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Our Heavenly Father desires nothing more for His children than for them to become fruitful citizens of His kingdom. Our contribution is ultimately for His glory; for His name’s sake. However, He loves us with a father’s love; a love that desires the best for His children.

When God calls us to more, it is important to consider how we are thinking about the call. Is it a burden to us, or a privilege? An obligation, or an opportunity? Are we dreading the journey, or looking forward to the adventure?

On April 18, 2009, my wife and I watched helplessly as firefighters did all they could to save the house we had lived in for most of our marriage – the home where we had raised our children. The fire, smoke and water destroyed practically everything. It could have been the beginnings of a burdensome tragedy.

As we stood watching this tragedy-in-progress, God whispered three things into our hearts,

“I am sovereign. Nothing happens outside of my will.”

“I am a good God, I love you, and I have a plan for you.”

“Reckon these things to be true.”

And so began God’s call to more. As we settled into our first temporary quarters (the Holiday Inn Express), we turned to our Heavenly Father. Beth began, “Father God, whatever you have for us in this, we receive it.”

Praise God for His encouragement, in the prayers of a godly wife!

This was the surrender our Father was looking for; and it opened the storehouse of Heaven. With one word (our “whatever”), we had entered into the purpose of Almighty God. Our tragedy immediately became an adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

This series of articles is for those who sense that God is transitioning them into a new season – a season of more. Positioning ourselves before God is the prerequisite step in our knowing His purpose and plans for the coming season. It is also the place where He prepares us for our new assignment.

It is no coincidence that God has made prayer man’s most powerful weapon in the battle for the kingdom. This is the place where God is most intimate in revealing His plans and encouraging His children. As we battle with Him through prayer, He establishes His relationship with us. There is no more important thing we can do in our preparation for the next season.

Prayer (deēsis): Need, indigence, want, privation, extreme poverty; a seeking, asking, entreating, entreaty to God or to man. From deomai: to want, lack; to desire, long for; to ask, beg; the thing asked for; to pray, make supplications. Outline of Biblical Usage, BlueLetterBible.org

There are three things to notice about the definition of prayer. First, it is more about need than want. Second, that need is out of an extreme sense of poverty (i.e., it is humble). Third, prayer includes seeking and desiring – its relational aspects.

Changing the Way We Pray

Our common ideas regarding prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. It is the only way we can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Prayer is difficult because our enemies do not want us communicating with God. Satan is a powerful being. An opposing power is needed – God’s power. Is it possible that our prayer life lacks God’s power because we do not pray in the way God has designed? Have we chosen our own way in prayer?

In his book, The PAPA Prayer, Larry Crabb discusses how many in the church turn to God in prayer as if He were Santa Claus sitting behind a vending machine. If we just put in the right change (our time) and push the right buttons (our requests), He will give us what we want. As Crabb laments, this approach has drawn us far from God’s intention in our prayer time with Him: To establish and nurture an intimate relationship. Read the rest of this entry »

In the postscript of the previous article in this series, I promised to share a method of positioning that has been particularly helpful to me. We will do that in (at least) two parts. We begin with the model for positioning that Jesus left us.

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
Luke 11:1-4

Notice that the disciple did not ask Jesus “how to pray”. Interestingly, “how” is a very common word in the Bible. In fact, it appears 550 times in the New King James Version. So why is it absent here?

I am convinced, and I hope you will consider, that the disciple was asking for more than instruction in prayer. He recognized that Jesus’ way of prayer was so far removed from their own that what they had been calling prayer might as well have been called “apple”.

The disciple was asking Jesus to make them men of prayer. This He has promised to do – for them and those that desire to know God’s purpose and plan for this season of transition. Read the rest of this entry »

Do you feel like God has you in transition – that He has something else for your life? Jesus said we would do more. We cannot follow Him and remain standing in the same place. Running the race to win means covering new ground.

As mentioned in the introduction to this series, I personally know more than a handful of Workplace Leaders who are feeling God’s call to more – myself included. Responding to that call – particularly in this season – is critical, for us and those in our spheres of influence. So, for the next couple of months, we will be walking together through a discovery and response process. God bless you with ears to hear, and a heart to respond to His call.

There are three general steps in our process. We will call them: Position, purpose and plan. The order is important. If you are reading this, it is likely that you are someone that gets things done. You are not a pew sitter. That’s a good thing; but, it must not be the first thing.

Executing the plan before knowing the plan can lead to some dangerous presumptions. The same is true – to a greater extent and impact – for those that start making plans without first understanding God’s purpose.

I recognize that this is obvious to most of you. Still, it happens more often than we would like to admit. Why is that?

Most of us are simply too busy to stop and plan, much less revisit the purpose(s) behind the non-plans we are trying to follow. We fall into the trap of “flying by the seat of our pants”; and presuming the Holy Spirit is directing our steps. We are enamored by the success stories of those that claim to operate in this manner, and we quickly forget the failures.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about following the Holy Spirit’s leading. I’m familiar with “man makes his plans, and God directs his steps”. That is a major step in the process. It’s just not the best first step. God has something more in mind. Read the rest of this entry »

It has been some time since I have been challenged with this question. Has inLight changed? Has God shifted, or expanded, our core purpose? How are we fitting into God’s will for the church in this season? Is He stirring up new desires/burdens?

