Pray for a Barnabas, Part III (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers)

Share

Previously: No matter how self-sufficient we are, sooner or later we dreamers and creators all need a Barnabas: someone to put in a good word for us, introduce us to the right people, assist us with a project, or just be a good friend. History is filled with famous people who found success and achieved their
dreams simply because someone took an interest in them and offered to lend a hand. These caring facilitators follow in the footsteps of the Biblical icon
Barnabas. But f
inding someone who can help — and who’s willing to help — isn’t always easy.

So exactly how does one go about finding a Barnabas and obtaining his or her help?

First things first: During the journey from childhood to mature adult, most people lose the confidence or the boldness or the freedom to ask anyone for anything. Adults actually hate asking. Most assume the answer will be a “no” anyway, so why waste the time. There’s even an old expression in the workplace, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission”!

Nobody likes to face rejection, and a “NO” leaves us out in the cold, standing there with our hat in our hand, looking stupid — or so we think. We dreamers and creators need to realize, however, that at worst, a “no” is simply a “no” and often only means “not now” or “not here”; but at best, a “no” is just one of the tiniest words in the English language that means “keep on knocking, keep on trying”!

For some people the thought of getting a NO can be paralyzing. Result? They won’t ask for anything. Pride may also play into their reluctance, as well as the idea they might be inconveniencing someone. If only we could recapture the freedom and fearlessness of childhood. Kids don’t worry about silly stuff, and they don’t hesitate to ask for anything. For instance, if a child’s friend has an ice cream cone, he’ll probably ask his friend, “Can I have a lick or two?” True, most kids have no sense of propriety, but they also aren’t limited by the fear of a “NO”!

Sons and daughters know it never hurts to ask mom and dad for a new bike or, a few years later, if they can borrow the car. Why should they? The worst that could happen is they get a NO. But the answer just might be a glorious, filled-with-possibilities YES!!

In a child’s mind, the sky’s the limit, and our Heavenly Father wants us to have that same childlike faith. He wants us to view life as filled with possibilities. God also wants us to ask Him for the things we need and even some of the things we simply want. After all, He is our Heavenly Father, and it never hurts to ask. Sometimes His answer is “NO”; but when it is a “No” God has His reasons — and they’re always good reasons.

So, if you need a Barnabas yourself, the first thing you need to do is ASK — and keep on asking.

Finding the right people who are willing to assist you in the pursuit of your dreams and creative endeavors can take time, patience, tons of effort, and some supernatural intervention. As we stated, people tend to be self-absorbed and generally — depending on their level of spiritual maturity — disinclined to support, serve, and assist others. What can we do?

  • Pray for a Barnabas. Oftentimes, God has lined up precisely the right people you need, long before you realize you need them. Nevertheless, God expects us to be confident and make our requests known to Him. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NLT)
  • Don’t be shy: open your mouth and ask!

Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained!  That’s why we’ve asked store managers to honor their sales beyond the deadline — and often received a YES. One of us once asked to be considered for a job that required far more experience — and got both a YES and the job!

So ASK already! Want a raise, or time off? Want a loan? Want to marry that special person?Want a customer to buy your new product or service? Want a publisher to accept your book? Have you asked? Again, the worst that can happen is you hear a “NO.” But imagine a YES, instead. Remember: “You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2 NASB)

  • Don’t be limited by the fear of a “NO”! Now, if we can ask the God of the Universe, then why can’t we ask each other for support? The worst that can happen is you get a “No!” Big deal. Rejection is part of the process. Simply try someone else.
  • Keep on knocking. Persistence pays off. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Mathew 7:7 NLT)

A young entrepreneur once explained how he mailed out hundreds of letters requesting help for a truly great idea he had. That took a lot of stamps and perseverance; because his pleas were almost universally met with silence. But his persistence paid off. He received a single response … from the last person he ever expected to hear from: a wealthy and influential businessman, who agreed to facilitate the entrepreneur’s dream. Who was this young man’s big-name Barnabas? Well, he recently got elected to the highest office in America.

  • Don’t expect people to intuitively understand what you need, or how they can help. Sometimes people just don’t get it. So tell them. Be specific about what you need. Offer them ideas as to how they may assist you.

Keep on creating, keep on dreaming, and pray for a Barnabas. “…If you keep knocking long enough, [someone] will get up and give you everything you want — just because of your persistence.” (Luke 11:8 TLB)

Above all, trust God to bring the right people into your life. And when you finally do find yourself in the spotlight, remember to pull someone else in. This pleases God: “This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12 VOICE)

Pick up Tom & Wilma’s latest book, Spiritual Boot Camp or Creators & Dreamers

Share

Pray for a Barnabas, Part II (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers)

Share

Last time we provided several examples of famous people who achieved their dreams, all because someone took an interest in them and offered to lend a hand. Caring facilitators, such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and TBN cofounder Paul Crouch, Sr., follow in the footsteps of the Biblical icon Barnabas, who enabled the Apostle Paul to spread the Good News of redemption through Jesus Christ.

