Letters To Pioneers: So You Feel Like You Don’t Fit In
So I caught you in a moment today when you feel like you don’t fit in, huh? It’s ok. I understand. I don’t fit in either.
If you’re anything like me–and I suspect you are, because we pioneers tend to be alike in many ways–it’s not even that you merely feel like you don’t fit in. To be completely accurate, you know you don’t fit in.
And sometimes that hurts.
You’re ahead of the game. Way ahead. You’re so far ahead that sometimes it feels like you’re playing a totally different game–maybe even the wrong game! You see things and you have ideas, but you look around you and wonder:
“Where are all the people?”
But they’re nowhere to be found. You’re alone.
So you’re left to wonder: Why are you seeing something that nobody else is seeing? Why don’t other people care about something that is so obvious to you?
But they’re not, and they don’t, and so you feel like you just. don’t. fit. in. You feel like somehow, YOU’RE the one who was off. Like you must have a problem.
You feel like you were cut from the wrong mold; like your skills, your gifts, and your life are somehow a joke … because honestly it can be pretty miserable to be all alone and have nobody understand you.
I get it. I’m a pioneer, and I used to get really discouraged and even depressed about it.
I was discouraged because I didn’t understand. I would see something in the Spirit realm years ahead of its time, but I didn’t know why. I would talk to people about what I saw, but nobody understood. They certainly didn’t understand me.
But when I learned about the ministry of the pioneer (from Ray Hughes), everything changed. I didn’t fit in, but I learned why, and that made all the difference.
So dearest pioneer, if you feel like you don’t fit in, I have an encouraging word for you today that will make all the difference:
You feel like you don’t fit in because you don’t–not with the masses, anyway. But you don’t fit in because God made you that way. He made you who you are. He crafted you with His own two hands, and He called you to be a pioneer.
He didn’t do it to play tricks on you or turn your life into some kind of joke. He did it because He needs you to occupy the place He called you to in the Body of Christ. He needs you to pioneer some things in this world.
There are new vistas, new territories, new lands to conquer in this Kingdom of God … and it takes a pioneer to conquer them.
That sense of separation you have? That’s real. But the key to understanding it–and the key to not being depressed about it–is knowing this:
You’re not separated from. You’re separated unto. You’re separated unto the work of pioneering.
That is the secret of the ministry of the pioneer. And that is why you don’t fit in.
See, if everybody “fit in” all the time–if everybody saw the same things and was happy right where they are–then everybody would be happy to stay where they are. If everybody “fit in,” the Kingdom of God could never progress:
- There would be no growth.
- No new things.
- No adventures.
- No new frontiers in the Spirit realm.
But we can’t have everybody fitting in all the time, because God requires growth in His Kingdom.
Isaiah 9:6-7 tells us:
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
God’s Kingdom must increase. His government must increase. God is zealous for the increase of His Kingdom.
So because God requires growth …
And because there are so many new frontiers to be conquered in the Kingdom …
God made you a pioneer.
And you, my pioneering friend, are a different breed:
- You think differently, talk differently, see differently, and act differently.
- Most people don’t understand you.
- Really, the only people that do understand you at a true heart level are other pioneers.
But it’s okay. You’ve been thinking that something is wrong with you because you are so very, very different. You’ve been thinking that the things you see must be wrong because nobody else sees them. You’ve been thinking that the dreams you dream must be wrong because nobody else dreams them.
But precious reader, you are not a mistake. The things God shows you are not by accident.
You are not weird, not out of place, and not without inheritance in the Body of Christ. It’s just that your role is different from most other people’s roles. Some people are called to settle and occupy new land, but that’s not you. It’s not your DNA. Your call in the Kingdom is to take new land.
Your call is to go first, and to prepare the way for the settlers to come in.
Isaiah 62:10 describes God’s mandate on your life perfectly:
Go through, go through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway!
Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!
But the pioneer mandate doesn’t mean you strike out on your own.
You still need to operate under the authority of your local church, the Body of Christ. The local church is where God demonstrates His glory on the earth, and you can’t be rightly related to Christ without being a part of His Body. So being a pioneer doesn’t give you a license to operate in rebellion or to fly solo like some kind of spiritual cowboy.
And I know that can be a source of frustration to you sometimes. You want to stay under the authority of your local church, but you don’t see how you can if you’re going to take new land too. So you feel like you have to choose, and you don’t want to give up the church OR your new land.
I get it. But you know what?
You don’t have to choose between your local church and taking new territory. You can have both, and choosing between them is not actually a legal choice at all.
