Debra and I closed out 2013 with a few weeks of celebrating the holidays and reflecting on all that we have to be grateful for. The past year has brought a great deal of change into our lives. We began the process of launching Bill Leckie Ministries in March and relocated to the Dallas/Fort Worth area in May. Throughout the Summer and the Fall we have reconnected with many friends, churches and ministries and have met with Pastors and served local churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. We have attended network meetings for both Antioch Oasis International and Gateway Connect and are excited about the continued relationships these networks provide. I wrote my first book this past Summer. This was a milestone achievement for me. A Crisis Of Culture: reconciling my religion with the Gospels, is available in paperback and Kindle editions through the links on our website, billleckie.com.
The new year began with the opportunity to speak and minister prophetically in two local church conferences focused on beginning 2014 with clear vision, passion and purpose. We were excited to reconnect with the leadership and the people of Eastern Heights Church in Cleburne, Texas. Pastor Kody Hughes and his team are making a real difference in their region. We also made a new connection with The King’s House Church in McAlester, Oklahoma. Pastor Felix Waller and his staff are growing a great congregation that is reaching their area. In both of these conferences, I shared a message entitled, Releasing Your Potential, that I believe is timely in our own lives as well as the church in 2014. I am also writing a book by the same title that I hope to release by this Summer.
We are truly excited about all that this new year holds in the way of opportunities to equip, encourage and empower people to fulfill the purposes of God in their lives. We look forward to serving pastors and leaders and the networks that we are involved with throughout 2014.
The first two steps in the Resolution Solution are Awareness of the need for change and Acceptance of our responsibility for that change. The first initiates the process and the second leads to our involvement in the process. The third step is Action. This is where it gets real. If we do not move from awareness and acceptance to action, we remain stuck in the same old cycle. Some enjoy the analysis of an issue, but without action, there is no change. The decision to act sets a process in motion. Once we decide to act we will meet obstacles and opposition from within and without. Insecurities may arise from within and discouraging voices may arise from without. There will always be those who think you are incapable of the change you desire. As Christians we know that the enemy will oppose any attempt for us to embrace the purposes of God for our lives. Opposition is normal. It is designed to discourage or distract us or both. They are equally effective. These are the tactics of the enemy and once we are aware of his tactics we can defeat them.
We tend to want a fast change without challenges. We all want the instant fix, but more times than not, our choice to act leads to a process of change. Most of us didn’t get into financial difficulty overnight or simply awaken one morning to discover that we are suddenly overweight. It will be necessary to engage in a process that leads to change. We may struggle at first, but it is important to focus on progress. When we commit to the process, we allow God to move in our situation and move us through the process of change more rapidly and with greater success than we could achieve on our own. It is the value of the vision as it relates to our ability to fulfill the purposes of God that will sustain us through the process. It is not enough to initiate a plan for a process. We must implement it.
Some years ago, my wife and I became aware of the importance of getting out of debt. We saw it as an important step to be able to fulfill the purposes of God for our lives going forward. We accepted our responsibility for our debt situation, repented and chose to act. We began the process of attacking our debt with the decision to stop making new debt. As we committed to paying off the debt, we embraced a process that included budgeting and reducing unnecessary spending wherever we could. A few months into the process we received some unexpected funds. This was our first test. How would we spend this unexpected financial blessing? we chose to see it as God providing for our need to address debt. We tithed on it and put it towards debt. A few months later, we received a larger amount of unexpected funds from an unexpected source. Again the test was whether we would reward ourselves and become distracted from the goal or see it as God providing for us to succeed in getting out of debt. We tithed on it and put it on debt. This happened several more times and one and a half years later we were completely out of debt. As we committed to act, God released provision. He blessed our efforts and enabled us to change our financial habits. A few years later we felt a strong leading to change our location and launch a new ministry, which we have done. It is important to note, however, that we could not have done it, had we not become aware of the need to change our financial situation, accepted our responsibility for it and made the decision to act on it. This resulted in change that opened the door for greater influence and stepping into a greater measure of fulfilling the purposes of God for our lives. This process continues in other areas of our lives to this day.