These are some of the questions the leader of a ministry must ask from time to time. It is the same for other workplace ministries – including those that are embedded in the workplace.

Whether you are the president of a ministry, the owner of a business, a leader in another professional field (e.g., education, government, medicine) – if you are a church leader or home maker – it is good to expect change. If we are pursuing the will of God, we will be regularly called to a higher level of glory (2Corinthians 3:18).

Over a half-a-dozen people I know well are sensing God’s call to them for something more; that a transition is underway. Some have been through this before, and are familiar with the process.

Others, not so much. They are wondering how to proceed. How do they respond to God’s prompting? How do they discover God’s purpose in this season?

God has a process for answering these questions. It is one of the things inLight offers to workplace leaders. I am feeling that now is an appropriate time to apply what we teach to ourselves.

Perhaps it will help you to follow along – to learn the process for yourself and those you are discipling. In the meantime, you may come to understand how God intends to use inLight to help you discover and walk into your kingdom work. Read the rest of this entry »

Multi-ethnic pile of handsWell, here we are again: The beginning of another year. I pray that you, your family, and your organization are well and well blessed, in 2017. I hope that you will discover God’s purpose, plan and power for joyful, Spirit-filled ministry.

My desire, and the purpose of inLight Consulting, is to help Workplace Leaders find joyful, Spirit-filled ministry. This relates to business in a profound and powerful way. Let me explain.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  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 37:4-6

God intends to give you the desires He has placed in your heart. Trust Him, and He will bring it to pass. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light. Others will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Who wouldn’t want that?

However, there is a catch – a condition. God requires that we first find, and surrender to, the BIG picture purposes He has established. This is both good for His kingdom, and good for us.

I dare to say that most business owners and executives find purpose in their profession. While this seems acceptable (even honorable), it is a limited and inhibiting perspective. Our purpose in life is much grander than any profession or business entity. These things should be found inside (i.e., serving) the BIG picture purpose of our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Vine and Branch“I thought abiding meant to abide by the rules.”

“Our abiding in Jesus Christ is best measured by the frequency with which God gives us the desires of our heart. The fruit produced in our abiding are those answers.”

God has used these two comments – both heard in the last couple of weeks – to encourage me. First, I believe He would have me introduce you to “The Power of Abiding” (Map 22 of The Map Maker).  That comes later.

Secondly (but first), there is the reason my mind has been so captivated by the comments.

The first comment was offered, in all sincerity, by a brother that has been in church for quite some time. As you can see from the definition below (sorry, you will have to click the “read more” link), his understanding is nowhere close to the truth.

However you look at it, this follower of Christ had no idea that abiding meant “to be held, kept”; or “to continue to be”.

How many more have missed the basic meaning of such an important Biblical word and context; not to mention the mystery that lies beyond it? How far has this skewed the understanding, faith – even the very life – of Christians?

Praise God; He is gracious! If you had been there, you would have literally seen, on the face of this brother, the impact “abide” was beginning to have on his understanding as a branch. The Holy Spirit was using the simple definition of a word to transform him by the renewing of his mind!

It was exciting to see! This is the power of searching out the matter and sharing what you find with others!

The second comment (above) had much the same effect on me. The Holy Spirit has been using it to completely redefined my understanding of “bearing much fruit”; and to renew my passion to abide in Jesus Christ more and more each day.

While I knew what “abiding” meant, I did not understand what it meant to abide.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1John 14-15

As I see it, abiding is being so “in Christ” that I know the Father’s will before I ask for anything; AND only asking for the things He wills. Easier said than done? Absolutely! Possible? With God, all things are possible!

So, why is this worth our pursuit? By this our Father is glorified, that we bear much fruit; so we will become disciples of Jesus Christ. What could be more important?

As you are considering that question, here is “The Power of Abiding” – in its entirety: Read the rest of this entry »

Partnership and team workA brand is what someone feels, thinks or discerns about a company or person. This is the outside-looking-in perspective; the end product of a discovery process focused primarily on what other people think.

I want to suggest a different way; a way focused on what God desires for you and your company. I like to call it the inside-shining-out perspective. Consider the most powerful brand image:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

This saying of Jesus is something we must do if we want our business to stand the tests of time and storm (Matthew 7:24-25). Notice His command is to “let your light so shine”; and not do good work. This, in and of itself, may challenge your way of thinking; and that is good.

Now, what is that light?

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4

When others see our good work, they will be led to glorify God by the life of Christ that abides in us. How does this light become so impressive?

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. 2Corinthians 3:18

The Holy Spirit uses the transformation process to create a supernatural brand. That process begins with our beholding the glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ. How does that happen?

 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. John 14:21

Jesus will manifest Himself to those that have and keep His commandments.

Honoring God with our business is a challenging adventure; particularly in challenging times. We are continually tempted to take control and seek success the world’s way. Be encouraged that He is faithful, He loves you, and He has a plan for you. Trust and obey; for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

Assignment

  1. Take inventory. Are you more concerned with the world’s opinion, or God’s? Are you willing to do things God’s way, regardless of the cost? Are there commands of Christ that you are not obeying?
  2. Once you have reconciled with the Boss, ask Him to show you the desire He has put in your heart for this season. This desire is His purpose for you and your company. It will become a huge part of your brand.

Humbly yours and forever His,

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