Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Are you using Me?

As more layers of ministry veneer get peeled back, more and more new messages get revealed for me to decipher. In some ways its like pulling down old wallpaper sheets and finding a few lines penciled on the plaster beneath. They’ve been written for a long time, but now is when they get read. I found this one this morning. Are you using Me? I saw this as I was digging around the question of impact. Seems like we ministry types are always thinking about the next big thing, and where we can have the biggest impact. I would liken it to King David wanting to build the temple. God told him nice idea, but you’re not the one who gets to do it. Did the Father sense that this kind of accomplishment would not be good for David? Was David using the task to feed some ill motive? We’ll never know. And isn’t that the truth about motive? Will we ever know our heart’s true intentions? Will any of us ever have a pure incentive? I’m not trying to be cynical, because this makes grace all the more attractive. Regardless, the Father dishes out grace to all of us in unimaginable ways, all the while knowing our desires better than we know ourselves. The blessing of this uncovered message led me to think about why I want to do ministry in the first place. On the one hand, there is the simple joy of helping others. It’s a satisfying feeling to encourage, uplift, and console. In doing so, you sense you really are the hands and feet of God. You are cooperating with Him. But on the other, there is the side of ministry that gets really dark. It’s the side that feeds the ego. It gives me something to lean on, to talk about. It justifies my existence and makes me feel important. And with these eyes I saw the message this morning. I received the correction and relaxed in the freedom of not feeling like I have to strive to be somebody. Since I don’t work for Jesus anymore, I find my relationship with him on a different plain now. I’m just a volunteer. I don’t work for money or position or even recognition. This is the liberty I was intended to experience.


Publius said...

Sometimes, when I come to some new realization about myself and the way the Lord is growing me, I'm tempted to look back and regret the time I spent in ignorance, not knowing then what I know now. But then, I could never have become the me that I am now if I had not been the me that I was then.

I'm glad to hear about the freedom you're finding apart from 'vocational' ministry. He has indeed come to set us free.

Watchman said...


my son is almost 16 and is about to exceed me in height and soon in strength. every time i wish i was young and strong and resilient like him, i accept that wisdom often replaces brawn, and at my age, i will take the wisdom.

Publius said...

Heh. Indeed. Though sometimes I feel markedly deficient in both.

I'm curious to see how your restaurant turns out. And I'm curious what the Lord intends for you. As I'm sure you know, just because you're not a 'professional' anymore doesn't mean you're no longer part of God's plan.

I don't know you except from reading your blog, but you seem a conscientious fellow. No doubt you are being prepared and placed to do something only you can do. The grace of God is so vast that he can give us the desire of our hearts while using us as His hands to draw the world to Him. Of course, sometimes we don't know what our heart's desire is until we actually get there...