Your Unique Mission!

Your Purpose Is To Know Jesus Deeply, Enjoy God Immensely, And Make Him Known To The World By Helping Others To A Saving And Growing Relationship With Jesus!

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(This is the final in this message series)

For the last 4 weeks we’ve been talking about Kairos Living In A Chronos World.  Chronos and Kairos are the Greek words for time.  Chronos time is measured time—a second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year.  It’s That Time Between Punching The Time Clock In And Punching Out.  It’s Endured Time.  God offers us more—He Offers Us Kairos Time—Time That Is Rich And Full Of Experience. 

There are so many Kairos moments for us to experience.  Today, we’ll close out this series with the most significant kairos moment a disciple of Jesus can have:  The Kairos Moment of Discovering Your Unique Mission.   Knowing your Unique Mission in life is crucial.  Talk about a powerful Kairos moment—it will change the way you live the rest of your life.  Look with me at 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NLT)

4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.  7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

What could be more important than to be on a mission from God?  You are 1 of a potential 7.6 billion followers of Christ.  Yet, out of so many, God has called YOU to carry out His special mission in the world.  Do you know what your Unique Mission is? 

If you can remember only 1 thing this morning, this is it:  Your Purpose Is To Know Jesus Deeply, Enjoy God Immensely, And Make Him Known To The World By Helping Others To A Saving And Growing Relationship With Jesus!  If this sounds sorta familiar, then you’ve heard the Westminster Catechism.

People who choose to live in Kairos Time find their Unique Mission as we live out this purpose.  Inside purpose, we always find the Mission.  To Be A Real Disciple Is Not About Creeds And Rituals—It’s All About Relationship And Experience.  I want to share with you how you and discover God’s unique mission in your life so you can have Kairos Living in a Chronos world!

1.  First Of All, Make The Conscious Decision To Nurture God’s Thoughts!

It’s possible to plan out a day, a business agenda, a church agenda, or even life goals without knowing God’s thoughts and without the certainty of moving in God’s presence.  Before Jesus ascended back into heaven, his last words of counsel to the disciples and to us are:  Wait until you’re sure you’re moving with God’s plan.  Hang on until you know you have God’s presence, because this mission is impossible to do in your own strength and resources!

As you walk in step with God, you have a tremendous privilege of knowing the heart and mind of God.  Anyone—not just pastors or great saints or Bible scholars—can dream the dreams of God.  God promises that all Kingdom People, regardless of gender, race, economic status, social status, or age will be given the ability to think God’s thoughts for the purpose of acting on God’s plan for the future. 

It says so in the book of Joel, that Peter quoted on the Day of Pentecost: Acts 2:17-18—17 ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy.  Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy.’

Those days are the time between Jesus’ Ascension and His Return.  You need to begin right now nurturing God’s thoughts.  Most of us need to learn this nurturing process. 

Some People Develop Inspiring Visions For What Their Life Potential Could Be, But Few People Have The Sense Of Supernatural Intervention That Provides For The Ability To Think God’s Thoughts Today.  The world teaches that life centers around self-focus.  But a person filled with the Holy Spirit puts the focus on knowing and pleasing God.  Spirit directed people gear their whole lifestyle toward the purpose of God. 

In Mark 1 we read about Jesus going out to pray before sunrise.  What was he doing before his day began?  He was Dream-Visioning and Thinking God’s thoughts in order to direct the purpose for His day.  Because Of The Holy Spirit You Can Dream God’s Dreams And Know God’s Thoughts Right Now

We have to go on a course that is not always comfortable or natural and that is moving counter clockwise to the rest of the culture because we will be surrendered to a God-focus.  We develop the ability to think God’s thoughts and then move further toward God’s preferred future.

2. The Second Step Is To Connect With People Who Share God’s Passion!

You need to connect with people who will encourage you forward in God’s Mission.  This is what mentoring is all about. 

You Will Begin Thinking Like The People With Whom You Spend The Majority Of Your Time.  If people around you think money, you will begin to think money.  If you spend time with negative people, your attitude becomes negative.  If those you hang with people who are critical, you will be critical.  I want to hang with people who throw more fuel on the fire of God!  You need mentors.

