Step 1: What's A BHAG?

STEP 1: PURSUE GOD FOR YOUR BHAG - Go hard after what you're hoping God will do for you.

 

What is a BHAG?

Good questions! First, let me tell you what it’s not. It’s not in the Bible, like nowhere. But we really like the feel of it. Let me explain.

 

A lot of what we're hoping will happen can't happen unless God gives it to you. It's important to learn to look to God for the things you really need in life. If you don't directly and consciously pursue Him and do that in a way that you will know when He does provide it to you, you might be tempted to think that other sources are responsible for you getting those things.

We want to pursue God in such a way that you will know when God blesses you. When you learn how to take God up on His promises, it seems that He doesn't only give you gifts, He also fills those gifts themselves with a sort of abundant-life—that those things work out great; that they bring joy and encouragement with them; which results in you being willing to practice more faith.

 

So, back to a BHAG. BHAG is a term coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book, "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies." I think it communicates the feeling behind what we are asking God to do. BHAG stands for Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal.

 

Whatever you decide to pursue God for, it needs to be:

Big enough that you can't make it happen on your own, you’ll need God.

Hairy enough to scare you a little.

Audacious enough to feel risky.

Goal is specific enough that you will know when it happens.

 

For example, world peace would be nice, but it’s highly unlikely that it will happen in a few weeks and it’s not specific enough to know when it happens. So how about something a little more concrete? Maybe for peace in one of your relationships where it’s needed.

The reason to take this step is to put yourself in a position to see that God is alive; He actually listens to your prayers, and that He cares about you.

 

So how about it? What would you like to pursue God for over the seasons of Lent? Take a moment and write it down.

 

One Thing Seems True - God likes it when you pursue Him and ask Him for things (see Matthew 7:7-11); it reinforces your relationship with Him. So, we need to figure out how to ask, in faith, and—as Matthew 7:7 says — and keep on asking. Remember, this is a faith experiment, so let's agree up front that Leap of Faith will be a place to start!

 

Let me suggest Three Ways of Getting at This:

 

1) Write Down Your B.H.A.G.

OK, before you go on, please stop and do it! What good gift do you think Jesus would like to give you before Leap of Faith is over? (If you've been asking Him and don't have a clear sense, you may have to punt to the option below and write down what, all things being equal, you'd like Him to do for you.)

 

Write it down now:

 

 

 

There is Another way to go about this: Ask Jesus how He'd like to make your life feel better during the week of Leap of Faith. The surprising truth is that what makes or breaks our lives is not so much focused on what happens to us as to how our life feels. Isn't that a stunner?

 

You might think, "I'm lonely and miserable because I'm 'X' age, and I'm still unmarried!" But a moment's observation will tell you that there are people who are older than you, who've never been married, and who are not lonely or miserable. There are also married people, who you might even know, who are lonely and miserable! The point is that it's about how your life feels to you. You might want to ask Jesus how He could make your life feel better during our Leap of Faith weeks; then, just listen and write down the list that comes to you.

 

So… Let’s Do It!  How do you think Jesus would like to make your life feel better over the course of this Leap of Faith? This is your BHAG.

 

Here are some suggested goals you might want to consider:

 

· I want to experience at least one concrete gift from God.

· I want to experience an ever-deeper joy of finding my purpose in God's work on earth.

· I want to grow spiritually more than I have in any season of my life.

· I'd like to have a breakthrough in some habit, hurt, or hang-up that needs to change in my life.

 

Did You Do It? – Yes!

Then, congratulations! You've done a key thing—you've crystallized in your heart and on paper (you did write something done, right?) what you want to pursue God for - a very important thing. Having done that, can I encourage you to do three other things that might help you take advantage of this year's Leap of Faith?

 

1) Ask God for your B.H.A.G. Every Day During Leap of Faith

As you ask, be open to God speaking to you about what you're asking for; pay attention to that! In the Spirit of Matthew 7, God gives good gifts to people who "keep on asking" Him!  So, ask every day.

 

2) Tell Someone Else About Your BHAG

Ask them to pray for your B.H.A.G. Best case scenario: your spouse; or a faithful friend in our church family. We suggest you partner with someone in this year's LOF. It would be neighborly of you if you prayed about their B.H.A.G. too!

The crazy part is that Jesus says He's uniquely present, and at work, it seems in a greater way when two or more people ban together to pursue God (Matthew 18:20). Your chances of seeing something happen go way up when someone else is praying with you — hey, they might even have more faith than you do so that you can leech off them!

 

3) When You See Answers, Tell Everyone (and Me)

One of the best things you can do when God blesses you is to tell everyone you can about it. You can do that by either emailing me (david.devel@northpc.org), writing it out on the back of your Connection Card, or posting it on our NPC Family Facebook page.

 

This is a super-powerful and often-overlooked spiritual principle: when God answers our prayers, the proper response is to tell as many people as you can—most particularly your church family. Let me run just a few Psalms by you that make this point:

 

  • · Psalm 107:2: "Has the Lord redeemed (done something good for) you? Then speak out! Tell others he has saved you from your enemies."
  • · Psalm 108:3 (and Psalm 57:9): "I will thank you, Lord, in front of all the people."
  • · Psalm 71:15-16: "All day long I will proclaim Your saving power, for I am overwhelmed by how much you have done for me. I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord. I will tell everyone that you alone are just and good."
  • · Psalm 73:28: "I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do."
  • · Psalm 40:10: "I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and your saving power.  I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness."

 

The Psalms teach us that if we don't do this if we don't speak out about the actual things God does for us, then those things will fade in our memory, and we'll ultimately forget them! It seems that one of God's central purposes is that His Name be known throughout the earth. His Name is essentially this, "the God who does great things for those who pursue Him" (Habakkuk 2:14).

 

When you tell others about whatever great things God has done for you, you're participating in His ultimate mission on earth! Whenever God does something wonderful for you, tell your friends, and always tell your church family.