We’re going to talk about that more in post #2 in this series, called “So You Wonder What’s Wrong With Your Timing.” 🙂 (Check back Wednesday for that post!) But for now, just know that your local church plays a key role in making sure that your pioneering journey is a success. You can’t pioneer effectively in the Kingdom without the protection of your local church.
Related: A Note To Wannabe Preachers
So what’s the takeaway for you today, dear pioneer?
Today I want you to remember that you are not a mistake. As a pioneer, and you have a crucial place in the Body of Christ.
The ministry of the pioneer is special. God made you unique. He made your pioneer DNA, and He placed a call on your life to take new territory for His Kingdom.
That’s why you don’t fit in. “Fitting in” would actually prevent you from reaching your destiny. But you’re not separated from the Body in an unholy, rejected kind of way. You’re separated unto the ministry of the pioneer.
God has uniquely suited you for this ministry. And the world needs you. Your church needs you. Your business needs you. The Kingdom of God needs you.
You, precious reader, are a pioneer, and God made you that way. Nothing is wrong with you. (Nothing is wrong with the settlers either, but that’s a subject for post #3 in this series.) Even if you only fit in with other pioneers, your life was designed and ordained by God, and you are right where He wants you to be.
Does this message encourage your heart? If so, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
- Letters To Pioneers #1: So You Feel Like You Don’t Fit In
- Letters To Pioneers #2: So You Wonder What’s Wrong With Your Timing
- Letters To Pioneers #3: So You Wonder Where All The People Are?
- Letters To Pioneers #4: How To Pioneer Within Your Local Church
- Letters To Pioneers #5: When You’re Lonely And Misunderstood
- Letters To Pioneers #6: When Nobody Gives You Any Credit
- Letters To Pioneers #7: When You Feel Completely Inadequate
- Letters To Pioneers #8: What to Do When Your New Thing Dies
Image courtesy of M01229 on Flickr via Creative Commons license. Graphics have been added.
Thank you for posting this. This is so very timely and on target for me. Also, after you sent out a message that you were going to be starting a series on the ministry of the pioneer, I then discovered a translation of Hebrew 12:2 that I have never seen. I was familiar with Jesus being described as the “author and finisher of our faith” but had not seen this translation (in NIV, which is what I normally use). Heb 12:2 (NIV) “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith So that was also significant for me. Can’t wait to read the next post.
Sharon, wow, that’s amazing. The Pioneer of our faith! Thank You Jesus! And thank you, Sharon, for reading!
This word is profoundly true. I wish someone had told me this about 55 years ago! But it was important for me to find out for myself that there is only one person to look to — forwards, backwards, or sideways, and that is Jesus. I would disagree a little about your last admonition, though. Think about the pioneer missionaries who set out of from their local churches and founded outposts on the far side of the world. A great many Christians have shipped out to become pioneers in lonely places. Thanks for this uplifting and encouraging word, Jamie.
Thank you, Laurna. Yes, those pioneers inspire me too. Missionaries and pastors and circuit riders and doctors… all surrendering themselves to the unknown for the sake of the Gospel.
Regarding leaving the church, we can agree to disagree. 🙂 I believe God does send people out, but not from under authority and covering and protection of the local church. The apostle Paul wrote repeatedly about how the glory of God is displayed in the church. He also wrote “How shall they preach unless they be sent?”… and that word “sent” means to be sent out, commissioned by the apostles and leadership.
So even if a person is physically ministering away from the gathering of the local church, with Biblical sending, they have not broken away from it. 🙂
Thank you, as always, for reading and engaging and for your support and encouragement. I hope this morning finds you and your family well. 🙂 I continue to lift you up to our wonderful Papa. Have a great weekend!
I’m hesitant to say that I think this is for me, but something feels like it is…I’ve always felt like a nobody, and a very misunderstood nobody at that. Always frustrated that no one else seems to care about the things I feel so passionate about. And now, this seed in my heart. Could I be a pioneer? And if so, at my age, have I missed the opportunity to do something with this calling? Like the commenter above, I also wish I could’ve heard this earlier—at least 20 years ago.
Hey Nettie, Yes, you could totally be a pioneer. And if you are, and if God is just bringing this to your attention now, then no, you didn’t miss anything. 🙂 Rather, I would say it’s exactly the opportune time. Just ask God to lead you and show you when He wants you to do things to serve Him and what He wants you to do. He will lead you, and it will feel perfectly supernatural. 🙂
Finally, an explanation why I have felt alone! I have always known and told others that God keeps me isolated at times. I am not the “on fire” Christian that so many of my friends are and they take it that I am not outgoing, that I stand back and don’t go after the things of God they do. I am a writer at heart and I write devotions, yes I spend alone time with God, but if I didn’t then I would not know Him and love Him like I do. Thank you Jamie for this message! I have been told that I am a forerunner for Christ, the words I write are used to encourage and help others. That I am the trumpeter that goes before the army to announce their arrival. Very encouraging message.
