The Great Pivot: the Hinge of History.

I don't know about you, but numerous times a day I hear and see the word 'pivot' highlighted in headlines and news feeds. Businesses are pivoting, hospitality is pivoting, schools are pivoting, trade services are pivoting, churches are pivoting, entertainment is pivoting, financial and governmental services are pivoting, families are pivoting... every single societal aspect is having to pivot, not one has been left unaffected in some degree where adjustments were necessary. But what exactly does it mean to pivot?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary:

  • noun - a fixed point supporting something that turns or balances.

  • noun - the central most important person or thing in a situation.

  • verb - to turn or twist.

  • verb - to change your opinions, statements, decisions etc. so that they are different to what they were before.

  • verb - to change subject, avoid talking about something by talking about something else.

It can also suggest a dependance on a person, thing, situation or decision (being pivotal), and in military terms is the person or position from which troops take their reference point when moving and changing course.

The imagery that first pops to mind when I hear pivot is always in the context of netball. When a player has the ball they cannot travel with it. One foot must remain in place from the time they receive the ball, but they can however pivot on the spot in search of other team mates to pass the ball to. What is not allowed is a short pass where there is a lack of distance between team mates where the opposing team is unable to attempt an intercept. I can't help but see the correlation in this imagery to our current setting. We may be set in place, unable to travel, but we are able to pivot where we are, and from a distance make strategic passes to one another. In the distancing there can be risk of opposition interference, intercepting our plays, but we pivot and look about. Who has positioned themselves well, who has their hands up ready to receive, who knows how to to be in a state of play not just with the ball but all their team mates and aware of where intercepts may come from to avoid? Galatians 5:7-8 "You were running [the race] well; who has interfered and prevented you from obeying the truth? This [deceptive] persuasion is not from Him who called you [to freedom in Christ]." Here Paul was addressing the deception of the Galatians where the grace of salvation in Christ was reverting back to religious laws to gain grace rather than a life being led by the Spirit. Watching for where interference may come through self deception, which comes through self reliance and dependance, will keep us pivoting from a point of being anchored and directed by a Spirit led life of grace empowerment obtained only through Christ's salvation.

Let's break down each definition of pivot as to how it could relate to us...

noun - a fixed point supporting something that turns or balances: In all times, especially in uncertainty, we need to know who and what our fixed support point is. Without it, we become stuck, unbalanced and immovable. Of course our pivot point is always from and around Jesus. Jesus is our point of balance to counter the weight. When we feel too heavy we bring the weight closer to Jesus who then lifts the weight. Try it with a spoon. Try balance the spoon on your finger from the tip end of the handle, you can't, the scoop end of the spoon is too heavy. But as you move your finger closer to the weightier end of the spoon it is able to balance, the weight is lifted. If you are really clever you can also spin the spoon on your finger. These have been challenging months, and we can let the weight of it throw us off balance and weigh us down. But if we bring that weight close to Jesus, He is faithful to unburden us from those weights.

Matt 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

noun - the central most important person or thing in a situation: It's easy to become distracted by all that demands our attention, especially if there is crisis, there will usually be numerous proverbial fires to put out simultaneously that threaten to burn everything to the ground. We have definitely seen this globally as national leaders try to juggle the balance between serious issues and their opposing consequences. Jesus is our mvp (most valuable player), our most important person. We are more important to Him than we even comprehend, even more than our exterior circumstances, if He can work in us then what changes around us becomes overflow. Those around us are more important to Him than we acknowledge as well. So first we renew our minds again in the belief that if we have Jesus, we have all we need in this life no matter what is happening. Renew the belief that "if God is for us, who can be successful against us?" (Romans 8:31), renew the belief that "all the paths of the Lord are loving kindness and goodness and truth and faithfulness to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies." (Psalm 25:10). Strategically speaking, your pivot point should be from the 'what's most important', what is Holy Spirit saying is the most important starting point in your particular situation and working outwardly from there. Everything else should oscillate around that main pivot point of being uncompromising while the things around it remain flexible and yielding towards it and from it. If it's not a no compromise core value or aspect, hold it lightly right now as fair game to pivot in a different direction from. Be willing to renew differently how you have functioned, your understandings, priorities, and let go, yes, of what no longer serves you, but more importantly what is no longer serving the will and desire of the heart of the Father.

