Controversy and What The Church Does Next

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*Disclaimer: I approach this post with great love, thought, prayer and under the accountability of II Corinthians 5:14: “Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us.” p.s. It’s a longer post than normal. But I ask you to read every word.

There’s been a lot going on in Christendom lately, what with the election and differing stances and views by the body of Christ and all. The truth is, the Church has always had differing opinions on things and controversies because of it. I’m not sure why we are reacting now as if it were scary and new.

I think sometimes in our effort to use the Acts early church as a model (with good reason) we mistakenly begin to think it was perfect. Stephen, a “man full of God’s grace and power” enters the scene in Scripture in Acts 6 when the early church is experiencing growing pains and controversy of its own. Lest we think the early church was perfect, we need only remember that it was made up of people. And as we know, people will ruin a perfect thing, every single time.

The body of Christ has been a hot mess with a Savior and a cause since the beginning. Until we meet Jesus, we will hold a Bible in one hand and a flesh desire in the other. It’s the human plight.

But before we settle into this idea that the realities of our flesh keeps us from growth, let’s remember that sanctification – the long obedience work of becoming like Jesus – is to be our beautiful pursuit. Until we stop breathing, may we never rest in a less than Jesus wants us to be position.

Listen. I don’t want us to be scared. I don’t want us to be angry. There is truly no need. No matter how it looks right now, this is a time of recalibration, not fear. These tough times are forcing the Christians to live the Bible we’ve read many times, back up all our many preached words. It’s time and it is good. Hollow spiritual lives won’t point people to the Savior of the world, which by the way, remains the reason we are all here.

Controversy brings out the real stuff. Social media can trigger us. But it can only push out what is already there.

If we are fearful, if we have unresolved baggage, if we are Christian in name only but the depth isn’t there, in controversy it will all come out. (Perhaps the knowledge of this is the root of much of the fear.)

And in the same way, if we are full of the good real stuff – the Holy Spirit completely controlling our life – we will be able to not only maneuver controversial waters but respond to those who differ from us in such a way the stance is known but the love is, too. If we are to have angst at this moment, let it be because we see the realities of how we are not yet like Christ.

Now. I need to tell you a few personal things.

I’ve been on Twitter in recent days. I’ve scrolled Facebook. So many unnecessary, ungodly thoughts have come out and general human decency has been disregarded from my fellow believers in Jesus. There’s absolutely no way we can include Jesus in that. May we tremble in our justifications of flesh behavior, most especially if we claim it is done in any way under His covering. Let us not be fooled into thinking we will not be held accountable for our behaviors at times like these. We will.

I have friends, some Christian famous and some not, whom I disagree with about things important to me. But they are my friends, and I do not fear our theological differences because Jesus is our bond. I have readers of this blog who are atheists and some who believe in gay marriage, as do some of my ministry friends. I will not change my stance for them. I will also treat them with love and respect, as both are non-negotiables in my higher commitment to Jesus.

So I exhort us all, the followers of Jesus, to get on our knees and pray like crazy for Christ’s love to control us moving forward. With His control over our life and lips, the crazy will not overtake.

The truth is, we are all products of our background, environment, education, and personal trains of thought, as well as the depth of our relationship with Jesus, so it is no wonder we won’t always agree. (And yes, the Bible says some will become disillusioned and fall away from the faith.) We shouldn’t fear the disagreements. We should only fear God if we, as His rep, don’t respond to them in a way that honors Him. Trust me, at this moment, I’ve asked Him to take my inventory.

We can stand and not waver on our position while responsibly modeling the grace and kindness of Christ. We must stand for the Bible. We must stand for Truth. We must also treat people well. These are not mutually exclusive.

It is a lie to believe love and grace means accepting and agreeing with all views. It is also a lie to believe holding strong to a standard means you shun or lash out at the person you disagree with. Love and grace are an innate response of a Christ consumed heart. Perhaps if this is not our response we ask Jesus to mine deeper.

And because I am personally weary of the just grace and love claim: grace and love exist in the context of standard and conviction. To suggest that Jesus is all grace and love without standard is to grossly misunderstand and misrepresent Him. (That’s for a different post.)

I believe the Bible, every word. I believe Jesus was more than just a good guy, but was and is the Almighty Savior of the World. I believe a baby is a person at the point of conception. I believe faith in Jesus is the only way to heaven. I believe in the sanctity of marriage, between a man and a woman. And I also believe many of us as Christians are walking around pious in our God-ish living, which is equally as distasteful to God.

