Friday, February 15, 2019

Evaluating Our Maturity

I have noticed an interesting phenomenon taking place in the Church. We like titles. Using a descriptor like “pastor” is comfortable for most people. Even “teacher” and in some cases “evangelist”, if you are a bit more evangelical. When words like apostle or prophet are used to describe a person’s calling eyes will begin to roll and so do the subtle remarks about the danger of pride and self-promotion that might be associated with those functions. Apostles and prophets are not the only people who experience the temptation of pride and self-promotion. In our pastor-driven American church culture, I have seen plenty of pride and self-promotion in lots of pastors – including me.

In circles of fellowship where education is valued the initials of a person's educational accomplishments will either precede their name as in “Dr. so-and-so” or follow them with the designations of M.A, M.S or any variety of alphabet soup. Education is valuable and wise, but it does not require God to achieve these designations – just hard work and dedication. If you don’t think so, attend a graduation ceremony from an institute of higher learning. Not everyone walking in cap and gown follows Jesus. They were just good students.

If the Church is going to express the kind of maturity Paul described in Ephesians 4 that will only come from sitting under the influence of the equipping gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher, perhaps we need to ask our selves a question. Why are so nervous about certain titles/functions or give more credence to an educational achievement than we do to a gift given by Jesus to equip and mature the Church.

Maybe we are not as mature as we first imagined.

Removing the Weight of Fear and Worry

In the winter of 1968-69, I was a freshman at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. That year loads of snow was dumped on the city. The snow was measured in feet, not inches. There was so much snow it was feared roofs would begin to collapse under the weight. 

The guys in my dorm had an idea. We cut sheets of plywood into large square sections. We narrowed one edge of the plywood square to a knife-like edge so it would cut easily through the snow. We went around to neighborhoods asking if people wanted the snow removed from their roof. Once we agreed upon a price, we would climb up on the roof and use the plywood squares to section off large cubes of snow and slide them off the roof. It looked like someone building an igloo but in reverse.

What motivated our clientele was the fear of a collapsing roof. Fear and concern are strong motivators, real or imagined. It is important to discern the difference between rational and irrational fear. Rational fear hires a few college guys to risk their young necks to clear snow from a roof. Irrational fear has no anchor in reality and immobilizes people without a rational foundation. Fear is actually a dark spirit at work in our mind.  It trolls our thoughts looking for a place where love and trust are not in control. In these places, our irrational fear becomes the primary motivator for our thinking and behavior.

Scripture tells us the love of God can push irrational fear out of our thinking if we allow love to have its way. The evidence that fear has been cast out is the arrival of a beautiful and unfamiliar peace along with a confidence that assures us God will be faithful to see us through the challenge. Without that peace, the negative affairs of this life will eventually become an overwhelming weight we can no longer support. We will become like a snow-burdened roof just before it collapses on its occupants. 

If worry, doubt, or fear have been weighing down on your life, ask God to show you how to clear away that weight with His truth - the truth revealed in His Word and the truth of His past faithfulness in your life. Fear cannot stand in the presence of truth. When that weight is removed you will begin to experience the lightness of His peace invading your thoughts. That peace will become a warm and supporting presence in the winter seasons of your life.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Living Beyond the Point of No Return

I watched an inspiring video about a Medal of Honor recipient from World War II. The recipient of the medal was a pilot leading a squadron of aircraft sent to protect bombers in route to a bombing mission. The distance they had to fly was at the limit of their fuel capacity. As they approached the point of no return it was obvious they had used more fuel than anticipated. The squadron turned back, but the leader pressed on. While dropping his payload of bombs, a dogfight with enemy aircraft ensued. The pilot shot down 5 enemy aircraft. He had to bail out after being hit and having no remaining fuel. After parachuting into the ocean he swam 8 miles to an island where he was eventually rescued.

During the after incident interview the pilot said he could not have lived with himself had he turned around and aborted his mission. He would rather die honoring his commitment than spend the rest of his life regretting his decision.

In each of our lives, there will be a point of no return where we will have a choice to turn around or press through our difficulty toward an uncertain future. This is the place where heroes are born. It is not only true in warfare, but it can also be true for a spouse who commits to remain in a challenging marriage just a little longer. It can be true for a small businessperson who puts it all on the line to survive or when a friend risks a friendship by telling a hard truth to a friend.

