Prioritizing Purpose – How bad do you want it?

If you follow me in Instagram, then you know I recently got a blunt, but honest word from the Holy Spirit in regards to my priorities. I’ll just go ahead and quote my post…

“The Holy Spirit doesn’t speak to me in the way I thought He would, honestly. For me it’s more like I’m asking myself questions in my head, and He answers them in ways that I just know I’m not capable of. He joins in on the conversations I have with myself.

The other day I was wondering why I can’t seem to get myself together and get the things done that I know I’m supposed to do. I’m organized, I plan, I schedule, but I just know I’m not empty at the end of each day, and I’m not okay with that.

Anyway, He casually says to me, “You know, making to-do lists is useless when your priorities aren’t in order. You don’t have a planning problem, you have a prioritization problem. Re-evaluate the order you’re doing things in. What’s on the back burner says a lot about where you are and where you want to be. Prioritize THEN get organized.”

Talk about a wake-up call.

Since then I’ve been really taking inventory of how I’m choosing to spend my time and what I’m choosing to be a part of. I’m realizing now that many of us feel overwhelmed, over worked, and inadequate because our priorities aren’t in order.

I’ll speak for myself. I want to give everything I’m involved in 100% of me. I constantly pray for a spirit of excellence, for the wisdom to be efficient and effective. But to be honest, I often want all of the returns without giving all of my commitment or focus to a thing. I’m easily distracted and unmotivated, I allow myself to be pulled away too easily and relent to restlessness and frivolity way more often than I should.

I felt frustrated with myself because I just knew I wasn’t doing all that I could be doing. I think there’s a difference between conviction and discontent. The Holy Spirit will stir you when you’re too comfortable. We often want to rest when we’ve overcome a challenge, and that’s fine. But when resting turns into complacency, that’s not a good thing. Purposeful people are progressive people. We have to strive to be forward thinkers and doers. The demand that calling places on our lives simply does not allow for complacency, there is no room for over resting or wasting time.

This was a hard reality for me to accept, but honestly it is what it is. I was finding that the dissatisfaction I felt was actually conviction. I was organized but my priorities weren’t in order and as a result, I was spending a lot of time doing unimportant things.

So I’m making a conscious effort to be disciplined with my time. What’s urgent isn’t always important. What’s pressing isn’t always the priority. We need wisdom to discern the order of our days. This may seem like it’s too much, but Kingdom-minded individuals cannot afford to live lives devoid of Yahshua’s council. We need His guidance in everything we do, especially how we spend our most valuable resource: our time.

The reason why prioritization is so important is because it is directly linked to your ability to produce. And your production level is directly proportional to your capacity.

How much can you handle?

I had a moment last week when I specifically felt that I was being actively stretched. I saw an elastic band in my mind’s eye, and I realized that the tension I was in was a stretching moment. This dictates how I choose to proceed; I can either complain or be defeated (which won’t help me), or see the newly-exposed area of weakness in myself and strengthen it through change. We like to think that when we get our lives together, when we turn to Yahweh and confess our sins, when we change our lifestyles and begin to choose Him above all else, that everything will fall into place and purpose will show up at our doorsteps.

Not so.

Yahweh doesn’t waste His words, so when He releases words to you, He expects you to act on them. He doesn’t just tell us things for fun. When Yahweh reveals His plans to us, He reveals them when we have the faith to agree with and the capacity to hold them, even if we fight it initially. I wrote a few weeks ago that our sense of desperation-bred curiosity will not force Yahweh’s tongue or His hand. He will not tell you His plans to calm your fears about the future. Through the increase of your faith, He will grant you peace and contentment in the midst of chaos and then hit you with a revelation on calmer seas. The storms of your circumstances or the ferocity of your desire to know all will not lead Yahweh to roll out the five year plan in front of you.

He won’t tell you what you’re not ready to hear. If Yahweh reveals an aspect of His plan for your life to you, you must know that it’s because you either already have, or will soon be in the process of obtaining the capacity to handle it. Think of Moses standing in front of the burning bush trying to convince Yahweh that He had the wrong man for the job of convincing Pharaoh to release Israel from slavery. Moses wasn’t having it, but He trusted Yahweh enough to follow His leading anyway.

Capacity often comes by way of stretching. Yahweh doesn’t always add to the top, sometimes He blows out the bottom. Sometimes He has to let the floor of your life fall out so that you’re forced to face all you’ve been carrying. Sometimes we have all the room we need; it’s just taken up by insignificant things, or things that no longer serve us in the way we need to be served. Sometimes we are filled to the brim with options we are treating like priorities.

That’s what was happening to me that day I saw the rubber band, a little bit of my floor fell through. I was forced to use muscles I rarely work, and act from a position of grace and humility that was uncomfortable for me. We like to think that Yahweh is only in the blessings, but He is also in the stretching. He is just as much a part of our preparation process as He is in our grand revealing. He was just as much a part of Joseph’s time in jail as He was in His time on the throne. He was just as much a part of David’s fugitive years running from Saul as He was in his reign as King of Israel. He will cause your surroundings to force the worst of you to the top so that He can scrape it off and get to the strength that lies beneath. He will leave you open on both ends so He can add some reinforcement to the weak aspects of your character.

When Yahweh opens another door on the purposed path, He has to ensure that what’s inside of us will keep us in the room. Otherwise, our blessings will become a burden because we don’t have the wherewithal to sustain it.

But it all begins with priorities. What are we choosing above our purpose? What are we doing instead of what we should be doing? What are the activities we engage in that perpetuate negative cycles or addictions in our lives? What are the hobbies we hide in? What do we engage that forces us to disengage from our best selves? What’s calling us away from Yahweh as it calls us toward itself? What’s really important to us? How we spend our time will tell.

I encourage you to not attempt to do this of your own ability. Ask Yahweh to point out those areas where your priorities are mixed up. I promise you He answers these kinds of requests when we’re open to correction. And as you give up your will and embrace His, as you make the necessary adjustments and follow the leading of His voice, you will find that your capacity is increasing. And as a result of your capacity increasing, you are able to receive and manage more. Not just more things – but more revelation, more information, more pressure, more engagement in battle, more persecution and judgment, more resistance. Yahweh’s blessings aren’t always temporal, and we will miss out on His will for our lives pining after and praying for things instead of praying to become versions of ourselves that are spiritually and emotionally mature enough to walk out the unique destiny He has planned for each of us.

We have to see our lives as classrooms. Everything holds a lesson, and it’s ultimately how we choose to look at situations that determine what we get from them. Perspective is the most important thing I’ve found, that influences my outlook and my insight. I’m trying to live my life from a perspective of faith, where I see Yahweh in absolutely everything. This isn’t always easy, but it is absolutely necessary.

So I’m working on prioritizing my life, which will rid me of the insignificant and unnecessary, thereby increasing my capacity, and my ability to do the most important things.

Let’s get to work my loves.

 

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