What Now? How to Move into Your Next Season (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Well, hello everyone. I'm James Dobson and you're listening to Family Talk, a listener supported ministry. In fact, thank you so much for being part of that support for James Dobson Family Institute.

Roger Marsh: Welcome back to Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh and Family Talk of course, is the listener supported broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. Let me begin by saying that I am so glad that you've joined us today. We have a very encouraging and insightful conversation to share with you, and it's because of the support of listeners, just like you, that we're able to offer these important broadcasts every day. So thanks so much for your prayers and your ongoing financial support. Now, today's interview features our own Dr. Tim Clinton and Pastor Mark Jobe. It was recorded at the 2021 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Dallas that just wrapped up last month. Mark Jobe is the President of the Moody Bible Institute, as well as the lead and founding pastor of New Life Community Church in Chicago, Illinois.

Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck or unable to hear the voice of God for direction in your life? I think we all fall into that category at one time or another. Well, in the following conversation, Pastor Jobe will share his own personal testimony and use stories from scripture to lay out some practical steps to help you discern God's voice and to literally get unstuck. Here's Dr. Tim Clinton and Pastor Mark Jobe right now on Family Talk.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Dr. Jobe, what a delight to have you visit us and be a part of this edition of Family Talk.

Dr. Mark Jobe: And it's so good to be with you, Tim.

Dr. Tim Clinton: As we get started, the great Moody Institute, you're now president there. Tell us a little bit about what's happening at Moody and your ministry as a pastor, your outreach to children. It's just quite fascinating.

Dr. Mark Jobe: Your listeners may or may not be aware, but Moody was started by the iconic DL moody-

Dr. Tim Clinton: DL Moody.

Dr. Mark Jobe: Over 135 years ago in the heart of the city-

Dr. Tim Clinton: Chicago.

Dr. Mark Jobe: In the heart of the city of Chicago. And this guy was a phenomenal guy, Tim, because at the age of 17, never had more than a sixth grade education, at the age of 17 was converted in the back of a shoe store and then wanted to make a lot of money. So he moved to Chicago and he was good at what he did, but he could not get away from the passion to share the Gospel for Jesus. And he ended up literally sharing the Gospel with millions of people and a worldwide ministry, was just incredible, his impact, but he also started a school driven by a woman by the name of Emma Dryer, so you got to start a school, you got to start a school, you got to start a school. And so he started a school in the heart of Chicago that now has become the Moody Bible Institute.

And so, we've been there 135 years training people in aviation, in Spokane. We have a college in the middle of the school, a seminary in Detroit, grad school, Moody Publishing, Moody Radio. It's quite an operation centered on the Gospel for so many years.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Serving as president there you also are pastor, you have pastors heart, ministry have quite an influence there in Chicago. Tell us about that too.

Dr. Mark Jobe: So, I came to Moody from Spain, I grew up in Spain in a town of 200 people. I like to tell people, I still remember my phone number, it was eight. It was a very small town in Northern Spain, 200 people, more sheep and cows and my parents were missionaries. So I had heard about this school in Chicago, didn't know anybody that went there, remember cassette tapes, Tim, someone was sending cassette tapes and I said, "I want to go there at least one year to learn the Bible. And so I flew in from a small town in Spain to the heart of the city of Chicago to go to Moody Bible Institute. Didn't like the city at all. But when I was there, someone challenged me they said, "Before you go back to Europe, the nations have come to the city, what about planting a church in Chicago?" And I wanted to say, get thee behind me, Satan, but I couldn't get rid of that thought, that burden.

And so, when I graduated from Moody, I started pastoring on the Southwest side of Chicago, a gang infested neighborhood, a little church of 18 people. My salary was $8,000 a year and I was the only person there. I mean, there were shootings out in front, it was nothing that I was used to, but I knew that the Gospel is powerful. And so that little church ended up growing to a church of 7,000 people, 27 different locations, 41 worship services, planted churches around the world as well. And we just seen so many people come to Christ. So that's what I was involved in doing when Moody approached me and I've always loved Moody, I was an adjunct professor there. They approached me and so it took a while for me to decide, because I loved what I was doing, but I said to them, "I'm open to this as long as I can keep my hands in ministry. If you allow me to be a practitioner president, I will say yes, if not, I would say no."

And so Moody graciously said, "Okay, we'll allow you to be a practitioner president." So, I lead the Institute and the ministries, but I also preach on Sunday. We do mentoring for urban youth and gang intervention. And ah, it's-

Dr. Tim Clinton: It's encouraging.

Dr. Mark Jobe: It's a blast, really.

