There is so much going on. We are surrounded by so much information (and disinformation) and it seems like the whole world has gone crazy. All of this makes it so easy to get overwhelmed in the details of it all; to be driven to madness by minutiae because everything is clamoring for our attention.
Well, it's time to breathe. Center. Get ABOVE the noise so you can get (or stay) on track. So in this blog, I am going to share with you my "Habakkuk Plan." These are the 5 steps I return when I have gotten off kilter and need to reorient myself, my perspective, and my life. Because when things get "off" or I find myself "going off," it is usually because I have strayed from 1 (or all) of these.
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I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart" (Hab. 2:1).
The prophet begins with a declaration of intent: "I will." In order to get above the noise, we have to stop making excuses and (re)position ourselves to create the space to listen, think, and dream. This may require finding a physical space that promotes this or a time of day that this can happen.
Repositioning does not require a huge amount of time or money. Do not make it complicated. You don't have to book a day at a spa or wait for the stars to line up. Get off the phone, social media, or out the house. Take a walk. Wake up a bit earlier or go to sleep later or sit on the toilet longer. You're smart-figure it out. Find the guarded space that is currently occupied with a less important task or one that can be shifted. Find the space that makes it hard for people or things to interrupt you. For me, repositioning means waking up a little earlier. It is the only guaranteed time of day that I know no one will interrupt me.
Sit and listen. Allow yourself to get lost in the quiet and the musings of my mind. Do this prayerfully, mindful of God's presence and with an attitude of gratitude. It is ok to let your mind wander and then follow my thoughts where they lead. This very well may be the Spirit leading you to discover connections and answers you'd otherwise miss. Remember to offer up your petitions and questions, everything that presses upon your heart as you become aware of it.
THEN, spend a few minutes plotting out your day and follow the nudges and inklings about what to include, when, and in what order. This way, you are not chasing the day driven by fear, worry, pressure, stress, or outside expectations. Instead you are making strategic use of your time; you are handling your business instead of your business handling you. Even if you do not know everything about the "big picture," you are still getting closer to its fulfillment because you are moving in the direction that God is leading you.
Cultivate a Posture of Readiness
"I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint" (Hab. 2:1).
Habakkuk expects to hear and see something from God. We should, too. However, I am not talking about burning bushes or voices from the sky. Expect God in the ordinary events of your day. So often, God's will manifests gradually. It is like the dawning of the sun. Things slowly get brighter and then we see or understand the process and where it is taking us. Therefore, this posture of readiness is not a one shot deal in which a revelation just jumps out at us. No, it is about setting our hearts to obey before the command or leading comes. It is expecting and acknowledging God's direction in the everyday things--sending the text or email when we feel led, pausing before committing to see if it is what we are supposed to do, holding our tongues when we have plenty to say because our spirits urge silence, and not running ahead without the go ahead because we feel pressed to "do something."
A posture of readiness gives our day an "upward" trajectory. We are no longer governed solely by what's around us, but a higher sense of purpose which is not to be confused with busyness, a multiplicity of tasks, or recognition of our importance by others. The mundane become purposeful because these everyday things emanate from the core of who we are and our connection with God. This posture keeps us ready to move on divine command by keeping space to hear from God, be ready to move with God, remain patient enough to wait on God without allowing the situation, other people, or ourselves to fill a silence God has not yet broken.
"Then the Lord answered me and said: 'Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.'" (Hab. 2:2).
In whatever way you can, move from the abstract to the concrete, from theory to practice, from thinking to doing. That's what the Lord tells Habakkuk to do when he is told to "write the vision." In other words, take the things you see and hear and put them in a form that communicates what God said to you.
So, let me unpack this.
I am not talking about writing a sermon or doing some super spiritual task. It may be that, but more often than not, the critical pieces of the vision are the everyday stuff. These are things we choose to ignore, overlook, or brush aside as unimportant or inconvenient. These are the areas where we tend to procrastinate. So often this action will lead us to address our areas of discomfort, fear, or dissatisfaction.
The critical piece here is that you act on what you know or see. It doesn't require a grand gesture or huge announcements. Where you do you feel the nudge? What step can you take to manifest what you've seen or heard?
"For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay (Hab. 2:3).
Yes. Rest. Rest and do not worry. Do not waste energy on fear. Do what restores and refuels you. If you do not know what that is, figure it out. If what you turn to turns you from God, find something else.
Rest your mind and body. It's ok of you do not know and things are not clear-there's STILL a vision. Its revelation will come at the "appointed" time; that is, the right time or the divinely selected time. If you're repositioning, remaining ready, and recording, then everything will be ON TIME. The vision is not to trick you-the vision is TRUE.
Live in Realtime
"Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith" (Hab. 2:4).
Here is where all the steps above come together. As you are walking in them, you are walking in faith. Your steps are being ordered by God. You are living above the push and pull of everyone and everything clamoring for your attention so you can direct you and your resources to the places and people to which you are called to give them. Your life becomes call-centered, not can-centered.
Can-centered living creates an unrestrained flurry of action that is neither purposeful or productive. It causes you to expend with no return except to fill one's pride. It is ego driven living that seeks approval and confirmation from others.
That is why Habakkuk is told to "look at the proud." They are the negative example, what not to do. He (We) are to live by faith.
Repositioned to go in the right direction
Ready to take the next step
Recording our journey with right action
Resting to stay on track
so we can live in the realtime
no cop outs
just FAITH, JUST faith
ABOVE the noise