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When the message of The Map Maker was coming into focus, several well-meaning workplace ministers counseled me to lead with something other than surrender, sacrifice, and submission. Had I been the pen, the book – and the ministry of inLight Consulting – might have followed their advice. To their credit, they were right in a way. The call to sacrifice has been a particularly difficult message for workplace leaders to hear.

But God would not have it. As The Map Maker, He insisted on the truth: Christian leadership requires counter-cultural sacrifice. At no other time is this more evident than in the midst of crisis and chaos. The COVID-19 pandemic is a case in point.

Perhaps a bit of context would be helpful. The Map Maker was written to help Christian leaders find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry in the workplace, by becoming disciple-making transformation agents. Of course, becoming a transformation agent first requires transformation. From The Map Maker perspective, transformation begins with surrender to the desires God has deposited into our hearts. It ends with the good work He created for us to supernaturally walk in, as we submit to the Holy Spirit.1

The preparatory journey from desire to good work requires sacrifice and includes chaos; the two go hand in hand. We know this from at least two perspectives. First, consider the Greek word translated as “transformed” in 2Corinthians 3:18 and Romans 12:2: Metamorphoo. Do you get the picture? How would you describe what’s going on inside that cocoon? Is it not the messy chaos of a caterpillar sacrificing some part of its previous life to become what God intended it to be?

God created the Greek language to help us understand the process He uses to make us into the instruments of His good work. Then He sent His Son to walk through the process with us. Read the rest of this entry »

Is it possible that the Church at Laodicea has been given an unfairly bad reputation? Sure, being rejected by the Lord is probably the worse thing that could happen to anyone. Being deceived about one’s wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked condition is a sobering reminder of the Great Apostasy (see 2Thessalonians 2:9-12). And it probably doesn’t help that critical observation of the Western Church reminds us of Laodicea’s lukewarm state.

Indeed, it is difficult to look beyond Jesus’ rebuke and chastening of the Church at Laodicea. It is hard to get past the King’s displeasure and the frightening consequences. Still, there is hope.

The Lord himself seems to have considerable hope for this much maligned church… and much to offer her. Let’s take a look.

I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:18-21

It is truly amazing what the Lord offers the Church at Laodicea:

  1. His kind and godly counsel;
  2. To sell them what they need;
  3. Loving rebuke and chastening;
  4. Encouragement that they are still capable of zealous repentance;
  5. To dine with them; and,
  6. A place with Him on His throne.

In short, our King offers restoration. How can we neglect so great a salvation, or so kind a King? What must we do to restore our relationship with Him? How do we turn this thing around? Read the rest of this entry »

The entire New Testament was written during a time of chaos. Indeed, God used each of the main characters as His instruments in creating the chaos that surrounded them. When God manifests Himself, chaos ensues. Chaos is not only normal for a Christian, it is a sign of God’s presence. In the chaos, the part of us that belongs to God has access to the peace of God that transcends all understanding. Still, we must allow the chaos to test and purify; we must allow it to shake out that which shall not remain (Hebrews 12:25-29).

When chaos finds its way into our lives, it creates a tension between our desire to maintain current normalcy and our finding the new normal which God is trying to work in us and through us (see Philippians 3:12 and 2Corinthians 3:18). Our carnal mind attempts to inhibit God’s work by distracting us and/or dissuading us of the notion that God is up to something. Those that notice themselves focused more on maintaining the status quo than on finding the next level of glory, should immediately suspect their carnal mind and invite the Holy Spirit to renew their thinking (Romans 2:12). Only then will we know the will of God in the chaos. Read the rest of this entry »

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 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 3:1-3

Knowing God is sovereign, we can confidently say that He creates or allows the chaos that finds its way into our lives. We also know that He works all things to the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28). How we respond to chaos makes more difference in our lives, and the lives of those in our spheres of influence, than we might think or imagine.

Generally speaking, chaos either draws us away from the truth or it serves to focus our attention on what is fundamentally real (i.e., the heavenly perspective). The greater the chaos, the greater the impact in one of these two directions.

