Movement, Resistance and Push-Through: Courage for Three Phases of Life
You’ve gotten that promotion you’ve been waiting for. The baby you’ve been dreaming of for the past year has just been born. You’ve landed that new job. You’ve moved into a brand-new house (or at least new to you). Perhaps, you’ve lost a loved one or have gone through a divorce. Whatever the circumstance, change is here.What’s next? Now you’ve jumped that hurdle, but where do you go from here?
You are entering the new normal, at least for a while.
There are some common phases for this thing we call LIFE. Movement. Resistance. Push-Through. Where are you?
There is always that endless prophetic word about a shift or a breakthrough coming. That’s not necessarily prophetic. Those are normal courses of life. Something is always changing and there is an ebb and flow of movement, resistance and push-through, and, you guessed it, repeat.
Some of us just pushed through into a new place and in some senses, we are starting over again. Some haven’t quite pushed through and are in the resistance phase. The resistance phase of the season of life you are in looks like delays, setbacks, brokenness or some type of stuck-ness. Then comes the push or the breakthrough. Then you start the pattern all over again with movement.
Recently, in a conversation with a friend, we were discussing boredom. You know, that time when you find yourself at the top of your game in a certain stage of life or environment, yet, you’re bored. Maybe it’s a job you’ve become overqualified for. Maybe it’s a church where you’ve come to a point where you don’t feel like your gifts are being utilized. Maybe it’s a particular friend group where you don’t quite feel like you fit in anymore and you find your thoughts floating somewhere outside of the group’s “think”. It’s that season when you aren’t being challenged personally.
Boredom can be a great motivator. Have you ever considered that boredom could be an indicator that you are not living up to your highest calling? Perhaps instead of following, you are supposed to be innovating and creating, leading? Perhaps, God, in his mysterious language is leading you and prompting you to make a change bringing you closer to him and what he has called you to.
A business consultant to our corporation once told my husband that he was unemployable, not because he isn’t qualified to be a great employee, but because he was wired for something else. He thinks differently and operates in a different manner He told him that some people are CEOs at heart and that someone who is made to be a CEO doesn’t play well with others as an employee, CEOs are just not built that way. CEOs are built to lead and create, not just to follow and perform according to the status quo. The consultant said it isn’t a right or a wrong thing it just is how it is, and people are made how they are made. The best thing to do is just embrace it and understand what you are wired for and live from it. It was good insight considering the context of a much larger conversation.
The consultant was absolutely right. Some of us don’t understand who we are, and we will continue to go from thing to thing feeling unsatisfied and out of our element. The cycle of floating will leave us feeling defeated, exhausted and bored. We aren’t built to mindlessly wander. The wandering could be a sign of a much deeper wound that is in need of healing but often it’s a natural course of discovery of who we are and finding ultimately who we belong to and where we should be.
I am writing this today because I feel as if it is a timely word for so many. I am writing for three people falling into these phases in order that you may find courage right where you are.
I’m writing to the ones who are in the movement phase. You are in a time of tremendous growth and activity. This seems a whole new world, full of sights and new sounds. New people and new life situations are bringing both joy, and new opportunities. Enjoy it all. Learn all you can. Be yourself. Expect great things. Treat people well. Leave things better than you found them. Create long-lasting foundations. Live purposefully.
I am writing to the ones who are in the resistance phase. You are in a time that seems like it will last forever. It will not. All the things that seem to be coming against you right now are temporary. Remain grounded. Everything isn’t personal. You can do this. Choose joy. Expect good things. Don’t lose your confidence. Ask questions. Take notes. Revaluate your self talk. Develop communication skills. Seek counsel from those who have traveled this road who came out strong. Ask for help.
I am writing to the ones who are in the push-through phase. You are in a time of increased intensity. Things can go either way at this stage of the game. Carry light baggage. Leave behind what can’t go to the next level. Maintain relationships. Love people where they are. Be free of the past. Dare to dream. Pick your battles. Maintain integrity. Operate from peace. Keep your eyes wide open for God to speak to you and lead you in a different direction. Imagine the possibilities in the coming season of movement.
To all of the ones in every phase: LOVE BIG. HOPE MORE. SPREAD THE JOY.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong and let your heart take courage. All you who hope in the Lord. (NASB)
Introduction to Prophetic Processing
“Did God lie to me? Or did Harry sin against God and is going to hell for being disobedient?” Sally asked me.
