The Three Changes One Must Make to See Their Goal Met
Face-to-Face with Thirty-Thousand-Foot Oppositions, Barriers, and Setbacks – Part 6
When my wife, Pamela, decided to look for a new position to align with the plans we had as a family, it was a thirty-thousand-foot prayer. [And yes, that’s a plug for you to get a copy of our Family Plan binder.] She was not seeking a position on the same level she was leaving. She was seeking a position of leadership, better benefits, flexibility, and a number of other parameters that would move us in the direction of our plans. Like any large prayer request it doesn’t come without having to make a few changes. No matter what the goal, if it’s big, it will follow the rules of a thirty-thousand-foot prayer request. Let’s talk a little more about what’s required.
Uncommon people change; that’s inevitable.
I’ve heard this said often. There is one thing that remains constant and consistent in life and that’s “change.” Change is occurring around you whether you want it to or not, but with your own thirty-thousand-foot prayer, your dream, or goal, you will have to make your own changes. It’s easy to be impacted by change, but being your own agent for change is something totally different. It requires you to leave the comforts of what’s normal for the uncommon uncertainties that come from change.
That’s exactly what Pamela did. She had no idea of whether a new position would bring worse working conditions or more stress or both for that matter. She had no idea whether the cultural fit would work or yield more challenges. The beauty of being an agent of your own change is that you control more parameters for the change than when change is forcibly applied. It doesn’t catch you by surprise, you can brace for it and prepare for it.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way [change your ways], take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life [avoid this change], you will lose it. But if you give up your life [make the necessary changes] for my sake, you will save it. – bible.com/bible/116/MAT.16.24-25.NLT
Here’s what the change you initiate looks like.
- Change your work habits.
We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard.
Sometimes you will have to work from sun-up to sun-down. Whoever told you that praying was easy forgot to tell you that they got their rules to pray from ordinary people who don’t get real results from prayer. You will have to change something about how you work especially when the possibility of a threat is present.
- Change your daily routine.
I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day.
When you pray a thirty-thousand-foot prayer, did you know you were asking God to make a very big change in your life? What do I mean? You’ve asked for a large area or landscape to change, therefore everything you encounter will have to change. Let me guess, your normal friends told you nothing would change if you prayed to save your marriage? Now that’s funny. Let me guess, your average coworkers, didn’t mention you’d need some additional classes or higher learning to go after that next-level position? Trust me I understand why most people experience unanswered prayers; they are unwilling to alter their normal routine to see change happen in their life. You see Nehemiah, found out he couldn’t continue to do the work the same way they had done it before and neither will you.
- Change your priorities.
During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water.
When you have the threat of opposition, because you dared to change some thirty-thousand-foot landscape, you must also be ready to shift your priorities. What was once urgent and a priority is no longer. Or the absence of priorities or urgency has to change to take on priority and urgency. You must be ready to go to action at all times whether night or day. Remember, you’re on His time; He’s not on yours. You see when you decided to do what’s not normal, what’s commonplace or common behavior went out the window. Nothing from this point forward is business as usual. You must be dressed and always ready. It will do you well to let that sink in for a moment. Praying a thirty-thousand-foot prayer means no more business as usual.
As the world shifts around you, if you are unwilling to change, you’ll lose ground, lose it fast, and find yourself a victim to normal behaviors. Statistics can be set by you.
I was recently reading the story of James Cleveland Owens, better known as Jesse Owens, Olympic gold medalist. It’s said that if his father had not made his thirty-thousand-foot journey from small town Oakville, Alabama as a part of the great-migration of Black Americans to the north, Jesse would never have had the opportunity to participate, let alone make history. Jesse’s dad had to be willing to introduce change to see to it that extraordinary was possible. He left the cotton fields and farms of the south for the plants and industries of the north. He left country-living for big city-living. He left the southern parts of the United States for the urban industrial north. Without changing your habits, your routines, and your priorities, it matters not how hard you pray. This prayer takes change and that action takes prayer.
Question: Are you willing to make the changes necessary for your prayer to be answered? And then are you ready to pray over the change?
Thanks for visiting NoLongerCommon.com. Until next Sunday, share this message with a friend who’s been struggling to make the necessary changes required to see the results they so desperately desire.