I believe we worry more about pointing out the sin in others than weeping over our own neglect in caring for the poor, orphaned and widowed, things Jesus speaks in Scripture directly about as non-negotiable actions.

I believe we generally don’t treat people like Jesus would. I believe this is because we have replaced intimacy with Him for surface spirituality so we man our daily reactions.

I believe in the importance of unity in the body of Christ, which does not mean we meld our convictions on every issue but we meld our hearts to reach this world for Christ. Right now, they want no part in the perceived circus.

And I believe most of all, that The Great One thrives like always in bringing clarity to chaos, hope to disappointment, and peace in the midst of controversy.

Let’s put our eyes back on Him.

When It’s Time for a Social Media Break

IMG_2578 I come to you in this post, both sure and unsure.

I come to you with a healthy heart and a weary one, at the same time, if that’s possible.

For weeks, maybe months, I’ve been saying to myself and everyone else I’m ok I’m ok I’m ok but in the past few days I have come face to face with the reality that I am, but I’m not.

Before you start imagining all the horrible things, let me assure you they probably aren’t there. I’m not having trouble in my marriage (aside from the regularly hard, normal life marriage stuff). My kids are ok. I don’t want to quit ministry, my dog didn’t die and no one in uniform has come to handcuff me and take me away to the big house.

But I’ve had a taxing 6 months, like so many of you. I hesitate to list all the things since I know you have your own and who needs to read another person’s stressful list? But I need some breathing room to hear from God more clearly. I need wisdom, moving forward in my life and particularly in the future release of my book. I need more Jesus power before I start this speaking season so I can properly minister to the hurting people. I need to grieve over my son leaving for college a little more privately and pray for him harder in his transition. When I’m worried about posting to teach and inspire, I don’t have as much warrior time on my knees. I need to recover emotionally from writing another book with soul grit (which by the way, I turned in LAST NIGHT. Hallelujah.) Stupid Satan has been all over me lately, as I write about the Warrior Boots, putting me to the test to live what I write, I admit.

I miss God. I long to be deeper in the secret place with Him. I want to make sure of what I’m saying and doing publicly, before I say and do them. So I must step back from social media for a month, at least, to rest and listen and be still. If I keep going when I know I need to take a break, I risk getting out of line and saying and doing things with negative Kingdom repercussions. I quake at this thought, at not being a good representative of Jesus, the One so Great. I think a person much more wise to step back before the floor underneath falls out.

Remember Monday’s post? Yes. That. I’m fresh out of amazing.

My plan as of now is to go away from September 1 (yes, as in tomorrow) to October 1, on all online avenues, including this blog. If I wind up extending it, I’ll make sure and let you know.

I’ll miss you. But I know this is right.

I know many of you grapple with this should I or shouldn’t I take a break from social media, because you’ve told me. I thought since we relate, a few of my own guidelines I’m following might also be helpful to you, to know when it’s time to take a step back. (I’m assuming, of course, we all know first to pray.) It’s not an exhaustive list, and in no particular order of importance — just some of the things I’ve found that often signal it’s time. Thank goodness they don’t usually all happen at once, or we would be in trouble.

  1. When you feel condemned.
  2. When it’s your first thought in the morning.
  3. When you feel frenzied.
  4. When you feel paranoid.
  5. When you have skewed vision.
  6. When you are prompted by the Holy Spirit.
  7. When it’s bringing up feelings of anger.
  8. When you’re starting to assume.
  9. When you are feeling tempted, or keeping something secret.
  10. When you’re starting to resent.
  11. When you’re starting to neglect higher commitments, service or passions.
  12. When you’re giving it priority over personal time with God.
  13. When you feel jealous.
  14. When it consumes at least half of your thoughts.
  15. When you can’t hear from God.
  16. When someone you love and trust tells you it’s become too important.
  17. When it’s interfering with family or work life.

I won’t press you to know which of these you might be encountering, but I will just ask that you honestly take a look at each one. It’s a hard list. But there’s so much growth in honest heart cleanse. If we’re truthful with ourselves, most of us know in 2 seconds which of these apply to us, don’t we?

There’s a book that a friend going through a hard time recommended to me not long ago to read, because she knew of my affection for Henri Nouwen. The book, The Inner Voice of Love, is lesser known than some of his other works but none less powerful. It’s a compilation of his writing while in a mental hospital, recovering from his own fresh out of amazing life. There’s something that speaks to me in a deep place about this kind of gravel road experience…to be once put on pedestals and then put in a place where people judge you for losing your mind. The raw edges of his man’s soul come out in his writing in this book and move me to no end.

