Sons go through stuff, It’s normal. If something goes wrong, we assume we’re wrong somehow and experience “shame.” Deaths and resurrections are normal pathways for God to reveal His glory in His sons. Not pleasant, but afflictions will lead you to your purpose if you let them/Him. Jesus “endured” the cross for the joy set before him and despised the shame of it all. Purpose is what pulls us through disease, discouragement, and difficulty.
The term hero’s Journey comes from Joseph Campbell. He spent his life connecting story plots in myths, religions, plays, books, and art and came up with an outline of the “Hero’s Journey.” It’s a secular compilation and there are short versions of his findings in a video and article. Modern movies still follow this basic outline because it resonates with hearts and sells tickets – It’s the journey that God takes us through to make us heroes. And that’s exactly why the tickets sell; the Holy Spirit is tapping our shoulder all through the movie saying, “This is you, you are human and heroic. You are part of a much higher purpose.”
The Hero’s Journey is the remarkable story of the same adventure that believers go through in death and resurrection on the way to great victories. The problem is that we don’t have a theology or a desire to go through death and resurrection. The lie that we’ve all been exposed to is that if you follow God and his leadership principles, nothing will ever go wrong, and you’ll be a success – it’s the American way. Prominent speakers on leadership topics minister out of this lie; “if you follow me, and do all these things the way I do, you’ll be successful, and nothing will ever go wrong.
It’s not totally true; going through life’s adventure with peaks and valleys with deaths and resurrections is a normal part of where God leads us. I want to give us a practical theology for this Journey. I was just praying for a brother last night. He’s from a nation where culturally, they don’t share with other people when things go wrong. It was remarkable because he was really discouraged and depressed. So, we went to the courts of heaven. The Lord gave him this a picture. When he went to bed that night, the Holy Spirit was going to lay on him (like Elijah laid on the little boy) and breathe on him during the night and pull him back into his purpose and resurrect him and restore him. We don’t have a theology for going through things like that. And we don’t always have the emotional strength to survive the shame that goes with it.
Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before him and despised the shame. Shame is one of the normal earmarks of going through a trial. There is hope; those trials have a purpose and the plot leads us toward our dream, even when we’re not sure exactly what that is (Our Father knows what He wrote in our hearts).
Heb 12:2 – who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame KJV
Heb 12:5-13 (Pro 3:11-12) – “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship (Patient in Tribulation) as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what Son is not disciplined by his Father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness (equity of character or act = Future purpose, not just cleansed past) and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. NIV
Discipline from heaven is not pleasant when we’re going through it. It’s painful. This passage goes into this parenthetic statement that everyone undergoes discipline in verse 8. We all go through these trials.
We’re going to start another heart plan course on September 4th (www.OnlineHeartPlan.com). I realized that we need a dynamic to recognize the stage people are at their own Hero’s Journey and when they’re going through the shame of setbacks, trials, or temptations (discipline). That’s just as important as knowing what’s in their book and where they’re going, but those two go together. So the goal is twofold: 1) help people understand their purpose and allow that to pull them through difficulties, and 2) understand when they are going through problems because nobody’s excited about their calling, or their election, or their purpose when they’re going through a trial and resurrecting from death.
Righteousness is purpose -The painful difficulties we all go through produce a harvest of righteousness. We think of righteousness as being cleansed from our past. It means “equity in character or act.” In other words, your purpose gets clarified in trials. You get on the same page with God, and that’s the purpose of trial. So this hero’s Journey we all go through is first the warfare, coming close to death, and needing a resurrection. That’s The personal experience. But then there’s a second level of warfare where we realize the warfare’s not about us. The definition of a hero is someone who rescues someone else. So, the trials we go through help sharpen our purpose, but the net effect is that those trials are not really about us. Lately, we’ve been praying people who unknowingly carry some of the heaviness over their nation. It is oppressive and wearisome, but it can be broken the in the courts of heaven.
Dan. 7:25-26 – ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 ‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, 27 Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’ NASU
Role of the Council – The Lord is taking us through some difficulty that causes us to be shamed and introspective. But when we understand the purpose behind it, He is clarifying our calling and deepening our character. He’s positioning us to be the hero for other people. The Lord will show that strategy in advance if you seek Him (Council).
So I just want to encourage you not to allow the shame of your trial to discourage you. Jesus, who for the joy set before him endured the cross and despised the shame. And that’s the specific strategy that you can take into those seasons. Go to the council and, and allow the Lord to show you what’s in your book and what the purpose is for the season that you’re going through. That’s exactly what the Online Heart Plan does for people.
Here’s an example of the council of heaven. Jesus, on the Mount of Transfiguration, had that little episode with Elijah and Moses; it’s a picture of the council. Jesus got a visit from Moses and Elijah. Remember the story of Moses? He struck the rock when he was supposed to speak to the rock and give Israel water. He hit it with his rod three times, and God told him you’re not going into the new land over this. Moses when to heaven as a hero. He showed up on the Mount of transfiguration just to prove it, but he made a mistake. So did Elijah, Elijah hid his cave a couple of times in fear over Jezebel. And the Lord said, come on, let’s get going. And Elijah just said, no, I’m done. And the Lord said, okay, and replaced him with Elisha and took him home. These two people had a story for Jesus; how he could endure the cross for the joy set before him. They were reminding him of how it would be worth it to go through this and not make the mistakes that they did.