Dr. Tim Clinton: In every story, and we're going to talk now about your new book called What Now? How to Move into Your Next Season. But Mark, there's always some narrative that flows with this and it isn't always bright and beautiful, it's often dark and turbulent and challenging. You hit one of those seasons, where you're staring at the wall, thinking what in the world? And God where are you? And what are doing?

Dr. Mark Jobe: Yeah. Hey Tim, I've had multiple seasons like that.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Man, we all have. And I know a lot of people even listening. I mean, somebody might be in that season right now.

Dr. Mark Jobe: Yes. Really, what I think Tim happened is I took on things that God never asked me to take on. And oftentimes we step into spaces and take on responsibility that belong to the Holy Spirit. And we try to be a Messiah when there is a Messiah, His name is Jesus. And so I was working with this little inner city church. I felt like people needed me. I was counseling people in marriage and I wasn't even married and mentoring and discipling, feeling like people. And I just crashed. I was sick. I went to the doctor, I had no health insurance and he just said, "Young man, you're exhausted, you need to rest." I said, "You don't understand, I pastor, people need me, I got to preach." And he said, "I don't care what you do, you are exhausted. You need to rest, you need to take a week and just rest."

And my grandmother took me in, she lived about an hour away and I was on this flowery couch just moaning "God, why are you letting this happen to me?" And the conviction of the Holy Spirit came upon me strongly and deeply that I had been seeking to do the work of God in the power of the flesh. And I had a breaking point and I had to repent and say, "God, I have been doing this good stuff, you can embrace good stuff," but do it in your own power and you will run out of steam, be overwhelmed, be anxious, not able to control things. And I had this, it was a turning point in my ministry.

Dr. Tim Clinton: It can be a really confusing time though, Mark-

Dr. Mark Jobe: It can be.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Because in the midst of it, you can get lost in your own mind. The mind can be a very free, beautiful place, creative. You feel like you're in touch or can be, like I say, pretty dark, turbulent, chaotic, confusing. Mark, what do you say to people who are in that season? My dad, rural country pastor, you and I had a chance to talk about our families before we get started. But I remember going home to central Pennsylvania, my dad and mother in their later years, lived in a trailer with a couple of rooms, built onto it. And my dad had small study inside of that place. I can still smell the cologne he used to wear at all times. My dad, I picked up a Chuck Swindoll book one time, was just thumbing my way through. I loved to go into his study. So what's dad reading, where's he at? And inside of it, I flipped the page and there was this underlined area Mark that said, "You're not a nobody."

And as I read it, it stopped me for a second because I realized that he wasn't reading that for sermon preparation, he had underlined it and it was personal. And I thought to myself, "dad, you're kidding, you're a giant, you can get lost even in the midst of all this. Right?"

Dr. Mark Jobe: Absolutely. And you know what comes to my mind? And I refer to this in the book, we have this iconic character named Elijah and he shows up in the Mount of transfiguration. He's this guy that feels like he's walking close with God. But he goes through a season of disillusionment after a big victory. And we find him in the desert, suicidal, Tim. I mean, he says, take my life, it's not worth living. And here's a strong man of God, but we all have periods of time where we lose perspective, where we get disillusion, where life doesn't turn out the way we thought it was going to turn out, or God doesn't work the way or our identity gets sucked up into maybe a failure or a disappointment. And he's in a desert saying, take my life, it's not worth living. And God leads him to a cave where he needs to have a fresh encounter to gain a new perspective.

But it's a dark season, this is a man of God, a strong man of God that's suicidal. And I think Tim, here's what I want to say, during these last season, especially with COVID, with this upheaval in our nation, with the turmoil-

Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. I was going to go there. I mean, the storms that we've been seeing, witnessing, experiencing those challenges.

Dr. Mark Jobe: On mental health it has been brutal. The last several baptisms that I've seen at our church, a whole bunch of people getting baptized, but especially in young people, almost all of them have stories of, and I was suicidal and I attempted suicide. I'm like, this is pandemic, the isolation-

Dr. Tim Clinton: It's not a crisis, it's a disaster.

Dr. Mark Jobe: It is a disaster. But it also provides great opportunities to speak hope into people's lives. But it's a very painful, grieving, difficult time for so many people.

