The Mountains of Our Destiny

Mountain Purple - FREETHE MOUNTAINS OF OUR DESTINY

   Today I worked with a student who needed practice on a section of the New York State English Regents exam. In the course of the hour that we sat together, he told me how, while he can identify themes and main ideas in his head, he can’t get them onto the page. The words, “I can’t write” exited his mouth at least six times. Finally, I stopped him.

   “What’s your definition of writing? Grammar, punctuation, spelling?”

   “Yep.”

   “That’s not writing, that’s editing. That’s why they pay me the big bucks. Writing is conveying your ideas about the messages and lessons buried somewhere in a piece of literature. It’s expressing your opinions and backing them with evidence from the text. Can you do that?”

   “I think so.”

   “Good, then you can write. Stop saying you can’t.”

Solomon and the Temple

   As David was handing off the baton to Solomon to take the reins of the kingdom and to build the long-awaited temple, he admonished him, “’Do not fear the work…’”

   “’Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work… is finished correctly’” (I Chron. 28:20).

   I suspect that, once Solomon got a glimpse of the mountains of supplies and blueprints, the words “I can’t” might have slipped off his tongue a time or two. Or two hundred. The size of the chore was massive—the temple would take years to build—and Solomon was flat intimidated. Dad to tell him more than once, “’Be strong, and do the work’” (vs. 10). We should probably take that advice as well. And why?

   Because it’s our assignment.

The Goliath of Tasks

   How many times have we been intimidated by the size of the job the Lord has given us to do? Some days, we look at the Philistine that it is and want to run away in terror. It might be parenting that child. You might feel like my three-year-old did once upon a time after his newborn brother had been home from the hospital about two weeks and he looked at the baby and said, “When are we taking him back?” Or your Goliath might be working in that ministry or maybe it’s your actual job. Or it might be writing that book. I wish I had just one share of Google stock for every time I’ve heard someone say, “I know God wants me to write a book but I can’t write!” (Yes. You. Can. Maybe you can’t edit but you can write.) At any rate, I’d never have to work again.

Our Own Mount Everest

   We all have at least one monumental task that God has called us to do and we look at that mountain in front of us and say, “Not me, not today.” But what did Jesus say about that?

   “’…For truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you’” (Matt. 17:20).

   Turns out Solomon did move that mountain of wood, stone and precious metal and built the very house of God.

   What is God calling you to build? It won’t be the first—or the last—“impossible” task you’re called to do. But that’s just it—you’re called.

   Do not fear the work.

 

The End Game.

Rose Pink

   Somewhere in the history of this great, green earth, someone coined the maxim, “Stop and smell the roses.” I thought that was such an adorable sentiment. Let’s all go find a garden and take a nice, long whiff. After all, we have all the time in the world.

   I was rather missing the point.

   Of course, the saying is a metaphor admonishing us to slow the hamster wheel long enough to relish the “unimportant” things in life, those precious moments which, without warning, poke their heads from mucky oblivion like an unexpected crocus from a cold patch of snow.

   A bit of perfume and color in a damp and murky world.

   But why do we need to be reminded of this?  

This Spinning Rock

   Life is like some great cosmic dynamo of endless motion where nothing ever stops—stars wheeling through the heavens, the earth spinning on its axis, and clouds forming and reforming and forming again. And people. From the time we’re born, we’re continuously moving—squirming, crawling, skipping, climbing, running—in one form or another, always in motion. And why? Because we have a plan. And often that plan doesn’t include slowing, pausing or—heaven forbid—stopping altogether. And that’s because…

   “Time is a precious commodity.”

   “You snooze, you lose.”

   “The early bird gets the worm.” (yuch)

   “There’s no time to lose.”

   “Life is a jungle… the survival of the fittest” and all that.

   And again—why?

   Just—because.

The End Game.

   But what’s the purpose? In the end, what have we accomplished with all of the movement?

   The answer we often get probably goes something like this: We cram to compete for the top grades to win the great scholarship to attain the four+ year degree to snag the high-paying job to buy the nice house. (Insert spouse and kidlets somewhere in here.) Then we’ll get the bigger paycheck to buy the much bigger house with the two-car garage (one car would be lonely) and the annual vacation (requiring a plane trip over water). Not to mention the savings, the college tuition accounts, the IRAs, 401Ks, 403Bs, stocks, bonds, minted-gold bars, and vintage baseball cards. And why?

   So we can retire.

   And when we retire, then we’ll smell the roses—if the market doesn’t crash, the price of gold doesn’t tank, medical bills don’t steal the home equity and the IRA/401/403, and the baseball cards don’t grow moldy.

But What If…?

   No doubt time is a precious commodity, very precious—one much more valuable than gold or money or houses or degrees or retirement accounts. Of course, we do need those things—not saying we don’t. But what if we really used that precious gift of time to give life to our life—and to the lives of others? What could be more valuable than that? We can still buy the house and take the vacation, sure, but those things aren’t ends in themselves. They’re things.