One chapter in particular means the most. It has beckoned me in this space to go dark for awhile, online, with the goal of coming back to the place that never fails to re-calibrate and stabilize my life: the solid place of God.

I leave you with Nouwen’s words, and with an I’m ok, I’m not ok and I’ll see you soon to you, my beloved online friends whom I trust and pray I will return to with clearer eyes, renewed heart, fresh strength, resolve and passion.

I’ve got a lot of future Gospel living to do, as do you.

p.s. I love you.

“Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. What about me? Have I been faithful? Well, it matters very little what you or anyone else thinks. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that isn’t what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.” I Cor. 4:2-4 NLT

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Always Come Back to the Solid Place

You must believe in the yes that comes back when you ask, “Do you love me?” You must choose this yes even when you do not experience it.

You feel overwhelmed by distractions, fantasies, the disturbing desire to throw yourself into the world of pleasure. But you know already that you will not find there an answer to your deepest question. Nor does the answer lie in rehashing old events, or in guilt or shame. All of that makes you dissipate yourself and leave the rock on which your house is built.

You have to trust the place that is solid, the place where you can say yes to God’s love even when you do not feel it. Right now you feel nothing except emptiness and the lack of strength to choose. But keep saying, “God loves me, and God’s love is enough.” 

You have to choose the solid place over and over again and return to it after every failure.

*From Henri Nouwen, 1996, The Inner Voice of Love; Image Books

In Case You’re Fresh Out of Amazing

lisawhittleendorseFOA.001If this title resonates with you, we are kindred. I remember the first time my friend, Stacey Thacker, told me about her new book and what it would be called. Immediately, my load felt lighter. Someone had seen my life and understood.

I had the privilege to receive an early copy of this book and give an endorsement. I need you to know I don’t do this for every book. I have to either love the book or love the author, and in this case, I love both. Stacey can write. But more than that, I trust Stacey’s heart. This, my friends, is of much higher endorsement.

You’ll read below an excerpt from Stacey’s book, Fresh Out of Amazing. Trust me, if this is you, you will want to get it. (p.s. I’m not sure I know anyone who isn’t fresh out of amazing, by the way.)

Stacey is giving away 2 FREE BOOKS for you lovely, interested people. To win, head over to my Facebook page and tag a friend in the comments on this post, and BOTH OF YOU get entered to win! (Random pic, winner to be notified.)

And please come back here on Wednesday. I have something important to tell you, and it has to do with being fresh out of amazing, myself.

Love ya’ll.

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“If we had a Christian magazine for the fresh-out-of-amazing woman, Martha would grace the cover more than the Kardashians do the cover of People. We would shake our heads at her and say under our breath, “I’m not surprised” as we put our groceries on the conveyer and glance sideways at the cover so our kids don’t see us. We find ourselves bothered and drawn to her peculiar struggle.” Part of us wants to celebrate Martha because she invited Jesus and his friends into her home. She served them. That is beautiful and right isn’t it? Yes, of course it is.

“But. Martha’s story has a but. Every story has one. For example, I am passionate about walking with God and doing what his Word says, but many times I don’t do those things. Daily I find myself in messes of my own making. Praise the Lord that something is working in my favor, and that something is the grace of God. We are about to see that same grace at work in Martha’s story.

I really wish we could push the “pause” button, step into the story, put an arm around Martha, and say, “Girl, I understand, but let’s not be here in the kitchen like this. Let’s not have a but interrupting your beautiful welcome of Jesus.” Yet here it is: “But Martha was distracted with much serving” (Luke 10:40).

Right there in her kitchen, with Jesus sitting a few feet away, busyness was beating Martha up one side and down another. Consumed by all she had to do, Martha was about to have a moment. She was probably in the kitchen stirring a pot of something wonderful, and she was getting herself all stirred up too. Martha was about to blow a fuse, and she was going to tell one person in particular all about it.

She went up to [Jesus] and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me” (Luke 10:40).

Martha not only interrupted Jesus as he taught, but she asked him straight out if he cared about her: Don’t you care, Jesus? Don’t you care? Then she told Jesus what to do. Yes, she did. Have mercy! Fresh-out-of-amazing girl done told Jesus to tell Mary to help her. I die a little at this point. Do you know why? Because I sound like her just about every other day around 5:00 p.m. when my kids are hungry, impatient, and ready for dinner. I slam all the doors, I crash all the pots, and I blow my fuse too. I tell everyone within a room or two of my voice all the things I’m doing all by myself. I tell them I have had it. I mean had it. Only one Person can help me when I am at my breaking point, and that person is exactly who Martha went to with her problem: Martha told Jesus. “

His response tells us Jesus was looking past her hospitality and straight to her heart:

‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her’ (Luke 10:41-42).