But the truth is, there are not enough mentors to go around.  Mentoring cannot always be done through 1-on-1 relationships.  But you are still responsible for managing your own mentoring needs.  Time boundaries and geography restrictions are no excuse for not building a solid network of mentors.  You can have mentors who may not be aware they are your mentors; they may not even know you exist, yet you can draw from their wealth of wisdom. 

Let me share with you some of my mentoring network:  My Dad, Debbie, Carrie Thompson, Chuck Swindoll, Max Lucado, Mike Stenson, Tim Buchanan, Reggie McNeal, John Wesley, Kyle Idleman, Mike Stonbraker, Matt Redman.  Some I know personally, others I’ve never met, but they and many others, are a part of my mentoring network. 

You may never meet a lot of the people who are a part of your mentoring network, but you can listen to them and be the better for it by spending time with them.  Who are the mentors in your life?

How much time do you spend under the influence of Godly People?   It will be these godly people who will help you discover your mission from God and encourage you to move forward into God’s future for your life.    

3.  Finally, Name Your Unique Mission From God!

Allow me to make an important distinction:  Your Unique Mission Is Different From Your Life Purpose!  My life purpose and your life purpose is simple and it is our overall reason for being here on planet Earth.  Our life purpose, whether we’re a pastor or factory worker or teacher or retired, is to Know Jesus Deeply, Enjoy God Immensely, And Make Him Known In Our World.  This is the purpose for every person.  Young, old, rich, poor, men, women—it’s the same.

Your mission is highly specific.  Your Unique Mission Is To Make Him Known By Helping Others To A Saving And Growing Relationship with Jesus!  My mission is clear to me:  To fulfill my Unique Mission, I am to be a pastor, preacher, teacher and leader.  When you identify your mission, it will be as specific as mine.  Here is a way to find the Clarity you need for your Unique Mission: 

  • Your Mission Will Come Out Of Your Passion. 
  • It Is Something That You Are Drawn To
  • It Will Probably Be Connected To Your Life Experiences. 
  • It Will Be Something You Feel Is A Gift From God.
  • You Can’t Keep From Doing It.

Will living out your mission cause you to leave your job and seek employment at a church or ministry?  Maybe, maybe not.  Will it cause you to bring your skills, your talents, and your gifts to the church for use?  ABSOLUTELY!!! 

You decide who your mentors will be depending on your life situation.  Choose people in your mentoring network who can help you name your mission.  Your mission is for the body of Christ, the Kingdom of God!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use your life to carry out God’s Dream.  In the power of the Holy Spirit, you can make a difference in your world.  Identify your unique mission and serve God by serving people.  Should you choose to accept this mission, God will be with you every step of the way.  Your life will not self-destruct, but will grow and blossom as you live in Kairos time!

Next Steps

  1. Build your network, and write down their names.  If they are local, get with them frequently.  You need at least 3 or more people you can meet with face to face.
  2. Study about Spiritual Gifts and name your gifts.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try something different.  Failure isn’t fatal, but fear is!

BE OBEDIENT TO GOD!

(Part 4 of the current Message Series)

We are looking at 2 Greek words that translate time, Chronos and Kairos.  We have only 1 word for “time”, but the Greek has these 2 words.  Let’s give this simplified way to describe the 2 Greek words.  Chronos is the unchanging ticking of the clock—a measured duration that consumes all

Kairos Is The Wonderfully Unique Moments Where God Steps Into Our Space And Time—To Renew And Restore Human Hearts And LivesChronos Is Ordinary Time—Kairos Is Holy Time.

So that we can recognize Kairos Time and insure that we are living in Kairos Time, there are certain steps we need to take.  First, we need to remember that God is in control of Kairos, not us.  We simply need to be involved where God is involved in order to see it.  Then we need to listen to God, not just hear Him—by being alert, sensitive and ready to move with God. 

