires close attention to what season you’re in so that you’ll know how to respond appropriately and only God can truly help you with that.
10. Life is not about the years in your life, it’s about the life in your years. As stated above, anyone that has ever read anything by Dr. Munroe could tell you the one word he probably said most often was ‘purpose’. He often spoke about the graveyards being full of ideas that were never materialized; books that were never written; plays that were never seen; and songs that were never sung.

This is perhaps the lesson that resonates with me the most. I think of it often as I endeavour to find ways to use my gifts and talents so that I can live out my years on this earth happy and fulfilled. Every day I try to make a conscious effort to make sure that when I leave this life, I will leave it ’empty.’ Cause when it’s all over you can’t take it with you- even if you try.

Life is for the living, and I am so glad that God chose to share the life and wisdom of Dr. Myles Munroe with the world. His legacy is great and full of reminders that as long as we are living there is still work to do. He and his wife, completed their work here on earth showing us how to complete ours. May their souls rest in sweet peace.

Inspired yet?

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