I think Jesus saw that Martha’s heart was to serve and love those in her home. The problem arose when that became her primary focus instead of connecting with Jesus in the moment. Martha’s fresh-out-of-amazing moment took her to the feet of Jesus, but instead of savoring his presence, she pouted. Martha was busy, but she didn’t have to be burdened.”

Did your heart catch a little with that story? Do you know why? Martha is like us. She is our people. I’ve learned a thing or two from Martha recently. First, I need to tell Jesus when I’m fresh out of amazing. Second, a heart full of duty is no comparison to a heart full of devotion. I’m not talking about Mary’s devotion either. I’m talking about Martha’s heart being in the right place when she was doing what God created her to do—welcoming Jesus to her home.

“Friends, when we are fresh out of amazing, Jesus cares. His heart for us is tender, just like it was with Martha. He speaks our names once, twice, or more in order to reconnect our souls to his. Jesus will help us.”

The simple truth is we need to let him.

*Excerpts taken from “Fresh Out of Amazing: Opening Your Heart to God’s Unexpected Invitation” by Stacey Thacker. Available wherever books are sold.

Twitter & Insta: @staceythacker

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I’m Tired of Christian Cute

IMG_2027Every now and then I write something that threatens to make me unpopular and marginalized. Turns out Jesus freaks are annoying. Sigh. It’s true.

The last thing I want to be in this post is divisive to the wonderful, flawed body of Christ or self-focused and whiny…so trust me, I’m being careful.

But I read an article today that messed me up – about the Western Church and how we don’t have a clue what true Gospel living really is. And now I can’t write anything else but this post that threatens marginalization that was not on my schedule. Hashtag inconvenience.

Please. Don’t you know how much I don’t want to say hard things? It’s not my goal in life to scare people off and have them run away. But God presses me hard, sometimes, and His pressing bosses me to death. My allegiance is to Him. It is not to my peers. It is not even to my readers. I gave up caring largely about what people thought of me when I wrote I Want God, thank God, and it’s too heavy to take back.

After this article (which, please, believers, all read) I sit with a lump in my throat and tears pushing to come out in all the conviction. All I see lately is let me post a selfie with a random Bible verse caption and buy my latest book and post after post on Twitter, ad nauseam, with our answers to all the things. Every conference that has a get ahead theme to it, with the best people still, but chasing, chasing and I literally want to throw myself across the bed and scream.

Where is God in all this? We are dying to hear everything we don’t need to hear and being in the most popular Christian group. I’m tired of who knows who and all that, when it comes to the ministry world. It tarnishes God’s honest concept for community and makes those who don’t know some particular who wishful they did.

I’ll be gut level honest: by virtue of that I do, I’m enveloped in a weird Christian celebrity world of sorts that I did not sign up for and I can’t be silent and pretend it doesn’t exist. (If you don’t know about this, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you.) And I have worked very hard with Jesus for this kind of strong calling out not to be baggage or envy or anything else, and I can promise before Him now that I truly believe it is not and if it is, I give Him full permission to out me.

(Hold on. This part is hard.)

I’m tired of Christian circles where compliments are gushed publicly without true relationship, conveniently right before our new book comes out. We’ve scratched each others backs so hard we have fingernail marks.

I’m tired of Christian cute: all the zillions of inspirational sayings that we have trained ourselves to now need to hear every 2.2 seconds for the next fix that float around on social media…the way we mostly circle around ourselves as believers instead of reaching out to the lost…our Christian t-shirts and jewelry we can’t get enough of but mostly just wear and don’t live…our complaint after complaint about everything under the sun while missionaries in other parts of the world live under mosquito nets and fear for their very life…being so very proud of ourselves for our short bursts of faithful to the Lord.

Sometimes Christian cute and Christian celebrity makes me want to throw my hands up in the air and quit, especially when I read an article like the one I did earlier today and remember the persecution of believers in other parts of the world that are real, people, really real and I am so very wimpy and soft. And in the next minute I see a picture of what Christian celebrities are taking a picture on Instagram together, more please buy my new book (p.s. Please don’t write to me about why this is necessary because trust me, after 10 years in the business I get it, and there’s a difference between responsible book promotion and pimping ourselves to death), and my own tweets last night while watching The Bachelorette. Let me not be falsely humble. I’m a fan of myself, too. We all are. Humans.

