Author Archives: BrandonS

Desperate Faith

Last year, I took 4 interns to Colorado to climb Pikes Peak.  It is a 13.1 mile hike where you gain over 7,000 feet in elevation.  At about the 10 mile mark you go past the tree line.  Not much grows here so it is mostly rocks.  In the distance, there looked to be some clouds that might turn into a storm.  My interns look to me and say “you are our leader we trust you.”  It is 10 miles to go down and 3 up.  The hardest 3 at that.  Now if the storm comes above the tree line lightning bounces in the rocks and people die every year on this mountain because of this.  No pressure. Parents are looking to me to bring their kid home.  We get 2 miles up and sure enough it is getting darker and it is starting to snow.  I am desperate to get up the mountain.  We are out of water, food, and one member has a person pulling her with a rope and another pushing their lower back.  

Before we started the last 3 miles we were at a crossroads. As I was praying for you, I sense many of you are at a crossroads. Whole heartedly go after something greater or stay in the comfortable place.  

Elisha is an old testament prophet.  One day a widow shows up.  Her husband is dead and she is in so much debt, the people she owes money to want her sons for slaves.  This woman is desperate and she goes to Elisha for help.  Elisha asks a strange question, “what do you have in the house?”

I think often we believe that to get where need to go we need what we do not have.  What if God wanted to use Moses’ staff, David’s sling, Samson’s jawbone, Elijah’s cloak to accomplish something great? All this woman had was a jar with a little oil.  What if our greatest limitation was God’s greatest opportunity?

2 Kings 4:3 And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors.

Asking for help for many of us is out of the question unless we are desperate.  What if God wants us to be desperate for something more than we are currently experiencing?  Are you desperate?  Are you too proud for desperate?

4 Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” 5 So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. 6 Soon every container was full to the brim!“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons. “There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

This woman used what she had, acted desperate, and responded in faith.  What do you have? Is it a gift of playing an instrument, teaching, making people feel special, building, leading?  Are you using it for His Kingdom?  Are you desperate for God to move on your behalf?  Or are you just costing in dead religion?  Are you responding in faith?  What is the last thing God told you to do?  Are you doing it?  Go use what you have, act desperate, and respond in faith!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Developed or Discovered?

I work with leaders from the age 13-60.  Many of them want positions of authority.  Some have had a lot of leadership experience and some none at all.  The most successful leaders are not the ones that are fighting for position but those who are quick to learn and ask a lot of questions.  They are concerned with being developed.

I am 31 years old this year.  I am reviewing my 20’s and I would do a lot different.  There were times when I tried to prove myself so I would be discovered as a great leader.  Those times were always full of conflict and insecurity.  Then there were times when I was all about being developed, not striving or proving anything.  I recognized my need for growth huge in this time.  I found mentors and leaders who could help me.  I did what they said whether it made sense or not.  I grew a ton! Also, leadership opportunity came my way. 

Jesus was God’s son and Jesus was about 30 when He started his ministry.  Why not 18 after all he is God in flesh.  Joseph was 30 when He was promoted 2nd in command of Egypt, before that he was a slave in Potiphar’s house and a prisoner in a political prison. David was about 30 when He was finally given the role of King of Israel.  All of them had been given a dream years before that. God waited until they were developed before they were given position. 

Can you imaging being Jesus at 25.  You know who you are and the mission you have been called to and you have to wait.  From age 12 – 30 we have one verse.

Luke 2:52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

Weird thought isn’t it. Jesus had to grow in wisdom and favor with God.  Jesus needed developed.  Even at 30 he is saying my time hasn’t come.  Can you imagine Mary?  She has a virgin birth, and I am sure everyone believes the engaged pregnant woman saying she has not had sex.  She wants her son discovered for who He is. 

Joseph has a vision of greatness. He tell his family who you would hope supports his dreams, and he gets sold into slavery by his brothers.  If Joseph is to one day lead an Egyptian amy being in the caption of the guards house, in charge of everything in the house.  Maybe God is up to something.  If farmer boy is going to be 2nd in command of the greatest nation on earth, learning politics in a political prison doesn’t seem that far out.  As a prisoner, Joseph is put in charge of the prison. Slavery and a prisoner would not his first choice, but he was developed into who God wanted him to be. 

You might feel stuck in obscurity and that you have not been discovered yet in the dream that God has for you, but God has a tendency to test his people in the place of obscurity to see if they will be humble and be developed or just whine about their circumstances.  God has GREAT THING planned for you life, but He wants you focused on being developed so He can trust you being discovered.  Who is further in the journey that you need to have mentor you?  What job do you have you need to do your very best in?

Recklessly obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Burn the Boats

In 1519, Hernando Cortez convinced 500 soldiers and 100 sailers to go fight for the largest treasure in the world.  This treasure had been fought over for 600 years and no one was able to overcome the natives.  Hernando talked to the men about their lives after they would have the treasure, but he knew that would not be enough.  The natives were great fighters fighting for their homes and lifestyles and his men were fighting for money.  He knew he needed to motivate his men.  So when they arrive on the shores of the Yucatan Penin­sula, he says something crazy… “Burn the boats.”  They arrived on 11 boats that were not burning off the shore.  “If we go home, it will be on their boats.”  Talk about a new motivation for success.

