Are you in the search of peace in your life? If you will join me in living in a courageously different way, you will find it…
I have two very personal stories that help to articulate a principle of living differently than most people, and how true peace can be found in that. Each story does not inherently contain any special power, but examining the story behind the story in each case can unveil some true wisdom that I’ll attempt to explain today.
My goal is that you can learn from my stories and apply this new way of living to any struggles, challenges, adversities, fear, doubt or worries that you may have in life. If not now, when they next come in life, may your response be on that is mindful of the story behind each of the stories. May your life become blessed because of your courage to live differently!
Breaking Chains that were Shackling my Future
Many people I have spoken to have asked me a good question – Is there really power in prayer? Many people struggle to say yes to that question. For me, it is a no-brainer because of the life that I have lived, proven by stories like this one. One fall I was at a hiking location to meet with one of my business/life coaching clients. He never made it to the session that day, strangely, because he had forgotten to put it on his calendar. He really needs coaching! Haha. Anyway, I was reading some training material for a short-term mission trip that I was taking abroad. That day I was gripped with something in a profound way. Though I was never personally involved in the Masonic lodge or such a group, I knew people that were very close to me who were.
To that point, many people that I respected were in vehement opposition to this organization. I tried to not take a hard-lined position on it because I was never personally involved. However, something in my inner man was never truly settled with that. That day at the lookout point, I was gripped with a strong spiritual awareness that I was unequally yoked to someone in business that was a leader that stood in direct opposition of God’s best for my life. I prayed to God to help loosen any chains that were entangling my life through such a relationship, and to give me courage to be OK with whatever He needed to do to make things right in His eyes.
God is faithful, and although He doesn’t always answer a prayer in our timing, He answered this one immediately. Literally in only minutes from that prayer, I got an unexpected call from the President of one of my companies. He told me that this other leader that was with me for well over a decade and affiliated with all of my companies (the one that I was just praying toward) had left the organization indefinitely with no notice. At first it seemed like something that would just require follow-up communication, and perhaps some time off for the co-worker or something of that nature. The timing of it was horrible because I was leaving the country for a couple of weeks and there was a lot of work demand for my teams to cover in my absence. Despite this I knew God wanted me to trust Him and follow him to the 3rd world country, so I did and it became one of the greatest memories of my life.
I got back from the trip and worked with my remaining leaders to do the best we could in response, since he was still not willing to communicate or explain his actions. As time continued to unfold, I knew that God was helping me to understand now only the power in prayer, but also the peace and blessing that could be found in trusting Him fully with the unknowns in life. What started out as what felt like an atomic bomb exploding in my career became a path of marvelous blessing in the next few months.
Not only did it create a way for me to hire a Career Life/path Coaching client and give him an opportunity to walk out a calling in life, it led us toward a complete financial turn-around for all companies. We had a staff member return to one of our organizations, who admitted they shouldn’t have left, and then we actually were presented the opportunity to acquire a Marketing/Design agency to expand accompanied by the chance to purchase their facilities. We are still negotiating that today, ironically. I state all of this to reinforce how my life yet again proves to me that there is power in prayer. There is power in praying deeply and from a sincere heart, and more importantly listening to God and being obedient to trust and follow His leading. It has also reminded me that I don’t need to understand everything that is going on in life, or what the future holds. If I truly relinquish my need for control and am willing to follow God’s lead no matter where it’s directing me, then my life can become an amazing and enriching adventure!
Take 90 Days and Chase Him
Another recent occurrence called on my willingness to trust God- this dealt with something very near to my heart– my relationship with my girlfriend that had every prospect of leading to marriage. Being married has always been a top life goal for me, and has always seemed so elusive for a medley of reasons. In many areas of life, certainly in romantic relationships, it is easy to take cues from the world around us without even realizing it. Throughout a series of events with my church (In the Light Ministries), I received a word of wisdom from God that I knew I had to respond to. One day I was watching the altar call and I felt like I was supposed to go up but, frankly, pride stood in my way that day. Alternatively, God sent someone, unexpectedly, to minister to me. His name was Neal. He asked me if he could pray for me, and I told him very briefly that I was asking for God to help me know if I should marry my girlfriend or not. I wanted to honor Him with my life and trust Him fully with my biggest dreams.
I knew I could, and if I was going to live my best life now I needed to do so here again. Through a period of fasting and several key conversations over a three day span of time, I was affirmed that I needed to take Neal up on his idea to take 90 days off and make a point to focus on my relationship with God. When he spoke this to me, he didn’t know what my future would look like. He didn’t know that 90 days would literally be the exact timing that the major business acquisition, a 1 month sabbatical, and 2-weeks of coaching/speaking at a Dream Conference would span. During that period of time I was expecting God to move mountains in my life and do great things if I would chase Him and run after Him with all my heart. Though I knew it would be heart-breaking for both of us, I knew I didn’t need to understand everything. I just needed to trust God and separate. I needed to focus on God for these three months. There isn’t anything dramatic about the time period but the time-frame was affirming and validating to me personally. God is an intimate God and He loves to speak to us through details. Are we listening?
The remarkable validation came, though, when I shared this with my girlfriend; amazingly she told me God told her the same thing. She knew I had to do this, and together we were able to give up control of our relationship and life to God. Tears were certainly shed by both parties. They were tears of primarily joy and peace because we knew we were unified and faithfully responding to the voice of God. He will not always explain the details, he also might encourage you to do things you don’t want to initially do. Everything He tells us to do is for our better interests. The creator of all things is more than capable to direct my life. Though a man plans his ways, the Lord truly directs his steps. So as I write this post I have roughly 75 of those days left, and I am wide-eyed and mystified trusting God with it all. I am trusting that my obedience to surrender and to make my relationship with God my top priority will usher this season of greater peace, clarity and confidence: Be it to re-connect with my girlfriend and marry her, or for both of us to be fully released into new future relationships.
Peace Found in Walking by the Spirit
Though many details were left out of the two stories above because of my desire to maintain brevity in this post, I believe I have outlined enough detail to help you to understand what was going on in my heart as part of the big picture. The back-story behind each of these narratives was more important, like I said, in the introduction. What God was teaching me, doing in me and desiring to do in my life was really most impactful. For those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior, we have been invited to receive God’s Holy Spirit. As a follower of Christ, I am able to walk in that power and authority. Scripture says that the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.
To be led into all truth we need not only to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, we then need to be willing to constantly lay down our life and follow His leading. That includes our dreams, desires and wishes. We do this daily by trusting that God truly loves us, knows us better than we know ourselves since He is our creator, and that He has far better plans for us when we are willing to follow Him. I have found genuine peace through walking by the Spirit. I don’t need to be in control. I don’t have to have the answers, or know what is next. I don’t have to try and anticipate my perfect future. I need to trust God with my life and boldly follow my dreams through His eyes. You do that by listening to the Holy Spirit, and then responding through faithful obedience to the very voice of God through the meditations, words and actions of your life!
So have you ever made such a decision to accept Jesus Christ and to receive God’s Holy Spirit? If you haven’t, please contact me. I would love to chat with you about how you could make such a life-changing choice. If you have already done this, then my dear brother or sister in Christ, please lay down whatever you haven’t and ask God to give you a greater sensitivity to truly walk by His Spirit. He will wreck your world in a good way and give you personal life stories like He gave me recently that will become an extension of your testimony to the world for His glory…