verb - to turn or twist: firstly verbs are action words. We are exhorted to not only be hearers of the word but also doers, otherwise falling pray to our own deception (James 1:22). In other words, truth only becomes it's fullness in us when it also operating through us in action, it comes alive not merely knowledge. There is an invitation to the action of turning. To turn towards and to turn away from. Turn again to deeper intimacy with the Lord, turn your heart towards love and people, turn away from the past, the previous, turn away from every entanglement (Hebrews 12:1). To turn is also an act of repentance. In turning and twisting, I see a picture of a bride and groom on the dance floor, the groom spinning the bride around by the hand. This I believe is what the Lord is doing for His bride, His church. He is twirling her around renewing and restoring in an intimate, elegant and joyful wedding dance.

verb - to change your opinions, statements, decisions etc. so that they are different to what they were before: I have already touched on this above in regards to renewing our thinking, our minds and subsequently our actions. I will add we are also likely due changes to our attitudes. There is a lot of opinion out there currently, but less humility to listen than be heard or even to be wrong. Where we cannot humble ourselves we will insist on playing the blame game and always want to vilify someone to negate personal responsibility. It's also a good time to revisit personal, family, business or ministry vision statements. These are your pivot points and core values, but also look at them with new eyes and don't be afraid to upgrade them. Maybe not for all, or maybe in fact for all, consider that any decisions that were in the works before the need to pivot, are possibly different now. Maybe some of those decisions the Lord is asking you to hold to and trust Him in despite being spun around and disorientated. Then again maybe in the pivoting the Lord is using it to get you to look in a completely new direction that you couldn't see before.

verb - to change subject, avoid talking about something by talking about something else: for some of us the overriding subject matter of the previous season has outlived its days. It's time to change the record. Selah on that word 'record' for yourself. What records are you keeping? Records and rehearsing of wrongs against yourself, others, God... Records of memories both of pain and longing for what was. Records of excuses that keep you from greater. It's also time to change the subjects of our attentions and affections, the lofty imaginations, and talk the talk, the language, of Holy Spirit. What is He focused on speaking about? Speaking of "whatever is true, what ever is honourable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, what ever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [centre your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]." Philippians 4:8. Anything else should be denied a platform to prosper.

Ballerina's are well known for their balance while performing pirouettes by using the spotting technique. They keep their gaze fixed on one spot, so that with every turn they quickly find that spot again. But their brains also adapt over time to not respond to the physical responses of swirling and twirling. Its a great metaphor to always have our gaze fixed on Jesus. That no matter how much swirling and disorientation we may be experiencing, if we know the place we can quickly lock our sights upon, we will remain stabilised and graceful. The more we practice spotting in times of turning, the more it becomes part of how we naturally respond.

As mentioned previously, in military terms, a pivot is the person or position from which troops take their reference point when moving and changing course. As clearly highlighted by now, the Lord is our reference point from where we move and be from. I'd also suggest as one with Christ, as the head and not the tail, we too as the body can also become a pivotal person from where others are able to navigate forward and change directions. None of us are immune to human fragility, however consider, consider your pivotal purpose upon the landscape of the living, and the scope of eternity. Because there is one, and you are one. If others are using your posturing as their point of reference, then where are you guiding them, what are they able to see ahead of them, is there security of support to advance into unknown places and spaces, is there confidence to return to a point of refuge and rest? To be a stability point, we need to be aware of our position, our posture, in God more than anything. From that posturing we understand our earthly position and posture towards others. We operate in Christ's authority within to arise in adversity rather than come under it in a way that relinquishes ourselves to oppression and bondage of soul.

Finally, I'll end with this thought. Another name for a pivot is a hinge. What do we find a hinge most attached to? A door. I believe we are on the hinge of history, the doorway of a new era before us. We have authority , in the least in regards to our own lives, to decide what gets to pass through that door.

 “In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat of honour for the house of his father." Isaiah 22:20-23 

Hilkiah means 'God is my portion'. Eliakim means 'God will raise up' or 'resurrection of God'. When we do no have or feel as though we are enough, God is our complete portion. He raises up in resurrection power a people, clothed with the robes of the distinction of royalty and sonship, to lead and father nations. He rests upon them the authority of the household of the Beloved (meaning of the name David). To open and close doorways. They will be firmly established and a legacy of honour to the generations before them.

What, and who, hangs in the balance, if a thread in the fabric of HIS-story hinges upon your turning?

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