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© 2019 by Wes Raley

5 Lessons God Taught Us On Our Time Away (With Pictures)

Updated: May 7, 2019

Wes Raley

This is a picture of Korie and I at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. in April. It was our first time ever doing a multiple night getaway without our children. During this trip and our time "off" from Perfect Match Coaching, God showed us a lot!

I told you that I would send a list of some things that God showed us during our time "away" from Perfect Match Coaching. It was about a 3 month period of us stepping back and evaluating the next steps God was calling us toward in work, faith, ministry, and life. Below are 5 things He showed us or reminded us during this time:

1) We are best friends, not just spouses or co-parents. And, we need to foster that friendship!

This was something God reminded us of, as He taught us this a long time ago. There is a higher order than service, and it's called friendship. Jesus said that best in John 15:15- "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

We know each other better than anyone knows us in the world, and we share everything together. Just like Jesus said, real friendship has attached to it a "making known" of all that we are and understand. I could share a lot more under this heading but suffice it to say, when we got to Washington D.C. with no kids in tow, we were so happy to realize that we are best friends APART FROM the day-to-day responsibilities of serving our children and each other. I have heard of many people, sadly, who didn't foster their friendship with their spouse and when they became empty-nesters, there was no foundation or connection left in the marriage.

2) God has given us all things to richly enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).

This goes along with #1 above, but it goes even deeper. God is not always calling us to produce or accomplish. He wants us to ENJOY our lives and what He has given us. We may find joy in sacrifice and serving, but not JUST those things. I think I might even go so far as to say that learning to enjoy your life is a spiritual discipline, because if God thinks it's important, we should too.

Below is a picture of Korie and I on scooters we rented in Washington D.C. These things were a BLAST! We went up to 15 mph on sidewalks zipping past people like little kids. We accomplished NOTHING apart from ENJOYING our time together, and I believe that God was VERY pleased about that. :)

It's a good reminder that our lives are not meant to simply produce, acquire, and accomplish. Just like the example Solomon gives in Ecclesiastes 4:8- "There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. 'For whom am I toiling,' he asked, 'and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?' This too is meaningless - a miserable business!"

3) Don't let the URGENT displace the IMPORTANT.

This is not new with us but was classically outlined in the short book called The Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles Hummel.

The basic gist of the message is that we must zealously guard the things that we know are important or else, we will constantly be interrupted by things that are urgent needs. These things steal our time and focus, accomplish little, and detract from our destiny which is focusing on the important things God has given us to do.

We must set proper boundaries and commitments to the important and not be so easily pushed by the urgent.

4) Death precedes life (John 12:24). & A need does not constitute a call.

This goes handily along with #3. There are certain spiritual sectors of influence that believe we should "fill needs" and then God will direct us. "Just jump in where there is a need," they say. While we should definitely be humble enough to accept tasks that are less than desirable, we should not disregard the fact that God has given us discernment about our gifting and calling.

Furthermore, death precedes life. If we are constantly continuing to "fill needs" because "if we don't, nobody will" just to keep a ministry, method, tradition, or service alive - we may be fighting against God wanting to do a "new thing" (Isaiah 43:19).

Use care, prayer, and discernment, but be willing to let things die if the only one trying to keep them alive is you (and not God).

5) Go with what you DO have (Matthew 25:14-30).

So many times we can get into a rut of waiting until things are perfect before we step out. Instead of investing right where God has placed us and going deeper and taking advantage of the opportunities right under our nose, we wait for the perfect job, church, house, car, or project.

But just like the man in the parable of the talents who buried his one talent, you could end up missing the opportunities God has for you by not investing what He has currently given.

This was a powerful message to our family over this break, and we have stepped out on this in a number of ways. All of them have been very fruitful. But I wanted to share with you that this was the motivating factor for publishing my upcoming devotional book "Words That Proceed."

Let me explain. For the longest time, I felt like God would show me things or give me a personal word on a pretty much daily basis. Last November, I started to write down that one thought or idea, daily, as a way to steward and possibly advance the messages He gave. Then, 97 days in, I felt like God led me to be done with writing them down. So I stopped. During this break, God revealed to us to "Go with what we have." Instead of trying to turn this into "100 devotions or 365 devotions" I just took God at His Word and went with what we had. 97 fresh words from God.

My friend Jim even texted me at the unveiling of the pre-order and asked "why 97?" It's true, 97 seems random. Why not 100? My answer was simple, "That was what we had."

So today, what has God given you? Have you overlooked the very opportunity He has placed under your nose simply because it doesn't seem perfect or complete?

Go with what you have!

Thanks to everyone for reading this and for all of those who have pre-ordered Words That Proceed: 97 "Right Now" Devotions for Your Life Today.

God bless you as you GO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE!

Wes Raley

P.S. Several have asked about paperback copies of Words That Proceed. Yes, they will be available on 6/4. However, the $2.99 pre-order Kindle really helps boost rankings for every person that purchases, so if you have the means and desire, please look into pre-ordering the Kindle version!

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