Have you ever been involved in a drama production? A small skit or maybe even a full on performance with props, lighting, and special effects? I can remember various productions I participated in, being both excited about the part I was to play and extremely nervous about making sure I did it exactly right. Whether I was working behind the scenes or performing on stage, I was told that every position was vital to the overall outcome. For Easter one year, I had the opportunity to play the part of Jesus. Right after the crucifixion scene, I had to race backstage, get my bloody makeup removed, and prepare for a resurrection appearance. The challenge was that I only had a limited amount of time to make this transformation happen. One night, I had a difficult time getting the blood off my face and changing my costume. From the makeup room, I heard the music that was to act as my cue to be in position. I knew that I only had seconds to get to my entrance point. I ran down the hallway in my floppy sandals, leapt up the stairs, and slid onto the stage right in the nick-of-time. It took some effort, but I made it to my position!
We are in a divinely orchestrated time in Christian history, where God has beautifully drafted a production that tops the best that Broadway can produce. God is just waiting for those involved in this production to get to their places. When we are in our position, we influence the outcome of the production. Therefore, stepping into our God-given position makes way for us to lead in life. Isaiah challenges us in this way:
Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising – Isaiah 6:1-3 (NKJV)
Here, it becomes very clear that we have a job to do. We are told to ARISE, which must mean we are not in our proper position. The word ARISE being used suggests that we are in a lower position and need to rise out of that place and into the place God is saying. Arise is an action word – so on purpose we must MOVE! Do not allow yourself to stay where you are. In my own life, I have discovered three key actions that helped catapult me into right positions at the right times.
Be with Jesus
I was blessed as a kid to grow up in churches that believed in and taught the value of prayer. I can remember being a part of early morning prayer meetings as well as evening prayer times that lasted in excess of 3 hours. I thank God for my pastors who provided these opportunities of Christian discipline and growth in my life. However, one of the things that I had to overcome as I continued to develop my relationship with Jesus was the “busyness” of my prayer life. You see, I was very good at talking, bringing my list of needs and desires, my intercession for others, and even my songs of worship before Him. What I wasn’t good at was just being with Him in that secret place. Not too long ago, Holy Spirit took me on a journey in my prayer life where He asked me to stop talking and just be with Him. Though it was challenging at first, I could tell my silence was allowing Him to work deep in my soul. Silence was helping me shift from trying to create position in the spirit through my words and actions, to allowing Him to lead me where He needed me to be. While all the other activities of prayer are still very important to our Christian life, I have found that silent times of just being with Jesus with no agenda empowers me to become more like Him. And when I become more like Him, I naturally fall into position.
In a culture where personal opinions run rampant and having one is viewed as an inalienable right, honor for others seems to become less valuable and less of a priority. The culture of the Kingdom of God is very different. In Kingdom culture, we are asked to honor all (I Peter 2:17). This can be a daunting task since our emotions are often times tied to our personal opinions and ideas. I can say this from experience though, the challenge is worth the outcome. Whenever you choose to honor, you are making a statement about who you are as a person. You are displaying that you are not selfishly ambitious, that pride is not your motivation, and that you are open to new ideas, which means you are teachable. These traits are attractive to leaders, not only in the church, but also within culture. Of course, this does not mean that you compromise the values found in Scripture or that you become a place mat which is used and abused. Recently, Holy Spirit gave me specific instructions on how to walk this out in relationship. He instructed me to communicate with two objectives in mind, honesty and honor. With these two dynamics working hand in hand, I have experienced increase in levels of trust within the workplace and the church. As trust increases, influence increases. Increased influence opens doors to God’s purposeful position for your life.
There is something about serving that keeps humility intact. Jesus made it very clear that if you want to be great, you have to serve (Matthew 23:11). When people see a genuine serving heart, there tends to be an ability to build relationship and increase trust. Naturally, as relationship grows and trust is earned, those in leadership begin to entrust you with more. Serving creates a platform from which others can help launch you into position. I have seen this happen time and again, not only in my personal life, but also in others that I am close too. There is something about serving that opens doors. Why? I believe it is because leaders know that if an individual is willing to serve well in places where there is little to no recognition, then when they are called on to fill a different role or given authority to lead, they will carry their new responsibilities out as someone who is acting for the purpose of serving people and vision.
As you give yourself to this process of arising, the Scripture promises a specific response from those within your sphere of influence. Isaiah states that unbelievers will gather around you. John Wesley, founder of Methodism, stated it like this: “Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.” Those in places of authority (in the natural and in the spiritual) will receive your influence. If you live in position, your voice will be heard in a way that is not possible when you are outside of position. There is something powerful about living from your destined position. In order for the season of Awakening to continue moving forward, the Nations need believers to walk into their proper position and begin to live in the authority and influence that comes from doing so. Let us respond to the call of Isaiah and arise! The earth is ready, willing, and waiting!