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Not Everyone Has To Know About Your Calling Or Mission

In so many cases, when we’ve discovered our calling, or launched a new idea, project, or mission, we want to shout it from the housetops. I’m as guilty as anyone, because when a great idea hits, I want to share it with everyone. But there’s really good counsel in holding it back from some people – at least for a time.

In Exodus Chapter 4, Moses had just encountered God’s call through a burning bush. It was big, audacious, epic. He was out in the desert with nobody to share it with, and when he returned to his house, you’d think he’d want to tell everyone.

But he didn’t.

After an amazing encounter with God, where his life was re-focused on something remarkable, the Bible says, “Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.””

That was it. Nothing about “Hey Jethro, God has called me to lead millions of Jews out of Egypt to freedom.” Or perhaps, “The time has finally come! God has revealed to me that he’s freeing His people from Egypt!” Or even, “Hey dad, I finally got out of this rocky place. I’m heading back to Egypt to fulfill God’s call on my life”

Nope. Just “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.”

Why did Moses hold back? No one knows, but I can imagine that he had a lot of processing to do. It was time for reflection, not magnification.

The lesson? Here’s 3 things to consider:

1) When the heavens open and your big idea, project, or mission becomes clear, take some time. I’ve discovered that when I blurt it out too soon, it’s like air escaping from a balloon. It loses it’s pressure, it’s energy, and it’s urgency. So hold off. Let the idea percolate, and spend time thinking about the possibilities.

2) Remember the critics. The minute you reveal your plan, the critics will hit, and if it’s not very well developed, you won’t have many answers – which will lead to self-doubt.

3) Finally, just because God reveals the idea, doesn’t mean He’s revealed ALL of the idea. This may be bigger than you think, so give it a little time to develop before you announce it.

One key principle I’ve learned as our Cooke Media Group team has re-branded major organizations is that how and when you roll it out is just as important as what you roll out.

Have you ever wrestled with this issue? I’d love to hear your story…

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16 Comments

  1. Oh this is so true. I’ve experienced it on both sides. I’ve blurted it out too soon, and had the vision collapse. And more recently I’ve held on to it, let it grow, and watch it spread beyond what I could have imagined. Wise stuff.

  2. I am at the beginning of fleshing this new unknown out with God’s help. It is quite daunting and all of the internal limiting beliefs rise to the surface as I sort and cull through to find clarity, learn new skills, and follow the way God has for this to develop and grow. Sharing the idea has kept me accountable to move forward as those who know and love me graciously listen. The work of this is holding on long enough for God to burn off the dross so the vision doesn’t collapse, but instead blossoms and grows.

  3. Thanks Phi. On Tuesday night I had a bitter experience with someone I could call my spiritual father after I had shared my vision. He condemned everything that I said. It was painful and embarrassing. I made up my mind never in my life will I discuss anything related to the issue with him. Honestly speaking, I vowed not to pay this month’s tithe to him, I have paid it to a minister of God who believes in my vision and has been a great encourager.

    1. So sorry to hear that David. It may just be that the entirety of your vision is too much for him to handle, and perhaps in the future, as he sees it unfold in your life, you can heal that relationship. Let’s hope so…

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