Looking to the Lord for Awareness of our need to change followed by Acceptance of our responsibility for the change and choosing to Act on it in obedience with dependance on the Lord for His help and provision is the Resolution Solution.What is the Lord drawing your attention to this year? What areas of your life is He making you aware of that need change? Will you allow your awareness to lead to acceptance and action? He will meet you in the process and cause you to experience progress until what began as revelation leads to transformation and ultimately to a manifestation of lasting change!
Chances are that resolutions have been made, announced and abandoned already this year. This is the cycle of the failure to experience real change, that our culture encounters every new year. As Christians, we have the solution to break this cycle and we can experience success in the process of lasting change. Step one is Awareness. This initiates the process of change. This is not a random selection of things to change, but rather it is a revelation of what needs to be changed that comes from time in prayer and listening to God’s voice. This connects our need to change with the eternal rather than the temporary and enables us to envision how this change will help us to more fully realize the purposes of God in our lives.
Step two is Acceptance. This is where we commit to our involvement in the process of change. It is easy to substitute the process of thinking about change for actual change. We can dream of a different life and never have one. This is where we can move from a God given dream to a self induced fantasy. We can also fall into the trap of blaming others for our present condition. This is a dead end. Period. Projecting blame is the enemy of change. It is the opposite of acceptance. We do not need to take responsibility for what others have done, but we must own our part in the need for change. When we accept our need to change in a given area, because we know it will allow us to more fully experience the purposes of God, it will release a passion to see it through. It becomes valuable and viable to us. True acceptance is necessary to move from revelation to transformation. When we accept that the change is necessary and that it is our responsibility to become involved in the process, we will invest our resources into it. We will bring our resources to the table and we will trust God to bring His. This process began in His presence and must proceed in His presence!
As Christians, we have access to resources beyond our own skills and abilities. When we are willing to accept the responsibility for change, it releases provision for change to occur. If we deny our role and blame others, we block provision for change. Acceptance is when we move beyond the thoughts of “what would it be like?”, if we change and becomes a, ” I must do something about that “, moment. It leads to investment and involvement which releases provision and passion.
What things have you become aware of that need to change in your life? Are you willing to accept your responsibility for the change? If so, believe that God is with you in the process. He will release provision for what He has initiated and He will be involved throughout the process. Awareness and Acceptance will put you well on your way to the Resolution Solution, but one step remains. Stay tuned!
It’s that time again. You know, the time that people everywhere make resolutions for change in their lives as they enter into the new year. Of course, this also results with the usual failure rate that we seem to accept in our culture. We decide we need some changes, announce them and fail miserably. By the time this post goes live, many will have already abandoned their resolutions. This cycle seems to repeat itself every year, but we do it anyway. How do we stop this cycle of failure? How do we discover the resolution solution and move from failure to change to success?
The first step is Awareness. We will not change if we are unaware of the need to do so. The end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new one is a natural time to reflect and ponder what could be better or different in our lives. As Christians we fall into the same cycles as everyone else, but we actually have the solution to finding real success in change.
Through prayer and honest evaluation we can discover what needs to be different in our lives. This is a key. Honest evaluation means asking the Lord to show us areas of our lives that need to be addressed in order to be all that He intends us to be. This shifts the focus away from what could be shallow self serving goals onto the things that bring us into the full purposes of God for our lives. This means looking at our lives through the lens of His intended creative purposes for us. I find that when I connect the awareness of my need to change, to being able to fulfill the purposes of God, I become motivated. Many will determine to get out of debt, lose weight, start a business or be a better spouse, parent or person. These are good things, but we may lack the motivation to follow through. It helps to ask some simple, yet profound questions. What would my life be like if my finances were in order? How would my ability to fulfill God’s plan be impacted by being debt free? Would I be more effective if I were healthy? In essence, how does this change connect to a more fruitful and abundant life? These questions can reveal an eternal purpose for change and lead to the discovery of a plan to achieve it.
Awareness is where the process begins. Awareness of a need can become a God given burden that leads us to the place of vision. Vision for the change will ground us and enable us to stay focused on why we are in this process. It keeps us on track and reminds us of the importance and value of the need for change that we have become aware of.
Take some time here at the beginning of the year to pray and reflect. Allow the Lord to lead you in the discovery of the areas of change that will release His purposes into your life in a greater way. Write them down and envision how life will be different in a positive way when the change is made. Revisit this vision throughout the process and you have taken the first step towards the Resolution Solution!