There is another step for us to take.  It’s by Being Obedient.  Obedience is a word that isn’t well received in our Chronos Culture.  Our culture has replaced Obedience with holding onto views, beliefs and opinions that confirm whatever it is we want to believe.  It’s designed to relieve people of responsibilities for their choices and actions.

And even in the Church Culture, obedience is seen much in the same way.  I want to introduce you to a new word, a word I picked up from fellow blogger InsanityBytes.  That word is Churchian.  A Churchian is someone so deeply entrenched in the status quo of church that they reject everything contrary to what they believe and want.  They look for confirmation for what they already believe and typically—what the average Churchian believes is something that makes them comfortable and is easy to follow.  For example, “The Lord wants us to help those who are worthy of our help.”  Or, “The Lord never puts more on us than we can bear.”  But you won’t find those anywhere in the Bible.

Obedience is a word that is presented by both sides in a negative way.  But it’s a word that we cannot avoid if we are going to seriously follow Jesus in life.  It’s a missing word that we need to reclaim—but reclaim it the right way.  Let’s look at today’s passage from 2 John 1:5-6 (TPT)

Dearest woman, I have a request to make of you.  It is not a new commandment but a repetition of the one we have had from the beginning: that we constantly love one another. This love means living in obedience to whatever God commands us. For to walk in love toward one another is the unifying commandment we’ve heard from the beginning.

If you can remember only 1 thing today, this is it:  Obedience That Honors God—The Obedience God Demands From The Followers Of Jesus—Must Come From The Relationship, Not From The Rules.

Thanks to the Legalists and Modern Day Pharisees, obedience sounds harsh, difficult, and quite honestly, it is unfulfilling.  Modern day Legalists and Pharisees present obedience in such a way that it puts more emphasis on the external than the internal—and all at the expense of the heart.

Obedience to God doesn’t mean that we give up the freedom of the heart.  To the contrary, there is a real freedom that we find in the new heart—and this new heart calls us to obey.  It’s this freedom that draws us in the direction of what Eugene Peterson once called in a book he wrote, A Long Obedience In The Same Direction

Obedience Is Not The Relationship God Offers.  But You Cannot Have The Relationship God Offers Without Being Obedient.  And here in John’s letter, we have the way obedience works the way God has designed it—obedience that develops both maturity—and a life of holiness that pleases God.

1.  Obedience Begins As A Decision

And the first decision we need to make is to admit our need for The Savior.  Here are the first 3 critical decisions we must make about this need: 

  1. We Are Sinners cut-off from God.  We can’t save ourselves.  If we bypass this step, we will never be able to have The Relationship God longs to have with us.  Obedience grows from the heart that knows it is dead without being forgiven and delivered from our sin by the atoning work of Jesus on the Cross.  None of us are exempt from it—that we are sinners.  No sinner is any worse than any other sinner.  We are equally sinners needing Jesus to deliver us from the penalty and dominion of sin.
  2. The Second Step Is To Confess.  Confession means being of the same mind.  It means we cannot follow Jesus into the life of holiness until we are of the same mind about what God says about our sin—For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)  Confession isn’t the same thing as admitting you sinned.  Simply admitting you’ve sinned is like a child admitting they took a cookie from the cookie jar when confronted by Mom, acting like they are sorry and won’t do it again.  But deep down, they really want another cookie, so when Mom isn’t looking the next time, they will get a cookie.  Confession starts the process of changing how we see ourselves in light of God’s Truth.
  3. The Third Step Is To Repent.  Repent Means That You Turn Away From The Old Life, And Move Into This New Life.  Repentance doesn’t mean you have to feel miserable and cry your eyes out.  You might need to do that—but tears of remorse are not enough.  It’s like Peter preached in Acts 3:19-20—“And now you must repent And Turn Back To God so that your sins will be removed, and so that times of refreshing will stream from the Lord’s presence.  And He will send you Jesus, the Messiah, the Chosen One for you.”  Without turning back to God and His Ways, we haven’t repented, we’ve only admitted we are sinners.  There has been no transformation—and transformation will NOT happen until we turn back to Him.  Repentance is not repentance unless it includes the desire to turn back to God and live like He wants us to live.

