Psalm 37: 3-4
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
This verse really hit home for me. For years I had dealt with not trusting God. I couldn’t die to my own desires and wants to trust God that He had it all under control. It was my own selfishness that was holding me back. I had two dreams growing up. One, to become a college athlete. Second, to visit a foreign country and share the gospel with the lost. As the years went on the desire to becoming more and more real. My senior year of high school hit and it was time to make the decision. Follow my own desires or let Christ take over. I had made the decision to go to college and play softball. I was getting my dream. I beyond excited, but Christ had a different plan for my life. He was just waiting for me to come to my senses. I was two weeks from going to college and the Lord really pressed on my heart that if I continued to go down this path even though it was my dream it was not going to be good. I got scared. For years I had been following Christ but I was just now realizing that I hadn’t given myself completely to Him. A month later I was planing to go to Guatemala to spend a year of my life serving the Lord with my whole heart. He was giving me my other dream. Within a few months Christ had given me the choice to choose between both of the desires of my heart. One would lead me closer to Him and one would draw me farther away from Him. It wasn’t an easy choice but the one I made was the right one. I don’t and will never regret the decision to follow Christ completely. I found myself trusting Him more and more and finding my identity in Him. I was always worried about what the next step would be but not I know that the cure for worry is TRUST.
2 Corinthians 6:4&8-10
“but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in affliction, hardships calamities. (8-10) through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as imposters , and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying,and behold, we live; as punished; and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor yet making many rich; as having nothing but possessing everything.”
Paul is talking about his ministry here. The many trials, the problems, the provisions and resources that came, and the contrast between perception and reality. Ministry is a difficult thing. There are ups and downs. Some days are definitely better than others. There is a constant attack when you are in any sort of ministry. If there isn’t than you are probably doing something wrong. The attacks are what make you stronger and rely on the Lord. Up until this point in my life I was not involved in any ministry. Growing up in the church all my friends were in ministries, and all my family besides my younger brother where in ministry. I saw the constant battle that my friends and family faced while in ministry with others, themselves, and God and I said no thank you. We are all just human so when human and human are working together there is going to be some problems. I never wanted to be in a constant battle with my fellow believers, never wanted to be in a constant battle with myself and having to consider others before me, I never wanted to battle God when He would place convictions on my heart. I felt that it was better for me to just go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and watch as my family and friends dealt with the difficulties of ministry. Big mistake! It wasn’t enough for me to be the every Sunday and Wednesday Christian, I am a person that needs to be involved, if Im not I start to feel not needed so I will slowly and slowly drift away. This time spent in IGNITE has taught me that ministry is incredibly important! Yes, there is a battle with others, myself, God, and so on but when you get to witness the fruit that comes from that ministry is it so worth it. There are going to be those battles, those ups and downs, those good and bad days just about everywhere I go so why not have it be when I am in deep fellowship with God and around my fellow believers. Ministry is an incredible thing when it is centered around Christ and He is the one leading you.
Application: I have been thinking a lot about the ministry that the Lord would have me do when I return home so I am going continue to pray and ask the Lord where He would have be.
~Titus 3: 1-3~
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrels, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”
Confession…I have always had a hard time being submissive to authority, especially those that I know very well and who aren’t very good people. But God doesn’t always allow “good” people to be in charge. There is a reason for that because my role as a believer is to be submissive. To be obedient to those that are in rule over me, whether good or bad. That is until they order me to do something that directly contradicts the commandments of God in which I then obey God rather than man(Acts 5:29). I’m not gonna lie, I fall into gossip. I am only human and a good story about someone else’s down falls will make me feel better about myself. I have had friends that know it is wrong and friends that that is all they do all the time. The time I spent with those that gossip and speak evil of everyone were the times were I felt as if I was sinking in my walk. I knew it was wrong but I was trapped by my flesh. I have a very competitive nature and avoiding quarrels is one of my down falls. If I am not right then I will make it to where the other person is also wrong because if I am not right then no one is right. I have gotten better I promise, but I still do fail all the time at being okay with being wrong. Along with this competitive nature comes being aggressive. Gentleness…ha…this use to not be something that I would even consider because I always had to be the best and with always striving to be the best I would sometimes hurt others. Gentle is a word that comes to mind when I think of Christ. Gentle with children, gentle with you, gentle with me. Working with kids everyday for almost the past year has really shown me the love and gentleness of Christ. The fact that I am still able to love, be gentle, and show kindness to kids that can be little punks shows me that I would not be able to do it without Christ. “To show perfect courtesy toward all people”. Why ALL people? Some don’t deserve it. I have had to learn over the years that even though some don’t deserve it, Christ still died for those people and most likely they need the gentleness and perfect courtesy more than others! I was and still am foolish, disobedient, led astray, a slave to certain weaknesses, passion and pleasures but by the grace and mercy of God I am set free. Verses 4-7 “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to hope of eternal life.”
Application: I am going to write in my journal the areas of my life that I fall short and ask God to show me how I can withstand those struggles.