buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “On Mission”

What Now

For the last few weeks, God has been instilling His plan in my heart. I know; it should be very evident this is what He wants done. Last year, my church started a training program to help us disciple others. I got it. I understood this is the great commission – we are told to go to the ends of the earth to teach others about Jesus. But what about going next door? Yes, I should go there too. I struggle with getting out of my comfort zone. I am perfectly fine sitting here in my nice quiet little house typing away on my computer. I may reach a few with my postings. However, my neighbor may never know that I write these blog postings. They may never come to the place of understanding that God loves them so much that He sent Jesus for them. Jesus came to redeem them – to set them free from their bondage to sin. Oh, we don’t talk about sin anymore – from our mistakes; the mistakes that we commit over and over.

God’s plan. He introduced the plan way back in the garden. He set things in motion until the right time. Then He sent Jesus to finalize the deal. Jesus did what God asked of Him. He suffered and died on a cross so that we could live in His resurrection power. He came to give us life everlasting. Jesus came for the lost. He came to end our suffering. The suffering we no longer endure is the suffering related to our sins. We give the weight of those burdens to Jesus. We now suffer for a different cause. We suffer for the sake of Jesus’ name. We take on His task of spreading the good news around the world or next door. Jesus said that we will have persecution because of Him. We will suffer for His cause if we choose to accept the challenge placed before us. It’s a matter of if we choose obedience or not.

I recently started another Bible study from the book of Jonah. This one is by Priscilla Shirer. This is a powerful study about God’s plan to reach the lost. Jonah had the task of reaching people he cared nothing about. He ran in the opposite direction. He didn’t accept the challenge until God put him in an uncomfortable place, then he did it reluctantly. About the time I started the Jonah study, I read about the persecuted church in the book by Nik Ripkin called The Insanity of God.

We truly don’t understand persecution in this country. It’s a foreign concept to us. But in the first century church, they understood it well. Persecution was like the stamp of a foot that scatters dust; persecution drove the people further into the world to reach the lost. Persecution scattered the Body of Christ. For those of us who are not under persecution, we are 30% of all the believers around the world. The rest of the believers are enduring persecution. Believers in persecution are willing to risk it all for the sake of Jesus’ name being known. They stand up in the oppression for the things we take for granted. They risk death for the sake of the resurrected Jesus. Those seeking will travel miles on foot to find people who know Jesus. They find Bibles miraculously in order to increase their knowledge. People in some areas only have a portion of Scripture, and they memorize every word.

I am perplexed by this concept of persecution. I take for granted all that was done for my sake to know Jesus. I have multiple Bibles. I can worship openly. I can talk openly about Jesus. Yet, I do not have the compulsion to go next door. What do I do with the words contained in the Bibles I have around my house? Something is wrong with this picture. So what now? How do I change my comfort zone to include others who do not know Jesus? It starts with knowing Jesus so well; to be willing to die to myself in order to gain the passion (suffering) of Jesus. It’s the plan that began so long ago. It’s in my hands (and yours). We are the torchbearers of this generation. What will you do with the knowledge that you possess?

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24:45-48

Significance

This summer I decided to read a few biographies. To date I have read about four different lives that have impacted their generation in significant ways. I have read about Will Rogers, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth I, and John D. Rockefeller. Will Rogers wasn’t as dynamic in view of history, but he impacted the entertainment industry in the beginning stages of the medium of vaudeville, newspapers, radio, movies and television. He was the entertainment megastar of his day. Winston Churchill kept Europe from being transformed by Hitler. Elizabeth I impacted England which led the United States to become the nation it is today. She was the catalyst for change of the Church of England and the religious freedom we enjoy today in the US. She believed she was being used by God. And she was, because God can use anyone to impact the world.

John D. Rockefeller was an interesting man. In the beginning of the industrial revolution, he was the titan of change. There were no regulations in business until he began his mission to become the world’s biggest oil refiner. The change he initiated was on a massive scale. The fortunes he gathered from his vision was massive as well. He came from a humble background and was a devout Baptist throughout his life. He believed the wealth he accumulated was by God’s favor. But he also knew that he was given the wealth for a purpose beyond his benefit. He believed the maxim to much is given much is required.

