This weekend I had the privilege of speaking about social entrepreneurship at the Kingdom Business Summit in Dallas. The Summit is a unique event where business leaders come together to blend Kingdom-minded vision with essential business practices. I had so much fun meeting with people who are hungry to do business in a different way!

Over lunch, one of the speakers at the event made the point that it seems like God is ready to do some new and exciting things, but the people seem to be waiting for permission.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what he said:

God has a plan.

He’s ready to implement it.

We are waiting for permission.

 So let me ask you, what is it that we are waiting for? Who’s permission are we waiting on?

 Permission Is Code For…

Without a doubt there are times where we must wait on God and His timing. Learning to hear His voice involves learning the patience of waiting on Him.

But if we’re being honest, for most of us, getting out of timing is not about moving too fast. It’s because we’re moving too slow.

In fact, I think permission is just code for fear.

We feel the push, but we’re fearful of change, of the cost, and our own limited abilities, so we default to the concept of needing permission.

  • I’m waiting for my boss to recognize my talent and promote me…
  • I’m waiting for my spouse to say we need to fix things…
  • I’m waiting for my pastor to recognize my gifting…
  • I’m waiting for God to release me to go after the idea that I haven’t been able to get out of my head…
  • I’m waiting to have this much in my bank account before I…
  • I’m waiting for the right time to speak up…

The list is endless.

“Well, I just never felt like I had permission…”


Waiting for permission is just fear wrapped up in a more palatable robe of false humility. It seems incredibly spiritual to say that you are waiting for permission, whether it’s from God or a leader, but it’s not spiritual at all. It’s just a way to shift blame when you miss your moment. It absolves you of guilt for a life filled with wasted time, mediocrity and missed opportunities.

I think God would much rather help you clean up a mess because you were too aggressive, than to see you live below your potential because you were afraid.  Remember, your life has a purpose in His plan, and God never does anything average, including you!

You Need Permission When You Don’t Know Who You Are

Many times, the need for permission is tied to our identity. If you don’t know who you are, you’re going to gravitate toward the people who will tell you what to do. But when you are confident in who you are, you understand that permission is inherent to your calling. With the calling comes the permission.

God has no lack of confidence in His plan. He knows what He wants to get done and He knows who He wants to do it. But when our identity is incomplete or improperly formed, we look to others to bring direction to our lives. But while we are waiting for permission, the world is missing out on a voice that needs to be heard.

My friend’s statement got me thinking about my own life. After a fair amount of living, I can look back and see times where I missed opportunities that God had for me simply because I was waiting for permission.  I thought I was being deferent.  I thought I was being obedient.  But the reality is, God was more certain about my life than I was.

I bet you can relate.

Are You Waiting For Permission?

There is only one YOU alive at this time in history.  God has invested more into you than you realize.  He is absolutely certain about the beauty and the authority and the purpose He has implanted into your life.  If you are uncertain of yourself, find certainty in HIM.

Trust Him.

He has a plan.

He’s ready to implement it.

Know that He has given you permission.

So what are you waiting for?