Chaos tests the set of our mind. Chaos also gives us the opportunity to practice our resistance to the enemy’s distraction and deception. By the way, the enemy I am referring to is our carnal mind – our number one enemy. Scripture makes it clear that neither Satan nor the world can influence a child of God (James 4:7, Galatians 6:14) … unless they are allowed to do so. Our carnal mind opens that door.

Most of us have been trained for much of our lives to turn to our carnal mind when chaos invades our lives. This is directly and exactly the opposite of God’s intention. When chaos comes, He would have us choose the influence and direction of Christ’s mind. Make no mistake about it: We are responsible for that choice. Read the rest of this entry »

The way to find peace in the midst of crisis, concern, and chaos is one of the areas where Christians should be thinking differently than the world and our carnal mind would prescribe. Consequently, we are living in a window of time which offers a great opportunity for the renewing of our minds (and the transformation that will create).

With that in mind (no pun intended), I would like to share the promise, provision and way of peace for every child of God. It starts with the prophecy of His coming.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

This much quoted verse contains something I had not noticed until recently. Not only was the Messiah to be wounded, bruised and scourged, but he was also promised as the chastisement for our peace. He took on the Father’s correction, reproof, and rebuke) that we might have peace with Him.

The LORD God is faithful and trustworthy. He is almighty – able to do all that He says. He keeps His promises. That includes the provision of His peace.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Colossians 1:19-20

It is important to note that the eternal peace we have with God is the provision for our peace in the storms of this life. Maintaining this connection in your heart and mind will bring revelation and power to the peace of God, in the midst of our current tempest. Read the rest of this entry »

In times of uncertainty and chaos, it is important and possible for all Christians to avoid worldly fearfulness and carnal foolishness. This is particularly true of the Christians whom God has positioned with authority for leadership in the workplace. People in your spheres of influence will be looking to you.

Our prayer is that they will find you to be a house standing in the storm – a refuge of peace and sensibility. To that end, I humbly offer a few encouraging thoughts. These may not be new for you; meditate on them nevertheless, recognizing they are also for the edification of those in your spheres of influence.

First, it will help you to know that, for the Christian, chaos is normal. Almost every book in the New Testament promises it. 2Corinthians 3:18 is one of my favorite examples:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The Greek word translated as “transformed” is metamorphoo. Metamorphoo offers a perfect word picture for the process God employs to mature us as Christians. Anyone who has ever seen the inside of a cocoon knows what a mess it is for an ugly caterpillar to become a beautiful butterfly. This transformation is “by the Spirit of the Lord”. In other words, the Holy Spirit is our transformer.

As leaders, we are blessed with the opportunity to be the vessel and instrument of God for the metamorphoo of those in our spheres of influence. Our only responsibility is to choose to participate in the work God is doing.

Second, it is particularly important in times of chaos to resist the temptation of turning to our carnal mind for advice. This is exactly what we have been taught for most of our lives. It is a lie and a deception. Read the rest of this entry »

The renewing of our mind exchanges dependence on our carnal mind with subjection to the mind of Christ. Consider that for a moment. Born with the mind of our flesh, we find ourselves at enmity with God; reborn of Christ, we now also have His mind (1Corinthians 2:16).

And the battle for our transformation begins!

We are being transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), and the Holy Spirit is our transformer (2Corinthians 3:18). However, we cannot afford to be passive participants in this ongoing process. Based on personal experience and the testimony of others, I am confident that the renewal of our minds requires our cooperation.

We, born-again believers in Jesus Christ, are responsible for choosing the mind to which we turn. This is a continuous responsibility that particularly proves itself in the face of danger, confusion, offense, aggravation, etc.

This matter of the minds is challenging, to say the least. Thank goodness, God has given us an abundance of instruction. Here’s one I discovered just the other day.

Commit your works to the LORD,
And your thoughts will be established.
Proverbs 16:3

Does this verse strike you as odd (as it first did me)? Shouldn’t we have our thoughts established before we set out to work? Once again, we find that God’s ways and thoughts are above our own.

