2012 is upon us and I have more anticipation in my heart than I’ve ever had for a new year.
In November I felt the Lord impressing me that 2012 is to be a year of Nazirite consecration. Basically that means from the heart of love and desire we push off lesser pleasures and give ourselves in greater abandonment to God. I preached a series on this in Decemeber… you can listen to it here.
My family and I have talked and prayed about what this is going to look like for us, i.e. what changes we need to make to be more focused on the Lord and more fully given to Him. For us it means less media, more prayer, fasting and Bible.
An additional step I am going to take is to be silent for a few months. I don’t mean I am not going to talk…I mean I am not going to preach. It dawned on me a few months ago that I have preached nearly weekly for over 20 years without a break. In that time frame, as far as I can remember, there has not been a stretch of over 3 weeks where I have not preached a sermon. Most weeks I have preached 2 – 3 messages. That’s a lot of talking. Some has been productive and some…not so much. Thankfully, God is gracious and knows how to use all of it for His glory.
After talking and praying with my wife and our leadership team at IHOP-Atlanta I have decided to take a season to quit preaching so that I may seek the Lord. It can be a negative trap to find yourself seeking the Lord and studying primarily to preach what you receive. It’s a treadmill, with lots of running, but very little personal progress.
If the Lord doesn’t give me something to say, I am empty. I want to seek the Lord for depth and not just new sermon series. There is a place of encounter I am longing for in God. My heart continues to beckon to me that there is more available. I feel it’s my season to turn aside and see what the Lord will say to me and where He will take me, if I wait on Him.
My leadership team has been gracious enough to extend to me this opportunity to focus and seek the Lord. We have very capable preachers and teachers who have agreed to cover my normal preaching regimen.
So, from Jan-April I am going to refrain from platform preaching ministry (One exception is a 2-week trip I am making to the far east in March). I am also going to refrain from using social media during this season. I want a laser sharp focus on the Lord and at times I am distracted by social media.
I appreciate all my twitter and facebook friends and ask that you would extend to me the grace to get before the Lord for a season of focus. I love twitter as an outlet to encourage people and share thoughts about the Lord. It’s an honor that anyone listens. I think of it as a ministry opportunity and so I’ll be back, Lord willing, sometime around May.
In the meantime, I ask for your prayers. Pray that the Lord will encounter me in a fresh way with the spirit of wisdom of revelation. I am longing for a depth of encounter with God and I believe the Lord wants to meet me. I also feel that this season of quiet is essential for my next seasons of ministry. Pray that the Lord will break me and make me into His desire and design for me.
Thanks for your encouragement, understanding and prayers. I feel this is a God appointed moment, so I am going to GO FOR IT.