If the World Didn’t Give It to You…

Several months ago, my friend Ron was ecstatic when he met the woman of his dreams at a Christian leadership event. “Jim,” he told me at lunch one day, “meeting Jill was magical…like a Disney movie or something.”

Ron went on to describe all the circumstantial evidence that God had brought this woman into his life. “I’m SO thankful to the Lord!” he exclaimed. “I didn’t have to go out looking for the perfect match. Nor did I have to spend hours on a bunch of dating websites or go on countless dates to find the right person. She was a gift sent from God, right when I least expected it!”

Since it’s hard to talk any sense into a person who’s so in love, I mostly just listened to Ron’s story. But he clearly was convinced this new relationship was heaven-sent, and his heart was definitely all in.

However, when I met with Ron a few weeks later, he was beginning to have some doubts. Although he was still crazy about the woman he had met, he was wondering whether she would love him back after she became aware of his many flaws.

“Jim, I need to lose some weight,” he said with a scowl. “Jill deserves someone who’s in better shape.”

As the conversation continued, Ron went on and on about all the other reasons Jill might reject him in the end. He questioned the size of his house, the make of his car, his wardrobe, and his income, among other things. He was beginning to conclude that someone of Jill’s caliber couldn’t possibly settle for a person with so little to offer.

Again I listened. The more Ron talked, the more I could see he was correct about his limitations.

But then an old Gospel song came to mind: “The world didn’t give it to me, and the world can’t take it away.”

Recalling Ron’s description of how GOD had brought Jill into his life, I said with a grin, “I think I see what is going on here. Although you were totally convinced that the Lord supernaturally brought Jill into your life, now you’re coming up with all sorts of ways YOU must work to hang on to her.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” he conceded. “So what should I do?”

“Well, look Ron, if you weren’t responsible for bringing Jill into your life, then perhaps you need to quit acting as if you’ll only keep her in your life by your own efforts and worthiness.”

Ron looked down for a moment to gather his thoughts. “Jim, I see what you’re saying, but let’s be honest: There’s a real chance she will be disillusioned once she gets to know me better.”

“Very true!” I acknowledged. “But you have to go back to the question of whether God was truly the one who brought you together in the first place. If so, you can relax and be yourself. You’ve got nothing to worry about!”

Still rather exasperated, he replied, “Okay, man, I see what you mean. But what if we discover that God really DIDN’T bring us together?”

“That would be great too, Ron,” I assured him. “Then you can walk away knowing you didn’t initiate the relationship, nor were your flaws the reason it ended.”

At that point, Ron breathed a huge sigh of relief, as if an enormous weight had been removed from his shoulders. He said with a smile, “Wow. That’s awesome. I can just be myself and trust God with the rest. If He truly has brought Jill into my life, there’s no need for me to worry about losing her. And if it turns out He really hasn’t brought her into my life, I don’t have to worry about losing her in that case either!”

So why did I share Ron’s story with you? Because it’s a parable about several different aspects of our relationship with the Lord.

Were we saved by our own efforts? No! Our relationship with God began through His grace alone, on the basis of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). And just as we were initially saved by God’s unmerited favor, we can trust Him to keep on loving us all along the way. Thankfully, we don’t have to fear His rejection when He finds out more about us—because He already knows EVERYTHING about us. (Go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief!)

Ron’s story also reminds us that we can rely on God to keep things safe when we’ve entrusted them to Him. The apostle Paul said it this way, I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day”  (2 Timothy 1:12). Instead of feeling fearful and insecure, treating his relationship with Jill as if it were something quite fragile, my friend should have simply entrusted it back into God’s care.

Finally, what are we to make of Ron’s claim that Jill was a gift from the Lord? Well, the Bible clearly says, EVERY good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).

Isn’t that good news? Our Heavenly Father doesn’t vacillate. He’s not like a shifting shadow, bouncing here and there. Since He is the SOURCE of every good thing, we can also trust Him to be the SUSTAINER of every good thing. Wow. What an incredible relief.

So take a moment to ask yourself: Is there something you’ve been struggling to entrust to the Lord?  If so, remember: The safest place you can put things is in the loving hands of God.