God has only one plan for Salvation, and that is in Jesus Christ, through confession and repentance for those who will admit they are sinners.  We obey God’s plan because we have been saved through His grace.  If we try to have a relationship with Him in any other fashion, it becomes a negotiation—and God doesn’t negotiate.

2.  Obedience Becomes The Choice

Every morning and all day long obeying God is a conscious and intentional choice.  Every situation we face becomes a moment where we choose to obey God or disobey God.  Everything in your life, everything you face, from ordinary moments to even painful moments, are moments we choose to obey God or disobey Him.

I think about Joshua’s retirement speech to the Hebrews in Joshua 24:15—“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.”  Once you come into the Relationship, there’s more.  Obedience Is Doing What God Wants Done—More Than What YOU Want Done.

And so you make a choice, every day and all day long.  That’s what Peterson meant in his book—it’s a long obedience in the same direction.  Your Choices Are Based On The Values Of The Land You Are Living In OR Based On The Truth Of God

Too many are making choices based on the land they are living in—a land filled with idols and false gods.  The land we are living in has declared war on the Rule of God!  Our choice is either to surrender to the culture or to step into the realm of God’s Rule and join in the battle against Satan by living in obedience to God. 

J.D. Walt, a powerful writer, teacher and preacher reminded me the other day of something very important. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day focused on the Rules of God because they thought God was in the Rules.  Jesus came to proclaim God’s Rule! To experience Kairos, Our choice needs to submit our heart, mind, soul and life to God’s Rule over us.

3.  Obedience Builds Into A Process

God created life to work for us and not against us.  And life does work for us when we live it the way He designed it to be lived.  To successfully and abundantly live this life He created, we live in His way, not our own way.  Obedience Is Doing What God Says, How God Says To Do It And When God Says To Do It. 

We learn to obey God’s Law—God’s ONLY Law—and that is to love the way He loves.  We don’t obey so that God will bless us.  We obey God because we Love Him!  The difference is in these 4 words:  Have To or Get To.  Your heart and mindset will be the you either have to obey or get to obey! The New Heart God gives us responds with the joy of “get to”–you get to obey God because His heart and strength now lives in you.

I want to close out with this quote from Eugene Peterson’s book, A Long Obedience In The Same Direction, and it’s about obedience:

“We need roots in the past to give obedience ballast and breadth; we need a vision of the future to give obedience direction and goal.”

Obedience must be rooted in both—the Past AND the Future.  Obedience without God’s Word is living without roots to hold us steady and strong in the winds of change.  Obedience without the Future—that direction and goal—leaves us stuck in the past—and we miss out on God’s future.

Obedience is about becoming whole in Jesus.  It is through obedience that we become whom God made us to be—the reflection of His Image.

Here Are Your Next Steps:

  1. Focus On The Relationship Not The Rules.  This was where Satan began with Adam and Eve—The Rules.  They forgot about the relationship because they were so focused on that Rule.  Had their focus been on The Relationship, they would have made a different choice.  Choose God’s Rule over the Rules of God.
  2. Start With One Area Of Your Life Where You Know You Are In Disobedience And Work With The Holy Spirit To Change That.  Have you become someone else’s judge?  Are you holding onto a grudge?  Is there a bad habit?  Align that one area of your life with obedience, and the others will begin to change, too.

BE LISTENING TO GOD!

Listening To God Leads To Learning And That Learning Leads To Holiness. Hearing God doesn’t accomplish that. Hearing only captures the sound. Listening Captures The Listener. We need to Listen to God for Kairos Time to invade this Chronos Time culture that surrounds us.

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This is Message #3 in my current Series

Quick review:  We have only 1 word for “time” but the Greek has these 2 words.  Here is the difference between the 2:

Chronos Time is Time measured by the ticking of the clock.  Kairos cannot be measured by the ticking of a clock, But By The Beating Of The HeartKairos Is When God Steps Into Our Time And Space And Does Something Incredible.  Chronos Is Measured by Quantity.  Kairos Is Measured By Quality.

