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Stop praying against the enemy

This morning I fly to Colorado – it seems I’m always leaving somewhere. And in a way, that’s not bad. In an earlier blog I wrote about God taking us out to bring us in.  God took Karen and I and our kids out of Florida to bring us to Georgia. If we stayed in Florida, God couldn’t do in us …
By Seth Barnes
This morning I fly to Colorado – it seems I’m always leaving somewhere. And in a way, that’s not bad. In an earlier blog I wrote about God taking us out to bring us in.  God took Karen and I and our kids out of Florida to bring us to Georgia. If we stayed in Florida, God couldn’t do in us and through us what he wanted to do. He said leave and we did. It was difficult, as leaving usually is. But along the way we understood where the hard stuff came from – it came from God, not the devil.
 
camelsPharaoh didn’t send the Israelites out into the desert, God did.  The devil didn’t flood the earth and wipe out Noah’s community and friends, God did.  And David wasn’t out of God’s will when he was fleeing Saul.  The point is, God uses pain to get our attention, discipline us, and deliver us.

At times in the past I’ve struggled against a difficult boss who I was sure was the tool of the enemy; and in doing so, I missed God’s point, sometimes for years at a time. 
 
Is there a point of pain in your life? Is there a person who rubs you the wrong way? Is there an impossible situation? My advice is: Stop praying against the enemy. It’s probably not the enemy; it’s God. Pain is his tool for leading us out so that he can later lead us in. It’s often our equipping for future ministry.  If we didn’t feel pain we would stay in our current comfort zone.

You may ask, “But why do we have go out? Why go through the pain of leaving?  Isn’t there an easier way?” 
 
Here are three reasons why God sends us out before he takes us in.

Why we have to go out:
1. Principle of entropy: Things fall apart, so you have to move on.  You can’t stay in a place of entropy. When things are deteriorating and on their way to death, you have to leave or die with them.
2. Principle of dependence: Leaving destabilizes us and places us in a posture of dependence. We depend on God much more when we’ve been sent out (for more on why that’s good, go here and here).
3. Principle of new paradigms: To grow, we have to abandon the old mindsets and need to stand outside our current reality to do so. Often that requires stepping outside of our sense of normal by physically leaving a place.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It’s not in his goals, but in his transitions that man is great.”  We need the transition of leaving to go to the next level.
 

So when you’re being led out into a new place, realize it is not a trick of Satan; it is God who leads you out.  If you lost your job or are having to move to a new place, stop cursing the enemy.  Recognize that this transition of yours is a precursor to a promotion and a paradigm shift.  You can’t lead others to a new place until you’ve been there first.  You have to experience birthing to be a midwife. You have to live the incarnation to see Jesus in others.

Leaving is a necessary part of life.  To grow you have to change, you have to leave and it helps if you recognize who is sending you.

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