August 29, 2010
Why ask questions? – Last week (Afformations – Finding Your “Because”) we talked about setting goals and affirmations in the context of a question. This week the Lord reminded me of a season in our church when we emphasized “listening prayer.” A real relationship with God is all about conversation. Sometimes the Lord will initiate a conversation. We’re glad when He does, and we call it revelation. People who are more intimate with the Lord start the conversations themselves by asking questions. Then they simply listen for answers. We can do it, too!
One of the counselors in our church arranged a conference on Listening Prayer in a season when I was considering planting another church (in a prior life!). I think she was concerned that I might make the wrong decision. Anyway, I ended up with a personal counseling appointment where we simply asked questions about that decision, and he waited for me to articulate what the Lord was saying. Once we asked the Lord a question, I would simply wait until I had a sense or a thought and share it. As I recall, he even made me think up the questions – I felt totally on the “hot seat.” If I told him something that didn’t fly, he would politely say, “I don’t think that was the Lord; let’s listen again.” That went on for an hour and, when we were done we both had the sense about how the Lord felt about the decision, and I planted the second church. His name was Dave Olsen and he wrote a book entitled Listening Prayer. Afformations are really just relevant questions that allow our minds to search for wisdom and our hearts to hear from God.
Learning to ask – Kids ask many questions. Do you think God encourages that kind of dialogue? …and answers the questions? I’ve adopted questions as a formal part of my goals and prayer devotions.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17
More than conquerors – God’s intention is that our lives be purposeful and successful. I’m naturally interested in His perspective on how I can get there. It’s often a paradox: “How can I be successful?” The answer is, “by making other people successful.” What would make all the things on my prayer list start to flow toward me? Listen to the answer.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33 NIV
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. John 5:19-20 NIV
When we minister to people, we’re always sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is doing and we usually just flow with that sense of direction and get great results.
In the business realm – As Kings in business, the Lord will show us what to do occasionally, but more often, He wants us to make the decisions using wisdom. Kingly questions have a bias for wisdom instead of just revelation – subtle, but important. Kings prayerfully engage their minds, mentors, networks and education to find that wisdom.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NIV
Many of us get stuck when God won’t tell us exactly what to do in our own mountain and we won’t give our hearts permission to make decisions, take initiative, or become creative. There are two specific things you can do to release your heart or spirit into its full potential and gain that permission: 1) reconciling your past, and 2) getting the answer to the “why questions” and man’s biggest question, “Why am I here?”
Be reconciled – We all have opinions about our past, present and future. If those opinions are positive, we’ll be happy and we’ll release our hearts. If we feel negatively about our past, present or future, we’ll naturally hold our hearts back, live our lives unfulfilled and carry unforgiveness.
Most of us have plenty of negative events in our past that ripple through our present and future. How can we possibly be positive about those disasters?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28-29 NIV
Asking the right questions – Living the Christian life is never utopia. Bad things do happen, and plenty goes wrong. God doesn’t cause them but, if we allow Him, He will resurrect every bad situation into something good. “All things” can work for good. If we can review our past and see the good things God has resurrected from bad situations, we can be happy and forgive the people involved.
Here’s some great questions you can ask the Lord, “How did you work good in my life through ________? How did you resurrect that situation? Why am I able to build my life on the ashes of that setback?”
If you don’t know the answer, then you’re still hurting and your future is in jeopardy. If the slate is clean and you have an answer for your disasters, you will be free to release your heart, ask for the desires of your heart, and see your dreams come true.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matt 6:14-15 NIV
Why am I here? – We were designed to dream and spend our lives creatively making those dreams come true. Be like a child, get out your pen and start asking the questions. Our hearts need to know the answer to all the “whys” associated with the things we do, both generally and specifically.
Why am I able to connect my life’s purpose with God’s larger plan?
Why is my life’s purpose becoming clear?
What are you doing, Lord, that I could be involved in? Why am I able to connect my life with what the Father is doing in the Kingdom?
What do I enjoy doing most?
If money were no object, what would I like to do most?
PSS: You may also enjoy the video version of this newsletter.
John and Sue
Newsletter – If your newsletter comes incomplete (filtered), you can always catch the latest version in our archive along with nearly 200 others. 1400 people from around the world get Kingly encouragement from our weekly newsletter. Invite a friend to subscribe – they will be blessed.
How to Start a Small Group – Kings are increasingly getting involved in Bible study or mentoring groups to facilitate their “Release.” Here are some helpful suggestions www.Releasing-Kings.com/Starting-a-Group.html. We’ve also updated our Vision Brochure with graphics show how to become a King and how your can help Release Kings.
French Translation – Releasing Kings is now available in French thanks to the efforts of Cees Bakker and Support Ministries in the Netherlands. In France, copies can be obtained from Editions Menor or Librairie Chretienne CLC. The Title in French is “Libération des Rois pour le ministère dans le monde du travail”. Cees is also the guy who made the Dutch translation possible – available through his website. He can be contacted for Releasing Kings conferences in France and throughout Europe.
Facebook – I’m starting to post more information on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/john.garfield1
PS: I want to recommend some follow-up reading.
Who is God by Harold Eberle provides the best explanation of the open view of God. It’s must reading that connects our perception of God with everyday life.
Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace takes that foundation into marketplace ministry and the entrepreneurial nature of Kings. Fruit in the marketplace naturally springs out of sound doctrine.
Desire to Destiny – Takes the foundation and marketplace ministry and puts them in the context of seven practical keys or stages of growth you can apply in your own life.
You’re invited into the vision to release Kings; communicate the message, make the money, and do the mission.
1.The Message – Our first goal is to get the Releasing Kings message into the hands of the messengers that will carry it… do it, preach it, teach it, example it.
2.The Money – The second goal is to help Kings break out of poverty by networking them with practical opportunities to prosper. We want to introduce them to the right people, the right opportunity, and the right financial approach.
3.The Mission – Network Kings with opportunities to mix business and missions. Accomplish the great commission through the marketplace and occupy the Seven mountains of: business, media, arts & entertainment, education, family and government in addition to the church. See video #1 and video #2
You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace or Desire to Destiny at