The Watering Hole is a virtual stopping space in the midst of our crazy, hectic, and wildly beautiful week to week lives, to breathe deep and take a drink at the well of the Lord.
Here’s today’s drink:
Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
We are continuing to unpack Rob Tanner’s message on pruning. This verse Rob also gave to us, as a reminder, that we can know what the Lord is up to in our lives. He wants us to know, to see, and join Him in the new things He is doing in our individual lives but also in our church. Rob asked this question, “how many of you have a new years resolution?” I was shocked to see that in both services it was nearly 90% of the people didn’t raise their hands. What does that mean? Have we given up and resolved to drift or go with the flow instead. There is a great verse in Proverbs that says “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Meaning that when we have no goal in mind, no destination per say, we slowly just fade, whither up and die. Maybe the reason we are no longer making goals or things to reach for is that we are so overextended and overloaded in our lives that there is no room for anything new. This is a sad state to be in because our God is into doing a new thing!
The question of the day: Are you ready to prune and make room for what God has for you?
I am, I am ready! But I like change. Well, most change. It doesn’t bother me to let go of what’s not working. It doesn’t faze me much to get rid of what is no longer useful in my life. It is however never easy to walk away from people but it is sometimes necessary. Maybe change scares you and it feels a little too out of control. Remember: God has you in His hand and nothing can remove you.
Now, let’s look back at what Rob gave us. He told us that we need to Semper Gumby meaning Always Flexible. I think God gave us our emotions and our faculties of thought to help us be aware and ready when change is needed. These things alert us to when we are strung out, over it, done, overloaded, extended, and stressed. They also can help us do something about it. Too often we use our emotions and thought life to reinforce why we don’t have to change and everyone else should.
3 things we must do to stay flexible and ready for what God has for us:
- Cut: You might be thinking, “But what will people think?” People aren’t living your life, you are! You will never get to where God wants to take you if you try to carry everything and everyone into your future. We even have to take the time to look at our thoughts. Some old ways of thinking just don’t work anymore. They have got to go! We can’t give our attention to 25 different directions. We must simplify! Focusing on 5 is much more effective. The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on what has gone on in our lives and make some prayerfully tough decisions. Ask yourself a few questions like “where have I been dreading things?” or “where do I feel tired of it and just over it?” or “Where have I sensed a need for transition or change?” Then start an action plan. I had been feeling like this in a few areas in my house. They are just overstuffed and bloated. My action plan and Goal #1 for 2018: Get rid of 25% of the stuff I have in my house. It’s a slow process, as I decide what I love and what just doesn’t make sense in my life anymore, but I am feeling more aligned with my self. PS. Purging feels great!
- Stop: Have you ever felt that every time you try to help certain people, the situation doesn’t seem to get better? It feels as if you keep waking up to the same thing when they come asking for help? Perhaps, it is time to evaluate “the way” that you are helping people? Are you enabling their situation? Are you using “God talk” as your reason for inaction? God talk is that spiritual gibber jabber that we use that sounds like this, “oh, I got to just love them with the love of the Lord.” We use this excuse when what is actually needed is a “grace and truth” reality check moment. Again, passive but still enabling! We have to stop doing what is choking the life out of us. My action plan and Goal #2 for 2018: Get rid of debt. My husband and I had this enabling relationship with a credit card company. We pay over the minimum due every month but they charge monthly fees that were eating our principal. So, we rolled over to a 0% APR for 21 months with no fees. Problem solved! Remember: Doing nothing is doing something, and it’s not helping! Now we can actively get rid of our debt.
- Look: Where? Forward! As my rear view mirror sign says “Don’t look back! You are not going that way.” God has new things for us, and new is always forward. We can’t wait until we have it all figured out, otherwise, we will never go anywhere. Fear of Failure is not an option. I believe that failure is an option! Why? Because we learn so much when we do. I have this picture in my mind when I screw up. It is a Rubik cube. If I don’t do something well or it doesn’t turn out how I like, I start turning the sides of the cube and try again. We have to move with faith. Faith is the evidence of unseen things. We have to move into the unknown, out of our comfort zone, and off the proverbial cliff into the great unknown of God’s destiny for our lives. Get out of our me, myself, and I focused lives and on what will reach people. My action plan and Goal #3 for 2018: Give leading leaders more opportunity to speak. Forward is I am not always going to be the leader of the HYC youth group. I could hoard up the time and speak teens ears off but that doesn’t train others or give proper care to the kingdom. So, I took my boat and let others practice sailing.
Pruning is the only way to grow as Rob told us. He used rose bushes as his example. You have to cut back for growth to occur. You have to stop the diseased parts from taking over the whole bush. You have to look forward to the beautiful bush it will be and get in there and do the hard work. Now: Go!
Leave a comment: How will you line up your goals with these 3 ways to be flexible?
Thanks for Listening,