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The Parable of the Faulty Showerhead

 

Regaining Focus in a Distracting World

We live in the most distracted and unfocused generation in history. No wonder “engagement” is one of the biggest buzzwords in the corporate world today.

I was in a meeting recently and got rebuked by someone who caught me checking emails on my phone and sending text messages. “Pay attention!” she told me. “It’s disrespectful to be looking at your phone while people are talking.”

Things only got worse when I tried to explain to her that I was simply “multitasking.” Yes, I’ve gotten good at multitasking, which also may mean I’ve gotten good at being unfocused in my life.

Lately I’ve been thinking about a problem I had with my showerhead many years ago. The bathtub lever that was supposed to divert water to the showerhead became defective. So instead of the normal gush of water through the showerhead, there was only a trickle. The rest of the water went down the bathtub drain.

I had been in showers before that trickled because of poor water pressure, but never had I seen one that had such high water pressure and yet insufficient water actually going to the showerhead. For a while I tried to just live with the situation, but soon the problem got worse and I had no alternative but to get it fixed.

I’ve discovered that God can teach us vital lessons even in the mundane situations we encounter in life, and that was definitely true about the defective shower mechanism. I saw that my life too often has been characterized by plenty of “water pressure,” but with a lot of the water going down the drain instead of toward my main priorities and calling. Although the living waters of the Spirit were present in abundance, they weren’t properly directed toward God’s primary purposes for my life.

I see many people trying to handle their lack of focus same way I initially tried to deal with my shower problem. It has been so long since they’ve had a good “shower,” they consider their situation the “new normal” and simply try to adjust to lower expectations. Or perhaps they’ve given up on taking showers—i.e., given up on their true calling—and have resigned themselves to taking baths instead.

Rather than resign ourselves to low expectations or an unfocused life, maybe it’s time to get the shower mechanism fixed. Instead of adjusting to a diversion of our energy in the wrong directions, maybe it’s time to adjust to this sobering but encouraging fact: God’s purpose for our lives has never changed.

This is exactly what Paul tells us Romans 11:29: God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”  Isn’t it time that we adjusted everything else to THAT?

But what if your showerhead mechanism has been defective for years? How can you regain your life’s focus once it’s been lost? Look at how The Message translates Romans 11:29: “God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.”

Isn’t that good news? Your calling is under “full warranty”—and that warranty can never be cancelled or rescinded!

If your energy, time, and resources are being diverted away from your true purpose in life, don’t tolerate the situation any longer. It is time to divert the full force of living water toward what God has truly called you to do.

Ironically, sometimes the first step in full engagement is to fully dis-engage, whether to wait upon God’s direction or merely get some needed rest. There’s no better way to regain focus and spiritual vitality than to quiet our hearts and invite God’s presence (Psalm 46:10, Isaiah 40:31).

But be clear on this: You can’t afford to allow the precious water of the Spirit to go down the drain any longer. If you find your showerhead is merely dripping, I encourage you to take urgent steps to re-divert the full force of water toward your true mission!

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If you’re one of my 40,000+ followers @BestBibleTweets or one of the 4,000 people who read my blogs via email, why not click the “DONATE” button at the top of the page to make a tax-deductible contribution to Crosslink Ministries? I will be very grateful for your support!

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Gambling on God

Why Are So Few People ‘All In’?

I love the old maxim about risk-taking, “Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.” Yet, when I look around, I’m concerned that fear is holding many people back from the necessary steps to make progress or have a significant impact.

My fellow baby boomers seem especially prone to this common trap. We took risks in our younger days, some of which paid off, while others were brought devastating losses. But now we find it all too easy to play it safe and hedge our bets.

If you’ve talked with any financial planners recently, they’ve probably advised you to limit your risks as you get older. Be safe. Be conservative. Hang on to what you have. Don’t be too adventurous in your investments.

But those same advisors will admit that you’re unlikely to receive a substantial return on those “safe” investments. Small risk, small rewards. No risk, no rewards.

