By Beth Jones, Crosswalk.com
What in the world has happened to our world in a few short months? An invisible enemy, the coronavirus, has shut down nations, vaporized industries, rearranged nearly every sector of society and we’re not even sure we’ve hit bottom yet. It’s a crossroads we never saw coming.
One year ago, long before phrases like “social distancing,” “N90 masks” and “washing your groceries” were common expressions, I was sitting in Palm Springs writing a book with the working title, Reinvent. I’d shared this message in various forms for the past 20 years at business events, church services and in conference settings.
As I sipped my iced coffee and wrote the first half of the book, I focused on four major reasons God wants to work reinvention (aka: transformation!) in our lives and over the next several months late into the summer of 2019, I wrote the second half of the book to address the four essential questions that must be answered on order to write our own customized reinvention roadmap.
I was writing for those who wanted to close the gap between their “ideal life” (where they hoped to be by now) and their “real life” (where they actually are). I was thinking about people who (like me) had known mentally that God loved them, but they needed a gusher experience of God’s love in their lives.
I wanted to encourage people with big dreams and a desire to make an eternal dent, but who were stuck in self-sabotaging patterns. I was in a personal season of reinvention and pumped to share some tidbits of wisdom with others.
Who could have known that less than 12-months later we’d be in the midst of a global pandemic and on “stay home” orders in most states and in a season where everyone, everywhere would need to reinvent almost everything?
Only God. Let’s travel the reinvention roadmap for a few miles...shall we?
The Reinvention Roadmap
A few hundred years ago, another person faced an unexpected crossroads that changed everything for her--the single mom of 2 Kings 4. We don’t know her name, so I call her the Maven (because that’s what she became!)
When her husband suddenly passed away, she faced an unplanned crisis. No sooner had she left the funeral for her beloved than the creditors were knocking on her door and threatening to take her two boys to be slaves. In the midst of her sudden crossroads and the grief of what would never be, she had to reinvent her life. She needed a plan -- and fast.
Immediately, she ran to God--by going to His representative, the prophet Elisha, to get help! It turns out, embedded in their conversation she was given the time-tested reinvention roadmap and it started by answering these four questions:
What do you want?
What do you have?
What will you do?
Why will you do it?
Our 2 Kings 4 mom answered every question like a champ and her reinvention journey began. It didn’t take long to see God’s touch on her life as she became a wildly successful entrepreneur--a Maven--and she got to keep her boys! Her predicament was the catalyst for an even better and reinvented future.
Her reinvention roadmap is our reinvention roadmap. If we will trust God at our unexpected crossroads, what the enemy intended for evil, God can turn around for our good. The Lord always helps us to pivot and reinvent as we follow this reinvention roadmap.
Reinvent Roadmap Question #1: What Do You Want?
What did she want? She wanted her boys and she wasn’t about to take no for an answer! What do you want? (What do you really, really want?) Unfortunately, there is so much misunderstanding when it comes to our wants.
Often believers have been told, “God will meet your needs but not your wants,” so we suppress our heartfelt desires thinking they must be carnal.
When we understand how to rightly divide God’s Word and the desires He puts in our hearts, it’s quite liberating and generates a great deal of joy! The Bible is loaded with truth about what God thinks about our “wants” and “desires” and rather than suppress the God-given desires He puts in our hearts, it more satisfying to identify those heartfelt wants.
When we want what God wants (even if at first, it’s the last thing we wanted!), we find a great deal of fulfillment when our heart is aligned with God’s purposes. No wonder Psalm 37 tells us, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (NKJV)
Reinvent Roadmap Question #2: What Do You Have?
What did she have? She didn’t think she had anything of value, but then she remembered her small pot of anointing oil. What do you have? (Make a list!) You may not think you have much of value, but when you unpack all of the anointed things you have--things like possessions and quirks, passions and purpose, friends and cronies, family and kinfolk--you realize you have more than you thought!
Have you ever thought about your quirks as something you have? How about what you loved in third grade? What about your bleacher buddies? See? You have more than you realize and God wants to touch and multiply what you have!
Interestingly, God always and only uses what we have to reinvent our lives -- He never asks us what we don’t have, He asks us, “What do you have?” Remember Moses? “What’s that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2) What about the disciples, “How many loaves do you have?” (Mark 6:38) What about Gideon? “Go in the strength you have...” (Judges 6:14)
God asks us what we have! Even when we feel that what we have is insignificant and unworthy of any type of reinvention -- if we’ll allow God to use it, something supernatural can happen!
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages-Rawpixel
Reinvent Roadmap Question #3: What Will You Do?
What would the Maven do? Elisha told her to do four specific things--go, borrow, pour and sell--and as she did, God touched and multiplied what she had. In her case, she went from indebted widowed, single mom to independent, entrepreneurial Maven. God put her in the oil business--the first essential oil saleslady!
So, what will you do? (What steps has the Lord put on your heart to follow?) The Bible says we are workers together with God -- that means, we have a part to play and God has a part to play in the reinvention of our lives. God won’t just tap our lives with Tinkerbell dust to make everything better, but He will touch what we have as we follow His guidance to “do” the same four things she did.
When we follow the Lord’s guidance to “go borrow, pour and sell” God’s touch is evidenced. Take the idea of borrowing for instance. Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks didn’t invent coffee, he just “borrowed” the coffee bar idea from Italy and brought it to the States. The result? He became a Maven!
What about the notion of sell? Maybe, you’ve got a great product or a garage full of inventory, now what? You need to do what the Maven did--sell the oil! When you name your niche and get busy selling, God’s favor will help you reinvent!
Reinvent Roadmap Question #4: Why Will You Do It?
Why did she do it? The single mom of two boys reinvented her life to pay her financial debt and enjoy life with her sons. Her why was stronger than any setback she faced!
Why will you reinvent your life? (What motivates you to push on?) When you have a strong why, it will give you the endurance you need to reinvent! Like the Maven, your why may be the motivation to pay a financial debt.
As believers we have an even greater why--it’s the motivation to pay our gospel debt and reach people for Christ! As the apostle Paul said, “I am a debtor ... So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel ... For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:14-16, NKJV)
I love how the Maven’s story ended--the last line of her story is simple. Elisha said, “...you and your sons live on the rest.” At the end of her reinvention, God wanted her to take the proceeds from her oil earnings and enjoy life with her kids! She got a fresh start and she loved life! God wants that for you too!
None of us like the limitations of this pandemic, but like the 2 Kings 4 mom, what if our predicament is the catalyst for an even better, reinvented future? What if you follow the reinvention roadmap God has given us and you join the ranks of Maven? I hope these words from Reinvent encourage you, “Remember, no matter where you’re at in life, God’s specialty is reinventing the last, the least and the lost, and turning them into the first, the favored and the found! He’s got you!”
Be encouraged Maven-in-the-making, you can reinvent, start fresh and love life!
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/m-imagephotography
Beth Jones is a Bible teacher, pastor, and author who has been helping people apply God's Word to reach their potential for thirty years. You can find her book, REINVENT: Start Fresh and Love Life!, on Amazon.