Three Keys to The Seven Steps that Reveal The Five Secrets of Success

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Blog, Hearing God, Sam | 0 comments

I recently feel a need for action, practically (selling our house, helping a ministry I support, promoting my book) and humanly (a friend in divorce proceedings and other friends with health or financial woes). A season of doing has descended on me.

Keys Steps Secrets of Success


But where should I best invest myself?

There is no shortage of advice. Recently, resources I used to like for their insights have transformed themselves into Giant-Task-Lists. Books, blogs, and conversations bombard me with action-items, strategies, and plans:

  • Last May, an author sent me 26 emails (twenty-six!!) urging me to sign up for his “Three Principles for Successfully Building a Tribe.”
  • A friend told me of his Four-Step action plan to make a church more mission minded.
  • A house-stager made a Two-Page list of exactly what to do to make our house “Pop.”
  • And in one week, a blogger I used to like offered: (a) Six Steps to Becoming Happy, (b) Five Keys for Achievement, (c) Seven Steps to Getting Unstuck, and (d) Eight Secrets to Escape Exhaustion. (My escape from exhaustion began when I quit reading his blog).

Despite the verbal bombardment of tips and techniques for doing, God has also been speaking in a quieter voice, with a single thought that seems more invitational than edict. It’s this:

The Life of God begins to work in me at the moment of my inability.

What Does It Mean?

I have a set of natural skills on which I rely: I can balance a checkbook, understand technology, and talk comfortably with strangers. Self-Help material expanded my skill set to include scuba diving and writing a weekly blog. (And right now I’m studying Shoe-Tying for Dummies.)

But these same skills also create in me spiritual confusion. Because when I’m relying on them, I don’t think much of God. Like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, my natural abilities act agnostically: they look at the world without a resurrection.

The Apostle Peter was naturally assertive, but his kingdom service proved sterile until his natural boldness died, was buried, and was reborn into supernatural boldness.

Worse yet, our innate expertise naturally creates discord. In one of Peter’s infamous blunders, he exclaims, “Those other disciples may all desert you, but I never will!” (I imagine the Disciple John thinking, “What am I? Benedict Arnold?”) And the Apostle Paul’s inborn zeal led him to persecute, imprison, and kill.

How many times have you witnessed an inherently disciplined person disparage a naturally born, but disorderly, artist? (“Why can’t you just be more like me?”)

It is only through inner spiritual resurrection that the life of God begins to work in us.

Good, Better, and Best

In spiritual matters, that which is good is the greatest enemy of that which is best. Our weaknesses look to God, but our inborn competencies live perfectly happy without him.

Let’s avoid the agnostic divisiveness that come from resting in innate skills instead of resurrected boldness. It’s not what we do that counts, not nearly as much as what God does through us. All it takes is the funeral of our trust in ourselves.

So what do I hear God calling me to do? Instead of falling prey to more internet click-bait of Three Keys, Seven Steps, or Five Secrets, I sense God calling me to this One Invitation:

The Life of God begins to work in me at the moment of my inability.



You’ve probably heard of my new book by not, but just in case you need a reminder: God wants us to hear his voice; he wants a conversational relationship with us all. Please consider buying my new book, Hearing God in Conversation.

It’s written for both believers and non-believers. Give one to a friend.

Leave a Reply