Quick wins are important, focusing on urgent projects is necessary, but to accomplish deep things, things of eternal significance, we’ve got to take a long view of things. We’ve all been given the same amount of time, but we can trust God to manage time according to his agenda. When we place all of our energy on the things we can accomplish over the short-term, we miss the value of the long-play.
In this episode we discuss how God is the master of time and we’ve got to be willing to take on things that will take a long time to build. To see transformation, to build an enduring work, and to fulfill our mission, we’ve got to take a long-view.
Listen to the Podcast…
Continue Reading for Episode Notes…
Making the Most of Time and Taking a “Long-Play” Attitude
One of my challenges the past few weeks has been idea overload. There are tons and tons of things floating around in my head and my spirit.
I am the kind of guy that feels urgency to get everything in my head on paper and done as quickly as possible so I can move on to the next thing. I am calibrating time. I am trying to position myself to think in terms of TRUSTING and following the wind and the currents, of acting immediately when it is called for and taking a long-view approach with the things that require a good bit of infrastructure and preparation.
We’ve said many times, we want to get in God’s current and let his current take us where he wills. This is not nearly as passive as it sounds. The events of our lives focus the current. Those things which have “happened to us” (Philippians 1) focus the wind and the currents and the put directional “pressure” upon us.
One essential element to the pursuit and accomplishment of God’s “revelation” is TIME.
- The things that happen over a period of time
- The way things unfold over a period of time
- The way we utilize time
- And even our view and understanding of time.
Here are 5 points we discussed in the podcast
God is the Master of Time
God is the master of time. He directs time to the advantage of His agenda. Once in scripture God caused time to stand still to his advantage (Joshua 10, to give Joshua time to fully subdue the enemy). On another occasion he turned time back a bit, in Isaiah 38 as a sign to King Hezekiah. We only have 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. We all have the same amount of time, but I believe God will administer time differently to his advantage. God can empower us to run swiftly, to make the most of every day, to make the most of every opportunity. This is my prayer for myself and for you, that as we relax into the long-play of the mission, that the time is maximized in our lives to accomplish those thing for which God has intended for us… some things we will finish, some things the next generation will finish.
Persistance: Small Things Done Consistently Yield Great Results
Small things done over a long period of time yield awesome results. We overestimate what we can do in a month or a year, but we underestimate what we can accomplish in 10 or 20 years.
We overestimate what we can do in a month or a year, but we underestimate what we can accomplish in 10 or 20 years.
We Must Take a Long-View
Discipleship and people development is always a long play. Building effective systems and structures is always a long play. We have to start. When I write it is sometimes 2 hours of free writing before I come to the most powerful thoughts. When we start and move forward the current gets more and more focused.
Time Takes Us Through Many Seasons
Outwardly we are wasting away, but inwardly we are being renewed day by day. If the greatest things we can accomplish in this life are spiritually empowered, then if we are renewed inwardly day by day, then our greatest opportunity to glorify God will exponentially increase as we grow older. Keep your eye on that ball!
We Must Speak From Eternity into Time
I express one of my personal core values as “Perpetual.” It reminds me to think with an eternal perspective. We are called to speak from eternity into time (unseen into the seen). Legacy leadership is about laying foundations for things that will be finished by faith. Hebrews 11 tells us that Abraham grasped the promise of becoming the father of nations by faith. He would not see it in his life time, but he embraced the mission by faith. We have to take an eternal view.
What does this have to do with Spiritual Leadership?
- Those of us who are a bit older must encourage those you are younger to patience and long-term execution. Instant gratification does not build the revelation of God.
- I’ve been struggling with (a) needing to move things forward, but having to wait; (b) being moved by the wind of the Spirit, but needing to build a plan and infrastructure for a long-play result; c) going to a new level of surrendering who I am to Christ that he may display himself in me in greater measure than I anticipated.
- I want to encourage MYSELF and other leaders to embrace the revelation of God. The things he is speaking. Sometimes things seem to big to tackle. Sometimes the dream is just too big. I’ve got a lot to say about the temptations we struggle with regarding our desire for the spectacular, for relevance, and for power, but at the same time, the revelation God has placed in YOUR heart has to be bigger than you, it has to be a long-play, you must be continually inwardly renewed to be shaped for the task.
With the forward movement preparation will come.
Calibration Tools… Calibrating our Lives and Lifting Those we Love and Lead
- What’s are you seeing in your Spirit? What is God saying to you? Most likely it is a long-play. Is there something you feel prompted to go for, to build out, but you are hesitant because you don’t know where to start and you need to find a shorter and faster path? Move into the first things now and TRUST that the things that come later will be guided piece by piece in their time and season. Either this is God’s revelation or not, if it is God’s revelation given you, doors will open each step of the way. Like Abraham, you have to have faith that the eventuality will be the fulfillment of God’s heart.
- Stop seeing yourself as the individual on the platform and start seeing yourself as a part of God’s community charged with fulfilling the mission assigned to you. I am coming to the conviction that everything of value accomplished in the kingdom of God is accomplished through community and not individuality. (More on that in a future podcast or book!) Who are the people in your life who will find the fulfillment of the mission of God expressed in them through partnership in this initiative?
- Start thinking about the long play, Your life and leadership does not consist of what you will accomplish in the next year or two — if that is your focus, you must take a longer view. Focus on “right now”, but also simply realize that the foundation for unseen things is being laid day by day, and you will not know the full impact of what you do today for as much as a few decades in the future. Don’t get caught up in this, but just live with the JOYFUL realization that God is directing some incredible things in your life day by day of which you have not yet come to understand.
We decided to get into the current and let God take us where he will. I studied this a bit yesterday and one of the things that creates the currents in the ocean, among other things, is the wind. We want to be moved along by God’s wind in the currents. To go where God wants us to go and to engage in the mission he desires.
Be encouraged to pursue the things God has put in your heart, even sometimes to the disregard of time. God’s ways transcend time, ability, and the limits of our humanity.
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