End With The Beginning in Mind

I believe it is time to bare all, to be real and honest with you and with myself, a confessional of sorts.

This week was nothing short of amazing.

  • Nearly one hundred additional pre-orders for Redefine Rich
  • The promise of one thousand more is being discussed as a company may want to order copies for their employees
  • The Kindle version of the book launched on Amazon and we climbed on to the Best Seller List for Christian Living
  • I saw my book listed among many of my heroes: John Maxwell, Andy Stanley, Henry Cloud, and yes, Andy Andrews
  • I’m talking with an agent about pitching the book to a large publisher for mainstream distribution
  • I have four speaking engagements in January

I was and am ecstatic. I am living out a dream.

Yet standing here, on the cusp of receiving one thousand copies to fulfill the orders placed and watching the Amazon rankings fluctuate with each hour, I can’t help but feel a tension.

The tension to acknowledge myself, stand on the proverbial mountain, toot my horn, read my press, and play King of the Hill, is very real. It’s something that I’m not sure I’m ready for. Even the tension to write about it is real. I sit here, wavering back and forth, wondering whether or not I should put these thoughts on the screen. But, I feel that I need to.

I need to be honest and I’m asking you to hold me to it.

I read a story this morning surrounding the delivery of God’s people into the Promised Land. It gave me a clear picture of what He’s trying to teach me.

God Delivers

The Israelites spend forty years wandering the desert, living on God’s provision of manna. When their beloved leader, Moses, dies, Joshua takes command and the Lord thunders from heaven words that we cling to, especially when dreams begin:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

With a mighty hand, the Lord piles up the waters of the Jordan and His people cross. As they approach the city of Jericho, they march for seven days around the city and with a trumpet blast and loud shout, the walls come tumbling down.

These stories remind me that God delivers on His promises. He is a deliverer, a redeemer. But too many times, I stop there. I quit reading at that point in the story and it allows me to believe that somehow, someway I am an essential cause for victory. I’m learning that is very dangerous ground to tread upon.

If you keep reading the story from Joshua, an interesting turn takes place. God gives His people a command:

“But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction.” (Joshua 6:16)

Unfortunately, some of His people don’t listen. Achan, an Israelite, takes for himself a robe, some gold, and twenty shekels of silver. In the moment when God has delivered, it still isn’t enough.

I am Achan. Even when God does amazing things, I still look for more. I listen to the lies that His provision isn’t enough.

Going Back to Where it Began

Friends, I’m writing this to say that the Enemy is real. He is present and–with everything in his power–he wants to take us from this place of trusting in God’s provision. Instead, he wants us to trust in our ability.

I’m learning that we must come to a place where we trust in our ability through Him.

I’m not suggesting that celebrating is sinful, nor am I suggesting that God is some type of magician who blesses obedience and curses disobedience, leading us to live a life validated by check marks. I am suggesting that when we begin to leverage anything for our own gain, He is quick to remind us.

I’m writing this to remind myself that sin creeps, waiting, hiding–in dark places–looking for an opportunity to destroy.

I felt sin creeping in this week, but no longer. I’m calling it out. As Jesus told his disciples:

“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:17)

I do believe in this book, not because it is my own, but because I believe God is present within it. I have to trust that He will finish what He started; it is not my job to worry about the details of how.

I am trusting that which brought me the message would provide for the distribution of it.

So, this year, I’m ending with the beginning in mind. I’m going back to the place where this all began.

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, hearing a whisper to write and trusting that God would do the rest.

MH

 

If you are a Kindle reader, I would invite you to visit Redefine Rich on Amazon. This weekend is the last weekend to receive a free paperback copy with the order of a Kindle edition via Amazon. Forward your receipt and address to: matt@mattham.com and we will ship your paperback by year-end. 

Visit Redefine Rich on Amazon

Also, this week is the final week to preorder the first edition hardback of Redefine Rich and receive your copy by year-end. These first edition hardback copies will be personalized and signed by me prior to shipping.

PreOrder Redefine Rich in hardback

 

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  • Matt, Congrats on a great week with the book. And thank you for your perspective on the week. Proverbs 3:5-6. Keep Him first!

  • David Mike

    Great introspection. You are humble and thanks for the reminder.

    • Thanks, David. Keep that place fresh in your mind.

  • Tom Morris

    Good stuff. The best celebration isn’t about the self at all, but about God’s goodness and gifts to us. He gives us our talents and guides us in using them, and grants great things to happen because of it all. And he’s behind it, every step of the way. So as we celebrate, we need to keep in view what exactly deserves the celebration! And that means WHO deserves to be celebrated!

    I celebrate with you, young man. I believe that you’ve circled your week of great things for seven days, and blown your horn, and made the walls of self-celebration fall down! Good going on all counts!

  • Thanks for keeping it real, Matt!