So then I’m convicted in my own self sin, and I just want to quit and cave up, like I do when it all seems so wrong and so much and that article that messed me up won’t stop bugging me and I’m not sure what to do about all that’s wrong with me, with us.

(Good for the article. I needed it to mess me up. For a second I forgot.)

All of this Christian celebrity and Christian cute is about nothing but tactics of the enemy to keep us focused on self, which, in fact, is working. And we can call it favor and call it being exalted by God but let’s not lie to ourselves about all the hustling we do to get there in many cases, too.

And I know this calling out needs a solution or it’s just venting, which is a further waste of our time, and I don’t want to be held responsible for that.

So as I sit here with a lump in my throat and tears pushing, still, I can only offer what I know for sure to work:

  • John 3:30: He must become greater; I must become less. (The only way I don’t think of myself so often is when I’m thinking of Him.)
  • John 15:5: Without [God] we can do nothing. (Let’s pray to stop being so enamored with ourselves. Really, that’s what it is.)
  • II Chronicles 7:14: Get humble, pray, seek God’s face. (Let’s just pray. I mean, for real, instead of all this other stuff because it’s the only thing that will help.)

I’m going to forewarn you: I won’t do this perfectly, so please don’t be expecting that or you will be sorely let down. I won’t promise not to slip, because I may. I don’t ask you to do it perfectly, either. I promise to love you through the muck of sorting it out, as I hope you will, me.

But we’ve got to fight for our purity of heart and stop settling for a glossy version of a Gospel that daily costs real, skin on believers their lives. If we aren’t going to go be physically in the trenches with them, we can at least fight for and with them here in our safe world through prayer.

And most of all, just God, forgive us for our Christian celebrity and Christian cute. It has absolutely nothing to do with You.

One Way You (YES, YOU) Can Make the World Better Today

If I may, first…this post is about taking time to care about people, not a persuasion piece against boundaries/saying no or intended to guilt recovering people pleasers into regret over necessary life adjustments they have made. If you struggle with boundaries, please read Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend and deal with that important issue, first. I do not suggest now or ever that people substitute in my assessment from a blog post for their personal heart convictions. My goal is to help us see things in a way we haven’t seen them before…consider important things we may need to change. Honestly: I just want to help us and point this world to The Hope. p.s. I love you.

Image-1My best friend, Colleen, tells me something over the phone last week – about how her pastor-husband does a funeral for a man and only 5 people show up. I hear this, and I feel sad. (Remember this for later.)

Just a few days after that, my in-laws drive in from the beach where they live, almost 4 hours away, and we arrange to meet them for frozen yogurt, so they can see the kids on their way back home.

7 Whittles, all sitting around 2 tables, yogurt piled high in cups, toppings of choice sitting proudly on top. What was the reason for your quick trip, again? I ask my father-in-law, sharing the table with my husband and me. I know he had just gotten home a little more than 24 hours before after being gone all week. I also know they had driven nearly 4 hours…to just a few short hours later, turn around and drive home. I hadn’t yet asked them about the why behind it. Surely they have a very good reason for this kind of trip.

Our pastor’s grandmother died and we came for her funeral, he says between bites, like it’s the most normal thing in the world. I repeat this for clarification, thinking surely I heard wrong. Your pastor’s grandmother? I ask, with the emphasis on grandmother. I know it can’t beLots of people won’t drive across town for someone’s funeral, let alone drive 8 hours (roundtrip) in one day for one.

Umm-hmm, he says, casually. It is clear the yogurt is more interesting to him than the topic of conversation. Did you know her? I ask, guessing it will be a yes. Nope, he says, matter-of-factly and digs his spoon back into his cup.

My husband and I sideways glance but save our words to each other for later. That’s pretty incredible, I say back, and I mean it. I’m honestly floored and don’t know what else to say. I know my in-laws to jump in the car and drive hours to be at my children’s birthday parties. That sort of thing has been happening for years, and what a blessing it’s been to my kids. But to do the same for a stranger, even if the grandson of the decreased is your pastor and you love him deeply? I’m in awe.

I struggle to make it to birthday parties 10 miles down the road for kids my kids grew up with and have half lived in my home.

I only attend funerals for people I really know and have meant something pretty significant to my life. Otherwise, I don’t even think twice about staying home.

