While smiling rather brightly, I can tell you that I have no idea what exactly God is doing with me. Or even where I’ll be next year.
See in recently months I’ve taken my focus off of making conclusions about where I’m going and what I’m doing, (it’s been super refreshing, I highly recommend it.) As I’ve realized that my presumptions and premature conclusions only hinder His functional Lordship in my life. And to be honest I think this is the “easy yoke” described in the scriptures (that may be debatable, but this is my blog and folks don’t like to debate me here, which is nice).
I use to want to start ministries and influence people, I wanted to be “Christian famous”. I use to read scriptures and easily find an application for others.
Now, I find myself the object of God’s affection, I find Him wanting to be with me more than wanting to produce stuff through me. I find myself being loved and developed and even infiltrated by His presence. And as a result to saying “yes” to His influence and presence, ministry happens as a bi-product.
There are schools to go to, to learn how to do ministry, ya know? But they don’t teach you this way. This way requires that you break down all the barriers and compartments of your life and meld it all into one. You’re not only invited to surrender, but to face your brokenness, to sacrificially humble yourself, and let all the estimations of who you think you are fly out of the window with your pride.
This way changes everything. For example, I found myself reading Isaiah chapter 58 recently. It’s a chapter about fasting and our spiritual posture and it’s relation to injustice. I use to see this as a call to go out and do homeless ministry and take care of the underprivileged. A call for the churches to step up and take care of the lowly. To clean up this world. That’s not a bad interpretation, we need that interpretation.
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. – Isaiah 58
But the interpretation I got most recently was much more personal, it was more like a rash on my skin. I began to read this text as a promise to me if I would take care of those in my life who were poor and underprivileged. It wasn’t a generic “do good to the poor”, it was do good to those who you are already in contact with. Do good to those that cross your path in all the facets of your life. God was calling me to let Him change my personal cosmos. To submit to Him in my personal life. That might not seem like a big difference to you, but in recent months as God as allowed me to take more seriously the “ministry” this is in my personal life, the fruit could be described just like the promises of Isaiah 58, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”
I use to want to do ministry, I use to feel the call to do ministry. I’m not sure I even know what that means anymore. I’ve done the dangerous thing of pulling out the diving walls of my life, my personal life, my family life, and ministry life and now they’re all being mixed up under the heading of surrendered to Jesus. I don’t know which way I’m going, I’m not even sure who I am anymore, titles make me feel sick, conclusions about where I’ll land and who I’ll be feel like a cop out. “I am undone.”
I just want to be as useful to Jesus as humanly possible. When I pass on I want the unity and submission to Jesus that I’ve learned in this life to run seamlessly with the next. I want my tombstone to boldly read “Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done.” Amen.