Thursday, April 2, 2009

Settling In and Taking Off

So, just wanted to post an update before I head out for a while.

I'll be leaving for Mexico on Saturday morning to go with a team to host a kids' baseball camp. Personally, I'll be more on the documentation side of things, and not as much hands-on, because it's a work trip (like Amsterdam was). Before I go though, I wanted to just share a little bit about what God has been teaching me the last few days...

I honestly have really struggled this week with purposelessness, discontentment and frustration, even directed at some I dearly love. However, the Lord has been showing me a few things, for which I am so grateful.

1) God is in control. Even when I don't see how the plan will work out in the end, I can trust that God makes good on his promises, both the big picture ones (like redemption, conquering of sin, salvation, et. al. SO good) and the ones that affect me on a more micro level (He'll never leave me, and he alone gives rest if I have faith in him).

2) Calling. Although ministry doesn't look as I would have it look at the moment, I know that I am involved in ministries here. It may not be as front-line in the war as I desire, but my job and my ministry to Adrian both affect the Kingdom. Those are ministries God has given me, and he has put me in those places for a purpose in this season.

3) Desire to be involved in more overt ministries is (for me) very works-based and self-focused. I struggle to find a place to plug in and serve, not because my heart cares for those people, but because I think that somehow I am "being a better Christian" or that I am more holy when other people can see my deeds and say, "Wow. Look how much she is serving."

Works-based righteousness is no righteousness at all. All I can do is give my all to the ministries God has me in right now (namely, my job, Adrian and my classes) and trust him for fruit, rather than force my way into something that is not where God would specifically call me, just for the sake of doing. Faith without works is dead, yes, but works done - not in faith but in pride - are equally as futile. Romans teaches that whatever is not done in faith is sin. Thus, even if I am trying to do "a good thing," what is my motivation? If it is pride and my desire to do something for God, then it is sin, I think. I can offer nothing but myself. God wants me to serve Him wholeheartedly, yes, but I believe he wants me to serve him in the ways/ministries/areas he has called me to and not in areas I try to push myself into so that others think better of me. I serve an audience of one, and I trust that pouring myself into those God evidently places in my life is what he asks of me - not any prideful service. So....until God opens other doors and evidently calls me to "enter those rooms" in service with Him, I will pour myself into the ministries he has already made evident in my life.

That means that as part of my job (one of my ministries) I will be going to Mexico Resurrection week. Rather than lament this trip for any number of reasons, I am giving glory to God that he has shown me that in this week and in this place, he asks for me to give me all with a joyful heart, and he will take care of everything else. Praise Him for clarity.

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