Like the WWII Medal of Honor recipient, each of us will have to live with the unknown consequences of the tough decisions we make at the point of no return. We will carry either a sorrow that comes from giving up too early or a sense of honor that only comes when we press on when life required of us the kind of courage we thought impossible before we made our decision. Heroes in any walk of life are those who wanted to turn around but kept flying no matter what the odds because aborting the mission was not something they could live with.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Snake in the Wall

A wall stands in your way and you have been assigned to dismantle its opposing presence. As you engage this spiritual demolition project, trust no assumptions you are carrying from your current assignment or relationships. This is between you and God and no one else. Unpack the Lord’s instructions with precision and discernment and you will be safe and able to move ahead without jeopardy.

While the wall is assigned to come down, hidden within the wall are things that can harm you if you are impatient and unwise. Some have been bitten in a demolition process by unresolved personal issues that crawled ahead of them and were positioned in the wall awaiting their arrival. Solomon wrote, “…the one who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake” (Ecclesiastes 10:8). Examine each brick before you pull it down but only after you have examined your own heart and motives.

On the other side of this wall is the path into a future you only imagined. It is currently being guarded by deception and ruse. Don’t give the serpent a chance to sink his fangs into your life. Be wise. Be patient. Be courageous. The wall will come down.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Speak to the Ashes

I saw the image of an urn holding the ashes from a dead season of life. The urn was reluctantly placed on the mantle of someone’s personal history thinking they only had one chance and that chance had died. In their grief, they saw their future as nothing more than lifeless ash. Just as speaking to dead bones can bring back the full measure of life, so it is with the ashes left over from a season of sorrow and regret. God is calling people to rise from places of sorrowful resignation and speak to the ashes of their deepest failure and command new life to come forth. God wants to show us He is God Almighty and nothing, not even an emotional urn filled with the ashes of failure, regret and sorrow can withstand a declaration of faith fueled by hope.

The Roller Derby Women of Faith

As a kid, I remember watching a television show called Roller Derby. The show depicted women on roller skates racing as a team on an indoor track against an opposing team. I had never seen women act so tough. At age 8, I thought, “Man, I would never mess with any of those ladies.” When the memory paid me a visit so did a word from the Lord. 

While the actual Roller Derby was a push and shove match without much decorum, it did give me a picture of how a woman of faith responds to the lies and obstacles hell places in her path. A woman fully ignited in her faith and realizing she has a calling from God and a mission to execute is no one to mess with. Some have unwisely assumed a woman is always to be gentile and chiffon-like as her mark of womanhood.  There are times when that aspect of her identity is appropriate, but there are other times when a woman will be called to act like a Roller Derby queen and kick the butt of darkness aggressively out of her way. It's the momma bear thing. You don't want to get in the way of that kind of woman and play foolish games with her. I know. I am married to such a woman.

When I watched Roller Derby, I would see the winning team take a victory lap after a long and brutal race. These victory laps revealed breathless and physically spent winners rolling around the track in an exhausted peace where just moments before they had become visibly tough overcoming every hindering presence on the track. 

Some of you reading these words have been in a very challenging and emotional race. The race may have involved the fulfillment of your calling, the spiritual survival of a loved one, or in some cases, the fate of a city or nation. In the race, you were bruised and wounded, but you endured and pressed through every obstacle. For those of you who faithfully remained in the race, your victory lap is coming. So is a change in your attire. 

After the victory has been secured it will be time to be refreshed and change out of your garments of battle to put on something more in line with a long and romantic candlelit dinner. This will be a meal of fellowship you will have with the Lord. As you sit at the table, He will look into your eyes and smile knowing you had discovered the fullness of your womanhood. At that moment, you will know you are both a warrior and a lover.   

Never forget the devil and his minions see you as one tough chick. In Christ, that is your reality.  Once you realize who you are the devil's bluffing and bullying will have no effect. Your toughness and endurance in a race of faith come from the One you carry inside your heart, not how you look, your age or status in life. No lie or dark opposition will be able to stand in your way because you have learned to race with the promises of God as your strategy and your empowerment. You are tough. Race like it!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Unsolicited Criticism

In this life, you will receive unsolicited criticism and suggestions. Everybody has an opinion. Choose to be large enough in your spirit to be willing to review each of these, even those that appear absurd. Embedded somewhere in such suggestions may be the very thing God wants you to hear. Ask the Lord: “Is there anything in that comment you want me to hear?” 
Sometimes, a critical piece of information we might need in order to make a healthy life-transition can be packaged in the most unlikely form. God may place a piece of information inside the comment of your critic to test the condition of your heart. Having the right information is not enough. We need a right heart attitude in which to house the wisdom we receive. 