Sally had been struggling with a “prophetic word” she had gotten years earlier that had been confirmed many times through various signs and circumstances, even validated through words from others regarding a man she was “supposed” to marry.
Harry removed himself from a relationship with her, he had married another woman and moved away from their town. Sally believed Harry was supposed to be her husband because “God told her” that she would get married and live in the town he had moved to with someone else.
Her original reason for coming to see me was to grill me about the way we handled prophetic ministry in our church culture. Sally was not from our church but had visited our prophetic ministry to receive a word. She was skeptical about the prophetic and had secretly recorded her session because she had wanted to replay hers to me.
It was an odd thing to do since she didn’t have to do it secretly, we openly recorded and emailed their prophetic words to people who had received one. The recordings kept our teams accountable and it allowed people to process their words with God and their personal communities.
I listened to her word she played back for me. Did I find anything particularly offensive about her word? No, it was a very encouraging word and full of hope. It was something that needed to be tested for sure, just like every word should.
Was Sally’s issue with us? Was there something we had done, perhaps treated her badly in some capacity? Had we missed it? Did we need to apologize? After digging a little deeper with her through conversation, I discovered her situation and pain stemmed from offenses she had with God over having been disappointed in past experiences.
These are the kinds of stories I hear every day from people who know God, love him. These are people who believe God communicates with his people today and long to know his will for their lives and walk in it. The problem is, some of us don’t know how to interpret dreams, visions, prophetic words and all the things that go along with a healthy, vibrant Christian life.
Long before we had launched a prophetic ministry, we dreamt of one that was loving and strong. We dreamt of a people that heard the voice of God really well. We dreamt of a people grounded in the word of God and planted in a community who understood the heart of God to be for us. We dreamt of becoming ones who loved well and communicated the unfathomable love of the Father to the common person who were curious about His plan for them personally.
We also knew the region we were planted in had a major bad taste in their mouth in terms of prophets and prophetic ministries. For the most part, in the majority of churches we were aware of in our cities and surrounding areas, the prophetic was marginalized or shut down all together.
We had our work cut out for us. We wanted to remove the offense and disappointment surrounding the idea of prophets and the prophetic in general. We wanted to be healers and agents of reconciliation. We knew we would have to deal with offense and pain in order to dispel the myths surrounding the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet by doing it really, really well with love and responsibility.
It was people like Sally who motivated us to do it differently. There are a whole lot of Sally and Harry stories out there. There are plenty who are trapped in the cycle of trying to figure out what God is saying and missing the mark. I want to spare people the disappointment of having believed something to be true only to find out they have been believing something incomplete, or at worst, deceptive.
Is Sally’s story unusual? NO. In fact, it is far too common. She and the countless other stories like hers are the reason I am writing this series Prophetic Processing.
Have we all misinterpreted what we believed we received in prayer? Yes, we have.
Could we get a better grip on hearing God for ourselves? Yes, we can.
Does God use other people to communicate his heart and plans for us? Yes, does.
What if we all learned how to process our journeys with God in a more practical way?
In this series Prophetic Processing, I will address some of the reasons our personal prophecies elude us and how to track and unpack our personal prophetic words. I will discuss issues such as clarity, timing, finding resources, strategies and more. I will explain some of the mistakes Sally had made in her process of discerning the words over her life and common concerns that arise on the journey.
Stay tuned for the first article in a multi-part series coming up next week called Prophetic Processing Part One: Let Me Get This Straight. Let’s take this journey together.
If you know anyone who would like to walk out this journey, please feel free to share the blog posts and please subscribe at www.toniimsen.com.
Note from Toni:
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical doctor, psychiatrist, or professional clinical psychologist. I have been a licensed and ordained minister specializing in prayer ministry. My writings are based on my personal experience working with people in various capacities bringing spiritual transformation to individuals and groups. The views expressed here are my own personal views, opinions, observations and experiences over the past few decades. My blog posts do not necessarily represent the views of organizations I am currently working with or have been a part of in the past. I have been trained extensively in various settings by experienced leaders. I have trained others interested in spiritual healing in various platforms, using a variety of methods. Stories of individuals are used by permission and/or details have been changed in order to provide anonymity for the purpose of dignity and privacy.
Copyright © 2019 Toni Imsen. All Rights Reserved.