The Wrong Perspective of a God Move

Many people know by now that my family and I have moved from Springfield, IL back to our hometown, Columbus, OH. Initially when we announced the move, people were shocked, angry, disappointed, and sad. I cannot express enough how I felt every single emotion directed toward my family, good and bad. Shifting in another direction is not the easiest part of life.

If I am honest, I realize that many people will never understand how someone can be called of God to be in a place or perform a task and it may only be for a season. Some people shared with me their hopes and beliefs that my family will be blessed in the midst of this transition and beyond. I am forever grateful for the encouragement of those who recognize that the Kingdom of God is much bigger than one location.

In some cases, people have revealed aspects of themselves that have not yet been touched by the Spirit of God. I can say without any hesitation that all people are constantly undergoing a procession of redemption and wholeness. Nevertheless, all who are believers have been called of God to demonstrate love, people, and grace. It is in my quiet moments that I have come to one safe resolution. People do not understand the workings of God.

One of the most innocent yet challenging saying of people in the church is the following: “that’s my pastor”. Innocent from the mouths of some people because the phrase indicates love and endearment toward the vessel that God is using to bless His people. Challenging from a different perspective because it implies ownership, dominion, and control.

When God-ordained transition happens in life, the opportunity is presented to see how much faith and Jesus people really possess. When change happens, the “real you” comes out. Suddenly, the church moves from the pristine nature of the bride of Christ to the jilted lover. That attitude causes the world to assume or believe that faith in Christ must not have great stability.

Listen, everything in life is seasonal. The only aspect of our existence that is not seasonal is the mandate and manifestation of the Kingdom of God. Just because people leave does not mean that Jesus is dead. Just because people are propelled into new assignments does not mean that the calling of God is placed on pause. Just because I am venturing into a new direction does not suggest that I quit in my previous assignment. We all need to see things through God’s eyes.

Consider this. Moses and Joshua were told to lead the people of Israel through troubled, rising waters. However, each account had distinct differences. When Moses led the people they were just coming out of captivity and were being chased by their captors. As Joshua led the people, he was told to enter into the waters with the Ark of Covenant until the Lord divided the waters. Both were water experiences, but each one had a different mandate.

God has never functioned or moved according to our whims or commands. God is not one you and I can manipulate into fulfilling our own will. We are the clay to be shape into the image and likeness of God. We need to repent of the hell that we put people through to make ourselves feel better and consider that maybe God has a plan and purpose that is bigger than us.

In 35 years of living as of this upcoming Friday, I have never gone wrong trusting in the plan of God. The difficulty is overcoming the “me” factor in order to experience the promise of God in the stage of complete fulfillment. If my previous relationship would have worked out like I hope at one time, I would not have the wife and son I do today. If I would have received the job at Wells Fargo in 2005, I might not have pursed ministry with the passion that I have today.

Think about it. Many of the decision you have made in life when guided by God have produced major results. Bullets missed you because you followed God. Toxic relationships ended because you trusted God. Increase happened in your life because of your yes to Jesus.

So when you experience transition of any kind remember these few things:

  1. Everyone is seasonal.
  2. Don’t waste time worrying about when the season will end.
  3. Enjoy all aspects of the season.
  4. Gain useful tools and help to aid your transition.
  5. Appreciate the season for what it means to your life.
  6. Bless the season you had because it will be a blessing to others.
  7. Care for the seeds from your previous season. If cared for, they will produce a harvest.

When change happens, will we feel something about it? Of course, you will. You have feelings and emotions. Nevertheless, God is always up to something. You may not be able to trace it. You may not be able to feel it right now. You may doubt the purpose for the change. Just remember, God wants your attention. When He gets it, you will gain what is truly in store for you.

Stay way up blessed…..

 

Have We Learn Anything Yet….

I find it amazing how much has occurred in our world over the last few years. Our country is rediscovering overt racism. The desire for absolute power is corrupting the minds of those who driven by ego. Millions of people are proving that they are sheep gone astray. On top of those generalizations, many individuals have decided to incorporate religion with the god of politics.

Unfortunately, people have decided to bow down to so many false idols that they don’t realize how displeased God is with them. How is it possible that how country can trade basic love and decency for a few dollars and popularity? How is it Christlike to demean and reject people of all places and spaces? What Jesus did we read about that said love your neighbor only if they did not engage in our view of racial or cultural stereotypes?

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I am commanded not only to read and understand the Word of God but to live out the precepts as well. Therefore, I am commanded to love and be concerned for all humanity. I am also commanded to disrupt the status quo that world will become a better place for those who will come after.

The reality that I see before me are hundreds of people being killed in Chicago, unarmed people being target practice for rogue cops, millions of people suggesting that acquisition of guns should have boundaries, and millions more declaring their allegiance to the isms and schisms that continue to divided the nation.

Please excuse my next few lines, but I am no longer in the mood for people to attempt to whitewash, kum by ya away, or redefine the narrative to present an existence that is foreign and imaginary. AS much as I would love to sing we shall overcome, the truth is that overcoming requires the confrontation with the truth of this life. However, people are not ready to address it and deal with it in an honest setting.

