Repositioned

In a team sport or in the workplace when you get repositioned it can be hard to accept. Especially, if you have been in that position for most of your career. Then all of a sudden with the new team, coach or boss you’ve been called to a new role. “But that’s not me!” “I don’t know how to lead that way!” “I am not comfortable…” However, the authority is not yours to choose.

When you give Jesus the authority over your life you are repositioned “with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).  Scripture says you have become a new creation, “the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). Repositioned from death to life, becoming “born again” (John 3:6-7, 1 Peter 1:2-4, Eph 2:5-6).

I had a dream. (MOST dreams are exaggerated pictures of your current reality and emotional state that have hidden symbols/messages meaningful specifically to you. God uses dreams to communicate with us).  In my dream I was passing by a rowing team practicing on the sand.  I approached one rowboat and the coach said to me, “sit up front”, (where the team leader sits).  I looked back and saw all the rowers on the boat and asked the coach, “shouldn’t I be back there rowing with them, I have a strong build”.  The coach replied, “I have bigger girls than you back there, you stay up front”.  So nervously (with excitement) I did so without knowing how.  She explained to me how to direct and lead the boat with my legs crossing over from one to the other.  Then she said, “You’re ready!” And I looked at her and replied, “This is going to be intense”.

Dream over.

As we repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).  The Holy Spirit becomes our spiritual guide.  He acts as our coach who directs and counsels us to live like Jesus (John 14:25-26, 15:26); and how did Jesus live? He led.  In my dream I told the coach, “shouldn’t I be back there with the others? I have a strong build!” But the coach said, “I have bigger girls than you back there, you stay up front!” Where I was more comfortable to lead, there was no room, the position was already (perfectly) filled. It was up front where she needed me. When you become a Christian, Jesus doesn’t just reposition you, He calls you to the frontlines – he makes a leader out of you! In my dream, I naturally saw that I was strong enough to help where I knew I could. But when God calls you he sees much greater things in you than you do in yourself (Romans 8:17, 37). Sometimes the call on our lives is greater in HIS eyes than our own. We must seek him in order to supernaturally see it.  Another part of that conversation I had with the coach meant not one role is better than the other. We as Christians are unified in Christ – we are all part of ONE Body but make up many parts (Romans 12:3-8).  Your part in leadership can evolve, change as you grow in Christ. Perhaps, I was once better “rowing with the rest of them” now God is calling me to lead up front.

Where is God calling you to lead? Where have you been stuck feeling too comfortable and God is saying, “hey I already have leaders there, I need you over here…”  Perhaps you have been a Christian your whole life, decades of waking in faith, but are feeling stagnant.  In my dream the coach explains in order to lead the boat I needed to “cross over” with my legs. (Sometimes depicting symbols in dreams, God uses “play on words” to help us discover more of the message.) Where in your life have you felt God asking you to cross over into a new position? Regardless of the position God gives you, it takes training and belief that He can do it through you.   Rowboats obviously race on the water, but in my dream it was on the sand. So the interpretation meant the team was in “dry-land” training. In sports, there are “dry-land” seasons (also known as “pre-seasons”) before the competition season starts.  In these seasons the athletes work on their weaknesses, such as increasing strength, skill or team chemistry, so when competition starts they are at their best.

Just like being a follower of Jesus, we must always be in “dry-land” training or “pre-season”, getting trained up in the Word of God. So when “season” hits – or “life gets in the way” we are ready.

Matthew 7:24-29  (NIV)

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Pursue your leadership daily with Godly training, aka-studying scripture. Being built up with the Word of God, so you may lack nothing and persevere through the intensity of being repositioned to lead as Jesus led (James 1:4).

Weakness In The Way

Understanding how to manage your weaknesses will help you to learn how to manage and elevate your strengths. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses, they come as a unique package, you cannot have one without the other. Which means we must not focus on only one but have an understanding of both.

The interviewer asks, “What are your strength and what are your weaknesses?” Not, “do you have any weaknesses…?” It is already assumed that every person has them. The question is then, how can I help you in achieving your strength’s despite your weaknesses in this job role? It is inevitable that you are going to have weak areas about you that hold you back from being your best. What are they so I can be of best assistance to you?

Imagine for a moment that God is the interviewer, except instead of asking you, “what are your weaknesses?” He tells you what they are.

Not to discourage you but to encourage you that even with your weaknesses He can be of best assistance for and through you. But first you must know what they are.

Benefits of knowing your weakness is so you can avoid the element of surprise when they arise. For example, the element of surprise may come in a form of anxiety, and without knowledge or time to process why that feeling arose it can spiral to a panic attack. The goal is to not let the weaknesses hold you back from moving forward. The goal is to acknowledge their existence to better manage their feelings.

I want to encourage you that you are not defined by your weakness, but by your ability to manage them for strength. Seek God in question: “What are my weaknesses that keep me from elevating my strengths?” “Show me how YOU can assist me in my weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This is how we manage our weakness; we replace its power with God’s grace through prayer and submission. The focus does not shift on your own power but on the power of the cross. Your weakness is not a set back – it’s a breakthrough; an opportunity to glorify God.

Routine Interrupted

Having the same bedtime routine every night can assist in a good night’s rest. Routines help us in creating order and structure in our life. It’s the predicable things we do each day to get us out the door to work, to the gym and back to bed. Routines are good, we like routines.

But routines don’t always work, nor do they always last the same way, same time, and every day. Interruptions occur, more than we would probably like. An interruption to our day could be as simple as the car doesn’t start in the morning, or as severe as someone in the family got sick… Interruptions can be stressful and most often we are never prepared for them.

Being a new mother comes with a lot of FEAR and unexpected interruptions that occur with raising a baby. What gives me comfort is having a routine specifically around my baby’s sleep schedule. I gain confidence in having our daily routine. However, it can change in a moment and when it does it can create a stormy period for us. To gain back control, in midst of the storm, I find it’s in the researching. By gaining understanding and learning about the developmental stages of my baby, it helps me to know how to navigate the stormy period. I learn more about her, myself, and I gain encouragement through receiving messages from other mama friends who have gone before me and experienced this same storm.

The more I study about my baby’s developmental stages the more I am ready for our next storm. As Christians we need to apply the same study to our spiritual life. The Bible is our guidance to living life. I don’t have answers as to why certain things happen to you and I, but God knows and I’m writing to encourage you to seek him in His Word, to understand His character through it.

Jesus, who commands the wind and the waves to be still, will also command the fears in your life to be still. We learn this through Mark 4:35-41: Jesus Calms the Storm:

35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

IVP Bible Background Commentary by: Kenner says: “Storms often rose suddenly on the lake called the Sea of Galilee; these fishermen had usually stayed closer to Capernaum and are unprepared for a squall this far from shore.” Key note, from this detail it assumes that to avoid a storm in their journey, routine had them stay closer to shore. But in this passage Jesus commands they go to the other side, far from shore. An interruption to their routine occurs when they sail far form shore encountering a vicious storm. Riddled with fear they ask Jesus, “teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

So often we get put in these unprepared territories far from our “normal” shoreline and its fearful. It seems like if it’s not in our daily routine, it’s “out of our control”. When Jesus calms the storm He proves that we don’t have control in our human strength, but the control is found in our spiritual strength, our faith in Him. “He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” As Christians we know that Jesus has already gone before us, being the ultimate replacement to our fear, anxieties, loneliness’, and death by His death on the cross. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish by have eternal life.”

Where in your life have you been experiencing a storm or an unexpected interruption? How are you letting it lead your life? Don’t let the next interruption to your routine defeat you. Beat it by learning about the character of Jesus Christ because faith in Jesus has more power than any storm.