That’s beautiful, Diane. Yes, Christ had a forerunner in His day on earth through John the Baptist, and He still uses us as forerunners today, preparing the way for His soon return. Write on, my sister, write on! 🙂
And thank you for reading!
Very anointed post and articulates the calling and gifting of God in my life, ministry and profession. Wish I had known this 39 years ago when I came to Christ, but it puts into perspective why the Church thinks us “odd,” and the unique way we operate. I completely agree with operating under the authority of the Church and our leaders; there are no lone rangers in the Kingdom of God. Sadly, the church leadership of our local church will not permit me to do anything because I am “different,” though I am in submission. That brings a measure of heartbreak to us… I am looking forward to the follow-up posts.
Steve, thank you for sharing, and thank you for your encouragement. I will pray for you. And one of the posts in this series will be about how to pioneer within the authority and protection of the local church. Sometimes it can take years for the vision to catch widespread fire, but your intercession will make all the difference. Hang in there!
After I read the first post, I found this one. Just in the past couple of days I’ve been in Joshua 1:1-9, my lifetime Scriptures. Also reread the prophecies spoken over me that I’ve seen precious little results from. He told me about conquering territory, about the boundaries He’s given me. . But in the past 10 years and in recent months especially, things have gone backward. I’ve not gained territory. I’ve lost it. Looking forward to reading the rest of these posts regarding this subject because you may well speak to this. I pray that’s the case.
Hi, DMA. I pray God would encourage you right now. I know what it feels like to lose ground, and even to just feel like you’re losing ground. Either way, it’s not fun! But I have found that sometimes the biggest promotions come when things seem darkest. I thought this video might encourage you. It’s Bill Johnson talking about how promotion works in the Kingdom, and it’s very short:
Thank you for reading. I pray the Holy Spirit would continue to minister to you and give you a steadfast heart, rooted and grounded in His enduring love. 🙂
Thank you for this lecture. I move from the big city to the unknown town, I have almost 9 months and still feel like I do not fit in this town. But I know God has a big purpose in this town and people will see his glory and mercy. Thank you from the deepest part of my heart thank you God bless you
This put a number of things into perspective. I knew I was a problem solver and had noticed that others would see a problem but they didn’t seem to see any need to solve it as I did. And God has given me a project/plan that he is still revealing bit by bit. Thank you! I am looking forward to seeing this play out, and seeing his next projects for me.
Yeah! Amen! I’m so glad Papa is encouraging you, Kathy! I pray He’d give you His divine strategy and the favor to carry it out!
Thank you so much for reading and sharing!
I have struggled the last 5 years, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I’m so very thankful for this. I’ve been praying for “like minded” people, after realizing yet again, I don’t fit in. I thought by now I would have at least met another who could identify with, but I have not, and it has put a strain on everything in my life. Thank you for sharing your heart and your obedience!!
That was amazing, beautiful clear enough & encouraging, i came across your site by somehow a coincidence, but now i know that was the holy spirit leading me, i felt i wanted to search for someone dealing with depression(mild) through God’s word eating & not a medicine pills, as i struggled these past months to take an appropriate medication, and after trying one type it did other damages to my health i wanted to stop it, so i remembered (i think by the Holy Spirit) what i read in the books of derek prince & Kennith hagin E.that they fought physical & psychological illness with the word of God & they made it right with the blood of jesus through Praying, Eating & Confessing the word of God, so i wanted to find any encouraging word from someone that walked this journey & i found you in the search & landed on your fighting depression article, that night while pray i felt that the holy spirit is saying to me in english (arabic is my native, i am an egyptian & he talks arabic to me normally) that i am a pioneer & i was made to enter & conquer new lands & frontiers for the lord & His kingdom, the second day i thought of looking more in your site & found the word PIONEER i jumped into it…..praise God he is amazing, thank you.
Years ago, I had someone give me a word that I had a forerunner anointing like Joseph. Then on the same night the worship team at church played Pioneer by Rick Pino and I was so moved by the lyrics that I didn’t understand until that night that I was a pioneer/forerunner. I’ve always felt misunderstood, lonely, and a misfit. These letters and teachings are so beneficial for other pioneers.