We live in a Chronos World—but God offers us more than the ticking of the clock kind of life.  He offers us the Kairos Life, and it’s found when we recognize Kairos Moments.  So today we look at another way we can be in a place where the Kairos Time invades and overwhelms our Chronos Time.  Turn in your Bibles, tablets or phones to Hebrews 1:1-3 and I want to share it with you in The Passion Translation.  It spoke to my heart and I hope it speaks to your heart.

Here’s one of my personal observations:  Most People Tend To Be Listening Impaired Rather Than Hearing Impaired.  There is a difference between Hearing and ListeningHearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear.  Unless you are hearing impaired, Hearing just happens.  However, Listening is something you Intentionally choose to do.  Listening requires concentration so that your mind can process those sounds.

How we live each day is rooted in what we choose to listen to.  Hearing is simple enough: the ears register the sounds produced and the brain interprets them.  But in the act of Listening, we must be paying attention.  Sometimes we may be distracted by something we see, or we may be lost in our own thoughts and we are Hearing but not Listening.

Think about this worship service.  Do you Hear worship in Chronos Time or do you Listen to it in Kairos Time?  Here is an easy way to tell if you are Hearing or Listening.  If you are waiting for the service to end—then you are Hearing in Chronos Time and your worship happens As Chronos Time. 

But—if you wish the service wasn’t over because you have been captivated and caught up in this moment of Worship—then you are Listening In Kairos Time and your worship becomes a Kairos Moment

If you can remember only 1 thing from today’s message, this is it:  Listening To God Leads To Learning And That Learning Leads To Holiness.  Hearing God doesn’t accomplish that.  Hearing only captures the soundListening Captures The Listener.  We need to Listen to God for Kairos Time to invade this Chronos Time culture that surrounds us.

To remember this, we need to intentionally cultivate some Holy Habits that will move us from Hearing God to Listening To God.  What I am about to share with you is not natural, nor is it easy.  But when we do them Intentionally it opens our hearts and minds to the invasion of Kairos Time.  To help you remember how to Intentionally develop this, the Spirit has reduced it to only 3 words:  Each word comes with its own example from the Bible.

1.  Be Alert

Become Aware Of Your Surroundings With A Sensitized Heart, Not A Desensitized Mind.  Do you understand the difference between being sensitized and being desensitized?  Sensitized means to quickly detect and respond to even the slightest changes in the moment.  It’s being tuned into your surroundings. Desensitized means we are emotionally insensitive or detached.  It numbs us so much that we fail to act for the sake of The Kingdom.  Be aware of what is ordinarily going on around you. 

When ordinary surroundings change, then it is likely to be a Kairos Moment.  Moses is a great example of this.  One day he was taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep.  He would have been in that area many times, taking care of those sheep.    

He walked by that mountain so often that his mind could have become desensitized to any changes.  But on that day—Moses knew something was different.  A bush was burning, but not burning up.  He was alert and he went to investigate.  And because Moses was alert and went to investigate, here’s what God said in Exodus 3:5—“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.”

When we are alert to God’s presence, Ordinary Chronos Time becomes Extraordinary Kairos Time.  An Ordinary Place becomes Holy Ground.  Alert means to be on the lookout for what’s happening—and if in your ordinary day-to-day life, you do not expect to find Holy Moments and Holy Ground, guess what—you won’t find it.  But, if like Moses, you are alert to your surroundings, any moment will become the place that Kairos invades the Chronos.

2.  Be Sensitive. 

Love God So Deeply That Whatever Moves Him To Act, Causes Your Heart To Act.  One of the things Jesus manifested in His daily life was His sensitivity to the people around.  He was so sensitive that one day He knew when a woman touched the hem of His robe.  Jesus was sensitive to Zacchaeus, sensitive to the lepers, sensitive to the hungry crowds.  He’s sensitive because He knows the right time to move.  Samuel is a great example.  After King Saul had turned against God, God sent Samuel on a quest—to find the next king of Israel.  God led Samuel to the family of Jesse. 