The same is true about our spiritual lives. Remember Jesus’ story about the guy who decided to bury his assets instead of risk losing them? Sadly for him, he ended up losing them in the end anyway (Matthew 25:14-28).

No decision could be riskier or more shortsighted than to opt for a risk-free life. First of all, such a life is impossible to find, since there will always be risks along the way. And even if you somehow succeeded in eliminating all risks, your life would be incredibly boring and unproductive.

Several decades ago, God gave me a vivid mental picture while I was praying. I saw myself playing poker, and I had amassed a very large stack of chips. Suddenly, however, I pushed the entire stack to the middle of the table and shouted, “ALL IN!”

Hmmm… I can’t help wondering if I would still be willing to take such a risk today. Although I claim to be entrusting my entire life to the Lord, lately I’ve only been giving Him the chips I’m willing to lose. And while I’ve succeeded in minimizing my risks, my rewards clearly have diminished as well.

As a student of the Bible, I’ve concluded that we need to grasp a couple of important lessons about risk-taking:

  • If God truly has told us to do something, obeying Him doesn’t constitute a “risk.” Before walking on the water, Peter wisely sought and received a green light from Jesus. Things were going fantastic at first, as they always do when we trust and obey. Peter only ran into trouble when he took his eyes off the Lord (Matthew 14:25-32).
  • Often we must take a step of faith, even when we have no direct guidance from God or assurances about the outcome. I love the story of Jonathan’s plan to defeat the Philistines, despite his lack of resources and manpower. His message to his armor bearer shows a commitment to do “the right thing,” even though God hadn’t told him what to do nor promised him victory: “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few” (1 Samuel 14:6). What a challenging statement for those of us who want ironclad assurance from God before we embark on any endeavor. He doesn’t always work that way! Sometimes we need to “take a chance” on a noble venture, hoping God will come through for us.

After they each took a bold step of faith, Peter and Jonathan both received supernatural assistance. Peter had gotten direct encouragement from the Lord in his quest to walk on water. Jonathan, in contrast, trusted God and hoped for victory solely by virtue of his worthwhile mission.

When was the last time YOU took a significant risk, relying on God’s help? Like Peter, has Jesus been beckoning you to take a seemingly risky step, leaving the safety of your “boat”? Or do you find yourself in a situation more like Jonathan, where your heart says to take action, despite an uncertain future?

One thing for sure: You don’t want to be like the turtle who allowed fear to keep him hiding in his shell. If you’re trusting God with your life, you’ll need to stick your neck out from time to time. Your life will surely be more exciting and fulfilling that way.

The Bible is pretty clear that God prefers risk-takers to those who insist on playing it safe. Yes, when you take risks there will be some losses as well as gains. But if you ever start to sink among the roaring waves, He will lift you up again—and I bet He will even applaud your effort.

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If you’re one of my 40,000+ followers @BestBibleTweets or one of the 4,000 people who read my blogs via email, why not click the “DONATE” button at the top of the page to make a tax-deductible contribution to Crosslink Ministries? I will be very grateful for your support!

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God’s Final Answer

When Regis Philbin launched “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” in the U.S. in 1999, he popularized a question I’ve always found intriguing. Whenever a contestant gave their response to a question, Philbin would ask them, “Is that your final answer?”

That always seemed like a dumb question to me. Of course it was their final answer. It’s not as if they could get five guesses. And although I wasn’t a regular viewer of the program, I don’t remember anyone changing their mind.

However, lately I’ve realized that many Christians are wobbling in their faith and struggling to believe that God has given them His FINAL answer in Christ. Even if they’ve experienced His love at some point in the past, their difficult circumstances have caused them to question His love for them today. And though they’ve seen many signs of His favor over the years, they mistakenly worry they’ll have to DO something to EARN and MAINTAIN that favor in the future.

As a result of this works-based relationship with God, many people live on a spiritual roller coaster. Their perception of their Heavenly Father’s love is akin to someone picking off daisy petals, one by one, “He loves me. He loves me not…”

Often this happens when we use our circumstances as a measure of God’s love and favor. At other times, we see all the ways we’ve fallen short in our Christian life, and we assume the Lord couldn’t possibly love us when we’re in that kind of condition.

