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Tag Archives: genesis

Meeting God (and Yourself) in Your Conflict

I hate conflicts and difficult meetings – like 99% of the other leaders I know. My first reaction is to ignore, distract, rationalize, or blame someone – anything to avoid investing the necessary time and energy required to remove this “roadblock.” Over the years, however, I have discovered deep gifts hidden in conflicts – provided we allow Jesus into the inner closets of old hurts, sealed-off infections, fear, and shame this new relational tension may touch inside us. Consider Jacob. As a young man, he uses deceit to steal the birthright and blessing that rightfully belonged to his older brother, Esau. After 25 years with no contact between them, Jacob begins a journey back home. He decides to face the conflict head on and reconcile with Esau – if he can. In the midst of his fears about what might happen, a man, probably the pre-incarnate Jesus, wrestles with Jacob and strikes his hip. Read more.

Ishmael

I preached yesterday on Abraham and Sarah’s impatient decision to move ahead of God as they waited for His promise of Issac (Gen. 16:1-4). It is hard to pass judgment on them since I have birthed many an “Ishmael” in my life. Sarah skillfully develops a plan that had worked well for other “ministries” of their day. The only problem is that it was not God’s plan for them! Strategic planning, goal setting, determining our priorities and our “to do” lists are all essential leadership skills. Yet I am also aware how easy it is to use my goals and plans to eliminate the mystery and mess that come with following our living, “wild” God.  So I developed this little “Ishmael Test” out of my pondering that I shared with our church family yesterday: 1. Am I afraid to ask God what His will is in this situation? 2. Am I uncomfortable exploring my hidden. Read more.