After his retirement from the oil business, he began to give millions of his money away. In doing so, he changed the nation medically and educationally. He started medical research. He started colleges and universities. He helped the south to become educated by adding high schools which were lacking at that time. He eradicated hookworm in the south. He looked beyond meeting immediate needs and went to the root of needs. The lack of education and the lack of medicine kept people in a state of poverty. He believed in giving a hand up not a hand out.

I look at these great leaders of their times and have a sense of God’s greater purpose. Yes, they all helped the world at pivotal periods in history. They had lives of significance. In August, I began a new Bible study by Priscilla Shirer called Jonah. In the first week, we are told that God interrupts our plans to create divine appointments (interventions) that will lead to significant purposes for God’s kingdom. We are told that Jonah was not well-known as a prophet until the book of Jonah and a big fish story. But the impact he made through his obedience created the greatest revival in history. He changed the greatest city of his time by his obedience to God.

It’s hard to believe that through our obedience we too can have a great impact for God’s kingdom. We might not see everything though in our lifetime. We may start something that is not really that significant now, but the chain reaction could grow massive in a few years time. It might take a generation or two before the significance is revealed. The question is: Can we release our desires to see the greatness to God’s timing and plan? The ball has to start rolling at some point. God may use us to give the first push. And we have to be able to let God do what He wants with our efforts. We just have to be available to be used and say yes to whatever He asks us to do; even if it’s just to push a small ball into the next court to let someone else take it to the next level of significance. We all might not make millions. But whatever God gives us, we have to remember it’s for His glory and His Kingdom purpose.

The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:20-21

I Wonder

As I was contemplating some matters on Monday, I began to think about the comedienne Joan Rivers. She recently died. She was known for her bawdy jokes mostly directed on her own looks or events in her life. She also had a reputation for judging celebrities’ fashion choices at big “red carpet” events. It wasn’t so surprising to hear that the funeral held over the weekend gave the comedienne a grand sendoff. What I do find surprising that the family chose to do this in a synagogue – which is supposed to be a holy meeting place. While I was pondering this thought, I hoped that the speakers did not offend God while they were in this holy place. I wondered if God laughed at the jokes offered in this setting. Do we really take God seriously as the Lord God Almighty? This God who made the universe with a word; this God who takes seriously His love for us and the sin in our lives that He sent His Son to redeem our souls from the very gates of hell.

I wonder also, when God’s patience runs out on us as a nation, will we ask “why are these things happening to our nation?” In a year or two, or ten, when everything comes to a head and disaster is upon us, will we run to God and ask Him why has He allowed us to suffer? I ponder these things and realize I too have laughed at the bawdy jokes before. I have judged unjustly. I have mocked God. I am just as guilty as anyone. I too have come running to God when my world was turned upside down wondering why such things have happened. I understand now, that God allows things to happen to turn us back to Him. Right now, I can see things spiraling out of control for this nation. I see things moving in the wrong direction. Will events that will happen or is already happening turn us back to God or will it push our society further away? Will we allow the correction or turn our fists against Him? These are the things I wonder.

My heart hurts to think about God being mocked and scorned. But it’s happened before. God sent prophets to warn His people, but they didn’t listen. He ended up sending His only Son, but they crucified Him. John the Baptist warned the people before Jesus came that the people of God needed to repent. Some did; others mocked John as a crazy man eating locusts in the wilderness. Jesus claimed to be God’s Son, and the religious people were offended. He was just another crazy man, speaking crazy things to warn God’s people about God’s wrath being stored up for a time. God’s patience will run out. We are getting away with the mocking for now, but there will come a day when the patience of God will end.

How will we as a society react? Let’s get real personal. How will you react? How will I react? I understand from my own perspective that at times I have lack of respect for an Almighty God. God isn’t looking at people who are far from Him to respect Him and glorify Him; He is looking at those who claim to be His. Do we as followers of Jesus respect and honor and glorify Him? This is our purpose. Every one of us has a responsibility to repent of our own actions and cry out to Him for forgiveness. Yes, God loves us, but He hates sin. In that tension is where we find ourselves today.