   So—what is the point?

Your Roses

   What are your roses? What are the experiences that bring meaning to your life and to the lives of others?

Jesus wasn’t playing when he said we can’t take our money and stuff with us.

   He mentioned a couple of different parables in which people had died leaving barns full of grain and palaces full of treasure, and what did he say about that?

   “’Store up your treasure in heaven…’”

   So what’s that look like? Invest. Share your talents, gifts, money and resources with others. There is simply no end to how we can share what we have. And the most important of all your resources is your time. Money, talent, time—spend them wisely.

   Invest in people.

   When it’s all been said and done, people will remember what they did in life, the experiences they had, and whom they shared them with rather than what stuff they bought. So—is it someone’s birthday? Instead of another phone accessory, give them a party, take them to a movie, or on a spontaneous day trip. Valentine’s Day? Instead of bringing them chocolate, take them somewhere to choose their own dessert. Can’t afford a present? Offer to help in some way; it will mean the world to both of you. In the end, those are the bonding moments you’ll remember. And that’s the point.

   Stop and smell the ocean breeze.

 

 

 

Colluding With God

Angel - FREE

   I once heard a tale about a very successful businessman who made his company decisions in a very unique way. He would go into a tiny, closet-like room, close the door, ask the Lord what to do—and wait. He wouldn’t come out of that room until he heard the Lord give him very specific directions.

   Did I mention he was very successful?

He Did What?

   There are many different words for what this businessman did: collaborating with God (root word “laboring”) or cooperating with God (root word “operating”), but I like the word “colluding” better. Granted, while the word is sometimes used to suggest that some illegal activity is brewing, I don’t, of course, mean it that way.

Instead, “collusion” has the sense of conspiring in secret to accomplish some great mission that the rest of the world does not yet know about. You know—the stuff of thrillers and spies and secret ops (minus the brandy and cigars).

   The kind of thing that often happens in a prayer closet.

Assignments of Destiny

   Our destinies are like that. A custom-made plan and purpose that only we and God together can concoct to impact the earth in a huge way—much like a meteor, steered by God, collides with the planet, leaving a huge crater in its wake. Only in a good way.

   We, being sons of God, the body of Christ, carrying the resurrection power of the Almighty, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and the hope of glory for the whole world—why shouldn’t we be powers to be reckoned with? Why shouldn’t we be the ones to impact the earth, influence billions of people, and shake the heavens?

   Why shouldn’t we rock the world?

That Secret Place

   I’ve learned the secret of colluding with God the less-than-easy way. (I’ve learned a lot that way.) After many years (decades?) of colluding with myself to “reason” the best move to make or enterprise to undertake in any life or business decision, I’ve come to the conclusion that “doing what makes sense” hasn’t always proved to be the smart thing. In fact, in learning to collude with God, I have to admit that he often comes up with ways of doing things that I never, in a million years, would ever have dreamed up.

   So where is this “secret place”? Not that it’s a secret—but I don’t have one tiny closet that I habitually lock into but rather a couple of special places that are conducive to listening. One is in my living room. Now, that won’t work for everyone but since I don’t have a dozen kidlets running around, it works for me. Directly across from the couch I sit on when in listening mode is another sofa and there are times, I swear, when I’m sitting in silence, listening, and I almost see him sitting there, just across from me. Other times, during my planning period at school (when the planning’s all been done, of course), I’ll turn off the bright lights and just wait, and I can feel the presence of God right there in the classroom. The room vibrates with stillness.

The HARD Wait…

   Have you ever prayed and prayed and prayed about something, sometimes for years and decades—and you just get tired? The thought of seeking heaven even one more time seems comparable to scaling Mount Everest with an ice pick, and the idea that that one more prayer is going to make one iota of difference in the vast recesses of the universe seems about as likely as your cat bringing your slippers.

   I have to confess: I have.

   Prayer and intercession can be draining—in body, soul and spirit. The energy to “keep on” praying in the midst of long waits for answers sometimes vanishes and—let’s be brutally honest— you almost dread having to pray because it’s the same thing, over and over a-gain.

   But what if you didn’t have to pray for the same thing, all the time? What if, when you got into your secret place with God, like the businessman, you and God colluded together to accomplish your destiny, to fulfill the purpose for which you were born? And—here’s the exciting part—to seek those wildly creative ideas that God has for you to fulfill those assignments?

   This past summer when I was working on my novel, I reached a couple of places where I just didn’t know where to go next. I simply couldn’t, on my own, think of the next plot twist that wouldn’t be boring, cliché-ish, or already written by someone else. So, I decided I was going to do something differently. Instead of praying and then assuming that whatever I came up with next would be the big plot revelation sent from God, it occurred to me that, after praying, I should just sit and wait until I heard God tell me what was going to happen next. And I have to say, I waited—for two weeks. But waiting paid off; what he gave me is based on a real-life bit of history that I didn’t even know had ever happened—which meant I couldn’t have dreamed it up if I’d tried. And it was so much better than anything I could have concocted that I can’t wait to get started listening for the next novel he has in mind.

