When you are going somewhere no one’s ever gone before no one else is going to understand. They cannot wrap their head around it. They will project their fear and uncertainty because they love you, but if they’ve never been where you are going, they are not going to understand and they will not be a comprehensive resource for you. When you are going a unique direction, to a unique place, trying to accomplish a God-dream that is unique to you there are severe limits as to who can advise you. Sometimes… no one but God can guide you. That is a very exciting zone in which to live.

Stop Listening to Everyone and Get on With Your Adventure!

We are on a great adventure. We’ve made a commitment to living a joyful life as ordered by God and it is requiring a lot of hard decisions, life changes, and new directions. This is the great adventure as part two of our lives start to gain some traction. We believe everyone should have a great adventure. Something they are pressing toward. A dream or a vision that’s arisen in their hearts that stirs excitement in them. A point on the horizon they are pressing toward, praying toward, planning toward.

Part two of my life began on January 1, 2014. I had trudged through the depths of grief and felt enough  wholeness to build a new life. The very clear image in my mind was the transition between the first Lord of the Rings movie and the second. The first movie ends with Sam and Frodo parting from the fellowship of the ring and going off on their own toward Mordor. The final scene of the first movie is of Sam and Frodo coming to a peak and surveying the path and looking off in the very far distance at the peak of Mordor. Their mission was clearly defined, difficult but defined. I could see myself in that. In fact, I even got out the DVD disc found the final chapter, and watched that scene.

The gift we’ve received was a very clear definition between part one and part two. For most people it is perhaps a gradual transition. The problem with gradual transitions (the frog in the kettle) is not feeling them or recognizing them because they aren’t radical enough.

Our emerging purpose is encouraging others in pressing beyond the tough stuff and experiencing the joy of living, leading, and loving.

Life is made up of seasons, cycles, and ups and downs. Recognizing your season is critical. We go through seasons of preparation, growth, influence, and impact.

The tilt of the Earth’s axis causes us to experience seasons based upon our orientation to the sun. As the earth travels on the plane of it’s orbit around the sun we gradually transition from spring to summer, summer to autumn, and autumn to winter. Our activities, the way we dress, the way we prepare, how we live our day-to-day lives adjusts according to the seasons.

Our lives constantly adjust according to our orientation and alignment to God, our “time” or the season of our life, and the place of our path.

In the Old Testament a brief mention is made of the sons of Issachar. It is said of Issachar that “they understood the times and they knew what to do.” I’ve always had a fascination with this tribe and envied them, in a way. This tribe had a reputation of being insightful, of having the ability to examine and size up a situation. They had an awareness of their surroundings, of the cultures they encountered, and they seemed to act accordingly. They made wise decisions based upon their understanding of the times they lived in and the variables of circumstances. I don’t want to knock the sons of Issachar because we must walk in an element of understanding our context, but sometimes we live according to what God is saying in SPITE of what we see, in SPITE of conventional wisdom.

Lately, as I’ve thought about my life and the sons of Issachar I’ve felt the direction of God to pay less attention to the times and more attention to the directives I hear from the heart of God. It’s like the difference between navigating by instrument rather than by sight. It takes a LOT of experience to navigate by spirit rather than by sight.

When I listen to the heartbeat of the Father, I’m hearing a different beat. I’m hearing different directives because I’m in a season I’ve never been in before. I’m hearing a directive to follow what I’ve already decided and ignore other inputs.

As one who’s always valued counsel, advice, research, observation, etc., this is a difficult directive. As a leader it is a directive I am cautious of speaking of because I not only value counsel and wisdom from others, but I encourage everyone to listen, observe, and seek wisdom wherever you can find it. So why this season?

When you are going somewhere no one’s ever gone before no one else is going to understand. They cannot wrap their head around it. They will project their fear and uncertainty because they love you, but if they’ve never been where you are going, they are not going to understand and they will not be a comprehensive resource for you. When you are going a unique direction, to a unique place, trying to accomplish a God-dream that is unique to you there are severe limits as to who can advise you. Sometimes… no one but God can guide you. That is a very exciting zone in which to live.

Three Reasons Why I Am in a Season of Limiting Input

#1 I analyze too much and that tendency must die to experience the great adventure. [16:09]

Over analyzing causes paralysis. No matter how much confirmation and surety we have, we seek one more bit of confirming evidence. Even having a multitude of positive encouragers we need the affirmation of one more.

When you are going somewhere you’ve never gone before you have to figure things out as you go. To put this in a spiritual dimension, you have to listen and respond AS you walk forward.

If you are intent on analyzing every detail before you start, you will not start.

