My Favorite Mistakes of 2008 – Part 2

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2008

continued from Part 1, which you can view here

2: I concerned myself too much with where finances were headed.

Sometimes it’s possible to not necessarily worry about something but to merely focus on it and to haphazardly become negatively ensnared. It’s possible to become preoccupied with a matter that may be neutral then you become waylaid in the process. So it has been for me with money at times this past year. I don’t consider myself to be in financial straits. However, I do feel the pain of a lot of people – that just goes with the territory of my current roles in life. I live life as a professional people connector. With that territory comes worry for others. Sometimes I tend to concern myself too much about the things people are going through. Other’s difficulties naturally become my difficulties. Perhaps you go through that to a degree. With me, it is increased because of my Type A and my role in life.

Regarding money, I focused too much about where it would come from especially. I have a feeling this burden was shared by a lot of others in the US in 2008.

The year 2008 was a negative banner year for us as a country. We dug down deep end and not yet found the basement of our emotional house. Most are still digging. For someone to walk past our emotional house they will see the dirt flying out from the basement windows today. The digging will cease soon I believe. It must stop soon. There’s not much dirt left to dig.

It’s safe to say in many of our cases 2008 has been an economic emotional roller coaster.

When it comes to rightly relate to money, we don’t lack information so much as we lack emotional stability. We need a soothing voice that is reassuring us that everything is going to be okay. Right now many are looking to our new president to speak hope and peace to us among other things. We’re looking to the feds to say that to us as. But what we really need is encouragement from God – day after day – in each step of our day in fact. But no president can provide that kind of reassuring voice to mankind.

Ultimately only God can make a difference of any kind in our financial standing. God is the only difference maker when all is said and done.
I’ve heard plenty of sermons about the source of all funds – God on high is our supply. All funding flows from him no matter what the local expression appears. I’ve heard the right information for years – perhaps you have as well. But it’s one thing to hear the right info. It’s another matter to take into our hearts how that works. We need great application wisdom.

Have you noticed that? Just because we have the right information we don’t necessarily get it right when it comes to the outworking of how that works.

I know my heart is thick more often than sensitive especially when it comes to the matter of the resourcing of finances. My heart is more difficult to be gotten a hold of that it is delicate and easily touched by God’s power when it comes to funding.

What I am in constant need of is a touch from God. His touch needs to penetrate my heart. Once that occurs I am able to make progress in life.
God is always ready to penetrate our hearts. His power is sufficient to touch our hearts at the deep down level.  Our God is a God with invasionary power. We must not be naïve about the need for God’s Spirit being present for progress to be made. God’s presence by his Spirit is necessary for us to gain any kind of traction in the realm of the financial perspective. God gets our attention first through the pain of finances it seems. Then he gains power in our lives by the presence of his Holy Spirit that allows us to make commitments that we are able to follow up on the gaze of his indwelling Spirit. It’s a simply profound interaction.

3: Concerns about future momentum ensnared me.

The future is headed in a direction that is precisely where God is. If I am spending time and energy connecting with God and working on my capacity to connect with God above all else I am making my strategic moves forward in the right direction. For me to dwell, that is to worry, about the small itsy-bitsy meanderings in the road instead of to stay at the center path of the dotted line in the road I am making strategic errors in my navigation of things.

Amazingly it is easy to see that God has been the author of momentum in my life consistently all these years but this year it was easy to question whether that would continue another year or two down the road.

When I look at the pattern of the faithfulness of God it seems ridiculous to question God for even a nanosecond. Yet still, I found it difficult to hold off the questioning voices that seemed to return until I “Journaled” them away with the comparisons of God’s faithfulness in the past (as David did so masterfully in the Psalms) to the immediate concerns I have. With this technique in hand, I have been able to quiet these clamoring voices.

This has been a year of over concern and under influence. I’ve come to realize that I have been preoccupied with many things I cannot change – at least not now. I’ve come to realize that the future has loomed overly large in my mind and heart. I have had dreams repeatedly about the future. I’ve worried about the future and my capacity to meet the future. What is worry exactly? It is the emotional state I end up in one distressing, emotional state where the inner pressure is more than I can bear and it begins to drain me to a level of overall systemic debilitation. I’m not wired for this kind of emotional configuration. As my focus shifts to this, I began to lose it and begin to be draining beyond words description. Ultimately I grow ill all around.

None of us are wired to grab onto the future and steer it the way it needs to be steered. When we try to steer what we cannot our lives suffer. The quality of life in our souls grows weak and we begin to fade away.

To simply be alive causes one to be a bit preoccupied with such things. However, the thin line of what is reasonable and proper with this and what is over the top is easily crossed due to human preoccupation.

We tend to be caught up with what we focus upon. That is, we tend to become embroiled with the very things that we gaze upon.

If we are not careful we will fall in love with the very things that intimidate us. We can become enamored with the things that scare the daylights out of us. Thus we have a love-hate relationship with things in life. How maddening is that? I do not know about you but I am not all that interested in having it any more such relationships. My life has been drained already by such arrangements. I’m ready to move on and have just strong love relationship the rest of my days.

continue on to Part 3, which you can view here

Steve has spoken, mentored and modeled to churches and leaders around the world with the simple message that anyone – regardless of their gifting or experience – can be involved in bringing God’s loving kindness to others. His first book, Conspiracy of Kindness has been translated into several languages with more in the works. His first book has sold over 300,000 copies. Altogether his books have sold over 500,000 copies.

1 COMMENT

  1. Momentum, direction, success, all seem to come from the same few voices who superstar status make the rest of us feel like we are failing. It’s not the latest strategy or series. I agree that it is getting before God and trusting Him to lead.
    “O Lord, I know it is not within the power of man to map his life and plan his course” Jer 10:23 LB

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