Dr. Tim Clinton: You have found a lot of hope and encouragement in the life of Joseph. I too. It's one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Joseph, obviously, his coat of many colors and the whole bit, and so favored by his dad, but his brothers hated him. It says what the scripture says, "And they conspired against him," and thus begins this journey of Joseph's life. Fast forward, take us all the way to the moment where he's second, only to the Pharaoh now. And he is standing before his brothers who don't even know him. And he reveals himself to them. What I want people to pick up on, and Mark this is what I really appreciate about what you're saying and what you are writing is when he has all this favor in his life, that pain was still evident. Because when he reveals himself, it says that he wept so loud that the entire house of the Pharaoh and the Egyptians heard him cry. That's brokenness.

Dr. Mark Jobe: It is.

Dr. Tim Clinton: We tend to carry our pain, don't we?

Dr. Mark Jobe: We do. And you know what, Tim, we tend to glide over those things. We read scripture without always understanding. If you were to diagnose Joseph's family today, I mean, it was a toxic, broken, dysfunctional. They would be in multiple therapy sessions because brothers, siblings, multiple mothers, favoritism, I mean, this was a broken household. But you know when I think of that story, what jumps to my mind is this, Tim, God gave a 17 year old boy, a dream, a God given dream, a calling. And He has to take them through crisis and pain to prepare him to be ready to handle the weight of his calling. Sometimes we look at it and say, this is a terrible chapter in my life. God gave Joseph a dream, but then He gave him the gift of crisis. I mean, he's sold into slavery, he's betrayed, he goes into prison. But in every season he's learning something. And he's learning about God, about dreams, about servant hood. He's living with pain, but God is also molding his character, that 17 year old boy wouldn't be able to handle in his youthful pride, what God wanted to do.

But when he finally had, he was still living with that pain, comes before his brothers, God reveals it to him, there's grief that he's carried, but God has shaped him through that and prepared him to be a leader like he could have never been without this difficult chapter in his life.

Dr. Tim Clinton: The old Puritans called it "the valley of vision." There's something about being down in there that you begin to see differently. And life takes on new meaning. You're listening to Family Talk a division of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, your host, our special in-studio guest. Dr. Mark Jobe. He's the president of the great Moody Bible Institute, founding pastor of New Life Community Church in Chicago, ministering to thousands of people, amazing ministry to youth throughout the Chicago area and more. But a message, has got a message of hope in the midst of this challenging time that we find ourself in. Mark, let's talk about breaking free. Let's talk about transitioning. Because everybody wants to know how do I set my feet to a new course? How do I get to that next season? Man, I want to get there. God help me to get there quick, start us on the journey.

Dr. Mark Jobe: Yeah. I'm going to tell you how to do that, but let me, first of all, say, when you said James Dobson right there, I had this pause and say, man, I am such a fan of just years of powerful ministry that this man... As a young father, I remember reading the book, Bringing Up Boys and I have two sons. And he said something in that book that I'll never forget. He said, "Boys, don't always like to learn face to face." When you talk to a teenage boy, how you doing? Fine. How's school? Okay. He said, "So don't try to talk to them face to face, find something to do side by side." He talked about fishing, in Chicago we don't do a lot of fishing. So my boys were into sports, so I started taking them to the gym and we would work out together. For years we've done that. I still work out with one of my sons together and we've had the greatest conversations. So James Dobson, thank you for investing in my family.

Dr. Tim Clinton: He's poured out so much of his heart and life and everywhere we go, Mark, just story, after story, after story and still pouring in, you know that? Yeah, we love that. His mindset was about helping strengthen the family, especially to get through hard times. I think of the book When God Doesn't Make Sense and so much more, don't ever give up, greater is He, that is in you than He, that is in the world. Your next season, He's in the midst of it. God is in the midst of the story.

Dr. Mark Jobe: Yeah, He is. And so if someone is stuck right now, like Elijah was, like I have been, I think one of the first places we start is stop and listen. You see, Elijah was listening to the voice in his own head, which said, "you're a failure, you haven't accomplished this," but he wasn't listening to the voice of God. And you have this iconic moment where he's in a cave and everybody knows the story. The wind, the fire, but God brings him, He says, "Elijah come out of the cave." And he steps to the entrance of the cave. And in the Hebrew, it says, "The small gentle whisper." And God was in that, but Elijah had to stop. And he had to listen to the voice of God. And one of the first things that God said to him is, what are you doing here?

When God asks a question it's not because He doesn't know the answer, it's because He wants you to examine your journey and do some self-examination. And so you need to stop. If you're stuck right now, you need to stop. And you need to ask yourself this question, what am I doing here? And I think we need to pause and say, God, what are you saying to me? Have I quieted my mind that's racing a thousand miles an hour? Have I stopped to say, what are you doing in the bigger narrative? I was speaking in Spain years ago at an event that was mainly made up of Catholic priests and nuns. This was very unusual. They invited a Protestant pastor to speak to this, in the town that was the center of the inquisition in which they persecuted Protestants and Jews, but they had asked me to speak. And I spoke there. God showed up in some phenomenal ways. I did an altar call. People were given their lives to Christ.

