Just to let you know, this post will be a bit longer than usual.
Several weeks ago my pastor asked me to speak on September 9th. I took my normal approach. Prayer. Meditation. Consulting my journal and what God had been speaking to me. After traveling down this familiar path I had nothing. Nothing seemed to grab my heart and nothing seemed to be the "subject" of Sunday's message.
I was getting down to the 11th hour (see previous post) and was getting concerned. My only saving grace is that our church had started, on September 9th mind you, 40 days of 24/7 prayer and fasting. I signed up for a 5-7 am shift. I knew I had those two hours to hear from heaven. Then I had 3 hours to process that download and share with my community of faith.
What transpired was no where on my radar. Some time between midnight and 4:15 am (which is when I woke up to get ready for my prayer time) I had a dream. It was short but straight to the point. In my dream I had "jumped" and was free falling. I wasn't sky diving, but it felt that way. Graham Cooke was in my dream. He had just spoken at our church a couple of days earlier. I knew he was in my dream because he was a catalyst and initiator of living by a greater realm of faith. In my dream I asked God, "why did I jump?" "What am I jumping into?" I asked it to God frustrated that I had jumped and I did not know why. The father spoke this me in my dream, "That's the problem. You want to know what you are jumping into before you jump. I want to know will you jump into the unknown and trust me?"
So with this dream as the backdrop I entered into our little 24/7 prayer room. I turned up the worship real loud and sat there. I sensed that I should write in my journal some reasons as to why I won't jump. Let's wrestle with my fears and inabilities. After all, the dream was not as much a correction as it was an invitation to make the necessary changes in my life. So this blog is a list of some of what i said to God and what he said back. I hope it encourages you as much as it does me.
1. Father I'm scared to leap because of the responsibility I feel for my family.
I'm married and have 3 kids, (14, 13, 1 1/2). I'm afraid of leaping and leaving my family behind. I do not now and will not allow ministry to become a higher priority than them. However, that good motivation can get to an extreme in me. I actually fail to embrace costly opportunities because I do not want to be a "fatherless" father. By trying to avoid this dilemma I can actually fulfill it. My children have a dad who is around all the time, but has failed to role model what it means to take risk and live a life fully devoted to God. This is what the Lord said to me (as recorded in my journal), "I'm more responsible for them than you are. Let's steward this together. Just know i'll provide the equity and resources. You just provide the access, availability and abandonment."
2. I won't leap because I'm more focused on the destination than I am the journey.
He says, "that in this hour of training the vision is the journey. The vision is not a destination that you find in google maps, rather it's a discovery into the caverns of your heart. Even when you discover "the destination", without the journey you have perverted your training and short changed the resources you need for the destination." (Luke 6.40, Hebrews 12.11)
3. I won't jump because I feel uncertain about safety.
He says, "Why do you value safety more than risk? Staying safe is more risky than trusting what you don't see. Safety is more risky because it's based upon man's ability to create safety and sustain it. That will lead to idolatry. It's idolatry because I do not always live in the land of safety. Therefore what is your hope placed in? What are you worshiping in that place? Can you show me a place where I was "safe" in the scriptures? Your safety is in me and in me, we will take risk and jump even if you do know know into what you are jumping. Do not take foolish risk. Seek counsel, but not so as to reason it out, but seek those who may or may not bear witness. (Psalm 4.8, 33.17)
I will share some of the other things tomorrow. But what the Lord shared with me when I was done writing my list is this. Lance, today is a transaction day. I want my people to give up their fears, etc. and I will give them my courage, faith, risk, etc. It's a transaction day. I want their to be a transaction between heaven and earth. Transactions are funny. I'm only willing to spend money for things I want or need. I want Jesus and need Jesus so I am willing to spend whatever is necessary. That's a transaction that feels like a win/win.
I believe for you (whoever may be reading this) that we are still in a place for transactions. Take time right now and make a transaction with God. Jesus paid the price. Give up your stuff and receive his nature and power. It's a good deal because he is a good Father.
Until next time....