And we read in 1 Samuel 16:3—“Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.”  But God doesn’t tell Samuel which son.  Samuel is ready to pick the tallest, strongest, oldest and most handsome son to be the next king. 

But that wasn’t the one and God said in Verse 7—“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.  People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

God thinks, plans and operates on a different level than us.  He wants us to know and to see what HE knows and sees, so we need to be sensitive to God because He is aware of what lies within people—both their needs and their potential.  We need to be sensitive to God because He is on the move and working in the hearts and lives of the broken and fallen All The Time.

3.  Be Ready

When God Steps Into Our Time And Space He Is Ready To Act—And So Should We.  God steps into our space and time Intentionally.  Readiness on our part needs to be Intentional, too!  Being ready means that we seek and anticipate the movement of God—in the culture and in the lives of people. 

Isaiah is a great illustration on the importance of being ready.  In chapter 6 we find Isaiah grieving the death of King Uzziah.  Naturally he goes to the Temple to grieve.  And in that moment of grief, Isaiah sees God—but he thinks his goose is cooked—that he is about to die.  Isaiah admits his condition—that he’s a sinner surrounded by sinners.  But God redeems and purifies Isaiah, and then He asks this question in Isa. 6:8—“Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”  I said, “Here I am.  Send me.” 

Isaiah was ready to go!  And here’s the thing you need to really pay close attention to in Isaiah’s response: 

  • He didn’t know where he would be sent,
  • didn’t know what he would have to do,
  • and he didn’t know what that message would be. 
  • But he was still ready to go! 

If he was only Hearing God I don’t believe he would have been excited nor even wanted to go.  But because he was Listening to God, Intentionally processing that Kairos Moment, he was ready to go implement that plan of God.  God is looking for people to implement His plan without their corrections or additions.  God doesn’t need us to improve his plans. We need to respond like Isaiah:

  • We must be ready to go not knowing where it might be 
  • Ready to do not knowing exactly what we will be doing
  • Ready to speak not knowing exactly what He wants us to say
  • Just be ready.

God is always looking for ordinary lives through which HE can do extraordinary things.  I mean, if it takes being extraordinary to do what God wants—then how would the world know that it’s God doing it?  They would think it’s the result of extraordinary people.

Sometimes things you may not even want to do can open the door for the Lord to use you to impact the life of another!  Let me tell you the story of John Egglen.  John had never preached a sermon in his life—until that morning.  In January 1850, snow buried his town of Colchester, England.  He thought about staying home. Who would go to church that day?  But he reconsidered.  He was, after all, one of the leaders and if leaders didn’t go, who would?  

He put on his boots, hat, and coat and walked the six miles to the Methodist Church.  Only thirteen people were present: 12 members and 1 guest.  Even the pastor was snowed in.  Someone suggested they go home.  John would hear none of that.  They’d come this far; they would have a service.  Besides, they had a guest; a thirteen-year-old boy.  But who would preach?  John was the only leader there, so it fell to him.  His sermon lasted only ten minutes.

It didn’t make a lot of sense, he struggled to make any point at all.  But at the end, a Kairos Moment stirred him, and He looked straight at the boy who was that guest and said:  “Young man, look to Jesus. Look! Look! Look!” 

Did the challenge make a difference?  This boy grew into a man and when he told this story he said, “I did look, and then and there the cloud on my heart lifted, the darkness rolled away, and at that moment I saw the sun.”  The boy’s name? Charles Haddon Spurgeon—England’s prince of preachers. 

Tens of thousands of people came into a relationship with Jesus, and even more deepened their commitment to Jesus through the life and preaching of C.H. Spurgeon.  It would not have happened, except that John Egglen recognized his own Kairos Moment.  And If You Don’t Have This Hope And Belief That You Can Make A Difference, Then Chronos Time Has Devoured You.

John Egglen was Listening to God.  Could it be, that somewhere around here, is the next C. H. Spurgeon, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, E. Stanley Jones, C. S. Lewis, Charles Swindoll, Charles Stanley?  