(An excerpt from the book, A Good Place.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Cultural Eruption is Taking Place

In the Spirit, I saw the image of multiple cultural volcanoes beginning an eruption cycle. This eruption cycle has not been detected by natural observation. These volcanoes have been smoldering inside each of the 7 mountains of societal influence (Government, Religion, Economy, Education, Arts & Entertainment, Media and Family). They have been activated for an eruption at this time in our national history. 

The fire of God’s Spirit has been heating up and exposing the hard rock of opposition to His will that has remained hidden within each mountain. Soon these hardened opposing forces will begin to melt under the heat of God’s transforming love. Their remnants will erupt and run down the slopes of each mountain like hot lava as a sign that God will not be mocked or His will opposed. 

Get ready. A rumbling is taking place. An eruption is imminent.

Finding Hope in a Dark Place

In our many years of living life together, Jan and I can speak with confidence (in the Lord) when it comes to navigating through the unexpected and fearful changes that life can bring. In the beginning, the challenging and unplanned interruptions in our lives felt as if we had entered a dark and ominous room without doors or windows. We did not know which way to turn. Our emotions were raw and frayed. Our future began to look like a train that jumped its track and was bouncing out of control across a dirt field and finally overturning. 

The first time this happened to us, it felt like we had no options. In the middle of the fear and confusion, we decided our only option was worship. Hand in hand we walked into our bedroom and knelt down beside our bed and told God, in raw and honest terms, what we were feeling. Our hearts were broken. The plans we made had been crumpled up by dark hands and tossed away. 

As we attempted to worship it was a challenge to find direction. Finally, without knowing which way to go with our worship, we began to worship God simply for His goodness. That one change in the substance of our worship began to direct our attention toward a life-altering discovery. 

When we worshipped God for His goodness, a shift began to take place. Our fear, dismay, and uncertainty were replaced by a glimmer of hope in God, not in any change of our circumstance. Like faith, sometimes our hope can be as small as a mustard seed until it sprouts under the nurturing presence of worship and finally begins to grow. At that point, Jan and I began to turn all our focus onto that single seed and began to deposit each negative thought into a garden of faith where hope had a chance to grow. Today, whenever we encounter something negative in life, after the initial shock of the news, worship is our first response before we try to figure things out or take any action.

If you find yourself in the dark and desperate room of an unexpected life-transition, your only way out is to find the hope. Your seed of hope will be discovered when, in your desperation, you choose to shift your focus from the pain of the situation to the goodness of God through worship. Hope is always present in your darkest place. Never give up looking for it. Seek hope through worship and you will always find it.

Ever since that first painful experience, Jan and I have never entered a subsequent dark place without growing anticipation that somewhere in our pain hope was waiting to be discovered. If you can do this, at some point, a door will open in the darkness and hope will show you the way forward. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Discerning the Purpose of the Hobble

My father wrangled horses in the Arizona desert in the 1920s. From time to time, he would place a hobble on his horses. A hobble is a short line tied between the legs of a horse to limit their mobility. Under the restraining influence of the hobble, a horse doesn't wander away. My father hobbled horses out of love to keep them near to him when a corral was not available. 

The hobble taught me a lesson about life in the Spirit. There are seasons of life when God will hobble His children. To the immature and impatient this hobbling can be misunderstood. Some see a life of faith through the cloudy lens of zeal without the clarity of wisdom. They think every day of faith is meant to be fast and always moving forward. Others think they can run at full speed whenever they desire across the sagebrush plains of life naively assuming no potholes or cliff edges exist along the path of their faith-gallop. After they experience a few broken legs and nosedives, they eventually stop to ponder the reason why life is not working out as they had imagined.

God hobbles us to train us how to rest in His presence and not foolishly run after the unrestrained and undisciplined passions that can put us in a place of unnecessary jeopardy. Sometimes He hobbles the expansion of a vision to bring clarity to the vision. He will hobble an impatient spouse who needs to learn what sacrificial love looks like in a marriage. A young person might need to experience the restraint of a hobble because they have not yet learned what it means to honor other people. God never hobbles us to harm us. His hobbles are restraints of love that teach and train us how to discover what real freedom is like. They also keep us near to our only true source of life while we are learning our lesson.

