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Coming up with new thoughts and ideas can be intimidating. It starts with our identity, when we Feel permission from God to collaborate with Him to birth something brand new. It’s a discipline that leads to words, works, destiny… and eventually reinforces our identity in Christ. God usually shows me “what” He is doing in the Kingdom, but He often leaves the choice of whether to be involved and “how” up to me to initiate. He will help me, counsel me, work with me and work through me, but he won’t do it for me. Like the parable of the talents, He passes out assignments, leaves and comes back later to check on how we multiplied while He was gone!
Real spiritual maturity is two things: 1) great reverence to hear the voice of God; an ability to commune with Him in conversation, coupled with 2) a courageous sense of permission to take practical initiatives in the spirit of wisdom… even when they don’t all work! I understand what is in the Father’s heart and volunteer to get involved based on the desires of my own heart… we have a conversation about my initiative… which He welcomes. We collaborate about co-laboring and co-creating. Then, we go do something together. Working with our Father thrills our hearts and causes us to come alive.
Our faithfulness before God flows from our willingness to do something with the guidance and grace He’s invested in our lives. The quickest way to get the dial tone in prayer is to wait for God to tell you what to do. He does reveal His heart and His will, but it’s up to us to translate our calling, book, grace, talents, heart’s desire and opportunity into something specific… Knowing Jesus is both the spirit of revelation with the spirit of wisdom (Eph 1:17). Here are 10 ways to practically activate our own wisdom and initiative.
- Praise, worship and thanksgiving – The fear of the Lord (reverence) is the beginning of wisdom. It all starts when I connect the holiness of my Father with the sacred trust He put in me to be creative and industrious. I’m excited and thankful to be included in His Kingdom.
- Step out of our routine – Wisdom makes intentional room for creativity. Thinking, praying, and fasting all imply “time away” from the norm to focus on the priorities of our heart and His heart.
- Idea and prayer journal – “If it’s not in writing, it’s not yours.” Ideas from our own heart and inputs from the Counselor get blurred when we’re creative. Both come like flashes and we either capture them in writing or lose them.
- Launder your identity – Start with a clean slate. Every past failure, from God’s perspective, is covered, forgiven and forgotten. Success is moving from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm. Sin, guilt, shame and generational baggage are all things Jesus can wash away in the courts of heaven.
- Heart’s desire – “What would you like to do?” is the question even God wants answered. Put it in writing and have the conversation with your Father about how much it overlaps with His heart.
- Exercise your Idea muscle – Creativity is discipline. Exercise your idea muscle to write down your 10 best ways to solve any problem or come up with a new path. Once they are in writing, it’s easy to spot the one that is most likely to succeed. Why write ten? 1) We have to believe an answer exists and it’s our job to find it, and 2) we have an identity as Kings to search out a matter. It’s what we do! (Pro 25:2)
- Initiative – Ideas are not stocked up in heaven waiting for us to hear and obey them. God has given us the ability to create things (just like He does) through ideas that have never been heard of before in heaven or on earth. Heaven is rejoicing with us when they are discovered and expressed. Destinies must be chosen and fought for… from a sincere belief that you want one!
- Resurrection – Faith is not a prescription for a failure free life. When we sign up for the Kingdom we share His sufferings, setbacks and rejections. It hurts and it’s normal. Resurrection is part of every believer’s path… no exceptions. Wisdom is managing risk and planning for the possibility of failure… in advance.
What could go wrong? Most believers think nothing can go wrong if God tells them to do something. If you have chosen to put His Kingdom first, you have also chosen to share both the warfare and the victories.
- Plan – God will not write your business plan for you. It’s always on us to take the initiative to hear the direction and then plan the specifics. Things will always come up and the plan will need to be continually updated, but no plan is no fruit.
Cash flow – No one else is going to pay you to fulfill the call on your life. God designed us to come up with new ideas and graced us with the ability to create wealth. An offering mentality is a poverty mentality for Kings. If our plan doesn’t account for the cost, it’s just a pipe dream.
- Team – Great ideas aren’t just from collaboration with God. All of us need a team. The creative process goes through at least four layers of “other” creative people who are very different from the original owner:
- The originator – my baby that was prophetically inspired
- The advancer – the first people to recognize, organize and network it with other resources
- The refiner – the “engineer” who critiques it with practical wisdom
- The project manager – The guy who makes it happen in the marketplace.
Carrying your initiative through to fruitfulness is worth celebrating. One key is to celebrate along the way. Wisdom can prophetically see the end and we should celebrate it before we get there. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1). We have a Father who is not afraid to say, “Well done!” to His kids. Bringing Him some progress on our dream is the fragrance of worship that all of heaven celebrates.
Podcast #5 with Tyler McCart