When God presents us with opportunities, we have a choice. Do we trust and change or stick to our plan? I have learned over the years that trusting God with opportunities is an adventure that only produces good fruit.
My life this past month has been crazy busy. Hence not posting anything last week. I don’t like my life to be this full too often – it’s not good for our health if it goes on too long. But while preparing to start our B2B (Be the Leader God wants you to be) seminar, God challenged and confirmed that I was to say yes to becoming a student again. Not full-time (because that really would be insane) but an official student in a modular version of Advanced Principles of Communication. To add to the craziness – the school started 1.5 days after the B2B finished. And there was pre-reading to be done too. (insert laughing crying emoji here)
When God speaks to me like this, I pay attention. I don’t want to say no to an opportunity God is bringing to me and one which my leaders are also recommending. If you were to look at my work schedule, you would join me in asking, “how is that going to be possible!”
I trust God. He has the best for me. I also know that when He speaks – He also has a solution to any problem I see with His plan. So I said yes to becoming a student.
But I also held before God:
- My leaders and I were already looking at how I could streamline my workload before this new idea.
- That this year is a year of abundance for me (is this an option for more?)
- And that I wasn’t alone in doing the work to make it all possible.
I also said yes in faith because I didn’t know anything about this school except that it would challenge and change my thinking. Lastly, I also knew that to finish my degree with the University of the Nations (YWAM’s University), I needed to do a communications-type school anyway.
Being a modular school means we have four intensive weeks of class and about ten hours of homework per week). This was a point of prayer I have been lifting to God for the past two weeks. How do you fit 10 hours more into a full week without having to work several evenings or at the weekend? Time off to relax and have fun is also essential and healthy for us all.
God is interested in structure.
During the first intensive week, we looked at this passage below in Deuteronomy. We were partly looking at how God is interested and has an excellent solution to building a healthy structure to govern a nation. But I noticed some other things too.
Deuteronomy 1: 9-14
“At that time I said to you, ‘I am unable by myself to bear you. The Lord your God has multiplied you, so that today you are as numerous as the stars of heaven. May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you thousand times more and bless you, as he has promised you! But how can I bear the heavy burden of your disputes all by myself? Choose for each of your tribes individuals who are wise, discerning, and reputable to be your leaders.’ You answered me, ‘The plan you have proposed is a good one.’ “
God is all about multiplication.
He was going to continue to increase the number of Israelites thousand times more! If we get too many people- it’s not time to close the doors and say we’re full. But to continue to say yes and look to God for a new solution to expand successfully. Whether that’s how we add in the new work or adjust other responsibilities, make the new additions possible. Or as a school leader looking at the number of students applying with the staff to student ratio you require. Should you cap the number of students? Or trust that God is bringing those students and pray for a solution and more staff to join you so you can achieve the quality training and discipleship you want for all the students.
The opposite way of looking at the problem of too many people is like China’s one-child solution. Limited and controlling. Not who God is in his nature and character – life, freedom and multiplication.
We aren’t meant to carry the burden ourselves.
The Trinity is the ultimate example of teamwork. Each has a clearly defined role and supports the others, so they work in unity and harmony thus can do way more than just one could (even God). I have a team I work with, leaders who support and help me find solutions—others who have gifts that I am lacking. And there is flexibility for a season to have others carry parts of a team that I need to lay down to give me the capacity for a new project. At other times, I will take on more to help others have time to do something else.
It’s good to ask for help.
Moses knew he couldn’t do it alone and shared his limitations. When we can be honest about what we can’t do – it shows our strength of character. Know your limitations. We are human. When we are willing to be vulnerable about our limits, God and other mature leaders will respond with love. When you are working hard and know what is healthy – no one will condemn you for holding your hand up and saying I need help. It is vital to model as a leader and in God’s eyes, is a strength of character, not weakness. Therefore will be met with love and support. (If you don’t get this response from your leaders, ask God for it and how to navigate forward.)
Delegating is a good thing.
Others have skills and gifting that they are waiting to put to good use. Be wise in who you delegate what. Not everyone can lead 1000 people but can do well starting with 10. In delegating, you are showing trust in their abilities and belief in them. As well as giving them opportunities to grow and reach their potential. We don’t know what we are capable of until we try. We need opportunities to try to find out. So, what tasks or responsibilities can you give away to lighten your load and develop others?
What does my structure solution look like?
I met with my leader, Sam. To discuss the possibilities of how I can keep my primary responsibilities but lay down some others for a season. Note I’m not making these decisions by myself. I am including God and my leaders. I am stepping out of a team for a season, continuing to delegate some teaching sessions and surrendering a little of my writing time. So I can fit 80% of my new workload into my weekly work schedule. For the other 20%, I will see how I can be intentional in using either an evening or other flexible opportunities in my week to fit it in. As well as manage me and the work within the time I have available. I am thankful for my leader’s support, flexibility and commitment to my growth.
I, at times, still feel waves of “ahh” as I try to take in more of what I need to accomplish. It’s new material which does require a lot of thinking. And my brain capacity sometimes feels like my laptop did this week – FULL – no more room. But my response is now to pause. Take in a deep breath. Breath it out slowly and invite Holy Spirit to come with peace and capacity. I am committed to doing the best I can in the time I have. So I can learn the most during this opportunity. I encourage myself with at least five things I can be thankful for each day. And I remind myself that God has given me these opportunities, so He has a plan not just to have me survive but grow and thrive in this season.
I am sure that over these next few months – more thoughts from this APC school will make their way in some blog posts. I have no idea what they will be. But we will all find out in time.
My challenge for you today
What is God asking you to say yes to? Are you going to choose to trust God with that opportunity? And be open to see how it will unfold? I encourage you to say Yes and to get help in making the most of it. Or are you already too busy and need to raise your hand to ask for help? Ask God who you can share with to get the support you need.
It would be great to hear what and how it’s going for you as well – so do feel free to add a comment below to share with us all. Or drop me an email or social media post.