I've been doing a lot of cleaning house this past weekend, physically, mentally and spiritually. I folded my laundry with Jesus and my Selah CD, prayed as I sang, spent a lot of time in God's Word and let God organize my thoughts. Wow. I think the biggest blessing has been going to my "Hiding Place" with Selah's CD so named. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of that CD! I feel cleansed!
As I've tried to get my home office reorganized this afternoon, I came across a devotion I prepared for one of the first meetings I held last fall for my women's ministry lead team. I've decided to share a form of it here - in a better written form than my original chicken scratch - because its premise is so foundational for all of our success in ministry and in life.
Three Keys to Accomplishing the Mission
God has called each of us to achieve His purpose of spreading the gospel and helping others to grow spiritually, either by us directly doing the teaching or contributing in some fashion to get others plugged into some form of teaching. The end result of our work for God should be the multiplication of doctrinally sound believers, able to feed themselves the Word of God, so that more of God's work may be accomplished. Below I will outline three keys necessary to accomplishing what God has set out for us to do.
I. Key #1 - We can only reproduce in others what we are ourselves. Paul says in 1 Cor 11:1 that the Corinthians were to follow him as he followed Christ. The same applies to all of us. However, in order to become like Christ, so that others will be rightly following us, we have to get to know Him on an intimate level. The better we know Him, the better we can acquaint others to Him through our lives.
- The woman at the well in John 4:10 didn't recognize who Jesus was until He told her! If we don't recognize who Jesus is, how can we tap into all of the power He has to offer us.
- God wants us to know and understand Him. Jeremiah 9:23 says that the only thing we should be glory in is how much we understand and know Him. How did Jesus serve, love and teach? How could He be so powerful yet so gentle? What was Jesus' motivation to serve?
II. Key #2 - We need to let God be in and stay in control. We have to humble ourselves and let God be in control so that God can bless us and change us.
- God requires us to be humble - Micah 6:8 says "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
- God's ways are better than ours anyway. Our way, will not cut it (Ecc 9:11), but through God's way, our weakness allow Him to be strong. (2 Cor 12:9-11)
Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things when they let God be in charge!
III. Key #3 - We need to give God our best effort. Only we know what our best effort is and I guarantee that no one gives 120% all of the time. Remember not to be discouraged with this one. God wants us to do the best that we can do. Rest is okay, we aren't robots, after all.
Ecc 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.