May we never lose our wonder . . . wide eyed and mystified may we be just like a child staring at the beauty of our King . . . fill us with wonder. You are beautiful in all Your ways!
I’ve had this song on repeat for three days now as I’ve just been dwelling in Him, in His beauty, and in His goodness. And as I’ve soaked in Him, I’ve let go of all the plans, the thoughts, the gotta do and gotta be more attitude that I so often carry. It’s not about me doing; it’s about me dwelling.
We’ve had a special speaker in at the church and at the Bible school this week, and tonight will be session #4 of hearing him teach on Surrender, Identity, and Transformation in Mission. Obviously, I had great expectation prior to his coming as I knew he’d have teaching that would help prepare us for our transition to Scotland. Yet I had no idea how
impactful full of impact this week would be. No idea. And there’s no way I can even hit on all the points that he hit, but I want to just touch on one or two.
The speaker is a missionary/missionary kid; one who grew up in the Word and in ministry. He knows his Bible, has seen ministry in several parts of the world, and has lots of wisdom to share. Something that he shared though that kind of took me by surprise is the idea of familiarity with the Gospel and how that can dull us to it. We can forget our First Love if we let familiarity in and forget to get a fresh word from the Word of God every day. The beauty of the Word is that you can study it your whole life and still get new revelation from it. God is living and breathing and active; therefore, His Word is as well. Yet our part is to take the time to sit with Him, study His Word, listen, and receive the new thing He has for us each day. I’ve had many seasons where the Word has just seemed dry or like it took ages for me to get something from it; then other seasons where I could only read one verse at a time because I’d get so much from just one verse. And yet for me, it’s always been this attitude of HAVING to read the Word and pray each day. I love prayer so that’s never a challenge, but the Word part can be a challenge on super busy days when I’m just tired. I’ve had many nights of falling asleep and praying that God would forgive me for neglecting His Word that day. Yet I think I’ve missed the whole point. He doesn’t care that I get a certain amount of Word read every day. He cares that I spend time with Him. He cares that my heart seeks Him through worship, through quiet times, through listening to the Word on CD, and through reading it. He cares that I made Him priority and asked Him to show me more of Him. That keeps my relationship with Him vibrant and alive.
Second, ministry is not about fulfilling a need, such as poverty, loneliness, illness, etc. or planting a church, an orphanage, or a Bible College. Yes, we can and should fill those needs, but the true need is to present the identity of who God created us to be. Each and everyone of us longs to be known, to be heard, to be valued, and to be loved. Yet no one really and truly fills that longing like Jesus. Once we realize that through Jesus, we are a Son/Daughter of God and a co-inheritor with Christ, then our identities change. Once I realize that God desired to have a daughter called Micah who would be uniquely made and uniquely gifted to serve a specific purpose on this earth, and I catch His heart for me, my life can’t be the same. Once I also realize that through Jesus everything in me was/is made right and He values and loves me like no one ever will or ever could love me, then all the hurts, wounds, insecurities, etc can be filled. He fills them with His goodness. He fills them through time spent with Him just dwelling in His love. How many of my neighbors just want to be valued? How many are just wanting to know that they are loved? Why haven’t I shared that with them?
And again, if we get familiar with this thought of identification with Christ or with the Father’s love, but we don’t actually tap into each day, then the power of it sits dormant. We won’t see the change we want to see. But if we allow Him to increase in us each day, we will decrease and be filled with Him. THEN we become excellent vessels of His love, His compassion, His mercy, and His heart for this world. We can go out and see others as those that He also created to be loved by Him. We can go to the homeless man, fill his cup with change, and say, “hey, did you know that God is waiting for you to meet with Him?! Did you know that He loves you and values you? And because of that, I value you, so can I sit with you and pray with you?” We can chat with our neighbors about our yards or the weather and then compliment them on how well they take care of their house and let them know that we appreciate them. We can show them love in every conversation we have with them.
Over the past few months, we’ve been so busy, and I’ve found my stress level to be a lot higher than it should be. And yet I haven’t known how to let go. I haven’t known what pace He is desiring for us to go. Or how to even attempt all that we need to do. Yet this week, I’m realizing that it’s a day by day, meet with Him, ask Him about today’s agenda, and then be led moment by moment by Him. It’s not about what do I need to do today; it’s about how can I be with Him today. It’s about dwelling in Him, resting in His love, and desiring more of Him. It’s asking Him to change my perspective about myself and then about others. How can I view my 5 year old as Jesus does and then parent Him in that way? How can I view the rude lady at Target in the same way that Jesus does?
So I’m realizing that some things need to change right here and now in how I’ve been approaching our schedules, in our plans for the next several months, and our ideas of how to do ministry. And I’m excited, challenged, and just at peace, because I know that He’s ready to begin to teach me and show me. He’s ready to show me what He thinks of me. He’s ready to show us what He sees in Edinburgh and what He sees in the people there. He’s ready to fill us up so that we can pour Him out.
You are beautiful in all Your ways . . . by Amanda Cook/Bethel Live