#2 I already know what I’m hearing, and it is clear. [17:23]

I’ve been through many seasons of life when I was not hearing and I needed to depend upon sight, counsel, and much advice and processing. In this season we’ve come to a point of “scary clarity.”

Once you have the assurance, and it takes a good bit of insight to know when you have it, you must anchor in what you know. There comes a point where you not only stop seeking discouraging counsel, but you block it. This is dangerous because if in ignorance and inexperience you block counsel you could have a train wreck. This season only comes when you have a God-given assurance built through much maturity and following.

#3 I don’t want to pollute my path. I want to live life precisely according to what I hear. [21:02]

God’s ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55.9) — or anyone else’s for that matter. I want to follow God’s great adventure directives as closely and as purely as I can. We will be careful to not mix some good ideas with the God ideas.

We have a tendency to insure everything. We buy house insurance for when our house burns down, title insurance for when someone else says our house is theirs, car insurance for when we have an accident, health insurance for when we get sick, long-term care insurance for when we need it, etc. We want life to be secure. We want the surprises covered. We want risks eliminated or at least mitigated.

Our God journey is full of risks. Our only assurance (rather than insurance) is trust. We try to mitigate the risks through more advice, better ideas, sure things. We pollute God’s path with a lot of “outside” advice and ideas because we want to insure against failure.

We’ve come to a place in life where we want God’s results, whatever they are. To get God’s results we need to follow His path, and His path alone.

Three Things that Make the Season of Limiting Input Possible. [25:57]

We are in a season of ignoring outside input for the reasons stated. This is a unique season for us. I do not know what the next season is, but in this season God is telling us and teaching us to listen and trust. Everyone’s not in this season. This is not the only season. It is our season. What are the things that make this season possible for us?

#1 This is an advanced season. [26:31]

After listening and following for over 40 years, the cumulative wisdom, knowledge, experience, and relationship opens this door of opportunity to live the great adventure. It doesn’t have to take 40 years, in fact, there aren’t fixed timelines, it is a matter of heart and relationship.

A mature sense of knowing is necessary. Filters to sift, ears to hear, eyes to see, and a discernment cultivated through much listening is necessary.

#2 This is a prophetic exercise. [27:19]

The prophetic (the ability to hear and discern God’s revelation) needs constant anchoring. I am at a place in life where I USUALLY know the difference between what I’m struggling with and what I KNOW.

Hebrews 4.12 tells us that the Word of God is sharp, like a double-edged sword, to penetrate and to separate soul and spirit. The Word of God brings a revelation to us that clearly separates the desires and directions of my soul (or of this present world) and the desires and direction of the spirit.

When my spirit is sure, I move forward. When my path is crafted by my soul, I need more input.

#3 Brokenness. [29:03]

Having no agenda makes it easier to hear God’s agenda. This is why surrender is so essential. Until I lay down one agenda I cannot take up another. Brokenness strips us of our agenda and gives us the opportunity to discover God’s agenda.

We received the gift of being stripped of our lives as they were planned. Stripped. When all of your plans evaporate into vapor it is God’s gift to you because then, and only then can you take up God’s plan without conflict and distraction.

This is why we’ve come to this place of limiting input so as to not distract us or detract from God’s path. Usually, for sincere leaders, There is a gradual transition from what you are doing to what God is doing. I is a perfecting. Life and work advance, but as they are advancing they are also transforming into what they will be.

Calibration Tools… Calibrating Our Lives and Lifting Those we Love and Lead [31:10]

  1. Reorient your clarity defaults. When you need clarity what do you do? Do you buy and read books? Do you seek our counselors? Do you “Google”? Do you buy a course? Reorient your default to listening to the heartbeat of God. Without time constraints, clear your spirit and sit in the Presence of God and listen to first gain clarity of his heart.
  2. Make your agenda vulnerable. Have a willingness to let go of your agenda. Be willing to let go of that dream or plan you’ve been working on for decades. If it is God’s agenda it will emerge from the ashes with a new power.
  3. Are you taking a God-idea and mixing good ideas in with it to mitigate risk? Are you trying to help God craft a better plan? Take a path you are working through right now. Sit down and separate the things you know to be God directives and the things you’ve added that seem like good ideas. Then put the good ideas before God with the willingness to embrace or release the good ideas in favor of the God-ideas.

Finally… [36:58]

We are not so radical as to suggest we should listen to no one, take no advice, or ignore godly counsel. What we are saying is, when you know the path God has established for your life and you’ve come to a certainty of the divine strategy, all things taken into consideration, anchor in it. Be tenacious in pursuing the singular path of God. I do not seek to be a son of Issachar who can look at the times and discern what to do. I want to be a son of God who looks at the heart of God and discerns what I ought to do.

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