We shared great article on How to Connect With Your Own Heart. This week let’s focus on how you can release the freedom that comes with being a King in touch with our own heart. The implication of heart is that we have a plan in place to make our own dream come true, and we understand how it overlaps with the heart of God. The reason most people won’t “plan” is because things go wrong with plans. We don’t know how to recover or make sense of the messes that come with initiative. It’s easier to remain a servant, let God do all the planning, and become a spirit-filled pin ball bouncing off life’s circumstances and God’s guidance with no personal dream. Most servants are comfortable living under rules, and don’t want the responsibility that goes with liberty.
The trading heart laboratory – On the flip side of the coin, I’m a King: 1) I have a plan, 2) I stick to it and, 3) I persevere through opposing circumstances and people. I believe that I can change a negative atmosphere, heal the sick, raise the dead and set the captives free.
Here’s the problem: I’m also a day trader, and I’ve experienced losses as well as victories in both short and long term time frames. Most of life’s decisions show their fruit after months or years. The beauty of trading is that I get to see the flaws in my heart in less than an hour! All my mistakes in trading come from, 1) resisting a trend (because I believe I’m above circumstances), 2) not admitting when I’m wrong (I think I can change circumstances), 3) trusting God to make me well (I expect Him to make endorse my mistakes), and 4) hunkering down when things go wrong, and doubting my identity as a King. Can you see how a plan and perseverance can work against us? Where’s the heart boundary?
As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man. Prov 27:19 NIV
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. Matt 12:35 NIV
Knowing when to fold ‘em – There really are times when circumstances and people are not going to line up behind our plan. Listen to the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples, and how the apostles dealt with adversity. They made mid-course corrections to their plan.
When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Matt 10:23 NIV
And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matt 13:58 NIV
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. Matt 10:14
The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:49-52 NIV
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Acts 18:5-6 NIV
God does do miracles. He even does them through us! But our plan can’t be premised on a steady diet of miracles. We have to be willing to “trade with the trend.” That means taking small losses when not in the flow (instead of large “determined” losses) and changing our course to walk through open doors instead of closed doors.
Spiritual Flexibility – My unwise determination has roots in my concept of God. I used to think of God’s sovereignty in terms of controlling circumstances and the future. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever, and He changes not. I wanted to be that way, too. I don’t want my plans to change! God has the power to harden a Pharaoh’s heart and to calm the seas, but He normally intervenes in response to faith. When His Spirit doesn’t find faith, He moves somewhere else. God is really very flexible, and changes direction all the time – so should we. This is a huge key in the Kingdom… and in business.
“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:5-8 NIV
Flowing – Instead of demanding that the universe line up with our dream, we need to learn to adapt our dream to the reality of adverse circumstances and people. Instead of using our will to try to shape circumstances and people into our image, we need to use our will to redirect our hearts toward open doors without giving up on our dream or becoming disillusioned with our progress. I’m now smart enough to come in out of the rain instead of commanding the weather to obey. Becoming Christ-like is not adopting a powerful spirit of control. It’s finding faith and setting captives free. It starts in our own hearts. I need a plan and an expectation (faith), but I also need to extend the same freedom I have to others who may or may not choose life. Like God, I need to “flow with” those people decisions and circumstantial realities.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov 4:23 NIV
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39 NASU
Examples – we did a conference in Warsaw when about 30 business people got saved (almost 3 years ago). The revelation of our message flowed prophetically like a river, and people ran toward it. I’ve never recovered from the sense of falling in love with Polish people. On the same trip, David arranged a pastors meeting in Ukraine. The exact same message and anointing went over like a lead balloon. I was shocked! At first, I wondered if something was wrong with the dream, or the delivery, or me. In the end, it was nothing more complicated than hearts choosing a “no” – at least for the moment. It wasn’t about me at all.
We had a huge financial setback about a year ago. During our years of overflow, I could feel the authority behind being an example of one who created wealth and lived generously for the Kingdom. When the reality of our loss first sunk in, I got a job and we dug our way out with a few miracles. But in my heart, I spent months wondering if my life and message and purpose had evaporated, if God had abandoned me. Now I can see that loss wasn’t really about me, either. Someone else made a decision that affected me, but my dream and purpose and heart’s desires are still pointed toward Releasing Kings… having fun, making money and loving people, and building the Kingdom. We’ve adjusted and moved on.
Practical Applications – Dreams do come true – that’s how the Kingdom is being built. Dreams come true in spite of market conditions, unemployment rates, recessions, political turmoil, wars, etc. Abraham and Isaac moved to escape a famine, and were blessed in the process. Joseph spent time in prison, yet saved a nation. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before him. There is no example of spirituality in the Bible without adversity…. Yet dreams survive and come true for those who have a combination of perseverance and wise flexibility, who can flow with life and God’s Spirit. Stay true to your heart. Remember who you are and who God is. Your dream can come true. There is an open door with your name on it. God has put a seed in your heart that will produce good fruit. That’s the reality of salvation and the key to liberty… live out of your heart.
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9-10 NIV
Strong businesses and strong Christians have a common foundation. They are always willing to flow… change, recreate, reinvent, and resurrect. Whether its market conditions or the wind of the Spirit, we can adapt and still see our dream come true. That’s what freedom and the “perfect law of liberty” are all about. I’m never the prisoner of other people or circumstances beyond my control. I’m always free to take the next step toward my land. The future is getting brighter and brighter. Opportunities are increasing and other people are resonating with our dream. Jesus’ Kingdom is no longer a grain of mustard seed; it’s growing in every nation… quickly. His Glory is filling the earth; we can see it happening and choose to play our role because He has already chosen us.