The limitations of mobility in your life are not always the devil. Sometimes they are an act of love from God. We need to learn how to discern the difference. Without discernment, we will try to run when we should walk or struggle to get free from the hobble when our assignment is to wait and trust. If we always struggle against a hobble, we can miss the deeper lesson God wants us to learn. That is the purpose of the hobble.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Our Worship Response to the Great Commission

God is preparing to release supernaturally-empowered strategies, key relationships, and abundant resources for projects aligned with the Great Commission. Until that alignment takes place through a conscious decision on our part what we attempt to accomplish will remain in the shallow stream of human achievement, limited funding and natural empowerment.

I find it interesting that part of the instruction Jesus gave to His disciples that we call the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), was made following an introductory note in the text that reads, But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated” (Matthew 28:16). When they arrived on the mountain and saw Jesus some of the disciples worshipped Jesus and some of them doubted. While I realize Jesus instructed the disciples to go to a physical mountain, the use of the word “mountain” caught my attention.

Every believer has an assignment on one of the 7 mountains of cultural influence – Government, Religion, Education, Economy, Arts & Entertainment, Media and Family. Many believers have yet to understand they have a Great Commission assignment on their mountain and continue to follow the lead of those currently in power on the summits of the 7 mountains who are setting policy and direction for the nation. In that disconnect we lose traction with our mission.

When Jesus reveals Himself and our place in the Great Commission, we have a choice to worship or doubt. Our act of worship will not look or sound like traditional worship in a sanctuary. Our worship will allow our life-assignment to be crafted with the instruction of the Great Commission in mind to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” That single act of worship will align our life and mission with the will and resources of Heaven.

A Great Awakening is taking place. That awakening will involve individuals and institutions from each of the 7 mountains of culture that brought their plans and projects under the anointing and direction of the Great Commission. Those moving in the flow of this Great Awakening will be led by the Great Commission mandate to disciple nations. Our sights must be set on nations in order to accomplish the command of Jesus while realizing national transformation is accomplished one person at a time. 

When the 7 mountains of culture are being influenced for the glory of God, we will begin to harvest the fruit of the Great Commission. That fruit will be an awakening of individuals to the presence of Jesus at work in their culture. Even then, some will doubt, but many more will worship.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Season Has Changed – It’s Time To Reposition

I have a group of friends who have invested months of detailed planning and strategized for a project of immense potential. The scale of this Kingdom enterprise is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Non-Disclosure Agreements have been created and honored in the process. My friends have done everything they can do. Now comes the waiting. A time of waiting is always filled with emotions of every sort.

In a recent conversation, I said to my friends in their time of waiting, faith is the only substance they can trust. They have planted all the seeds God commissioned them to plant. They have done everything with excellence throughout the process. In order to navigate into the next season of the project, they will need to change roles from that of a seed planter to a midwife in preparation for the healthy delivery of their project. In natural births, midwives are present to calm fears in the delivery, give timely encouragement, and provide wise instruction in the process of birthing. The same is true for anyone involved in the delivery of any Spirit-birthed and Spirit-empowered high stakes Kingdom adventure whether it is the investment of finances or human resources.

Our dreams and visions have seasons. Each season will have a new role for us to assume. Make sure you know the current season of your dream. For every dream, there is a time to till the soil, a time to plant the seed, and a time to harvest the fruit. Different seasons will reveal different roles. Ask God for the wisdom to define your current season, your assigned role in that season, and where you will need to stand at the time of harvest. When the time of fulfillment comes, you will be standing in the right season and in the right place. 

Because you have properly discerned the season and faithfully transitioned your various roles along the way, you will have the honor and privilege of seeing the purpose of God being birthed before your very eyes. Someday you will hold a fulfilled dream in your arms. At that moment you will worship the One who first commissioned that dream as just a small seed of faith that, against all odds, became a reality.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Commissioned for Beauty

My daughter, Anna, is a formally trained and accomplished artist. Her paintings hang in galleries around the world. From time to time, she will have a work commissioned by a client. Under a commission, Anna will create an original work of art to present to the client. I’ve had the privilege of hearing some of the comments made by her clients. They were amazed how Anna was able to create something they were not able to imagine but the final work was just what they wanted.

A commissioned person is someone who has been entrusted with a project granting them creative license. It is a work of artistic freedom. A commissioned work allows the person under commission to use all their gifts and talents without reservation or the need to seek permission. The word commissioned has at its root the word “commission.” The word commission comes from Medieval Latin meaning “a delegation of business.” It also carries a deeper meaning, “to unite, connect, combine or bring together.” 