Who knows what impact 1 person will make down the line, when we are Listening to God!

Here Are Your Next Steps:

  1. Are you hearing God or Listening to God?  Make an intentional decision to Listen.  This is a decision you need to make each day and several times during the day.
  2. Partner with someone with whom you can deepen each other’s spiritual life.  Have 2, 3, 4 no more than 5 who will love you enough to tell you the truth about yourself, and who will allow you to do the same.
  3. Look around here to see what needs to be done, and volunteer.  There’s always something to do, something that needs to be done.  These are Kairos Moments waiting for you.
  4. Allow your complaint to become your job description.  Look around this community to see what needs to be done and do something to help out.  Whatever is wrong, work to make it right!

THRIVING IN THE KAIROS LIFE IN CHRONOS TIME!

When We Are Controlled By Chronos Time, It Limits, Even Eliminates, Our Ability To See God’s Time Of Kairos.

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(This is the second in my current Message Series, “Kairos Living In A Chronos Life!” You can find the first message here)

Remember from last week that Chronos Is Measured by Quantity.  Kairos Is Measured By Quality.  Kairos Time reveals and expresses quality moments that First Changes Us, and then Changes Our Surroundings

Our passage today is taken from Habakkuk 2:1-3.  Here’s the background you need to understand before we read it.  Habakkuk was a prophet just before the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem.  He senses doom is just ahead, and he does a very human thing:  He complains.  First he complains about his culture and why God doesn’t do something to change it.  God answers his complaint with the truth. 

Because they have been unfaithful, just as Habakkuk complained, He’s about to send Babylon to bring judgment.  Habakkuk doesn’t like God’s answer, so he complains again—complains about HOW God is addressing the problem.  All of this is chapter 1.  Now let’s look at the heart of God’s reply to Habakkuk’s complaining in Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NLT)

I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post.  There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint.   Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
    for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed.”

This passage talks about the impending judgment on Jerusalem.  But it also says something about God’s Time and Timing, especially that last sentence:  “It will not be delayed.”

Now here’s the one thing you need to remember today:  When We Are Controlled By Chronos Time, It Limits, Even Eliminates, Our Ability To See God’s Time Of Kairos.

The life that God offers us is The Kairos Life—moments full of God’s Kairos Time.  And as I said last week, we live IN a Chronos World.  We are surrounded by Chronos.  Until we die or unless Jesus comes back there’s no escaping Chronos Time.  And there are demands that Chronos puts on us.  To deny this truth is to live in a fantasy land.  It’s unrealistic and untrue. 

And as God’s messenger, I’m not going to deceive you into thinking that Chronos Time is no longer real once we become a disciple of Jesus.  There’s no way around it; but we do not have to be controlled nor limited by Chronos Time, because God has another Time and it’s the Life called The Kairos Life.  So, how can we thrive in a Chronos World with a Kairos heart? 

If give our heart to Jesus and throw our life into the Kingdom of God, Chronos Time remains for now.  But we do not have to live in Chronos Time the same way.  It’s all a matter of the mind and heart—and where we hitch our hearts and minds. 

At every given moment, our minds and hearts are attached—tethered to either Chronos or Kairos time.  Chronos remains dull, boring, and a difficult thing to endure without being connected deeply and strongly with Kairos Time.  But, When we are tethered to—fastened to The Kairos Life, it changes how we live in the Chronos Time.

Kairos changes our perception to see beyond times and appointments and duties.  Kairos opens us up to the true power of the Kingdom of God that redeems and transforms anything and anyone—that brings God’s glory into everything and everyone.  You just have to be in that place to see Kairos Time.  To make sure you can thrive in The Kairos Life in Chronos Time, allow me to share some steps you can take so you will Thrive In The Kairos Life:

1.  First, Check To See If What You Are Doing Really Matters To God & The Kingdom

Luke 17:21—“You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”

When your focus is on what you are doing it’s hard to focus on what God is doing. (Allow me to repeat this: When your focus is on what you are doing it’s hard to focus on what God is doing.)  Our focus tends to be on the external trappings of what we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, touch with our hands.  It’s not that way with the Kingdom of God.  And what matters to God and His Kingdom?