Somehow it’s all too easy to miss the clear teaching of Scripture that Jesus died for our sins “once for all” (Hebrews 7:27). Yes, our debts are paid in full—past, present, and future, for Jesus was “the final solution of sin” (Hebrews 9:26 MSG).

Notice the word “FINAL.” The sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament were God’s temporary solution, but Jesus was His final answer. In His Son, He demonstrated His perfect love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and favor for all time.

If we were still living under the Old Testament, I could understand why we might wonder where we stood with God. After all, the Old Testament ends with this ominous final word in the book of Malachi: “CURSE” (Malachi 4:6). Wow.

That word “curse” pretty much sums up the outcome of works-based and feelings-based spirituality. You never quite know whether you’ve measured up. No matter what you do or refrain from doing, there’s never any guarantee that you have enough brownie points to merit God’s love and favor.

What an exhausting way to live!

Thankfully, when you’re in Christ, you no longer need to doubt where you stand. Instead of having a righteousness based on your own efforts, you’ve become the righteousness of God”  through His amazing grace (2 Corinthians 5:21).

So how do you know God’s verdict is final? In stark contrast with the Old Testament, which ended with a curse, here’s the final verse in the New Testament: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).

If you’ve grown weary of the treadmill of works-based religion, I encourage you to let this life-changing message sink in:

God’s final answer is GRACE!

And since the canon of Scripture is now closed, God isn’t going to change His mind and retract this good news. He doesn’t love you IF… He doesn’t love you BUT… He doesn’t love you MAYBE

God loves you…PERIOD!

Yes, that’s His final answer.

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Getting Beyond a Daisy-Petal Faith

In college I had a friend named Keith who came from a very legalistic church background. He believed you could become so “sanctified” that you’d never sin again—but if you did  sin, God would revoke your salvation in a mere moment.

I’ll never forget the letters Keith would write to me during our summer break. “Dear brother Jim,” he would begin each letter, “I’m happy to report that I am still saved.”

Wow. Although I’m not exactly sure what I wrote back to Keith, I probably wanted to say, “I’m still saved too…but I never doubted that I would be!”

Even though I’ve never met anyone whose views were as extreme as Keith’s, lately I’ve realized that many of us have a similar defect in our theology. We’re probably not worried about entirely losing our salvation, but we’ve adopted the subtle misconception that our Heavenly Father’s love and favor are as fleeting as a butterfly and as fragile as fine China.

Sorry for all the mixed metaphors, but perhaps the best word picture is the way insecure lovers sometimes peel off the petals of a daisy to ascertain where they stand in their relationship:

“He loves me…he loves me not…he loves me…he loves me not…”

Do you see how dismal this approach is in your relationship with the Lord? Yet that’s exactly what happens when you base your confidence in God’s love on the current circumstances in your life:

You got a raise at work? He loves me!

Your car broke down? He loves me not!

You received an unexpected financial windfall? He loves me!

You received bad news from your doctors? He loves me not!

Fortunately, you can stop this daisy-petal spirituality once and for all. Instead of continually wondering if God loves you or loves you not, you can simply believe what He tells you in His Word: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

There are two primary reasons why this is fantastic news: First, God has already demonstrated His love for you through a past event—the death of His Son. This means there’s no longer any need to focus on your circumstances or peel off daisy petals to determine whether He truly cares about you.

Second, it’s important to notice that God didn’t decide to love you AFTER you cleaned up your act and got perfectly sanctified. Instead, He showed His love when you were still His enemy, living a life of sin and rebellion. Paul concludes, If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10).

This shows that God’s love for you isn’t based on your worthiness but on the incredible worth of what Jesus did for you on the cross. Quite a difference!

Does God love you? YES! Does He want to show you His favor and bless you? YES! Is His love dependent on some kind of perfection on your part? THANKFULLY NOT!

When you get rid of your daisy-petal view of God, you can finally REST in His love and mercy. Why? Because your relationship with Him is based on His grace “from start to finish” :

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! (Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG)

So are you ready to be showered with God’s grace and kindness? Then it’s time to throw away your daisy and believe His love letter to you in the Scriptures.