Ranks! Ree-hee-hee-heeeee!

Need a Barnabas? Finding someone who can help — and who’s willing to help — isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s downright difficult, and for some very strange reasons. And yet, no matter how self-sufficient we are, sooner or later we all need a Barnabas: someone to put in a good word, introduce us to the right people, assist us with a project, or just be a good friend.

But where do we dreamers and creators find such a wonderful and giving person, especially in a society filled with people who only look out for themselves? For that matter, why aren’t there more Barnabas people in the world?

  • People tend to be selfish and self-absorbed. Hence, they’re usually more interested in helping themselves than in aiding someone else. These people may insist they’re too busy — they may even believe it themselves — but the fact of the matter is, people always find time for what’s important … to them. Helping a dreamer reach a goal is usually very low on their priority list. For this reason, the Apostle Paul writes, “Don’t be selfish…. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NLT)
  • Fear, pride, jealousy, insecurity, stubbornness, and self-importance often lead people to willfully ignore and neglect those who could otherwise benefit from their influence and expertise. Sad but true. There are people who have connections, influence, and expertise, as well as the time and opportunity to promote others. However, due to feelings of pride and/or insecurity, they simply will NOT. In fact, depending on how deep these feelings run — and hence, what’s buried deep within their hearts — instead of offering you assistance, these hurting people may actually try to throw a monkey wrench into your plans.

Jonathan Swift once wrote, in his Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting, “When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” Well, in reality, you needn’t be a genius to become the target of someone’s wrath; you only need an exciting dream, and a sense of real purpose and destiny, like the Apostle Paul had.

That’s right. Paul had more than a few “reverse” facilitators, too. He wrote from his prison cell, “I am well aware that some people out there are preaching … because of jealousies and rivalries. Their motives aren’t pure. They’re driven by selfish ambitions and personal agendas, hoping somehow to add to my pain….” (Philippians 1:15 VOICE) Did he allow it to steal his peace and joy? Not at all, because Paul knew that God was on his side. Not to mention, the Apostle had plenty of others who genuinely aided him, including THE Barnabas.

  • He ain’t heavy, he’s my Scooby!

    The world is Barnabas deficient — because WE aren’t doing our part! If we want life to be filled with Barnabas people, we all need to start being Barnabas people. In other words, if we want to make our world a better place, we can start by being better. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV) “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NLT)

The cool thing about being someone else’s Barnabas is that your good deeds will eventually find their way back to you. That’s the way God works. It’s called the Law of Reciprocity.

So, how do we act like Barnabas people?

  • If we have connections or influence that can benefit others, we should by all means use them to help. “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.” (Proverbs 3:27 NLT)
  • If you’ve already attained a degree of success, don’t allow your fame, fortune, or prominent position to go to your head. Despite those fanciful tales of self-made men and women, we seriously doubt you got where you are today all by yourself. So show your appreciation to God for sending mentors and facilitators into your life — by being open to any requests for assistance.

  • If you have a platform (a ministry, a program, an audience, a readership) then consider sharing it with those individuals God sends to you. After all, it’s actually God’s platform. He’s just loaning it to you. Never give Him sufficient reason to consider passing it to someone else.
  • Pastors and spiritual leaders, please be facilitators both within and outside your faith communities. We realize you have a vision for the future, but the people you serve often have their own God-given dreams. Don’t expect these believers to use their gifts and talents exclusively to support your ministries and agenda.
  • If you can assist another creator or dreamer financially, then do so. Support new businesses by trying their products and services. Support budding actors, singers, and musicians by attending their performances. Support writers by buying their books … and so forth.
  • Beyond this, we can offer genuine friendship and encouragement. We can earnestly pray for the endeavors of others and also do our part to spread the word about them, their talents, their works, or their products and services.

Please take the time to see what people “are about.” Hear them out. Don’t slam the door before you even give them a chance. And then do what you can to encourage, support, and facilitate them. “Seize any opportunity the Lord gives you to do good things and be a blessing to everyone, especially those within our faithful family.” (Galatians 6:10 VOICE)

Okay, but how do we dreamers and creators obtain the help of a Barnabas? Join us Thursday for the conclusion of “Pray for a Barnabas.”

Pick up Tom & Wilma’s latest book, Spiritual Boot Camp or Creators & Dreamers

Share