That is what in must have felt for Elisha when Elijah the famous outlawed prophet show up to Elisha’s every day scene of oxen butts.  He was a farmer plowing a yoke of oxen and he was 12th in line.  Dust, dung and oxen buts was a daily scene.  However it is safe and predictable.  One day he might work his way up to the lead plower.  Elijah shows up and throws his mantle on Elisha’s shoulders and just walks away.  This is Elisha’s invitation to something more than oxen butts and into the adventure he was made for.  Elisha has an option safe, comfortable, predictable oxen butts or join the outlaw prophet.  That is where the story gets crazy…

1 Kings 19:21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.

Elisha killed the tools of his old life so there was nothing to come home to.  The finality of this statement is why we know his name today. I believe many of us are stuck in the mundane of everyday life and God gives us an opportunity we get that same choice… safe, comfortable, and predictable or take the risk and believe God at His word.  I think it is easy to find our lives living in regret of what could have been.  I never hear people regret trusting God and living by faith, I often meet people who look back and knew there was something more.  

What about you?  What plow do you need to burn?  What is that step of faith do you need to take?  Where are you playing it safe?  What if today is your moment?  What if you give until it hurts?  What if you start the business?  What if you kill the back up plan?  What if God showed up in your obedience?  Burn the ships, burn the boat, and don’t go back.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

The Battle

2 Samuel 23:9 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled.

If you were in the battle of your life and everyone else has abandoned you, who would stay with you?  How did David lead Eleazar that would cause him to fight as two against a whole army?  How did David care in such a way that Eleazar would rather die himself than watch his leader, his friend die and he live?  The depth of David’s character and leadership I feel is so underrated.  David did not have some angelic experience or burning bush promising victory, he just refused to retreat.  There is no guaranteed outcome just two men of war who refuse to retreat.  I could be seen as arrogant or wasteful for a king to risk his life for a single battle.  

Where do you feel alone in your battle?  Where do you feel the odds are stacked against you?  What seems to keep sucking your attention and you have so many other things to focus on?  Where do you feel alone in the battle?

If you are David or Eleazar, it would be easy to think God has abandoned you for the circumstances you find yourself in.  Or at least that is how normal people think.  The battle with horrible odds of success and more against him that for him…  What if the battle, trial, or pain was actually God’s set up?  Set up to fail maybe, 2 against an army sounds like a fairly tale or a bad story with a worse ending…

1 Samuel 23:10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day.

Wouldn’t we all like a great story like this to tell our friends and family?  We face incredible odds with no chance of success and we worked so hard that we could not stand any longer and we overcame!  We all like those stories but we do not like that set up.  For a great victory we have to first have a great battle.  We do not like the battle.  They are messy, they hurt, there are casualties.  So again what battle are you facing?  Are you trying to pray it away like God doesn’t want it there?  What if God has allowed this great battle to be your great set up for a great story of overcoming?  No one gives David and Eleazar the credit for the battle, of course it is the Lord who gave them victory.  How often did God set up what seems to be an easy loss to actually be a win?  Why not you? Why not now?

The God who led you TO it will now lead you THROUGH IT! His character can be trusted and promises are true! Run to the battle and fight until you cannot hold up your sword

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

I want to QUIT!!

Have you ever just wanted to quit?  Have you ever felt like you and maybe one other person were fighting for something good and everyone else just bailed on you?  It is easy to feel alone in a battle and sometimes we are.  I think it is in these moments that reveal our character. My senior year high school I wanted to quit football.  I was not being treated fairly or kindly.  I had coaches and players who made it clear they did not want me there.  All that was in me wanted to quit. I would come home with tears in my eyes so frustrated.  When I was a kid, my parents would tell me “Sereg’s do not quit!”  So I resolved in my heart early, if I start something I will finish it.  The decision of not quitting my senior year was made years before when I decided to stay on the team.  The depth of my character was built as a kid and revealed as a senior.  One of the coolest scriptures in my opinion is…

2 Samuel 23:9 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder!

Can you imagine being Eleazar?  Your fellow army retreats but your king stays to fight.  You have a choice… run and live or fight with your king.  Eleazar made his a long time before the heat of the battle.  He would never allow his king to fight alone.  So he chose what had to feel like death.  Statistics and odds are only valid unless the God of your king is THE GOD.  Then two men can take on an army all alone.  Could you imagine fighting until you were too tired to pick up your sword?  Quit was not in this man or his king.

What about you?  Where do you want to quit?  Job, school, relationship, a dream, or yourself?  It could be any number of things.  But anything worth having always comes with a battle and at times it can feel we fight alone.  Often we feel tired of fighting.  That is not the moment that builds character but will reveal it.  You decide now before the heat is on whether you quit or keep going.  You decide your level of too tired.  You decide whether you will fight with someone even when it hurts.

NO BATTLE… NO VICTORY…

The army did eventually show back up when it was all over to get all the reward.  Could you imagine David and Eleazar watching the deserted army show back up for the reward?  Could you imagine Jesus watching us receive our reward?  So decide today… Now… What is the depth of your character the depth of your fight?

Recklessly, Obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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