I wonder if anyone else feels the tension that is swelling up even now. Time is growing very short. Jesus came so that we would have forgiveness. Jesus came for the lost of the world. Jesus came to take the wrath of sin away. We have a part to play in this story. We have to ask for forgiveness for ourselves and for our nation. We have to be a part of the solution to the lostness of this world. We have to cry out for God’s patience for just a while longer while we reach our family and friends. It’s not too late, but one day it will be. I wonder if anyone is listening to the clock ticking besides me.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:7-9

Life and Death

Over the last month, death has been on my mind. I have had a few people die recently that have touched my life in some way. None of them were close friends or family, but all of them died suddenly. Maybe they had been sick in one form or another, but death is just always just one last breath away. We never know when death will come to claim us. God says He has numbered our days. We are just a fine mist; here today gone tomorrow.

For much of my life, I have lived it by just drifting through. I didn’t accomplish much. I lived just getting by. I lived going from weekend to weekend; from paycheck to paycheck. I worked so that I could live. But is that all there is to life; to just get by? Or is there something greater to obtain? Climbing the corporate ladder to success, but where does that really get us? I watched a program recently that showed a woman’s closet that was three stories tall. She was showing all her valuables stored in this closet. I wondered if that is what success is all about? A closet full of clothes and accessories? There’s got to be more, right? A couple of weeks later, there was a news report that the lady had a break in and some of her most valuable possessions were stolen. Imagine that? I am not judging this woman’s heart or her possessions.

After this report, I thought of where our treasure is placed. We are told in Scripture to store our treasure in heaven, not in the earthly things that can rot or be stolen. What we store in heaven will grow in abundance. Thieves cannot take away what is placed in God’s hands. Jesus said nothing that is put in God’s hands can be snatched away. I’m sure He was not talking about material possessions but the things that God treasures the most – people. His love is so great for each one of us. But most of the time we give very little thought to Him. We just drift through this life without real thought or purpose. But we are made for more. Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Is my life full?

Did those who died recently, did they have the fullness that is promised in Jesus? I don’t know their stories. I don’t know what was in their hearts. I don’t know if Jesus was fully contained within so their lives reflected His love outwardly. That is not for me to judge; but I have to look at my own heart and life. This is for me to discern. This is for me to look and judge my own reflection – is Jesus evident in my life? Am I living with purpose and dedication to what Jesus wants to do through me? This is my time to reflect as I consider my own mortality. I want my life to touch others in a way that gives God the glory. I want to be a reflection of Jesus. I want to make a difference here so that I may gain treasure in heaven. This will be a successfully full life here. This I want desperately because there is a desperate world out there that needs to see Jesus. There isn’t much time left. My days are numbered. And who knows when Jesus may come again. I need to be busy; I have said it too many times; I need to make it count and do it.

No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. Deuteronomy 30:14-16

Blinded

I am a health advocate. My passion is learning about health and helping others to learn as well. Health involves food. I was listening to a conference recently where a speaker was talking about our food industry in the US. The speaker made me very disappointed in our food system. The food industry is sabotaging our health. God provided the foods to eat and gave them to us in abundance. Food can be our medicine or it can be our poison. The trouble is though, it is becoming more difficult to distinguish between what is healthy and what is not. The topic of the message in this particular session was on genetically modified foods (GMOs). Many countries have banned GMOs yet, we can readily find them in our grocery stores.

The talk led me to think about other areas in which we can turn a blind eye to. God has provided a healthy ecosystem for our health and well-being. Trees bring us the oxygen we need to breathe. The earth provides our needs through the plants that are produced. The sun gives the life force that gives our bodies energy by the foods we eat and for our emotional well-being. The systems are in place by God’s hands. He designed this perfect system and we are connected to it in order to live on this planet. We are still discovering what God has given us. Everything God has done for us for our benefit we take for granted, thinking that it will last forever. Most human beings don’t see the damage we’re causing by our destructive ways.

For the last few years, I have had a greater sense of urgency in getting the message across that we need to be awakened from our slumber. We as the Body of Christ have a responsibility to be alert and watchful. God is at work, and we need to be aware of what He’s doing. He wants to use us in His process of completing His plan of redeeming the people on this planet. But if we’re not paying attention, then we will lose the opportunity He presents to us. We need healthy minds and bodies so that we can be alert and ready to respond in obedience to what we are called to do.