Your salvation!  Your spiritual maturity!  Speaking to each other rather than about each other!  Helping others!  Getting to know people, their hurts and their hopes.  Caring about others more than yourself!  How much more time do I have?  Well, obviously not enough.  Let me put it this way—God cares more this community than He does about this building.  And if you want to live in Kairos Time, then you need to do the same.

2.  Second, Kairos Is Planned By God’s Time And Not Us

Ecclesiastes 3:11—Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

Kairos is that Moment where God is making a move—in the hearts of people and at the center of communities.  It is all about trusting in God’s timing.  I have moments where I have issues with that timing.  But God sees farther ahead than we do.

This requires us to make a mental shift.  Instead of looking at our time as grains of sand slipping through an hourglass, we view our time as opportunities that God has been planning.  Trying to control as much as possible is living in Chronos time.  We need to live into time by seeing it as Kairos time, God’s time.  Instead of viewing our time as seconds ticking by, we can see God’s grace at work.

3.  Third, Kairos Time Is Big Picture Time

Isaiah 55:8-9—8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

In Chronos Time we get locked in our stuff—our abilities, our limitations.  Human reasoning and human logic are under both the influence and the control of Chronos Time. 

Kairos Time Is Under The Influence And Control Of God.  “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts.”  God’s thoughts are rooted in His Power and His heart, not our abilities nor our desires.  God knows what He can do while we think about what we can’t do.

And look at that other part:  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”  As wild as my imagination can be at times, it’s nothing compared with God’s imagination! Our perspective is always limited by time and space—so we imagine in ways that are limited by Chronos Time.  So we use time selfishly—what we want and desire.

God’s perspective is unlimited because there are no boundaries to eternity.  Kairos Time reveals that unlimited perspective and unlimited opportunity that God sees because of Eternity.  When you lock God into Chronos Time, you deny yourself Kairos Time!  Last, but by no means least—

4.  Kairos Is An Invitation Time

Matthew 28:19-20—“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Some moments are more valuable than other moments.  The five minutes that I have to share the gospel with an unsaved stranger is more valuable than the five minutes of listening to people complain.  I must take advantage of my opportunities—and so must you.

Kairos Time is when we accept God’s Invitation to be involved with Him, rather than us asking Him to be involved with what we are doing.  (I need to say that again)  Chronos Time is doing what we want.  Kairos Time is living in what God wants.  Chronos Time is killing the church.  But Kairos is bringing the Kingdom that will never die! 

God is looking for those of us who are sick and tired of living with a Chronos Heart—and who long to live with The Kairos Heart–to lean in and step into what God is doing, unlike what King Asa did. The story is in 2 Chronicles 16. King Asa saw his Chronos as what Chronos ends up being: HOPELESS! So he made a treaty with his enemy. But the prophet Hanani calls Asa on this and gives us hope:

2 Chronicles 16:9 (The Message) – God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.

Asa saw his future as Chronos time but Hanani saw it as Kairos Time. Your current situations are the direct result of your past decisions.  Your future situations depend on your current decisions.  It comes in the moment of opportunity. 

The perfect moment is perfect because God has been planning it and now invites you into a moment that can never be measured.  When you realize the Kairos moment, take a breath and pause before you exhale.  If you do this your life will be changed.  We only have such a brief opportunity to shepherd our kids and grandkids when they’re still young children. When a friend is experiencing pain, we have a brief window of time in which to reach out to them.  You never know when the Chronos Time you spend with any person is in reality—a Kairos Time for both of you.

Next Steps

  1. Each day this week invest some of your Chronos Time in prayer.  Specifically in 3 areas: 
    1. Someone who has been on your heart
    1. The upcoming General Conference
    1. Our future as a church
  2. Get involved in our new Bible Study Group that begins Feb. 27 on the Book of Acts