anyway, although i work for our denomination, i've purposed (at least for now), not to "re-preach" a word that God's given to me previously - i always want it to be a fresh word, not left-overs. disclaimer, keeping with the food metaphor, there are some times that i'll use some "ingredients" from a previous message - i.e., a particular point or story - but never the whole message, rehashed.
so today i thought i'd share the reduced fat version (i.e. to the point!) of what i spoke on:
detours, delays & distractions
could it be God trying to get your attention when you encounter these
- In my job, I travel
- Like to get where I'm going quickly
- Don't like a detour or delay
What can we learn in the process?
Some of you heard Steven Furtick say last week at Catalyst, "Between the promise and the payoff is the process."
- God uses the detours and delays to help us with our Understanding of the Process
You discover who you are in the process -
- Neh. 1:11-2:5
- In prayer, Nehemiah discovered his purpose (end of vs.4 & vs. 5)
Know who I am NOT - I'm not a plumber/car repairman/handyman/hunter/fisher/gardner
Know, Who I am? - Things I love: being a husband, being a great dad, worship, public presentation (teaching, preaching, leading), ideation, privately serving others
- Nehemiah started ended with "I was a cupbearer" --> becomes a leader and rebuilder in vs. 5
Nehemiah was a cupbearer
not an illustrious career
equivalent to a butler
It was one that was:
close to the king
Relationships are key
Scripture says, "Iron sharpens iron"(Prov. 27:17)
No "iron" can sharpen itself - it takes another
Life happens in relationship
Nehemiah had relational expertise on several levels that we can learn from:
As the King's cupbearer, he basically was a part of the inner circle of leadership - that constitutes: diplomacy, tact, wisdom, trust, awareness and leadership
As the leader of the people he had to know how to: organize, administrate and encourage the people
Chapter 4 where they begin to grumble and he basically tells them to "man up" and get the job done
Criticism is a part of leadership and criticism is a part of relationship: How will you respond?
I like what Rick Warren says, "When you're small, they'll dismiss you; when you're growing, they'll criticize you; when you're large, they'll resent you"
You can't win, dismiss the critics and move on with what God has for you - a tough lesson, but one you have to learn.
In every season of your life, look for fruit
In the process of life, we go through seasons
Some of the seasons are great, we know God is near
Some of the seasons are painful
What do you do in the painful seasons of you life: you have two choices?
You own the past - leads to self-engulfment (to flow over and enclose); self-seeking; self-serving - focused on self
You allow God to own the past - He can use it and you to help others, serve others, see others
- Jesus said in Jn 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.
Jesus compares our lives to a kernel of wheat that falls to the ground
That means I must be willing to get stepped on
- Stepped on
So that the soil of life can fall on me and that I can learn to push through that soil as a seed does so that I can produce fruit
- Good because you're still headed toward your destination
- Along the way, you learn new things
- Read this recently, Passion is Belief in Motion
- Can still be full of passion in a detour
- When God says, "Pause"
- Most key Biblical people had a season of 'Wait'
- Joseph experienced an extended delay...a season of silence
- Silence does not equal absence - God is still with you
- Have a saying, "Distractions distract"
- Remove your eyes from the focus
- God is not in distraction
- Nehemiah had them
- 5 times he was asked to "come talk with them" (the critics)
- His response: I'm busy doing what God wants.
- Delays & Detours are often a tool that God uses - Nehemiah waited