What’s this got to do with GMOs? Is this really about food? Or is this about opening our eyes to what’s going on in the world? We need eyes to see. God says that we can ask Him and He will give us wisdom in the circumstances. We need God’s perspective. I know God cares for our planet, but He is more concerned with the people on the planet. We need wisdom to discern the truth of what we see and hear. Nothing is by accident. Everything is allowed for a reason, even GMO’s. God is at work, and we need to open our spiritual eyes. We can no longer walk around in spiritual blindness; there’s too much at stake. There is a desperate world that needs God’s healing hand. Ask and God says He will provide the Holy Spirit to guide us to the Truth. And if we seek Him and call out to Him in repentance then He will heal our land.

Please give us eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart submitted to obedience in accordance to Your will. Amen.

Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:50-52

Let It Go!

“Let it go. Let it go.” Is the song in your head yet? When I was at the beach with my family, I finally had the opportunity to see the movie “Frozen.” I had heard the song “Let it Go” everywhere, but I didn’t have the context of the song. My niece told me I should write a blog about it, and I laughed it off. Yet, here I sit writing away! But it’s more than a song; it’s a verse in the Bible. It’s about running our race without anything hindering our progress. I was challenged in a sermon recently about throwing off those things that hinder my progress in my walk with Jesus. Is there an area of temptation that is keeping me from experiencing a deeper relationship with Jesus?

I remembered the song. Forgive me, I don’t remember the “star” in the film, but the woman with the icy touch was hurting the people she loved. She froze her sister’s heart and only an act of true love could unleash her to live. But instead of loving, she fled and locked herself into a protective ice castle so that she wouldn’t hurt anyone else. She determined this was the best thing for all concerned. But it was not the case. She did hurt the world even though she didn’t realize it.

After contemplating my own condition, I wondered if I have also locked myself in a protective environment that is unintentionally hurting those around me. We are meant to be out in the world loving the people God places in our lives. But I isolate myself with the church crowd. I really don’t have opportunities to witness to others about the love of Jesus. I don’t place myself in those places where I am called to minister – outside my walls. True love unleashes us to offer love to others. His true love is placed in us not only to benefit those within our walls, but it’s to reach out and love those around us – our neighbors, our co-workers, those we meet in the street. I have failed in this commandment too many times to count.

The past is behind me – let it go. I don’t want anything hindering my walk. I need protection too to keep me from tripping on this walk. I need to pick up the armor of God as I walk out my door. I want to be in the world but not of the world. I need the full armor on. I will put on the helmet to protect my thoughts. I cover my heart and soul with the breastplate of righteousness. My feet are ready to carry me to those places God wants me to go. The shield of faith is lifted up to keep Satan’s attempt from making me stumble or fall on this walk. And I am wielding the sword which divides the soul and spirit – not in judgment of others because I have no right to judge. The sword which is the living word of God is active and will do the work but we have to be the ones carrying it forward. How will they know if we don’t go?

So I am challenging you too. Let it go. Throw off that thing that is hindering your race. Only true love can release us to do more for His glory but first we have to lay “it” down before Him. Then pick up the full armor and get busy. I’m up for the challenge, are you?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Paul’s Walk

When I was first started studying the Word, I had a difficult time understanding Paul’s writings; Romans in particular. It was just deep stuff! This past week I listened to a sermon concerning Paul’s (or Saul at the time) conversion. He was a religious man, zealous for God’s law. He thought he was doing God a favor by killing or persecuting those who walked in the Way (aka the followers of Jesus). Paul was a brilliant man; very passionate about religious law. He had been taught by one of the masters of the Law. He knew the Law; memorized the Law. However, his focus was wrong. He didn’t understand the truth of the Law. He didn’t understand Jesus was the one who would fulfill the Law. He had the book knowledge, but did not have the heart knowledge. His heart was hardened to the truth.

His conversion is known as the Damascus Road conversion. It was pretty drastic. Paul (Saul) had a letter from the ones in charge to go about the countryside clearing the land of those who proclaimed the name of Jesus. He was willing to travel miles upon miles to stamp out this rebellion. Along the way, Paul was confronted by Jesus in a supernatural way. When Christ’s church is hurt, He is also hurt. If the church didn’t survive, the message of Good News would not reach the ends of the earth as it was intended. We wouldn’t know it today. The church would not have survived if Paul had continued his quest. But Jesus stopped Paul in his path, and changed Paul’s focus. Paul was blinded physically so that his spiritual eyes could be opened. When his eyes were opened to the truth, his whole focus changed. However, his determination didn’t. He was still zealous, but zealous for Jesus and His message. He was still willing to walk mile upon mile to reach the ends of the earth for a new purpose; not to kill the message, but to give a life-giving message.