Many people do not want to address that Black Lives Matter or that crime is the vehicle to eliminate entire communities. We don’t want to talk….excuse me, I misspoke. We have done way too much talking without developing strategies for change. I don’t want to hear about what a community needs when no one asks the community. I don’t want to hear about what the church needs to do from people who are unwilling to partner with Christ first then the community of believers.

Have we learn nothing from Jesus? The equation is still the same.

  1. True connection with the nature, presence, and power of God
  2. Walking out the precepts of God’s Word
  3. Be willing to challenge the injustice that is opposed to God’s will

If we continue to live in the realm of apathy, this nation will be completely in hell. Yes, hell is very present now, but think about how much will be unleashed. We need to learn some lessons before we mess everything up.

Lesson 1: Have your own thoughts on a subject. That means actually take the time to look up everything and investigate all information. Don’t be led astray because you are too lazy to look for it.

Lesson 2: Stop waiting for others to step forward when something is wrong. Open your mouth (figuratively or literally) and address the wrong. Don’t stop there. Present a solution.

Lesson 3: Recognize that you are in this time of history for a reason. You are not a waste of space. You have gifts, talents, and skills that are important to the advancement of the Kingdom agenda and world change.

Lesson 4: Your actions are to give a stronger foundation for the next generation. Don’t start the next generation on grounds littered with lies. Don’t tell them what they can’t do. Don’t tell them that their heritage is full of people that lacked competence. Don’t tell them they can’t experience greatness. Tell them what God says about them.

A renewed perspective will generate a new appreciation for what humanity was meant to be in this world. Nobody is an object for target practice. Nobody is a pawn in some political game of chess. Everyone has value. It is time to regain it before it is too late.

 

 

Becoming Who God Destined You to Be…..

Many times in life, all people can be accused of one major issue. We have found methods of getting in our own way. At some level of thought, our goals and aspiration needed an extra push by us to become viable and tangible realities. Unfortunately, our assumptions at some point produced more inconvience than anything. Allow me the space to eloborate on this thought.

Have you ever had a dream? As a matter of fact, have you ever been given a vision for your life? I am reminded of one of my defining personal moments. I was attending Kentucky State University. During my time, I was a part of the Baptist Student Union (I believe the name has changed since my I graduated). Our group was went to a state convention in Louisville. During the sessions, the speakers and worship spoke to my heart in a very profound way. 

One night in my hotel room, I sat at my desk and wrote down a list of goals and dreams that I believed to achieve over the next 10 years. I was not completely sure at the time why this need came over me. However, I decided to list 10 things and place the date on it. I put it in an envelope and made a covenant with myself to carry it with me everywhere until the date that I would open it up and see how far I had come. 

Ten years is a long time. A decade is an extensive period of time. My decade was 3653 days long (3 leap years in the mix). So much happened during that time frame. My mentality changed. My attitude toward people change. My associations were different. Ten years leaves room for growth, development, hope, and even certain levels of doubt and fear. Ten years…..

After ten years, I was completely convinced that my life was not moving in the direction God destined. I mean what didn’t happen. I had a long time relationship that dissolved. I lost two jobs. My personal economics got out of order. Friends left me. Those who I trusted most betrayed my trust. Criticism increased while support decreased. It was a life that was not my ideal. 

The general belief exists that when you live the best you can for God, your life will be honored and blessed. While that is true, most people do not tell you about the small print in that thought. The journey is not guaranteed to be easy. The road you take toward your purpose will not be paved with fresh asphalt. The well traveled road is guaranteed to have potholes, cracks, and faded lines. This road can log the mileage incurred by the successful and diligent. Therefore, it is inevitable to see the wear and tear.

When staring at potholes and cracks, one’s imagination can not conceive the inclination of progress. Usually one is consumed with the hope that he do not break his ankle in the pothole. The number of obstructions and challenges can cause your mind to see what is not there. Your heart can begin to believe that goals will never be achieved. Your mind can begin to conjure up plans to get around the issues before you. 

Well here is the good news. Every challenge and difficulty we face does not deny our future or destiny. Every test prepares to embrace and receive fully the magnitude of God’s promise. No matter how much others may think you are ready to receive the full manifestation of God’s promise, God knows best. No matter how much you feel that you deserve what God has for you, God knows best. 

The journey should be seen as a dream deferred but never denied. Your obstacles may tell you “never”, but you God reminds us that He orders the step of the righteous. Remember Joseph. He knew that God meant for him to be great. He told his family that much. However, Joseph only experienced the magnitude of his promise after tragedy, suffering, and struggle. 

Don’t be discouraged when you have difficulties that you feel are impossible. It all comes with the road you are traveling. When the devil tries to destroy you on this journey, use the potholes as hiding places to pray. Trust God to shine light on the predators that lurk (Psalm 23). Don’t give up. You are closer than you think….