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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.

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 »

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 »

CompassBeth and I are having a particularly blessed Christmas season. I find myself – like so many others – wanting to hang on; and I will, at least through the end of the year. Thankfully, the reason for this season stays with us for eternity.

But still, 2017 is coming up the driveway; and will be soon knocking at our door. I am already thinking about next week’s meetings and writing deadlines. There is no stopping the movement of time.

So, how do we move on from Christmas? How do we hold onto the reason for the season, as we move into the promise of New Year adventures?

Being a child that likes to ask questions, I asked those questions of our Father in heaven. Being a Father that likes to talk to His children, He answered. Being a brother who likes to pass on the Father’s encouragement, I am sharing with you, the beginnings of that answer.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8

Finding the mind of Jesus, in His “coming in the likeness of men”, is the beginning point for our transition into the New Year. As the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus sends us (John 20:21). The parallels here are astounding. Read the rest of this entry »

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