Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Risk or Rust

On Sunday 7 December, Westlife announced it's theme for 2009 - "UNLEASHED". As a church, we have built the foundation to be unleashed to a new level of influence, a new level of impact and a new level of connection with the community. I was personally encouraged about my part in this.

I've been pondering this new theme since Sunday. How do we transition from the present season (perhaps a season of consolidation), to this new season of unprecedented release into what God has called us to do? How do we convert the vision into reality?

Today, I am reading "The Practical life of Faith" by Chuck Swindoll. In Hebrews 11:24-28, I read about Moses who, by faith, cranked things up a gear. His life was 'unleashed' to live out God's purposes.

Swindoll notes 3 risky decisions Moses made that unleashed him - 2 of which have challenged me for 2009:

1. Moses had a determination to leave the familiar.

Moses left the familiarity and security of his household. He left the comfort of what he knew well, and entered a challenging place of unfamiliarity.

2. Willingness to do the unusual.

Moses did the unusual step of sprinkling blood over the doorways to protect the first-born. This was an unusual thing to do, ut Moses was wililng to venture into unchartered territory.

"Unusual is the company that faith seems to prefer"

The 7 last words of any organisation are, "we never did it that way before".

W L Bateman says "If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got."

We don't want to keep getting what we've always 'got', we want to crank things up a gear. We don't want to merely live in our 'success' so far, we want to be unleashed to make a serious difference.

Swindoll says, we either take risks or we rust. We either venture, or we vegetate.

* To have the determination it takes to leave the familiar, faith must be our security;

* To have the discipline to do the unusual, faith must silence our critics.

Bill Hybel's 'Axiom' is full of examples where they left the familiar, did the unusual and reaped the benefits of change.

For each of us to be personally unleased in 2009, we can't keep doing the same things we did in 2008.

Are there new connections we need to form?
Is there particular type of books we need to start reading?
Do we need to spend more time in the 'thinking chair'?
What new initiatives do we need to introduce?

One final thought - Joyce Meyer regularly says, "the higher the level, the higher the devil". With unleashing comes new and stronger attacks, temptations and opposition. Therefore there is one change that definitely needs to be made - We need to take our personal discipline in meeting with God to a new level.

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