As I have grown in my spiritual maturity, I have developed a deeper understanding of Paul’s writings. The Holy Spirit did a major work in Paul and used his brilliant mind to bring us wisdom in the written word. Sitting under Paul’s teaching now is still difficult if I didn’t have the Holy Spirit guiding me to the truth. But learning from Paul is part of my process of growing to maturity. I don’t want to stop learning. Like I wrote last week, I want my hunger and thirst to be even greater. However, what I am most concerned about today is my willingness to go mile upon mile for a cause greater than me.

The preacher asked his audience “what are you willing to walk 20 miles for?” That was usually the amount of miles walked by Paul on any given day. Ever since I heard that, I wondered. What am I passionate about? Passion is about suffering for a cause. Can I actually say I am suffering for anything right now? Tough questions; with little answers. God is looking for those who are willing to go the extra mile. He is searching for those who want what He wants. I want to want it. Paul had a message to share. His testimony is powerful; but so is each and every one of us who know Jesus’ salvation. We all have a decision to make. Will we use what God has given us for His glory or will we try to kill the message by our disobedience? Each decision made for God’s glory will bring us closer to a passion that cannot be extinguished. Paul had it; I want it too, don’t you?

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

Hunger and Thirst

A few years ago, I prayed for God to give me a hunger and thirst for Him. Since that time, I have experienced a greater desire to know Him more. I have delved into the Word with greater determination. God has increased that desire tremendously. However, within the last year or so, the hunger and thirst has waned. I don’t know why. Maybe this is the reason why I am feeling so restless now. I felt such a great spiritual increase when I was truly thirsty and hungry; now I don’t feel that persistent longing that I once had. Have a lost my first love? I don’t think so, but I became satisfied in my level of comfort.

I was listening to Beth Moore last week through the program Life Today. She has a small segment on Wednesday’s that I try to tune in for to get a fresh word. The word for this day was about owning it. She talked about us (the Body of Christ) wanting a hunger and thirst for more of God’s outpouring – to see with greater faith in the unseen. We have become complacent and forgotten that God can and wants to do more. I had forgotten my prayer to have a deeper hunger and thirst for Him. But I also want to experience His presence in a greater way. I want such a richness that can only be attributable to Jesus working in me and through me to reach those who are lost and without hope.

My restlessness is a desire for something to satisfy me that can only be satisfied by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in my life. I want that desperately! When we as the Body of Christ unify with the same intensity of wanting that same thing – owning our desperation for God’s work to be done – we will be seeing “works of art” that haven’t been seen in years in this country. God is Creator after all – He is working masterpieces together for His glory. But we are failing to be desperate to see Him work. We don’t long for Him like the deer panting for water (as the Psalmist penned in Psalm 42). At least, this is my opinion in what we are experiencing in this country.

What would happen if we all got on our knees and prayed for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on us like when the disciples experienced His presence in the early days? What would be the difference for our culture or even our own lives when we see a greater God? Are my desires aligned with God’s desires? Does my heart yearn for the same things that God yearns for? We all long for passion, but we never realize that passion is a willingness to suffer for that desire. What are we willing to suffer for? What drives us as the Body to do the will of God? Is there anything worth dying for? I guess that’s the real question. Am I ready to die to my selfish desires? Am I ready to take up the cause of Jesus? Am I ready to turn my full life over to Him who asks us to “follow Him?” If being hungry and thirsty is ultimately about dying, then I want to want it. And I want to own my part in suffering for the sake of the cause of Jesus. There is no other way to live as a follower of Jesus. I believe when we all seek these things, we will see a greater God than we could ever imagine!

The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. So that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. Isaiah 41:17-18, 20b

Restless

Have you ever been restless – wanting more out of life than you currently have? There’s got to be more than this, right? More than the mundane day to day stuff; more than living life for the weekends. I mean really! God tells us He made us for a purpose. Scripture tells us in Ephesians 2:10 that He designed us for good works which He prepared beforehand (my paraphrase). All throughout Scripture, God uses people in amazing ways. He took average, ordinary people and used them for His glory! Did it all stop in biblical times? Or is God still using people in amazing ways today?

