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There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” David Foster Wallace, This is Water (2005)

My aunt recently returned to her eternal home. Jane was just an ambassador here on this earth. She had been seeking those things which are above – where Christ dwells at the right hand of the Father – for most of her life.

About a year ago, Jane shared that her heart’s desire was to get back to church. God nurtured that desire by bringing the church to her home. Now, she is with that great cloud of witnesses, praising the LORD and cheering us on. God gives us the desires of our hearts when we surrender to Him.

As a side note, I imagine Jane has already had more than one conversation with the Lord about more than one of those she loves here on earth. We should expect some response – some opportunity.

Jane’s transition reminded me of a few things about life. Like fish in water, we often live without realizing what we are living in. Though we value life, we forget it is there. We lose sight of its full meaning.

So, let’s stop and consider some truths about life. Read the rest of this entry »

Discovering God’s ultimate purpose in His story is something of a double-edged sword. On the one edge, the fact that He is ultimately interested in more than saving humanity is a revelation that can free us, from ourselves, to participate in the most exciting adventure of our lives.

At the same time, a discovery of such magnitude often leaves us with a fractured paradigm. This will leave many people uncomfortable, confused and spiritually disoriented. Don’t be alarmed; this is normal.

God uses the truth to make us free. With God, that can be like cutting our tether while floating in deep space. What we do next is critically important!!

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

When God frees us from one thing, it is always to focus on something better. He intends for us to focus on Him; and (this is the most important thing) He intends to help us. This you must believe!!

Here are three practical disciplines that will – in a very personally way – comfort, clarify and re-orient our minds toward God’s purpose in His call to more. As you will see, they are based on the three primary purposes of His story.

What you will discover in exercising these disciplines is a strong bond to His heart, and the desires that are waiting there for you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Navigating God’s call to more based on the trajectory of our past, is profitable and encouraging; but it is a limited perspective. To understand and follow God’s purpose for the next season, we must also look to the future.

You may be tempted to balk at this. The future is unknown. It can be an uncomfortable consideration for many; and our subconscious minds seem to always be playing tricks. Resist the temptation. Be suspicious of your mind. Embrace the mind of Christ; and the heart of God.

Here’s a good word: God’s call to more is an adventure. There’s just no getting around it. Adventures are a mix of excitement and fear. Deal with the fear, and it is all excitement. Behind every fear is a lie. Deal with the lie, and the fear will fly.

Welcome to the most exciting adventure of your life!!!

Now, back to the heart of God. That’s where we will find the light we need to discern the purpose God has for our next season, and the transition that will guide us into it. 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 »

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 »

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