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Have you ever noticed how capable humans are at ignoring the things that we don’t want to deal with?  We construct blind spots simply because we do not want to face the reality of our situation.

This also happens in groups.  Here is a case in point.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10

In my humble opinion, this is the most power-filled verse in the entire Bible. Three of God’s “power” words are included:

  1. Be strong (endynamoō): The root is dynamis – the explosive power of God.
  2. Power (kratos): The dominion of God – the power of His authority to reign.
  3. Might (ischys): The ability and force of God – to accomplish what He intends.

This is what Paul is talking about when he goes on to encourage us to put on the whole armor of God. This is what it takes to stand against the wiles of the devil. Get your head around that!

As leaders in the Workplace – that includes all segments (business, religion, education, government, etc.) – we are responsible for leading others into this kind of radical life. Note carefully: This is the normal Christian life!

But how can we lead them into something that we have not experienced ourselves? Are you as frustrated as I am? Where is the power? What are we doing wrong?

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Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Psalm 37:5-6

One of the tricks our mind tries to play on us is the interpretation of Scripture to meet its preferences, and prejudices. This is perfectly normal… for the carnal mind.

But, we have the mind of Christ. We are empowered and responsible to think differently.

Consider Psalm 37:5-6. My carnal mind would prefer “commit your way to the LORD” to mean, “Here is my plan God, please bless it.” My carnal mind will pursue this line of thinking, hidden away in my subconscious. To avoid this deception, I must be diligent in my suspicion of the way my mind is thinking.

Jesus came to help us with that. His expression of Psalm 37:5-6 is “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” It is important to note that Jesus made them disciple makers. That’s a lesson for another time. The point here is that God’s planning process is a following and making process.

Let me be clear: Failing to follow Jesus will result in the failure of God’s plan for you. Refusing to be made is a refusal of His plan.

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Now that we have positioned ourselves to hear God’s instruction, and discovered the purposes of God in His call to more, we can begin to explore His process for planning. I feel the need to share – here at the beginning – that God’s way for planning is not like anything you may have experienced in the world.

There are many ways that the kingdom of God is contrary to the world (e.g., love your enemies, the greater serve the lesser). Planning is one of those things. In fact, planning as we know it – work breakdown structures, contingencies, etc. – have no place in the kingdom of God.

This is a hard thing for a process-oriented problem solver to share. I love planning. Task lists are my thing. It is hard letting go of what you are good at.

That is why, when God called me to the more of Workplace Ministry, the first thing I had to die to was my propensity to create and own the process. At first, I thought God’s issue with me was my desire to own and control. While that was something He would deal with, the bigger consideration was the method of planning itself. Read the rest of this entry »

With the world around us accelerating toward darkness and confusion, we – God’s vessels of light and instruments of righteousness – need only be ourselves. We do not need great arguments and proofs. We do not need to have our rights recognized. If we would simply stop living like the world, they would not be able to ignore – nor deny – the witness of Jesus Christ’s life in us.

Faith without works is dead. There is a lack of doing what we believe and say. This is a truth that has been encouraged here many times. It is a truth we must pursue.

However, there is another issue in the church; one that has diseased every stream:

We cannot get our minds off of the things of this world!

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3

This is more at the root of our failed witness; for, as Jesus instructed, you must forsake before you can follow.

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God has blessed me with the desire and health to ride a bicycle. Cycling is not only a great way to stay healthy; it is also a fantastic way to meet with God. Exercise, being outdoors and communing with the Creator – what better way to spend a couple of hours?

Cycling is a joy to me. So, when I get the chance, I like to share that joy with others – helping them learn to ride. In the process, I have learned that learning to ride is a transformative experience.

  1. You must get over your fear of riding. Whether you are just learning, or venturing out on more trafficked roadways, fear will take the fun out of cycling. In fact, fear is a distraction that can make your ride less safe.
  2. You must learn, not only how the bike works, but how it works for you. Get caught in the wrong gear while climbing a steep hill will leave you walking. Shifting in anticipation of a change in terrain will become natural over time – but only with practice.
  3. You must trust your bike to get you home. A bicycle is meant to take you places – new places. Time spent on the bike builds trust in its dependability.
  4. Going with others is more fun; and it is safer. Finding a good riding partner – or better yet, a group – simply makes cycling a more enjoyable experience. As it is with most activities, there is safety in numbers.
  5. The more you ride, the stronger you will be; and the farther you will be able to venture out. The only way to get cycling strong is to cycle. The reward is an expansion of adventure possibilities.

I think it is fair to say that the kingdom of God is like learning to ride a bicycle. When God calls us to a new assignment (and He does so more often than we realize), the Holy Spirit commits Himself to our transformation. He becomes our cycling coach.