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The Excruciating Wait

As almost everyone knows, faith is an indispensable key to getting your prayers answered (Matthew 9:29). But when you look at the stories of men and women of faith throughout the Bible, you nearly always see another vital ingredient at work: PATIENCE.

This really shouldn’t be a surprise, since we’re clearly told it’s through “faith AND patience” that we’ll be able to activate God’s promises (Hebrews 6:12).

Yet waiting is hard. It was difficult for people in Bible days, and perhaps it’s harder than ever in today’s instant-gratification, microwave, fast-food and fast-everything culture. If we have to wait more than five minutes for our food at McDonald’s, we’re ready to call for a Congressional investigation.

But the waiting process is even harder when it seems to go on forever, with absolutely no signs of a breakthrough. And when the thing we’re waiting for is very important to us, the wait can be EXCRUCIATING.

No wonder Solomon wrote, Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Perhaps you’ve experienced that kind of painful delay at times. I certainly have.

However, we’re in very good company if we’re struggling to wait for God to fulfill His promises. Here’s just a partial list of Bible heroes who had to endure an excruciating wait time:

  • Abraham and Sarah had to wait decades for God to give them a son.
  • Jacob had to wait and work for seven years to win Rachel’s hand in marriage—but then ended up with Leah instead. Seven additional years of work were required by Laban so he could have Rachel too.
  • Joseph as a teen was given some vivid prophetic dreams about his destiny, but he had to endure excruciating years of adversity before his dreams were fulfilled.
  • David was anointed by the prophet Samuel as Israel’s next king, but he wasn’t able to actually take the throne until many years later.
  • Martha and Mary asked Jesus to come and heal their brother Lazarus—but He seemed to arrive too late! Fortunately, Jesus not only was able to heal, He also could raise their brother from the dead.

Are you agonizing today about some prayer request that hasn’t been answered yet? Is there some longtime dream you’re waiting for God to fulfill? If so, don’t give up! Be patient, and avoid the temptation to take matters into your own hands, as Abraham and Sarah did in having a child by Hagar. Good things are birthed in God’s “waiting room.”

Earlier in this blog post, I shared Solomon’s observation that “hope deferred” can lead to a sick heart. Thankfully, the verse doesn’t end there. Solomon adds this great promise: “When the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”  Other versions say “a dream fulfilled” or “a longing fulfilled.”

This is fantastic news for all of us. Yes, our hopes and dreams may be deferred or detoured at times. But the excruciating wait will make the fulfillment all the more meaningful and wondrous.

Our patience will be rewarded. I’m counting on it.

 

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Almost Like Being ‘in Love’

Are you in love?  That’s an important question, and I don’t want you to dismiss it as being frivolous. If you’re married, I sure hope you can say yes to this question, but I’m referring to a love that goes even beyond that—an “in love” state of mind that every follower of Jesus is supposed to experience, whether married or single.

My curiosity about being “in love” was sparked recently when I found myself humming an old song originally introduced in the musical Brigadoon:

What a day this has been
What a rare mood I’m in
Why, it’s almost like being in love.

There’s a smile on my face
For the whole human race
Why, it’s almost like being in love.

As this song suggests, love will cause you to see “the whole human race” differently, not just the person you’re in love with. This should be a real challenge to us who claim we’re in love with Jesus. If our love for Him is genuine, there should be a smile on our face for people too.

But how can we go deeper than the world’s superficial concept of being “in love”—typically a phrase used just in the context of romantic or emotional love?

I decided to do a search on BibleGateway.com and found some fantastic “in love” passages. Here’s a small sample, including my observations about how the principles apply to our lives today:

“Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2).

  • Love is not just a feeling or even just a matter of words—it’s something we’re called to walk in and live out. When we do this, our lives will emit the sweet fragrance of Christ instead of less-appealing odors.

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).

  • Since God is love, there’s no way to maintain an intimate relationship with Him without abiding in love. And the word “abide” means that love is not meant to be a sporadic series of emotional, spiritual, or physical encounters, but rather a continual, unending connection.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).

