The big waves are coming, time to wax your own board
[ By: Marissa Meyer ]
Whether it's the growing outrage culture and rise of climate change and it's economical implications, worldwide political landscapes continually being disrupted (#impeachment, #brexit, #chinesetradewars etc), or the news still lit up with Australia ablaze and other natural disasters. If you haven't noticed yet, 2020 wave sets are coming in. Get ready for a wild and powerful ride!
Don't get me wrong, I am by no means an alarmist or doom and gloom prophet, on the contrary, I am actually really excited to see the sons of God arise in this time and the Lord raise up a standard! When the big waves come, we see the big guns come out, and no, not a weapon, but a board type to be able to gloriously surf it and flourish.
"For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you." - Isaiah 60:2 (NKJV)
Personally, over the last few weeks, I really felt the Lord highlight the word 'discipline' and 'intention' to me. Discipline to pursue the outworking of seeing His Kingdom manifest in the natural, and intention to hone my 'YES' and focus on the things He's showing me personally to put my hand to and pursue with a 'get the job done' attitude. Too often I have found myself in the past caught up in revelatory teachings, ideas and theologies about God, my spiritual walk and life in general, without seeing the practical outworking of those revelations in my day to day life. Being awakened to the things of the Spirit and going on revelatory journeys, infillings and experiences with the Holy Spirit and being anchored in the Word, is wonderful and absolutely needed to transform your thinking, bring healing, challenge your perspective and grow your faith, but at some point, what are the outworking of those things in the natural? At the end of the day nothing changes if nothing changes.
Towards the middle of 2019 I found myself increasingly frustrated with the lack of landing prophetic words/promises and desires in my life. It's not that I haven't done so or pursued it, I mean yikes, by the Word of the Lord we've packed up our entire lives and moved across continents into the unknown with only our backpacks, and then interstate again by a fresh word from God three years later with no job prospects and a heck of a lot of opposition. In the last 5 years, I have woken up to the things of the prophetic and supernatural in profound ways, gone on multiple national and international missions trips, seen the lost saved, led home groups, served and organised conferences, seen miracles and healings break out, worked for national and international corporations as a freelancer alongside working for a church in Sydney, and completed my year long internship at our local church. I can convince myself of a bunch of milestones, and yet there are so much more I'm aware of that He has for me. There are things that the Lord had spoken over me for years and still, I felt (and sometimes still do) stuck in a constant spiritual pursuit of the prophetic that don't always yield fruit in the natural. So what are some of the keys to get out of this fruitless cycle? Here are some of the hard lessons I have learned and am intentionally trying to take ownership of in my life the last while. I have found that they are helping me narrow my focus in the pursuit of landing promises.
This year, more than any other year, I have come to realise that the lack of natural manifestation was not tied to lack of spiritual encounter or the amazing things that God has done, shown, healed me of, given or revealed to me. Rather the problem lied in my lack of taking responsibility for those promises in my own life and choices to see those things worked out in the natural. It's immensely frustrating, trust me, I get it and I'm still learning this! We can blame our circumstances all we want, but until we wake up and take practical responsibility for change in our own lives, we will remain trapped in a changeless cycle waiting for a breakthrough that is waiting for us to get off our backsides. The first step to landing a promise or desire, is taking responsibility for it and actually DOING it. Want to start a business? Write the business plan, kill the excuses and start building it. Want to live debt free? Stop wasting money on Uber Eats and carnal spending impulses and start by drawing up a practical savings plan and take the responsibility to stick to it until you're out of debt. Want to grow in the Lord? Start reading the Bible daily and make more time for God and less time for social media. Taking responsibility means responding to your ability to practically steward something.
"The proper way to fix the world isn't to fix the world. There's no reason to assume that you're even up to such a task, but you can fix yourself. You'll do no one any harm by doing so and in that manner, at least, you'll make the world a better place." - Jordan Peterson
Healthy output boundaries
Alongside the frustration of desiring breakthrough and somehow not being able to actively walk in it, I also noted the hours and hours, weeks and months of my life I found myself sowing into other peoples callings, agendas and convictions at the cost of pursuing the things God has called me to be faithful in and walk out personally. By nature I have a giving spirit and I constantly found myself doing free work, favours and going over and above for the benefit of others all the while sowing all my seeds and having nothing left over to make bread with to sustain me. How many times have you said 'yes' to someone else's request and neglected stewarding and meeting your own needs? Add all those moments up and soon enough you find yourself in a deficit of personal breakthrough, while others are reaping the benefit of your actionable efforts in their company, organisation or life.
This is not to say that you cannot serve both. In fact serving, volunteering and blessing others is our privilege and command from the Lord, but if you see a pattern of doing so where it takes up so much of your time and output that you neglect walking out your own personal scroll... something is wrong and you need to reassess your boundaries. There should be a healthy balance between serving others and taking ownership of what God has entrusted you to build.
Pick your battles
By nature we are relational beings and so our interactions with each other and the world relies on give and take scenarios and interactional trades. Another key is realising you don't have to attend every cause, need, crisis and outcry that others invite you to invest your time and effort into. The world is full of causes and needs that feed off a call to action and personal compassion and no one person can pretend to contribute meaningfully to all of them. In fact, often those invites can masquerade as a deliberate tactic from the enemy to distract you from what the Lord has specifically called you to do. It divides your attention thinly between pleasing man and serving God. Be wise in discerning what is on your scroll and responsibility, and what is not, and be resolute in the guilt-free pursuing of only that which God has personally spoken to you about.
"Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” - Nehemiah 6:1-3
Find your tribe
"Be able to discern your Judas from your Peter. Peter had a bad day, Judas had a bad heart. Peter, you restore. Judas, you release. You got to know who to restore and who to release!" - Ryan LeStrange
Another key is making a conscious decision to surround yourself with those that have your best interest at heart. Recently I felt the Lord prompt me to be deliberate in whom I allow to speak into my life through the gate of Facebook 'friendships'. Over the years I have made many friends and acquaintances and have added them to my friendship circle without a second thought, but in and among that broad group of people that had a sneak peak into my personal life, were those who's views, morals and values were so different to mine, that they would constantly message or attack me when they felt I stepped over their narrow inclusive/religious/political/sexual orientation—you name it—boundaries. I found myself increasingly being weary of what I can and cannot post out of fear of messy backlash, bullying and personal attack. When people are really only out to oppose and attack your views and values, without a regard to hear your heart or have grace for your contrasting beliefs, it really serves no purpose keeping them close. Detox from people who don't champion you or aren't really your friends and make sure to keep them at arms length.
Ofcourse conflict, opposing views, iron-sharpening-iron relationships and robust debate are healthy and very much needed in our lives and we need to navigate and honour these differences and have friends that believe and think completely different to us. However, there are some 'friendships' that only want to distract you to serve their agenda and I have found it helpful to discern which ones I should invest my pearls into and which ones to push into the public domain outside of my personal circle. Surround yourself with friends who will throw oil on the fire of God's purposes in your life and champion you to pursue what you're called to walk in.
As we're paddling between sets, lying in the ocean in anticipation of the new year, I honestly believe there is a supernatural grace and invitation being extended to those who are willing to really push in with the Lord over the Christmas period for 2020 strategies. It's time to take responsibility for landing scrolls and the purposes of God in our lives and wax our own boards. What are some of the things God has shown you to streamline in your life in order to land the promises and call He has for you?