It could be just me, but I don’t think so. Lots of people I know who care about my son didn’t come to his graduation party. They were busy, I knew. It’s not like I’ve kept mental track in my head of who was invited but wasn’t there and been upset about it. But some that meant a lot to him didn’t come, for whatever reason, and I think this is not unusual.

Only 5 people showed up to that guy’s funeral my friend’s husband did. (Remember…the start of this post?) No matter the why, it’s still a tough reality. Surely he had other people who had known and cared for him in his 60 something years of life. Were they busy mowing their lawn that day? Were they too tired to mess with going? Would that have been me, too, if he were someone I knew?

I hope not. But I must be honest. We all have a million excuses for why we matter to ourselves more than other people. We don’t say that, but it’s true. Just look at our mostly me-focused calendars.

And I think about how we are all so ridiculously busy that we don’t even have time to call our mother to ask how she is many days, let alone take a day out to drive hours to a funeral for a person we do not even know. And how we don’t go to parties and things like that anymore for someone else because they don’t fit into our pre-planned agenda. We don’t want to do something? We don’t. Edit, edit, edit until all that’s left are mostly my things.

I can’t help but wonder if in all our necessary life edit, important as it is, we’ve edited out showing up for people. Could it be that in all our life de-cluttering we have begun to see people as clutter, too, and thrown them right out like those spoons in the kitchen taking up too much space?

I must be the first to confess it: this is sometimes, me.

Self-care is a yes. People-care is a yes, too. Our problem is we typically choose one or the other when both are what makes our heart truly happy and the world a better place, in the end. (God, for the win, with the balance.)

The truth is, we don’t have the power to solve everything, but we can do one by one things. If we don’t like the way the world treats its people, may we start a new trend. Rest assured…one day, in one way or another, we will need the people to show up for us, too.

When we show up for people we chip away at the climate of selfishness in our own lives. (Which, by the way, FEELS GOOD.)

When we show up for people we make the world better, even in just one kind act.

We are all half sad and crazy, walking around here on earth, everyday, wondering what in the world to do to help all the madness go away.

I think showing up for people is a good place to start.

When God Anoints You But Doesn’t Appoint You (Yet)

imageShe tells me this on a drive in her car, and I can see how it pains her: how she feels called to things her life right now does not let her do.

It’s not that she doesn’t love her life. She does. It’s that the God pull is strong inside and she does not know how to walk out a call she cannot, at this moment, fulfill.

Living in the space of not now is perhaps the hardest and holiest of all.

I know what this feels like, and it’s a space of wrestling. I remember being 23, I tell her, with God fires burning deep and no where to take them. It almost feels cruel for God to give us a sense of destiny only to not release us to walk in it right away, and I’ve felt this at times in my life. But the walking in the waiting is part of the plan, too. The spiritual disciplines of surrender, trust and faithfulness make us more like Jesus…more ready for the appointing.

The truth is, the anointing often comes before the appointing. Believing God and pursuing holiness in the space in between is our only job.

I think of Bible David.

He’s anointed to be the King of Israel early in his life. But it isn’t until much, much later (historians say about 15 years) that he’s officially appointed King. This was not a plan gone askew: it was God’s perfect plan.

All the while, David knows what he knows. He knows he’s been chosen by God. He knows he’s going to be the King over the people. But he has to wait on God to appoint him, on perfect God time, and learn to live in the space of the not now. For him to do that, he has to believe God anointed him, hold to that, and trust Him to complete that good work.

Because God knows what he needs to learn. God knows how he needs to grow. God knows what will happen if he is appointed before he is ready.

It’s always the omniscience of the Father that saves our life.

And so…for my friend in the holy hard space of the not now…for the waiting, the anointed but not yet appointed…please remember this:

  1. God knows what He’s doing.
  2. The when is just as important as the what.
  3. Manipulating things to satisfy our impatience will likely lead to pain. (Hint: God keeps doors shut for a reason.)
  4. Your anointing hasn’t changed because the appointing hasn’t yet come.
  5. Pray to stay faithful in the wait. There is zero chance God won’t honor faithfulness and patience.

God anoints and appoints, but not always at the same time.  He sometimes says yes, but not now.

Hold to what you know and trust for what you don’t.

He knows exactly what He is doing.

**Footnotes, FYI:

Anointed = (Lisa’s definition): gifted by God, given a sense of passion, desire and destiny (purpose) for Kingdom work.

Appointed = (Lisa’s definition): when God ordains and releases us to do something with the anointing He’s already placed on our life.

(David’s anointing: I Sam. 16; David’s appointing: II Sam.2:4; 5:3)