  • Fear and love are mortal enemies. Fear tries to undercut love, but God’s love can destroy our fears. Let’s not allow fear to hold us back from reaching out in love to others.

“May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

  • Our love is not supposed to diminish over time—it’s supposed to “increase and abound.” Is that happening with your love?

Of course, there are many other Bible passages about love. I even noticed this verse saying that “older men” (like me!) are supposed to be in love: “…that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience” (Titus 2:2).

So let me ask you again…

Are you in love?  If you still aren’t sure how to answer, I encourage you to take the LOVE TEST in 1 Corinthians 13 (MSG paraphrase). From what we read in the book of Acts, walking “in love” doesn’t seem to have been easy for the apostle Paul. But he realized its importance nevertheless: “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love” (v. 3).

What an incredible statement: Without love, our lives are surely “bankrupt.”

Paul goes on to give us a very detailed description of love’s characteristics:

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies (vs. 4-8).

How did you do on this LOVE TEST? If you’re like me, you still fall short in many ways. But that’s another thing I like about the song from Brigadoon. Instead of saying we’ve fully mastered this thing called love, it only describes our experience as “almost” like being in love.

The LOVE TEST ends with Paul’s conclusion at the beginning of the next chapter: Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does.”  So true, Paul. So true.

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I would love to preach at your church or conference, be a consultant to your leadership team, or help your organization navigate the waters of transition. You can reach me at info@JimBuchan.com.

 

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The Power of Full Dis-Engagement

One of the top concepts in the corporate world these days is “the power of full engagement.” It’s a paradigm for managing your personal or organizational energy, and I think you would find it very helpful.

But recently I’ve been learning about the flipside of that concept: the power of full DISENGAGEMENT.

Let me explain why this is so important…

My baby blue 1976 Fiat was the favorite car I’ve ever owned. With 5-speed manual transmission and a responsive engine, it was a complete blast to drive.

But sometimes my Fiat was so much fun that I forgot to press the clutch before changing gears. The result was a horrible grinding sound, not to mention considerable embarrassment on my part. And occasionally my failure to press the clutch even resulted in the engine stalling.

Lately I’ve realized that God is getting me ready for a new season in my life, and I’ve thought about the lesson I learned years ago with that old Fiat: If you’re going to make a smooth transition from one gear (or season) to the next, you’d better press the clutch first.

In many ways, this seems a great paradox. In order to be fully engaged with the next gear, you must first take time to be fully disengaged  from your present gear. Shortcuts simply don’t work. In fact, shortcuts will eventually cause permanent damage to the gears.

No one modeled the power of disengagement better than Jesus. When He saw that His disciples were facing burnout because of never-ending activity, He instructed them to “come apart” to a quiet place and get some rest (Mark 6:31 KJV). Then and now, those who don’t intentionally disengage from their daily grind on a regular basis will eventually “come apart” (i.e., fall apart) in unpleasant, unintentional ways.

Jesus realized the POWER in disengagement, especially when we use that time to better engage with our Heavenly Father. We repeatedly see Him disengaging from the crowds, and even from His disciples, to go pray in the wilderness or on top of a mountain. What was the result of such times? Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).

Isn’t that beautiful? After Jesus purposefully disengaged for a while, He was able to reengage with new strength and power.

Today, do you find yourself anticipating a new season in your life, but unsure how to get there? Or perhaps you feel stuck in “second gear,” unable to move on. Or maybe you keep hearing a loud screeching sound every time you try to move from one gear to the next.

If you can relate to any of these symptoms, I encourage you to discover—or rediscover, like I have—the power of full disengagement. Leave your friends and family for a few days. Disconnect from your work responsibilities, your smart phone, and your social media. Find a place to quiet your heart and rest.

As you take time to disengage and be still, you’ll experience the powerful message of Psalm 46:10: He is God—and you’re not! That is really, really good news, isn’t it?

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I would love to preach at your church or conference, be a consultant to your leadership team, or help your organization navigate the waters of transition. You can reach me at info@JimBuchan.com.

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