When a commissioned artist is given the freedom to express their gift without restrictive oversight, the unique beauty of their creative work has the ability to bring people together. The client, artist or anyone who passes by the hanging work of art will be drawn together around the beauty being expressed. The art becomes a connecting point. It has a uniting potential that would have remained dormant had not the commissioned one been given unhindered freedom of expression.

Jesus gave the Church the Great Commission. To employ the creative diversity of the Church to fulfill that commission does not make Jesus nervous. Our commissioning was granted for us to reach nations with the Gospel of the Kingdom in a variety of unique and creative ways.  It is not a commission to reproduce sameness. It carries creative license that must be released or the full potential of the Church will not be realized. 

Commissioning someone with creative freedom is fearful consideration for individuals in positions of authority who have not learned how to trust others. To them commissioning someone and granting them freedom is the equivalent of losing control. In the group or an organization, the choke point for future expansion becomes the fearful leader, not the team.

Not every believer, business team member or expression of the Church should appear the same – even within the same team. If you are in a place of authority, God may invite you to lay down your assumed rights and grant creative license to those on your team. This will be a test of your integrity. It will confront a common bondage a driven person can have of needing to control and micromanage every aspect of a mission. 

If you are a leader, the breakthrough for the dream you carry may not be something God will have you do, but rather, it may be a work you commission in another person who will present to you a beautiful solution for a challenge your giftedness was not able to imagine or create.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Take Another Shot

During the Super Bowl, I heard an announcer use a short phrase not commonly used. The announcer said a player had made "a miscue." The words brought back a memory from a time in my life many years ago. When I heard the words, I also heard a promise for those who might feel like they only had one shot at something important in their life. 

For a summer during my college years, I managed a pool hall. It was an interesting experience and revealed a part of the world I never knew existed. I got to see first-time pool players struggle to hit the ball. I also saw professionals play high stakes games where hundreds of dollars went to the winner.

The phrase used by the Super Bowl announcer comes from the world of pool and billiards. A miscue happens when the cue ball is improperly struck and sent in the wrong direction. To execute a shot, pool and billiards players use something called a pool cue or cue stick. It is a wooden or composite stick with a piece of leather glued to the tip that a player uses to strike the white cue ball. Players add chalk to the leather tip to increase friction between the pool cue tip and the cue ball.  Once struck, the cue ball is sent to a target ball to knock it in the pocket. If a player fails to properly align the cue stick with the cue ball they will create a miscue sending the cue ball spinning in the wrong direction. 

I’ve watched professional hustlers in high stakes games actually jump a cue ball over another ball in the way of their target ball to make what appeared to be an impossible shot. Expert players can also perform something called a masse shot. When a masse shot is performed a player strikes the cue ball at such an unusual angle that it puts a radical spin on the cue ball causing it to travel in a curved path on the table moving around another ball that stands in the way of the shot. These unusual shots are what is called putting some “English” on the ball.

The word miscue has come to mean more than a missed pool shot. A miscue is described as a mistake or a blunder. That was what I heard when the Super Bowl described a player error.

Some of you may have miscued certain elements of your life. Maybe it was a promise from God, a relationship or a business endeavor. You took your shot but miscued your effort. You intended the result of your decision to go one direction, but because you did not properly set up your “shot” the result of your decision went the wrong way, and in some cases might have jumped off the table.

Just as a pool player has to start somewhere and learn the finer touches of the game, so it is with us. God has picked up the miscued ball you sent in the wrong direction and brought it back to you saying, “Try the shot again.” He will do what I saw professional players do with willing first-time students in the pool hall I managed. They showed the student how to properly set up a shot and send a ball to its desired target. Some of those fledgling students went on to become excellent players performing shots that seemed to defy gravity. 

Be patient with yourself after you experience a miscue. God is eternally patient when you make mistakes. He knows who and what He is working with. He has other shots for you to perform and He needs you at the table of life learning from the Master. Don’t walk away when you are just getting started. Come back to the table and let God show you how to make your next shot. 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Check the Wind of the Spirit

As a pilot, I used to fly into airports without a control tower. On my initial flyover, I would check the airport windsock to see which direction the wind was blowing and adjust my approach accordingly. A pilot always wants to land into the wind. It reduces your airspeed and makes for a slower and safer landing.

