This Sunday I have an amazing opportunity to share the Shoebox Ministry with the folks at Oakland UMC near Piper’s Gap. I’ve been thinking about what to say, do, draw, what music to use, etc.. God has laid it on my heart to use this song by Matthew West as I draw. Listen…
When I look in the mirror, I see a self centered, selfish human being. I want, I want, I want. What I should be saying is “what does God want?” Isn’t that often our biggest challenge in life? This world is not about me. It’s not about where I should go to church or what pew I should sit in or if I am comfortable in that pew. It’s about being uncomfortable. I don’t like to be put out, put off or be asked to make changes. But the fact of the matter is that God is the one who is asking me to change. Not the Pastor, not the church, not the world, but GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF. I am learning how to focus on what GOD wants for my life and my family. It is my responsibility to listen, obey and do what God is telling me. You can’t do it for me and I can’t do it for you. God speaks to each of us differently and what he is telling you, he isn’t telling me. I hear this all throughout this song. Especially when Matthew says, ” Oh God, what have I been doing?”
I have heard a lot of of controversy over doing local missions versus international missions and how our money should stay right here where we are. Well, first of all it’s not our money-it’s God’s. Second of all- we need to be praying about how God would have us use that money to further His Kingdom-after all it is HIS Kingdom-right? When we seek God’s ways- we will get our answer. Again-what God is telling you, is not what He is telling me. Yes, there are needs right here but one of the things I have realized is this: our definition of the word “NEED” is quite often different in another country. I have said this before and I will say it again…the trash that we put into our garbage cans, out by the street, to the dump, recycle, etc., is a treasure to those in another country. Would I think of giving a local kid a bag of trash as a gift? No, that kid would look at me like I was crazy! But to a kid in a third world country- that bag of trash IS truly a gift. For us, in the land of plenty, it is hard to comprehend and for me it was incomprehensible until I saw this:
As a mother, my heart is broken. As a child of God, my heart aches. As a Christian- I know it’s not about me. My little world is safe, comfy and warm. The world out there is harsh, broken and desperate. It is a desperation that most of us will never experience. Father, break my heart for what breaks yours. My own little world is not about me. It’s about YOU. In order for me to be like God, I’ve got to get out of my comfortable pew and go outside the church to do the work that needs to be done. Out into the world. How will I ever compel another person to come inside unless they see me, know me and have a relationship with me? I can’t do that unless I put feet on my prayers. Those feet are hooked to my ankles and they are mine. I must move forward and do the work that God has called me to do.
I can’t do it alone and I have to put on the armor of God to do it because as soon as I stand up-there will be someone or something in my way. These things are called stumbling blocks. In order to go over and around them I have to be prepared. I have to hide the Word of God inside my heart. I must know and understand what God’s Word says. This is my ammo. I also need prayer warriors and they need to know how to pray for me. Just like Nehemiah prayed ” Our God will fight for us” these people are faithful to pray for me, just as I am for them. As I go into the world I pray that God will strengthen my hands, my resolve and my faith so that I may stand strong and tall on the wall-never falling off-never faltering and always looking to the God of Wonders for the answers. Man can never have the answer-only God does. He will supply my needs as he see’s fit. He’s done it time and time again. So, today, I stand on the wall with my fellow workers, linking arms with them to do the work that God has called us to do. “I will not fall off the wall.”