Friday, November 6, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

We often expect certain things. When God gives you a vision for your life and it burns a desire so deep in you that you can't let it go, its hard not to think about it. Many times on our journey of God's will we wonder "will I miss Him?" or "Is this God?" We ask, "Do I do this or do that?" What about, "Maybe THIS is the open door I need".

I am learning the hard way that God will hardly take the road that we expect. I know based on God's Word who He is and that He will do what He says He will do. What I don't always know is "the how" and I think He likes it like that.

Often times my mentors will say, "You aren't trusting God with this". On the contrary, I do trust God with all of it. What I don't trust is that I won't hear Him and miss His leading. I confess I have a fear of wandering in the desert for years wondering when the heck I will get to the promised land. A vision from God is a promise though so don't give up on the vision.

I am learning to expect that God will bring our visions to pass if we surrender and wholeheartedly follow Him. While we wait for His timing we have several things that we need to do:

1) Seek Him and not the vision. Our relationship with Him is more important to Him than anything He has destined us to do. Without that intimacy we are not supernaturally equipped to do anything. Being set on the end result and not a relationship makes the vision an idol.

2) Understand that while waiting we are in "prep mode". God is refining us and the holding pattern is ultimately for our protection.

3) Realize that any closed door or lack of support means that the season of learning in that area may have ended. Just because it seemed logical to us why we were placed where we were placed is probably the very reason God shut the door. He likes to be God and do miraculous things so no man can boast.

If you feel your vision is a faded off dream. Hold on to the promise of being used by God in a mighty way. Get excited that He is calling a "time out" because you ARE headed in the right direction. He is just moving things in place.

Don't be discouraged if the very people you thought would embrace your passion don't see what God sees. You are in great company. Joseph's brothers threw him in a pit. As harsh as that was they actually helped him realize the vision they were jealous he had. Don't be offended or get side lined because of that. They may not be against you, they could only take you so far in God's journey.

Joseph had a God given vision but then he ended up in a pit and then prison. His vision eventually came to pass. Embrace where you are at. Seek Him during this season for clarity on what He is doing and for a deeper time of intimacy. Then expect the unexpected.

Monday, November 2, 2009

INtegrity or OUTegrity Part 2

Psalm 19:14 says "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

I am learning that God will allow situations to arise in our lives that will bring our heart issues to the surface. He doesn't do it so that we become resentful bitter gossips. He does it so that we can bring our issues to Him. Sometimes we think we have dealt with things like fear, anxiety, rejection or abandonment. Our spiritual life is in a great place and its smooth sailing. Then all of a sudden we hit a perfect storm and familiar feelings we thought were long gone resurface.

God uses these opportunities to draw us to Him to deal with hidden issues of our heart. I confess I struggle with resentment and bitterness when I feel rejected. In order to "feel better" I talk...too much and usually not positive uplifting things either. I prayed to be delivered from rejection because it hinders me and my ministry. Why was I so shocked when I was given beyond normal opportunities to walk them out with INtegrity?

So what do you do? You share your feelings with a few close trustworthy friends. They must hold you accountable and encourage you in the painful refinement God is trying to bring about. Confess your sin of bitterness, anger, revenge, whatever it is, to God and to those you trust. Next, meditate on the Word of God. You don't let it leave your sight. You replace the thoughts in your head with the promises of God. Let them penetrate your heart. Then you speak them out loud. Sometimes all I can say is "the power of God is alive and working in me". It's a powerful confession that will flow OUT and it beats unloading negativity.

God says He is your Lord, your Rock and your Redeemer. He will deliver you, He will vindicate you. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and your mouth speaking forth His Truth so that they are pleasing to Him.

Then relax and be confident that He who began a good work in your will carry it on to completion.