Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Love the One You're With

Most people’s ministry is to 2s and 3s, 10s and 20s. Personal discipleship and mentorship is vital and valuable. I’ve been changed by someone else personally investing in me and there are a few people who I empower in that way but I still feel and desire there is more for me. One of the items on my bucket list is to speak to a stadium full of people (25,000+).

Truthfully, it makes it difficult for me to ‘stay in the moment’ when I’m with others, especially in a ministry setting. I would not likely be called or described pastoral, and a mercy gift is something the Lord is increasing in me. I live by the motto: go big, or go home. Trouble comes when you can’t ‘go big’ and you can’t ‘go home’; people who think like that (me) become easily overwhelmed by problems of social justice, gross injustice or even one-to-one evangelism. For every one who is helped, there are millions who still have tremendous needs.

I was worried about how I would respond while I was in Southeast Asia. I’ve heard about extreme poverty, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and religious persecution but I had never been exposed to it. I was anxious I would become overwhelmed by the futility of my single effort. A drop in the bucket at the bottom doesn’t recognize its contribution to the tipping point at the top.

Fast forward to my return home; I’ve enjoyed a ‘celebrity’ status among friends and family (at least for the first week) as I’ve recounted testimonies from the trip. Among the testimonies, I was asked how I processed the negativity [of social problems] that I saw and heard; the very thing I was anxious about prior to the trip. I stopped to consider the question and I realized even more of God’s grace toward me.

 Jesus said he only did what he saw the Father doing. If we have eyes to see what heaven is doing, we will see there is more than enough to fill our vision without leaving room to be anxious about what isn’t occurring.

Over the past two years, I’ve been writing about increasing awareness of God’s presence. It’s my single greatest desire and it’s my first consideration about how to direct my life, activities and desires. I’ve been [and still] learning to cultivate a deeper relationship with Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Papa God, and this is what I’ve learned: as I [boldly] approach the throne of grace, I obtain mercy and grace for my time of need.

God is outside of time, and yet he’s inside every moment. He’s big, and still in the details. When we tap into the heart of the Father, and look into the face before us, we see and feel as Papa God does. Before the trip I may have been anxious about how I would respond but in the moment I didn’t even think about it. I only did what I saw the Father doing. He loves each heart – one-to-one.

God is good – all the time. Every heart is important to him. Jesus forsake the crowd to connect with the little children because that’s what he saw the Father doing for that moment. His mission was to save the world. My desire for bigger isn’t gone, but the desire for big doesn’t swallow up responsiveness to one person.

I came away with a new personal testimony – don’t despise the small beginnings because there is great reward in seeing a human heart connect with the Father’s heart. When I stay connected to his heart and set my heart on things above it’s possible to stay in the moment and love the one you’re with.

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