There is a place in our walk with Jesus where we are carried by the winds of the Kingdom and all we have to do is put up our sails.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV
Brokenness – When we first get saved we all have a contest of wills with God. He always wins! We learn to take up our cross and lose our lives in order to find them. In simpler terms, the stuff we would normally desire and do before we were saved doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that God might have a better way. So we all reach a place of surrender and just ask him to allow us to do things His Way.
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matt 10:37-39 NIV
Heart – Brokenness is a stage of spiritual maturity that we grow through. We lay down our lives in brokenness and pick them up again in resurrection (Jn 10:17-18). God writes His purposes on our hearts and we eventually learn that we can find His will right inside the desires of our own heart – Eureka! He didn’t die on the cross to kill us, too. He came that we might have life, and life more abundantly. Living out of the desires of your heart is how the Kingdom works, and it’s at the foundation of God’s redemptive plan.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. John 10:17-18 NIV
…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Ps 103:5 NIV
Stuck in the middle – Although this maturing process has been in the Bible for 1000’s of years, it’s still new to most of the western church. If we preach brokenness to mature believers all their lives, they try to live in sacrifice and offering, and eventually wither and shipwreck. In fact, it’s even worse. The logical destination of a person who lives his entire life trying to hate his life, and live in sacrifice, is religious death. Parts of the evangelical community really believe that “we must hate our life in this world to stay saved.” Do you think those people love themselves?… or anyone else? Nope. That’s why unbelievers tell stuffy Christians to “get a life.” Even they can smell the taint of death in religion. Christians who function outside of their hearts are “dysfunctional.” Even unbelievers can see it!
Free at last – If our concept of fulfilling the will of God comes from outside us, it’s just a rule. It takes us out of our heart and shifts us into the realm of mental religion. It’s painful to watch and painful to walk! But, when we operate out of a sanctified heart, we realize that we are naturally aligned with what God is doing in the Kingdom. When we are connected with our hearts, we become ourselves… more healthy, motivated, prosperous and loving. We actually are positioned to help others connect with their hearts, and our emphasis isn’t on unity around the same set of religious rules; it’s built around the diversity of each pursuing the desires God wrote on our hearts to build the Kingdom.
The “will of God” is then understood this way: God has a plan to build the Kingdom, and He’s working on it right now to fill the earth with His Glory. We are being invited to choose to be involved… not just in one scripted, predestined way. We each have a number of options or choices within the bounds of our gifts and callings. God is waiting for us to volunteer. This test is “multiple choice,” and there is more than one right answer. God is blessed by our dreams, initiative, creativity, and industry. Maturity is not defined by obedience and sacrifice. Jesus made the last sacrifice out of obedience so we could live in a relationship! Immanuel…. Jesus in our hearts vs. rules in our heads.
First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:8-10 NIV
Goals – The practical ramification is that we are still created in Christ to do good works (Eph 2:10). Understanding your purpose in this life with enough specifics to play a role in the Kingdom is very rewarding and fun, even if it’s a bit challenging.
We should have goals that represent the specifics of our voluntary work in the Kingdom. Those goals should flow right out of our heart’s desires, and be rewarding and fun. Here are a few of the trademarks of Kingdom goals for Kings who have graduated from the servant mentality.
Enjoy the ride – We should enjoy the ride, and our goals, work, job, ministry or business should connect us with our hearts. Instead of sacrifice and obedience, our work and ministry should flow out of the desires of our hearts – the ones God wrote there. (Heb 8:10, 10:16)
Express your heart now – Instead of goals being lofty mandates for the future that postpone the desires of our hearts, we should enjoy the process of reaching them, and connect with the desires of our hearts on the way, right now. The journey should be rewarding (fun) even if it’s hard and challenging. Joseph interpreted dreams and Paul wrote epistles while they were in prison!
Live in the present – Goals that focus more on results than the process of getting there, cause us to live in the future and disconnect us from our hearts. Instead, we connect with our hearts now, enjoy the process, and live in the present while we see, anticipate, and contend for the future.
Be Happy – I’m part of a much bigger team and I’m so content with the present process of working in the Kingdom toward a goal that I could fail to reach the goal and know that others will add what is missing. Kingdom goals are quite often bigger than one lifetime. Releasing Kings is the next reformation! It could easily take longer than our life span. We need sons and daughters to carry on in this path. It’s our joy to involve them and pass the baton.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Heb 11:39-40 NIV
Be Flexible – End states change. I define my goals both in terms of the process to reach them and the end state desired. I enjoy the process – the journey. If the end state changes a little bit or the schedule is delayed, I don’t get frustrated and my life is not wasted. I’m still a success because I made progress toward God’s Kingdom agenda. Someone else can finish, or God can adjust the direction. I’m responsible for having a plan. I give God the right to guide my steps. We’re working together on our mutual heart’s desire for the Kingdom. It’s not all pre-scripted. It’s not even neat and tidy. It’s life – messy and full of changes and adjustments.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Prov 16:9 NIV
I’m a success now – If I can engage my heart now in the process of reaching my larger goal, I’ll see results as I go that are very gratifying. If all my goals are end states, even if I reach one, I’ll just set a new one and I’ll never be happy on the way.
Bottom line – The goal of goal-setting is engaging our hearts in a process that yields progress and results every day. There are times when we have to surrender the end state, learn to trust the process, and let go of the outcome. When we do, we get more results than if we just tried harder. The Zen of Christianity is that when we surrender the goal, connect with our hearts and enjoy the process… we reach the goal. When we operate out of the passion of our hearts, success will present itself. It’s in God’s heart to make our names great (Gen 12:2-3), let His glory and splendor rest on His people (Isa 61:3), and build His Kingdom through us. It’s a huge privilege… feeling the wind of God in our sails.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isa 61:3 NIV
…your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow… Matt 6:32-34 NIV