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How to Discern Between Good Ideas and God Ideas

God Inspired Visions Lead Back to God not to us.

Never Lose Sight of Your Dependence on God.

Do Not Step Out On Your Own Strength.

Be Locked Into Your Source of Strength(God).

Vision Supported By Faith

Our Faith Should Fuel Our Vision

Never Lose Sight of Who Should Get the Credit.

Visionary – Committed to what could be and should be in spite of what is going on around you.

Clearly Defined – Knowing the Whole Plan

There is DISTINCT value in knowing the entire plan before embarking on a new project. It is commonly held as foolish to start on a project without knowing the entire plan. Certain questions, important questions need to be answered before setting out to complete the plan. Without knowing the whole plan, it is difficult to establish a timeline and to ensure critical milestones are accomplished at the appropriate time to ensure successful completion of the project.

Do we have the funds to complete the plan upon starting?
Are there enough materials, time and talent to make the plan a success?
When do certain milestones need to be completed to hit the project completion date?
Do we have the right people involved to insure success?

The concept of knowing and accounting for each part of the plan before embarking on the journey seems Biblical. See Luke 14:28-32.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:28-32‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/luk.14.28-32.niv

Luke 14 seems to prove the point that we should know all parts of the plan before taking the first step. But just as with many things, we can pick and choose parts of scripture without proper context to fit our situation. Let’s allow Jesus to give us some context for Luke 14:28-32.

“In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Luke 14:33

With the context of verse 33, we can see that Jesus was addressing counting the cost of follow Him, the cost of discipleship. This was not instructions on what one should have before stepping out toward a God-inspired vision.

God never gives out all of the steps at once. How do I come to this conclusion? Open up the Bible, pick any story in the Bible and you will have all of the evidence you need.

Has God given you a God-inspired vision? Are you holding out on the vision because you don’t have all the steps? Take a moment to seek God and ask Him where you have been holding out on His vision for you.

What is Holding You Back?

Often when we hear the phrase, “what’s holding you back?” We might think of our pride or our unwillingness to let go of something. The idea of something or someone keeping us from achieving our dreams should get our blood boiling. What we often fail to see is that something includes our sin or our desires.

Clean It Up

When it comes to living out our dreams we hate to think that we need to clean up our act. God has such big plans for lives. He wants to use us in ways we deem impossible, but we have to be willing to get rid of some things to move forward.

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:21 NIV84)

Give It Up

We like things in our timing don’t we? I know I do, and I bet you do too. The Bible tells us many times that God’s timing is not like ours nor our ways like His. Yet we assume His timing and plans are the same as ours. God is not our vending machine, ready when we are ready. We need to leave the timing up to Him.

Give Up

We like to blame our failures on circumstances or some unfortunate happening, but the hard fact maybe we need to give up. No, not give up our dreams, but submit our dreams to God. When our dreams fail, it is far from our fault we fell short. When we succeed, we are first in line bidding for credit of the outcome. What if we faithfully follow God, do OUR best, and give Him all the glory no matter the outcome?

Give OUR Best

This is such a fun play on words. When I refer to this term, I don’t mean what it appears to mean. Okay, here goes. This is what we do. Be humble, in spirit and in our actions. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord anyway. Why try to steal the show? Be willing to act or wait patiently on God’s request. Be ready, eagerly waiting and listening for God to speak. Be humble, willing, and ready. Do you see a pattern emerging?

Our Best has less to do with our actions and more to do with our attitude of mindfulness.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV84)

Uniquely Equipped

It is interesting to see how God seems to put together just the right combination of desire, experiences, and talents when selecting someone to fill a need.  It is equally as interesting to note that God rarely calls these individuals when they are all ready to go.  You will be hard pressed to find an individual who will be fully developed upon receiving their Chazown from God.  There are many takes on the subject and I won’t dive too deep into it here, but a common phrase comes up regardless of who you speak with.  “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” -Unknown Origin.

Is it the least bit surprising that most of the time God does not reveal His entire dream for His children all at one time.  As believers, we seem to want God to lay it all out for us in one nice welcome packet once we become followers of Christ.  It is easy to get discouraged when our path does not seem to be so clearly defined.  As if the first post in the welcome packet would be, “12 Easy Steps to Fulfilling God’s Dream for Your Life.”

As followers we usually figure out how it is not God’s way to give His children every detail up front with a bow on top.  So where do we begin?  Is it reasonable to ask God for any direction?  Should we expect anything up front?  The first step is a relationship with Jesus Christ.  If you do not start there, most, if not all of what I said above will sound crazy.  Here is a link to a set of Bible reading plans which is a great place to start if you are unsure about this whole following Jesus thing.

If you already know Jesus and feel like you know where your relationship with Jesus stands, I encourage you to check out Chazown.

Stay tuned for our next post in this series as we dive deeper into the idea of being Uniquely Equipped.

Minimal Acrobatics

A new trend in the application community is interaction between apps. What exactly is that you say? Well, in code speak it could be called callbacks. As the app community evolves and matures developers find new ways to make apps more useful. As an app developer, you soon realize that your app can’t do everything. The power of your app interacting with another app is priceless. Sort of like the saying one plus one equals three. Bonkers I know, but it is the truth. There is some synergy when apps learn to work together for the greater good.

On a recent episode of [Back to Work] (http://5by5.tv/b2w/113), [Merlin Mann] (http://www.merlinmann.com/) discusses the use of callbacks or an API of sorts between apps. Of specific note is the new [Audiobus] (http://audiob.us) interacting with [Garageband] (http://www.apple.com/apps/garageband/). For Apple, this seems like an unthinkable thing to be happening. For Apple to allow another non Apple application to interact with a flagship application is unthinkable.

I will be the first to say that I am no musician, but the thought of this excites me. It shows Apple is growing. They no longer have to control every single element. You see this with deep twitter and Facebook integration into iOS. You see this with using technology from companies like Dragon Dictation. Yes, they could have easily bought any of these companies, but they didn’t. This new trend for Apple is great to see. Keep up the good work Tim.