Thursday, September 24, 2009

Take Your Child To Work Day

I had the privilege of praying for a couple of missionaries from Afghanistan last night at home group. It's a pretty prophetic group, so if you ask for prayer, you usually get somewhat more.

There was a word for a brother named Jonathan that I think bears repeating. In essence, it reminded him that even on that mission field, that God's primary interest was in him, and the mission was secondary. This seems strange to us, who tend to measure things in terms of jobs and callings and ministries and measurable results of our labors. I was reminded that when God placed Jonathan in Afghanistan, it was not as though God posted a want ad and hired the qualified applicant. It was that God was doing something and wanted to share that with his child.

Ministry is truly like "Take Your Child To Work Day". God is doing something in the earth, and he calls us to Himself, taking us along to join in. His invitation is not based on what talent He sees in us, nor on what He thinks we will accomplish, but simply on the fact that we are his sons. I fear that we have made ministry into a job fair, looking at the options, finding what line of work suits us best and finding a way to sign on. If it's a paying gig, all the better. But this process establishes me as the central worker, the work as my place to shine, and "for God" as the fish on my business card.

I would suggest that we allow our minds to be renewed, from a mindset that says, "This is the thing I will accomplish for God," to a more childlike "Dad, where are you going today? What are you doing? Can I go? Please? Can I help?"

If you truly wish to see wonderful things, try following Dad to work.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Agricultural wisdom

This is better than anything I've written in a while, so I am unabashedly stealing it from my daughter Megan and posting it here--

I've never been one that God gave visions to, never heard words for people, or could distinctly hear his voice (without questioning myself). It never bothered me too much. I just figured our relationship wasn't like that---

Well, tonight during worship one of the speakers asked God to "tear us up" to give us a new vision of God and his love- This guided my prayers as I beseeched God-
"Make me sensitive to your spirit God..."
He gave me this---

I saw my life as hard ground.
Soil comfortably in place, not touched for an extended period of time.
A few sprouts have emerged from this soil but non significant in size or splendor

God gave me the image of this ground, not looking at it with disgust or disappointment but full of thought as he considered his plan.
A plan to till up the soil of my life that I have let remain motionless.
I felt only anticipation and excitement from my father as the ground began to display texture- No hint of hurry or frustration-
For he plans to grow so much in me; he expects a great harvest to come forth from me.

He showed me how I have cut myself off from his life by allowing myself to become sedimentary. The ground he showed me receives minimal nourishment from above as most of the rain is unable to soak in and therefore runs off-
The soil thrives because of the sustenance it has stored below. The relationship with him and the knowledge of his word have not evaporated; it is firmly in place- but it does not grow; it does not reap the harvest of the king-

My loving father knows me so well- Oh how he knows every uncertainty, every fear, every weakness, all of my hidden frailty he considers-

He carefully showed me in that moment that this ground could continue on in its current state--
No evil would occur, no angry wrath would ensue, no love withheld- even a minimal amount of growth would sustain---
But to continue on in its current state the ground would never reap the full harvest of God.

Oh my glorious creator- how I indeed comprehended the nature of psalms and the inability to call you by any other name than Marvelous- I need not to work in the soil, I need not tire in the sun - The only thing you require of my is to let go of this “life” I’ve created and become sensitive to your spirit-

You indeed are a glorious father; my only desire is to stay in your presence-