The prophets were called in the midst of the ordinary tasks to go and do what God called them to. We find David tending sheep. We find Samuel sleeping. Gideon was threshing wheat. Moses was wandering around in the desert when a burning bush stopped him in his tracks. Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishing. Paul was on his way to Damascus – albeit he was going to persecute the Christians when he arrived. But in the midst of the ordinary, God used the people who He placed in different times for different reasons. God knew the times and the places. He knew the people He would use for great things. Could today be any different? Scripture tells me God never changes. He is still at work; working toward the day of Jesus’ return. He still wants to use people to do His work to get the place and people ready for the predestined time. He is the only one who knows the time that is set.

Just like Esther, we are all born for such a time as this. We all have our place, our work that God sets before us. We may not know the work yet. We maybe in the preparation phase. Joseph had a dream. Between the dream and the fulfillment was his preparation time. He had no clue where God was going to take him to fulfill the dream. The pit, the slavery, the prison, the removal of all the things he knew brought about a greater purpose than he could have ever imagined. God may leave us in a difficult place so that He can use that difficulty for something greater. The trouble with difficulty is that we want to get out of it quickly. Joseph endured and apparently without complaining about his circumstances – at least it’s not recorded for us.

All the people God used were in a place of openness to Him and willingness to be used. They were humbled in His presence. I suppose that’s what He is looking for today. If we are not seeing God working through us (okay me), then we need to look into our hearts and find the reason why we are not useful yet. Could it be pride and arrogance? Could there be wrong motivations? If God intends to use us in this time and place, then we need to submit to His purpose; let Him reveal in His time and in His way. God is into the details; we just have to keep our heads in the game! Are you restless where God has you too? Seek first God. Wait for His timing and His ways– God is going to do some amazing things and if He is willing, He will make us able to do whatever it is for His glory and not ours! He’s done it in the past; why not now? Why not us?

O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
Psalm 63:1-3 (NLT)

Why?

I got a call from a friend having a crisis of belief. I understood where she was coming from since I have had the same kind of questioning not too long ago. She was questioning why she is trying to help someone when they didn’t seem to care about changing. Some people want to be helped and some don’t. Some have gotten to the point in their lives that they need to change their habits in order to feel better. Others will just pop a pill and deal with the consequences later. It’s hard to know when to give helpful advice and when to keep the mouth shut. The words will just fall on deaf ears if they are not ready to hear. My friend was very frustrated. I understood that frustration and hopefully I was able to give her the encouragement she needed to keep the faith!

The last couple of days, I have been plagued with the crisis of belief as well. I have been in a discipleship class for the last seven months. I have been wondering “why am I doing this?” The group was told Monday night that we need to have a heart for those who are lost and without hope. We are not to judge those around us, but to love those around us. There is only one judge, and we were not appointed to that role. God loved us so much even when we were in the midst of our sins, He sent Jesus to us. Jesus came to give us life. Sin leads to death, but Jesus changes death to life if we believe in Him. I am learning how to share, but I have yet to put it into practice on a daily basis. God wants to use us where we are, but we have to be ready to share what we know with those who are ready to hear.

I need to be ready to help those who are ready to be helped. The crisis of belief doesn’t end the journey; sometimes it just realigns the belief to the truth of the mission. Scripture tells me not everyone will be saved. For the ones that the Holy Spirit is working in, we are to speak to those people. We can’t save the masses, but we can speak to the ones ready to be saved. As the little boy who picks up one starfish at a time and tosses it back into the ocean, he couldn’t save every one of the starfish on the beach, but he could help one. This is the mission that we are called to; one at a time. Why? There are people who are seeking; we have to be ready to go.

I cleaned up my diet and my health. I didn’t understand why I was doing it at the time, except I felt bad and wanted to feel good again. God has shown me recently that I am only able to do the things I do today because He helped me to be well for His purpose. He has a plan for the world to hear, but He needs people who are fit and ready to go. Satan wants us to stay sick and tired. Satan wants to destroy us so that we will not be effective witnesses. Jesus said He came to give us life. That’s why I do the things I do – because of Jesus; He is the right way to life. The crisis of belief shifts the direction of my mind; from my perspective to God’s. When I have the right perspective, everything changes.

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”

That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. Romans 15:1-3 (The Message)

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