Some of you are flying into a new season. Before you land, you will need to know which way the wind of the Spirit is blowing before you assume the direction of your landing. You don't want to land downwind with excessive speed and run off the runway of your calling. Those who are flying with you in this adventure are trusting your piloting skills. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Finding Your Voice

Allowing our intellect to remain immature and reactionary while trying to have intelligent and compassionate conversations is like getting into a kayak for the first time without the discipline of training and choosing to slide into Class V rapids thinking you will survive. In these foolish attempts, our argument and credibility will get overturned and our reasoning drowned in self-delusion. Wisdom doesn’t happen overnight. Neither does a developed intellect. We need input and help from others to test the quality of our argument, the depth of our reasoning and most importantly, the condition of our heart. Ask God to show you the people who have matured in these areas. Listen to how they communicate. Watch their lives. These are the people you want to emulate. They are the ones who will help you find your voice.

Into the Empty Places

There are times when I need to go to an empty place to be filled. Once, I searched for a night sky empty of light pollution in order to experience the wonder of a panoramic sky of stars that spread from horizon to horizon. In the clarity of that night, the stars appeared so close it felt as if I could reach up and touch them. Another time I found myself traveling into a waterless desert to irrigate my soul with the beauty of a dry and desolate place. I found a similar feeling early one morning while walking the dark and empty streets of downtown Los Angeles several hours before the city awakened. In each of those places, I discovered a sweet vacancy that caused me to pause and reflect on things a busy and constantly occupied life does not consider.

Above our home is a small, elevated valley that deflects the noise of the surrounding community from within the stillness of its tree-lined enclosure. Whenever I hike into that small valley, I stop and experience what I call the hush. The unique location of the valley erases outside auditory input. The noise of people, cars, and leaf-blowers are absent in the hush. The hush silences any hurried thoughts I brought with me on the hike. In the hush, I get in touch with the deeper and more important realities of life.

Each of these places, a dark night sky, a dry desert, deserted city streets, or the hushed silence of a secluded valley, fill me in a beautifully strange way. What I  sense is Heaven’s nearness – a Kingdom closer than we realize. Some have called these locations "thin places." A thin place is where the distance between the spiritual and natural realms narrow and we see and hear things not considered in the normal routines of life.

Discovering these empty and thinned places is important to the health of our soul because they remind us that being emptied is the preparation for being filled. We need to find empty places and safe relationships that allow us to occasionally pour out the content of our lives to see if what we are carrying is from God or not. These places of safe solitude help us empty out things that pollute our thinking and make us fearful and faithless.

An empty place also gives us a sense of peace in its solitude and provides us with a reminder that life is not always about productivity, activity or trying to fill our experiences with anything beyond the experience itself. In these places, we can be still and know what is not realized elsewhere.

Friday, February 1, 2019

A Perfect Fit

Like most people, I buy my shoes at a department store. I know my size so I pick from what is available on the shelves. I did the same with a pair of western boots I own. Some people call them “cowboy boots.” Like any shoe, it takes a while for boots to mold to your foot. That is the problem with off the shelf boots or shoes. They are not an exact fit – ever.

There is another kind of western boot that is a dream of serious boot wearers. These boots are handmade. To produce this level of craftsmanship the bootmaker doesn’t work from your known size. He actually measures your foot – every square inch of it. Not just the length and width, but every imaginable curve, bump, circumference and unique dimension particular to your two feet. When he is finished the boots become like a pair of leather socks perfectly fitting over your feet. Add to that some beautiful design on the boot shafts along with a preferred toe style and you have a custom creation. Some of these boots cost thousands of dollars and the waiting list to take a pair home can be a year or two or more. No wonder these beauties cost a lot of money.

God loves to create a perfect fit for us whether it is a spouse, a ministry assignment or a place within a team working on a project. He knows our spiritual and emotional dimensions. The best part is that He does it all for free. Our only commitment to ensure this perfect fit is that we allow Him to assume the position of Lord in all the affairs of our lives and take His measurements, not work off our assumptions. 

Today, take inventory of your spiritual and relational footwear. The best fitting marriages, friendships, and Kingdom assignments are those where the Lord was allowed to take our measurements and design what we wear. If He was given permission to construct our relationships they will always work out in the end because they were created with all the uniqueness of our spiritual footprint in mind. Once the Lord is done creating these works of Heaven art, He will surround our lives with His creation and ask us to walk around and tell Him how it feels. That kind of creative love will always produce a perfect fit.