And I want to suggest for you and me, the Lord is speaking to us for several years about sons and in this passage (Heb. 12:5-13), sons get mentioned five times in those few verses. So if you’re going to be a son and ascend to heaven, a son that all creation has been waiting for, “Guess What?’ You’re going to go through valleys. You’re going to go through difficulties. And it’s part of how God reveals his glory in you, and also in this heroic effect that you have on other people. That’s the nature of what trials are all about.
I want to encourage you if you’re going through a difficulty, despise the shame of it, see the glory that’s being revealed in it, and go to the council and get the strategy for what the Father wants to do through it. Because you are hardwired to be a hero, and God has designed this whole discipline process for your good, and it will produce something that will bless others. It will deepen you, and somehow, God will resurrect it and multiply his favor on your life.
Father in the name of Jesus, I’m releasing “patience in tribulation,” the endurance and the ability to survive afflictions and trials and difficulties and rejection by other people. Father, all those things that happened to us, that we have no explanation for, we’re laying them at your altar. You don’t cause them, but you do lead us through the wilderness.
Father, let our purpose pull us through disease and difficulties and trials and afflictions. Show each of your Son’s purpose and destiny and calling and election. They are chosen for your favor in the mighty name of Jesus. We don’t have to be perfect, but we do have to finish. So, Father, I release your sons into their destiny. Father, we choose to be a covenant people who will lay our lives down for your purpose (and pick them up again). We will walk in resurrection power and build your Kingdom by the grace you have empowered us with.
John 10:17-18 – 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. This command I received from my Father. NIV
Rev 12:11 – And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. KJV
PS: Our nation is going through shame right now. Father, you are birthing something through these temporary trials. We release your resurrection power over the USA. In a few months, glory is going to be revealed over the United States. And we’re going to come through this trial with flying colors. We lift up President Trump. We lift up this nation, and Father, even though we’re going through a difficult season yet, great breakthrough is happening at the same time. Your kingdom is being established. The book of a nation is being opened. And Father, we welcome that in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
John’s Story – The Lord has taken me through quite a number of new beginnings, with new challenges and fears to overcome. They do feel the same in some regards. The fears get easier to overcome.
One of the biggest revelations is that God does lead us into things that don’t always work. I used to resist that at a very deep level. Now I can follow Him. I’ve realized the Kingdom is much bigger than delays associated with my personal success. I count success that others have as my own, and part of my measure of success is what happens to my nation. I’ve also accepted “hero” as part of my identity because there really are people whom I’m called to set free and they love me for it! And I love them back; it’s fun!
I had a deep experience with resurrection that turned out to be the birthplace of many new things. At the time, in 2012, I really did think I wasn’t going to survive; felt abandoned, blamed God – very confusing period. My attitude toward that experience is now one of thankfulness instead of the resentment I carried at the time. Death and resurrection are now a healthy part of my theology. This was the verse that saved me.
John 12:24-26 – I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be NIV
I came close to financial bankruptcy and physical death and I realized that I don’t personally have to survive for the Kingdom, or other people to be successful (I can still cheer them on without being jealous or resentful). Something broke in me that took self-promotion and self-preservation off the pedestal. We’re all one team!
Rev 12:11 – They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. NIV
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Cutting room floor:
Lie – if you follow God; his leadership principles, nothing will ever go wrong & you’ll be a success! If something does go wrong, assume something is wrong with you (shame)
- No theology for valleys (the joy set before us in the council = Purpose)
- Purpose is what pulls us through disease, discouragement, and difficulty.
- No emotion strength for the shame (despise it)… feel like an outcast
- Hope – Glory is revealed through trials – our purpose gets adjusted
Rom 8:28-30 – 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 (showbread). 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. NIV
Righteousness is shared purpose – Jesus instructed us to put the Kingdom and His righteousness first (Mt. 6:33). We usually think in terms of being good boys and girls and being forgiven; just-as-though-I-never sinned. Righteousness (G1342, dikaiosune) means equity of character or act. It conveys that Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords and I’m a king and a lord with a shared Father (Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters, Heb. 2:11). We have a common purpose, and the authority to do nearly anything (in Jesus’ name) within the bounds of the Father’s purpose and my metron. I can see what the Father is doing and do the same, just like Jesus.
Heb 12:2 – who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame KJV
Saw in council what was coming (Moses and Elijah)
- Council – see the strategy (things to come), ask and know why
- hiding, shamed, running from God and friends
2 Tim 1:12 – That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. NIV
Rom 5:2-4 – And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. NIV
James 1:2-6 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 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. NIV
1 Peter 1:6-7 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire NIV
1 Peter 4:12-14 – Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. NIV
2 Cor 12:9-10 – he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. NIV
Rom 8:18-21 – I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. NIV
Rom 12:11-13 – not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. NKJV
Zechariah 13:9 – And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God.
Isaiah 48:10 – Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
Malachi 3:1-18 – Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
1 Peter 5:10 – But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].
Job 23:10 – But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Proverbs 17:3 – The fining pot [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
Psalms 66:10-12 – For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
1 Peter 1:6 – Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
Psalms 66:10 – For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Prov 3:11-12 – My Son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the Lord disciplines (reproof) those he loves, as a father the Son he delights in. NIV
Heb 12:5-6 – “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” NKJV
- Chastens (paideuo G3811) – to train up a child, educate, or by implication discipline
- Scourges (mastigoo G3146) – to flog (literally or figuratively)