I had the opportunity to write a feature article for Faith-Filled Families March issue on parenting. Read it. Like it. Pass it on.
It isn’t God’s job to follow me.
I have been too quick to expect God to keep my plans, wander along my paths, and deliver on my priorities. You would think I knew what was best. I have been laying the track and expecting God to chug along on my schedule. I noticed this most in how I pray. “God, do this. Bring that. Answer here. Help now. Stay on track” What a train wreck!
If I am really following God than I will listen more and speak less. I will move into the life God has laid for me and not drag God into my expectation. As David was leaving Jerusalem, exiled by his ambitious Son, Zadok the priest brought the ark to David. David told him to return the ark to its place. It wasn’t God’s place to move to David.
Leader, be careful when heading off to the unknown that you don’t take your plans and stick God’s name on it and call it “vision”. Listen more than you speak. Wait more than you walk. Learn before you lead.
“…behold, here I am, let (God) do to me what seems good to him.” – King David (II Sam. 15:24-26)
I haven’t posted in 26 days. I have done other things, important things that no one would call into question. However, as a writer and a blogger and a thinker and a leader I must deliver. I have thought about posting and have intended to post. I put great weight on the priority of living intentionally, on purpose. Yet, intention and action are not the same. Ya gotta get on the horse and ride at some point
You, also, have things that matter to you, to your church and ministry. Yet, they aren’t happening. You want them to happen. You pray about them happening. You have dreams and visions and tell yourself stories about what things will be like when they are happening. You reinforce it with inner monologues while solo-driving on the way to work. But, as of now, nothing is happening. Time to get on the horse.
- Overcome Inertia. You aren’t doing anything so you must get the mind/body/soul in motion, slowly. Do something simple, first, like put your “thing” on the calendar. Carve out a 90 minute block, a week in the future.
- Prime the Pump. While you are doing other things, before your intended and scheduled thing, your mind-factory will begin to work the problem and crank out solutions. Visions of your “thing” completed. Rough-edged. First-drafted. Raw to be sure. In the shower. At bed. Mowing the lawn. WRITE THEM DOWN! Save them for your future meeting.
- Hit the Ground Running. You have come to your scheduled time, you have a paper filled with fodder ideas. Get to work. Plan it. Do it. Write it. Clean it. File it. Scrape it. Paint it. Call it. Whatever you have needed to do, just do it. You will find that overcoming your mental inertia and priming the pump have given you the needed momentum to get ‘r done.
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? – Luke 14:28
Honeycrisp apples are harvested between September 15th and October 10th. Further, optimal harvesting only happens in the 4th week of September. You only get quality apples during a 3-4 week period out of a 52 week year. Does that make the apple tree unfruitful? Does that make the tree inefficient? Does that make the tree “disobedient” and “sinful”? Is it not putting forth enough effort?! Of course not. A healthy tree is constantly laboring, beneath the surface, roots drawing and pulling nutrients from the surrounding soil. And, when the season comes, the fruit is revealed.
Teach your church to focus more on their roots and not to stare at each others barren branches that behold the fruit. Everything has a season and a time. Encourage them to stay at it; at prayer, at celebration, at fasting, at meditating day and night on God’s word. The fruit comes when the time comes.
The righteous are like trees…which yield their fruit in its season. Psalm 1:2
“[reading]…is itself a practice in which the presence or absence of the fruits of the Spirit may be clearly manifest.” (p. 7) – David I. Smith, John Shortt and John Sullivan, Teaching Spiritually Engaged Reading
Do your people approach reading the Bible with a spirit of understanding or “overstanding”? Do they stand over the text or do they put themselves under it? And when they do read the Bible is it for information of transformation?
- Giving financially to a church +416%
- Memorizing scripture +407%
- Discipling others +231%
- Sharing their faith with others +228%
- Giving financially to causes other than their church +218%
Also, we (CBE) find that if a person who engages the Bible four or more times a week their odds of giving in to these temptations decreases:
- Drinking to excess -62%
- Viewing pornography -59%
- Having sex outside marriage -59%
- Gambling -45%
- Lashing out in anger -31%
- Gossiping – 28%
- Lying -28%
- Neglecting family -26%
- Overeating or mishandling food -20%
- Overeating or mishandling money -20%
They all own one. Can you help them get into one?
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! – Psalm 119:103