The last six weeks at work have been challenging as my observation of two and a half years’ worth of misguided movements came to a head. Each step shifted the alignment of the organization off center, further and further away from its core mission. I felt woefully inadequate as I was unable to cure the immediate hurts or address the over-arching cultural ailments. I had been accustomed to working behind the scenes to reshuffle the pieces to almost any awry situation back to the center of the board. By flipping switches and pulling levers, I could turn on the magnets that would draw people back between the bumpers. As this situation continued to wobble further and further out of control, I leveraged every resource available to me to adjust the alignment back to center. No matter how much strength I used or torque I created, I could not move the mountain. My blood pressure then sky-rocketed, headaches ensued, and hope dissipated. The Lord then said to me, “get somewhere and sit still! To move mountains, you must have faith, you know, the size of a mustard seed. I am not feeling faith. I am witnessing you muster mortal strength in man’s world. You are making a mockery of the miracle process. I am responsible for those and simply sometimes use man as delivery vehicles. As the devotional told you the other day, meet Me in the moment and leave outcomes to My Father. Listen to the sage. I sent her. Calmly do these two things each day and leave the rest to Me: Ask the Father what He would have you do today and work towards it with excellence.”
No words were rendered as no response was required. I took a week of time off, went away, and did nothing but reflect on His guidance. Each day I spent time with Him and I asked what He would have me do. Everyday His answer was the same: love My people and see the wonders of My work. And that is exactly what I did. I engaged with as many people as I could and enjoyed the beauties of nature. Five days after I returned to work, His glorious plan began to unfold. The miracles of the Messiah moved the mountain. He made a way for resolution to my plaguing problem and I am extremely thankful to Him. As Lincoln Brewster tells us: Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. The heavens declare Your greatness. The oceans cry out to You. The mountains, they bow down before You. So I’ll join with the earth and I’ll give my praise to You. – Majestic
The long, drawn-out difficult observation time that ended just before I took leave was chocked full of faith forewarnings for me. Particularly, I had watched a high-ranking person determine that reaching the next rung on the ladder was worth everything and he was willing to do anything to get it. In his haste to reach the next level, he failed to realize that anything received at any pace other than in God’s time can never bring fulfilment, but is merely an accelerant of spiritual degradation. You see, “any cost” is the only price the devil is willing to pay and the moment we name that price is the second we sell our soul. Every move from that point forward is a contorted turn or ill-conceived twist that leads to places of no return. The intersection of greed and power is named Hubris Hill. The crossroads of arrogance and opportunity is called Corruption Court. “Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it’s set a rolling it must increase.” – Caleb Colton
At that point, anyone with half of the currency can now convince us to give the whole thing away, leaving us begging for borrowed time from hollowed hearts. As the pace gets faster and the stakes get higher, we find ourselves over leveraging our diminishing worth while clinging to vacated promises backed by overdrawn credit. Suddenly, the suitors stop knocking and no one takes our calls. It is then that we realize the time we spent perched in dark smoke-filled rooms sipping single malt scotch and savoring select cigars was likely in Lucifer’s Lounge. We sat at the table listening to his lies while debating the Spirit’s voice in order to rationalize righteousness into a wicked situation. By negotiating, we risked what we had to gain what we didn’t need. We rolled the dice with the devil, the master of deception, and lost it all. As two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, neither can God and evil. By dismissing the Spirit, we gave the devil a foot hole. The hunt is now over and it’s time for the kill. The wicked one has won!
Or has he? He is jealous for me; loves like a hurricane. I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy; when all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory. And I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me… And we are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes. If his grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest. I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us…Oh, how he loves us all. He Loves Us – John McMillan
Just like us, God gave the ranking person worth and his value comes through Jesus Christ. Through our relationship with Him and community with His people, a paved path to the foot of the cross is always beneath our feet. To the extent that we lose our way, simply say, “Jesus, please help me!” He is a loving Lord and an eager savior, longing for a relationship with His children. We strengthen that relationship through worshiping only Him, loving His people, reading His word, and praying. As Matt Redman reminds us, When the music fades, all is stripped away. And I simply come longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless Your heart. I’ll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deeper within, through the way things appear. You’re looking into my heart. I’m coming back to the heart of worship. And it’s all about You. It’s all about You, Jesus. I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it, when it’s all about You. It’s all about You, Jesus – Heart of Worship. If we simply remember that we cannot sell what we cannot earn, His grace will remain on the forefront of our minds, preventing us from placing our salvation in the showcase window of Hell’s pawn shop. This life is about advancing His kingdom, not our selfish pleasures.
Now is a time for prayer and encouragement, not casting of stones. As we have done so much for which we wish not to be judged, forgiveness is a large paving stone on the path to the foot of the cross. We’ve all had the experience of being caught up in the moment. Remember, character assassination kills more than just a reputation. It massacres minds and slaughters souls. The scars on His hands are reminders of our redemption, not reverberations of our self-righteousness. Offer healing to the hurt and love to the lost by being fast to forgive. We are His beacons who have been called to shine His light. So beam brightly!
I pray fervently for the ranking official. Lord, may his resignation resign him to Your ways. May he raise his hands and heart to You to receive the blessings You have in store for him. May he live the rest of his days gaining strength from time with You. May we heal from the difficulties and offer forgiveness to our brother, remembering the experience as a shadow that casts shade on the dog-day decisions that we may one day face. May pride never prevent us from calling Your great name long before our darkest hours – In Your son’s name, Amen.
Romans 12 tells us, 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (MSG)