End Game

   Waiting on God for the specific choices, decisions and steps to accomplish our destinies makes their fulfillment so much sweeter for having colluded with God to achieve them. That “colluding” is the true meaning of “co-laboring with Christ”. The fact is, God doesn’t want to do the work for us; he wants to do it with us. And here’s a mind-bender: Doing it that way is as exciting for him as it is for us. When we get with God, we’ll discover that what’s possible is far more than we can even ask or think.

   That’s the power of colluding with God.

The 2020 Revelation: BLESS.

glitter lights grunge background, gold glitter defocused abstract Twinkly Lights Background.

   This year, 2020, is a new year, a new decade, a new opportunity. I’m taking it; I’ve been away from DestinyHighway for a few months to complete my novel—and it is finished!—now onto the whole pitch routine. And back to the blog. So—what better way to get back on the Highway than with the word the Lord is releasing for this year for all of us:

   “BLESS!”

   When you plant a seed, you wouldn’t expect it to grow if you didn’t water it. (I hope.) Nor would you expect a child to grow if he or she were not fed. But what if kidlets are fed only occasionally—would they grow? Maybe. But if they’re fed only cookies and potato chips, maybe not so much. As with any human entity, kids need nutritional foods and they need them pretty regularly. If not, a child won’t grow and thrive.

   The point?

   Our dreams are our babies, and if they’re not fed frequently and with the right stuff, they won’t thrive either. Moreover, they may not even survive. But what do you feed a dream?

The proper diet for any dream, vision or destiny is words—words of blessing.

   The very real tragedy—even in the church—is that we’ve completely ceased to recognize the reality of spoken blessings and consequently, these commands of favor languish, so to speak, in the spiritual realm, gathering dust. However, the Bible tells us that blessings are very, very real.

BLESSING = MULTIPLICATION.

   In the beginning of creation, the very first thing God did after he created plants, fish, birds, animals and people is that he blessed them. He told them, “‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” And lo and behold—it worked! They vastly multiplied after their “own kind”. So, for example, when we bless our finances, they will multiply—and after their own kind. The blessing will result in increased finances and/or provision.

   Fast forward: God called Abraham to travel to the Promised Land and said to him, “‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you’” (Gen. 12:1-3). And that has happened. The people of Israel, throughout thousands of years, have never failed to thrive, despite severe persecution and countless attempts to annihilate them completely. That’s no coincidence. It’s the result of the blessing that God spoke over the nation of Israel before it even existed.

   And then there was Jacob. When he stole his brother’s blessing from their father Isaac, Esau cried out to his father, “‘Is he not rightly named Jacob, for he has supplanted me these two times? He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.’ And he said, ‘Have you not reserved a blessing for me…? Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” So Esau lifted his voice and wept.…” (Gen. 27:36-38). What’s evident in this passage is the fact that the blessing is a very tangible and specific “thing” that brings multiplication to whomever it is given. Isaac, Jacob and Esau all recognized that—which is why Jacob stole the blessing and why Esau grieved when he lost it.

   Finally, on the two recorded occasions that Jesus hosted a picnic for thousands, he first took the few available loaves and fishes and the Bible says that he “blessed them.” And what happened? They multiplied—so much so that after feeding 5000 men plus their families, a dozen baskets of leftovers were gathered.

WORDS WILL CREATE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING.

   What this means for our destinies and of those of our loved ones is that we need to be implementing the very real power of the spoken blessing. Words have creative power and we know this because God created everything with the spoken word. In addition, words are eternal in the spirit realm. (The post “IF” explains this principle in detail.) That means that every word ever spoken over anyone or anything is still alive in the spirit realm and still bearing fruit. If the word was a blessing, then there will be success and multiplication. If the word was a curse, then the fruit is failure and barrenness. Blessing is the will of God to bring about that which is good, which is why Jesus commands us to bless even our enemies.

THE TIME FOR BLESSING IS NOW.

   The fact is that our words have power and it’s time to loose that power through blessing. Bless your dreams, visions, endeavors, and destiny. Bless your families—your spouses, children, parents, relatives, and friends. Bless your businesses, investments, and finances. Bless your health, strength, energy, and peace of mind. Bless the work of your hands and creativity: your writing, music, artwork, schoolwork, employment and certainly your employers because if they prosper, so do you. Bless your church, pastors,  ministries, government, and schools. Blessing your destiny is like watering a plant or feeding a child; it’s not just a “nice” thing to do, it’s a necessity.

   “Bless” is the revelation for 2020. What will you be blessing this year?