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I began writing this series for those in my spheres of influence who expressed a feeling of transition in their lives; that God was up to something. Over the years, I have recognized this as God’s call to a new kingdom assignment – His call to more of the good work that brings Him glory.

The question in these situations is always, “What does He want me to do?” While the question is reasonable, our expectations for the answer are often misguided. In our get-it-done, “what have you done for me lately?” world, we fall into the trap of, well, just getting it done; so we can move onto the next thing.

Execution without planning is foolish. Planning without first understanding the purpose for the plan, even more so. This is particularly true when our “company” is going through transition. As hard and contrary to our nature as it may be, we must step back and slow down. That has been the message and purpose of this series.

It all boils down to two questions: Who is the Boss? Will I trust Him?

Admittedly, this series is longer than I expected (congratulations to those who have hung in there). At this point, we have journeyed through two of the three phases God encouraged me to cover. The first, positioning ourselves, prepares us for the second, discovering His purpose.

It is important that these phases be completed in sequence. There is more going on here than the collection of information. God always uses these opportunities to draw us to Himself; and He will not continue to participate in the process until His intentions are accomplished.

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What would you think if someone gave you a car that ran on an unlimited and free power source? You would probably consider that a really cool blessing. Am I right?

What if they refused to identify the power source and/or where it could be obtained? That wouldn’t be so cool. The car would be a useless and frustrating gift. Right again?

If, as we read in Romans 10:10 (NKJV):

“…with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

and, as 1Corinthians 12:3 relates:

“…no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”;

What do we make of those raised up in denominations and streams that were not taught the operation of the Holy Spirit in salvation?

Are their teachers not only refusing to go in, but preventing others from entering (Matthew 23:13)?

I’m just asking.

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Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

Just the other day, I discovered – no, I was shown – that there has been a bit of lawlessness hidden away in my mind. I have seen the symptoms of it, but did not know they were connected to something so profoundly evil.

Understand me: I did not know the lawlessness was there until the Holy Spirit revealed it to me. It was small and carefully hidden.

Indeed, the symptoms themselves are minor to look at (i.e., no gross sin). Only those closest to me would have noticed them. In fact, the worst of them – a presumption of what is just and fair – would be accepted by the modern world; perhaps even encouraged and applauded.

But, thank God, I am not of this world.

Once the lawlessness was revealed, I began to understand the true ugliness and danger of it. At its heart was a self-centric perspective. In this case, the determination of justice and fairness were wrapped around my selfish opinions.

It has been a sobering and frightening revelation that these relatively minor symptoms were rooted in lawlessness; for lawlessness leads to deception and to our Godward love growing cold. The lawless are cursed to an eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

That is my confession. Here is my profession of faith. Read the rest of this entry »

The discovery that God is a process-oriented problem solver can be an empowering revelation. To know God is up to something – in both His story and in the seasons of our lives – gives us hope and understanding. It is not a small thing to stop looking at the work of God in terms of events that are haphazardly strung together.

God is a very careful and deliberate orchestrator!!

This discovery is particularly helpful for those in transition. It stretches our perspective, helping us to see the connection of what He has done, and what He will do, to what He is doing right now. It gives value to every moment; and helps us to follow along.

Because we are “in process”, examining the past and the future often sheds light on the purpose God has for our next season.

Let me stop here and remind everyone that every bit of examination, consideration, exploration, etc. is to be done in conversation with God. If we are not positioned to hear what He has to say, we will undoubtedly miss something – potentially something very important.

It is good to know that the Father loves talking to His children.

Now, with that reminder, let’s look at the way God brings the past into our conversation about the His call to more. Read the rest of this entry »

As a reminder, this series is being written for those who sense they are in a season of transition – a call by God to more kingdom adventure. God has a way to maximize the “more” of that adventure. It includes preparation, and discovery of purpose, before planning and execution.

We are currently in the discovery phase – seeking to hear and understand God’s purpose for the next season of our lives. In our previous article, we learned that our purposes are contextualized and constrained by God ultimate purpose – to restore the reign, habitation and intimacy He lost in mankind’s rebellion.

Mankind’s fall was more devastating that we can imagine. God’s desire to include us in the restoration has introduced a complexity that we simply cannot fathom. His patience and long-suffering leaves us wanting for greater exclamations of praise and worship!

God is a process-oriented problem solver. The solution to the problem mankind introduced in the rebellion is a process that includes many “good works”. Strung together – in process – these culminate in the restoration of all things dear to God.

You may not have considered this: Our desire and willingness to be prepared, and to discovered His purposes for us, is a form of worship – perhaps even more than the work itself. If this is our heart’s desire, the time invested will not be wasted; for we will emerge with faith for the good works that await us. Read the rest of this entry »

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