But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your SINCERE and PURE devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3 (NIV)

 

It was a Super Tuscan, flaky-appetizer-perfection kind of an evening.  Add two of my most beautiful friends around that cozy table and cue the deep breath.  I settled in for a carefree reconnect with my people.

But, this was, in fact, ACTUALLY, an intervention.  Took me just a wee minute to figure it out.  😉

It’s an occupational hazard.  Extremes are defined as such because we don’t tend to live in them, but God doesn’t ask most people to pen and post theirs to the World Wide Web.  I get it.  My friends are bound to fear for me from time to time.

And these ladies, now sitting across from me, are my chosen friends because they have truly “walked the walk” in the extremes of both stilettos and army crawls.  My ear is theirs to bend.

The posed question was simple:  “What in your life is Good and what is God?”

(Yikes)

A very strategic question — one that requires a Holy Spirit level of conviction.  Frankly, something a lot easier said than done.  “Good” and “God” do tend to feel a lot like the same thing.

Yet, our best “Yes” to God can sometimes be a strategic “No” to something else… even something good.  Without the right grounding, we can waste our energy, giftings, and desires on the wrong (perfectly good) things.

But how in this world can we determine the difference?

  1. Know your target.
  2. Ration your arrows.

Your arrows are your energy and your targets your calling.  However, without a clear target to aim towards, what we tend to do is shoot at everything that moves.  Wind whistle to the left?  Load and shoot.  Tree branch cracking to the right?  Spin, load & shoot.  Shadows dancing at your 3’oclock?  Reloading!!  One of these arrows is going to have to connect somewhere, right?

By night fall, we’ve grabbed for hundreds of arrows, shot with an increasingly half-hearted momentum.  Targets missed.  Exhaustion setting in.

We end the day with nary a bullseye and an early alarm set on repeat-the-cycle-tomorrow.  It is neither effective, sustainable, nor what we’ve been created to be.  But we remain convinced that the energy we exert is what ultimately proves our dedication to the cause.  This is a well-crafted, time-tested, most brilliant manipulation straight from the enemy:

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  2 Corinthians 11:3 (NIV)

How, practically, do we re-train?

Pick your 3 best targets.  (During my intervention I bargained my way up to 5, but I’m in the advanced stages of denial)

It’s time to brainstorm:

  1. What is currently required of you?
  2. What have you committed yourself to do?
  3. What is in your heart to be?
  4. What do you naturally and spontaneously find yourself throwing into the mix?

Then get honest.  How is your God-calling being diluted by your good efforts?

Ask for the Father to cut through, expose, and re-define your targets.  A target could be “family” (in some cases your spouse might need a target separate from your kids).  It could be your “job” (remembering to be strategic in what YOUR job actually is).  Perhaps, it’s a specific form of “ministry” (and let’s not forget that no one needs a title in a church to actually be doing ministry).  It might be picking up “trash” (don’t knock it, I have a friend who’s doing just that).  Maybe it’s your “home” (to host in, get organized, update).  The list will be uniquely yours and should be definable so you can stay on course.

Whatever those targets may be: KNOW THEM.  And when you’re feeling an opportunity, a ping of guilt, or a favor coming on… ASK YOURSELF, “Is. This. My. Target?”

I’ve had a nice handful of “Good” come my way in the last few days.  It’s shocking how much of it I can now see is not “God,” though.  I’m still full-steam ahead.  All-in.  But I desperately desire a new level of  EFFECTIVENESS.

Friend, if you are stressed, worn-thin, diluted, exhausted, or embittered, put down that bulk bag of arrows and get specific with those burdens you carry.  Lay down the good in favor of finding what is God.  It’s a game changer!


Dedicated to my friends, Denise and Amy, who are among the most genuine God chasers I know.  Please keep keeping it real (especially with this girl).