Sabbatical Day #1
Good morning all! (Please be patient with this email, I know it’s long)
For many of you it may come as a surprise that I’ve left Indianapolis and headed for the mountains for a week of focus, fasting and prayer. I was scheduled to meet or conference with some of you this week and, while I still intend to facilitate some of the calls, I’m nowhere near Indy and will have to reschedule any meetings for when I return.
Nevertheless, this email is not just about letting you all know that I won’t be available for meetings this week. There’s also a much deeper purpose for this email. After praying this morning and seeking God’s face on “FOCUS” for day 1 of my fast, I was led to include all of you in this first email. Before any documents are written or decisions are made with respect to my family, ministry and community, I wanted to share with you how God’s word spoke to me today. Right now I’m lying in the bed because my legs went totally numb as I was writing to you. I couldn’t feel my legs nor walk. Feet in the bible represent PURPOSE and DIRECTION. When my legs went numb, the first thing I thought was that I ought to be able to make it to the other room. But, I couldn’t and I had to use the strength of my arms to hold myself up and drag my legs across the floor. It was tough because I had never been so reliant on my arms to do what my legs have been doing all of my life. I instantly realized how heavy of a weight my body really was without the use of my legs.
The word that came to me from this centered around the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11). Many of you and the people you know may look at the situations and issues that our communities (Nashville or Indianapolis) faces like Martha. Especially after the events of this past weekend in downtown Indianapolis, we all shake our heads and wonder where God is in all of this. Churches are emptying and faith gets twisted because many are so wounded by the violence and turmoil in our communities that the hope that has brought us this out of slavery gets distracted and many literally say to Jesus, if only you had been here this weekend, if only you’d been here for our children, or for ME. . . If only you’d been here, my marriage wouldn’t have died. Maybe my child wouldn’t have been shot. Maybe, I wouldn’t have had to deal with the disease in my body if you’d been here for me. Maybe, Lord, if you would’ve been here for me I may not have fallen into this addiction that has a strong hold on my life.
I believe that God has prepared me for such a time as this to represent his word in the midst of all that is challenging our communities. God’s word is clear to show us ourselves. But it is also clear to tell us what to do next. Like a mirror, once we see how deranged our hair, cloths, and make up are in the morning, we must take the necessary steps to begin fixing those things that we recognize aren’t in order.
Back to my legs. After Jesus raises Lazarus from the grave, the bible says that Lazarus came forth. He came out of the darkness. He left the realities of death behind. He came back to life. But, there was still a problem. He was still bound. He was bound at the feet, the hands and the face. His purpose (feet), work (hands) and vision (face) were still in bondage. [I’ll preach on this later] Today I want to bring attention to the bondage of purpose [feet] in our communities. I found out in a very real way how difficult it is to move in a forward direction and with conviction when you don’t have full use of your feet or legs. Getting to the other room was difficult even though I knew where I wanted to go!
To be sure, Jesus had the power to remove the grave clothes before Lazarus came out. But, he didn’t. He had the ability to walk up to his friend and unwrap him, but he didn’t. Jesus turns to the community, those who were standing by and tells them to “Loose Him and let him go.” Here it’s important to note the directive of Jesus to us today. It’s so clear. It’s not complicated. There’s always a faith switch for you and I after Jesus handles his business. There’s always a response for us, in the midst of a miracle taking place. The question is, “will we respond to the command of God to involve ourselves in the miracle taking place in our communities?”
I’m calling all men, father’s, husbands, uncles, grandfathers, mentors and wanna-be’s to join me in prayer at the forefront! It’s time for all of us to make IMPACT and be a part of what God is doing in our midst. It’s time for us to start finding purpose in our lives, in our walk and in our work. God has already delivered us and we must heed the call to be a part of power and deliverance that is taking place. We have access to more resources today than ever before in our history to get focused, communicate and walk with purpose. Jesus has freed the sons in our communities, yet, our sons are still bound and waiting on us to do our part! Our daughters are free, but still bound. Our visions are still bound. Our families are still bound. And it’s our responsibility as men to handle our response-ability.
No one person can do it all. And that’s why I need every hand on deck. Every resource released and made available. If you write, I need you to set up a blog and start writing. If you speak, I need you to pray about researching and speaking on the topics of purpose and direction. If you own a business, then I need you to pray about sowing sacrificial seeds of support into an effort such as this. If you’re a prayer warrior, then I need you to start praying right now. If you have any other God-given gift (administration is always needed by the way) that can help free our communities from the grips of ignorance, violence, fear, apathy, guilt, denial, pride, you name it, then let the record show that God is calling on you to stand up and do your part. And, if you know someone who needs to heed this call of God, forward this email to them with a personal note from you.
Today, I’m praying for focus. I’m asking God to order my steps and make my path and purpose clear. I’m seeking divine order in every area of my life so that the anointing that flows through me will point back to God and not toward me. As the week continues, we’ll continue to witness the crystallization of God’s vision for how all of this will come together for me and my family, for ministry and for our community. Pray Church!
It’s time to make IMPACT!