I am in the land of Between – between a place and position that I have known for the last 22 years, and moving forward into a new place and position for this next season. I am spending a lot of time on reflection and personal evaluation. While I am thankful for the way God uses me (and has used me), there are certainly many areas of weakness and flaws that I deal with. I am asking the Lord to help me learn some lessons from the past in order to go forward in a healthier, Christ-honoring, and anointed way of life and ministry. So, there are probably more lessons to come in this series, but here at least 5 Lessons from “The Land Between.”
Or Lessons I am still trying to learn but in no way have mastered!!!
- God’s voice is greater than our plans! Pretty simple right, and fairly obvious. One word from God is worth far more than thousands of my own thoughts and ideas, or words from others. Obviously, God can speak in my thoughts and through others, but that is not always true. I am a strategic activator (2 of my strengths). These strengths have served me well but are often weaknesses as well as they cause me to want to jump too quickly. Many people risk processing for too long and missing God, falling behind the Lord. Others like me often get out in front of God. Partial revelation is not full revelation. I know the Lord is teaching me and calling me to learn to wait upon Him, to truly hear His voice and do what the Father is doing. I must discern better between good ideas and God ideas. This means I must die a little bit (or a lot) to the satisfaction of quick short term wins, giving into the pressure of other voices, and becoming enamored with my own ideas. I am convinced the church needs to hear from the Lord more than ever. Hearing God’s voice means we set aside time for prayer – seeking, waiting, listening, discerning and confirming His course within community (especially when seeking for the body of Christ.) I want God’s voice and direction over everything else. I must learn to truly discover the posture of listening prayer.
- Nothing is more important than the Lord’s Presence! Nothing!! Programs, services, and activities have their place. Good strategy is needed and necessary. Above all though, we need to treasure the Lord’s Presence. God is looking for a people that treasure Him, not just what He does. We ought too long to meet with God as a people, to encounter God in real ways. I have always valued the Presence of the Lord, but going forward I want this to be my ultimate commitment. So I say it again, nothing is more important than the Presence of the Lord.
- I cannot avoid the needed, and often hard conversations. I too often delayed or ducked the hard conversations – whether I needed it or someone else. While this created peace for the moment, it usually created chaos and mistrust in the end. Christians are often too nice. We can be so nice that we will not be candid. I want to become more loving than ever before but also be willing to be more candid than ever before. We do not grow if we are never challenged by others. I cannot help people grow if they are never challenged on their thoughts or unhelpful behavior. I am asking grace from the Lord to make me a much better steward of the ministry and people I am called to lead and serve. I want to fear nothing but God while walking in love and humility. And I want to be willing to let others say what needs to be said, and I want to be willing to say what needs to be said for the best of His people and His glory. God give us grace in learning to speak well with one another, and help us not build false harmony but to speak deeply and health-fully to one another. Your people are often not good at this, so help us Lord Jesus!!!
Okay, that’s enough for this post. I will continue this post with more to come!!