When I was done, I was walking down the street and a guy chased me down the street in Spanish, saying "Marcos, Marcos, Marcos." And so I stopped. And he said, "I've been a believer for years. He said, I've never heard the voice of God speak to me. Would you pray over me that I would hear the voice of God." I looked at him and I said, "No," he was taken aback and he said, "Why not?" I said, "If you're a son of God, I can't fathom not speaking to my son or daughter and being silent. I love them too much not to speak to them. So, I'm not going to pray that God would speak to you because I'm convinced He is. What I will pray is that whatever is hindering you from hearing His voice will be taken out. That your ears would be open because I'm convinced that God is speaking. It's not a matter of the voice of God, it's a matter of what's drowning out the voice of God."

Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. The noise. There's so much noise.

Dr. Mark Jobe: There's so much noise.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. And discerning the voice of God. The scripture says, "His spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Turning to God's word, listening to other people who have influence, who are spiritual. And then obviously just letting the Holy Spirit work in your heart and life. That's a challenging season, especially when you are stuck or you've hit the wall.

Dr. Mark Jobe: Yeah. It's a challenging season and stopping to listen first of all, is one of the hardest things for me to do. The other interesting thing that God does with Elijah though, God basically tells Elijah, go back where you came from. Elijah had been running from his problems. And I think we are phenomenal in these days of running from the things that we're afraid of. And God says, "Go back the way you came." In other words, stop running from your issues, go face them. As long as you're running from your issues, you'll always end up addicted to something else because you're going to try to appease the pain of what you're running from. And you'll end up in a dead end alley. There's a lot of people that aren't confronting their issues because they keep running. And God said, go back to where you came in. Go face Jezebel, go back. I'm not going to send you to a new calling, I'm going to send you to your old calling with a new mindset.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Adjust your thinking, invite others into the journey. Take a step, get moving. Mark, bring us home here, I know we're fighting time, but this message is so strong and so really valuable because what horror to live stuck. Remember that movie Saving Private Ryan closing scene, walking through, along beside her and he looks over to her and says, "Tell me that I was a good man." We all stand back and look at our lives and God, what is it? Where am I going? And what's it all about? I want my life to end well.

Dr. Mark Jobe: So, I want to say, if you're in the cave right now, feeling somewhat confused, somewhat isolated, feeling like God has abandoned you, I want you to know He hasn't. I want you to know that God still has a purpose and a plan for your life. I want you to know that because those lies come in and you may think I'm beyond, I fail too much, I've blown it. God has passed me by. I want to say no. I want to say also after Elijah's cave experience, came the most compelling, significant years of his life. I haven't counted all the miracles, but people say he did more after the cave than he did before the cave. Here's the other thing, as he went back to face his issues, God also told him, "And go find an apprentice, you're doing too much on your own."

And He led him to Elisha and He said, "You need to start delegating some of this away." And He also said, "And when you go back, give this to this guy, this to that guy." In other words, I never asked you to change the whole world, I gave you your calling so make sure you learn to say no, just as much as you learn to say yes. He had to lie, just say no to things that he was carrying. Some of us are overwhelmed not because God has given it to us, but because we've taken on things that God never gave to us to carry. And so, God still has a compelling destiny for your life, whether you are 80 years old or whether you are 19 years old, but you have to stop. You have to listen. You have to step out of that cave.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Dr. Mark Jobe, a beautiful gift to us, it's What Now?: How to Move Into Your Next Season. On behalf of Dr. Dobson, his wife, Shirley, the team here at Family Talk, Mark, a real delight to have this conversation with you. Thank you for ministering to us. We pray God's continue blessing over your life, your ministry, your family.

Dr. Mark Jobe: Tim has been great to be with you. Thank you.

Roger Marsh: Proverbs 3:5-6, you probably know these by heart, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways, submit to Him and He will make your paths straight." What a great reminder that we are able to trust God in every season of our lives. Today, here on Family Talk, you've been listening to a conversation featuring our own, Dr. Tim Clinton and Pastor Mark Jobe of the Moody Bible Institute. If you want to learn more about Pastor Jobe, you can visit our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org/broadcast. Or give us a call at (877) 732-6825. We are here for you around the clock to answer any of your questions about Family Talk and the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. We're also always available to pray with you if that's what you're needing in that moment. So give us a call at (877) 732-6825.

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