In Ephesians 2:10, we learn that God “created [us] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Knowing the end from the beginning, God has carefully created and orchestrated our every good work.

With this knowledge in hand, Read the rest of this entry »

Approximately twelve years ago I attended a lecture at a workplace leaders’ conference on the physiology of the brain. It was really quite unusual. What was I doing at such a lecture? What was such a lecture doing at a workplace leaders’ conference? Looking back, I now understand that God orchestrated that lecture, at that conference, for my edification and encouragement.

The presenter showed us how scientists observe physical changes in the brains of patients recovering from alcoholism; that new electronic pathways are created over time. It occurred to me that this research scientist was talking about the renewal of the mind. I came to understand that the renewal of the mind is as much a supernatural miracle at the physical level, as the healing of terminal cancer through prayer (something I have also witnessed). The notion captivated me.

This discovery connected well with my prior vocation: working with a team of enterprise architects to change the way banking executives thought about the use of technology. Our ultimate purpose was to transform their business with technology. We called this “changing their paradigm.” The equivalent Biblical term for “paradigm” is “mindset.” Others prefer “worldview.”

I spent more than a decade in the technology field proving that changing someone’s paradigm is much easier said than done. As promising as technology was to their bottom line, the executives I worked with resisted us religiously. Why? Because the implementation of technology required them to transform their thinking about work and to change the way they did business.

The ensuing twelve years of workplace ministry have proven that the mind’s resilience to change exists in every sphere, and no less with my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is lamentable, for our transformation into the image of the glory of the Lord requires the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We must change the way we think!

Over the years, this matter of the mind has become increasingly important to me. I have tried to make it important to others. And so, we have come to the writing of An Enemy Lies Within to encourage and help Christians think about the way they think, and to empower them to think in line with God’s prescription for the renewing of our mind.

Ultimately, our hopes and prayers are for the transformation and reformation of the Western church.

Our Thesis

Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 119 is like a mountain meadow, filled with beautiful flowers. Walking through it, we find ourselves surrounded by the author’s delight and joy in the statutes, testimonies, and commandments of God. And then we see it: a flower of a different kind. Not better, just different. Let’s take a look.

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
Psalm 119:33-35

Throughout most of Psalm 119, the statutes, testimonies, and commands of God are the writer’s focus. Here we find a subtle and profoundly different awareness. It is the way of God’s statutes that he promises to keep, and the path of His commandments in which the psalmist will delight himself.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search them out (Proverbs 25:2). I think this is one of those hidden treasures that God would have us consider. The way and path speak of God’s process-orientation, the walk of faith to which we are called, and the following after Jesus Christ that positions us to become His disciples. As important as obedience is to God, He has a deeper place for us to travel with Him. Read the rest of this entry »

The church (not America) is meant to be seen by the world as the nation blessed by God. The nation of Israel is the Biblical example of this. God commanded Israel’s separation from the surrounding nations (and their gods) that they might be the example of an obedient people abundantly and unusually blessed by God. Furthermore, Israel was to be the counter-culture people who God used to bless the nations.

Israel’s prosperity and protection were dependent on fidelity to God, accompanied by deliberate and systematic rejection of all other gods. Regrettably, God’s people chose disobedience and became an example of those punished by a loving Father. Their persistent desire to be like the others was born out of the rebellious nature they inherited from Adam and Eve. Eventually, their rebellion led to captivity and destruction.

To recognize the warning, we must apply the natural example of Israel to the spiritual nature of the church. What exists in the spiritual realm of God’s kingdom ultimately manifests in the natural world. However, we must understand that the natural is symptomatic (i.e., result and evidence) of the spiritual reality of God’s supernatural kingdom. In other words, it is fruit on the tree, good or bad dependent on our fidelity to God (Matthew 12:33).

Regrettably, this explains why Western civilization has become so unimpressed by the church and why there is no fear of the God that seems to have abandoned her. This condition is not the world’s fault. Acts 2:42-43 comes to mind. Read the rest of this entry »

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