Jesus is, presently, seated at the right hand of the Father. He reigns today. The regime of our King is a present, proceeding, advancing reality. Because this is true – it means that as children of The Most High God we can rejoice in this truth that His vision and plan for us is in the works now and includes every aspect of our lives — EVERY aspect.
So … now take that truth and apply it to your today. If He lives within you and if the Kingdom of God is today — then you have a choice to make; allow the presence and power of His kingdom to permeate your life. Allow His presence and power to invade your hopes for the future. Allow His presence and power to shape your view of yourself. Allow His presence and power to inform your understanding of who He is.
Your faith, properly placed in Him, is strong enough to support the dreams that you feel are impossible! Your faith, properly placed in Him, will allow you to experience the truth that He can do more than you can ask, think or imagine.
Picture this — your faith, as you nurture it, will grow and become stronger — strong enough for your life’s goals to be lifted up as offerings to the Most High! Strong enough to sustain your hopes and rebuke your doubts. Your faith, when nurtured and when placed in Him, will allow you to rejoice in the fact that He is your Benevolent Sovereign who finds great pleasure in showering you with his agape love and who assures that as you submit to His kingdom you will enjoy his good will in your present reality.
Paul David Tripp calls it Big Kingdom Living — living like Christ is the basis of all that you speak, execute, and envision. Living your life such that “God’s purposes become your functional life goal.” Being all that He has created you to be — doing all that He has created you to do. Awesome!
He said therefore, What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.
Luke 13:18 – 19
When we are little children, right and wrong are so very simple. Just do what our parents allow and abstain from what they prevent. Stop when they say stop and proceed when they approve. Not so simple when you grow up.
There are foundational dos and don’ts out of Exodus: no idols, no using the Lord’s name out of place, no murder, no adultery, no lying, no lies, no lusting someone’s spouse; no craving someone’s stuff; honor God as Lord, honor God above any other lesser god, honor the Lord’s day as Holy, honor your parents. And I’m sure we ALL do these with no problem at all. (SMILE!!) Well, at least I know you all do. I’ve got a bad hip from kneeling to repent so often! So very grateful for His forgiveness and His cleansing. But that’s not what I’m wanting you to think about.
What about what happens on the inside of you. If you have a personal relationship with The Lord, there is something in your life that He has asked you to do (or not to do) that is in addition to that list above. You know what I’m talking about – His will for your life. This might be giving your belongings to some person; it might be ending a romantic relationship; it might be writing a book; it might be refraining from some food; it might be moving to some foreign country to serve in missions full time; it might be accepting an illness as His assignment to teach believers how to die, etc. It could be easy and uncomfortable. It could be difficult and unimaginable. The bottom line is – you don’t want to do it!
The Holy Spirit’s conviction is strong within you and yet you don’t act in the way that you are led because of your own confusion or even your own fear. And now – you’re not feeling well, you’re worried about who you’re disappointing, etc. I want to encourage you to trust the Lord enough to act in the way that He is calling you. If you just trust Him the confusion and fear that you are facing will cease! I’m serious! The unrest, sickness, dissension, disunity, fear, duality, and sense of disloyalty to the King of Kings will cease! And let’s just be honest — you’re walking in sin when you act against what you know to be God’s will for you even if that action is not something that is against the teachings of Scripture. I’m praying for you!!
But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23
Prayer. Participation. Provision. Ministry requires all of these. What if every missionary’s testimony was that they had too many people on their prayer team; that they had too many churches that were grooming people to join in the work full time on the mission field; that the money that they are receiving to do the work is coming in too fast?! Lloyd and I were appointed with WorldVenture in 2002 – so I’ve only been a full time missionary for 15 years. In all of that time I’ve never, ever heard even one of these phrases.
Here’s what I do know: the missionaries that I know are some of the most gifted, anointed, talented, innovative people that I have ever known. They are creatively sharing the truth of the Gospel with a dying world and suffering much loss in the process, however, they count the loss as nothing to even mention. They don’t go to the field because of some warm fuzzy feeling that overtakes them – they go because the call of God compels them to go! They are not beggars who come to your church or small group because there is no where else to go — they are sent ones who come to your church or small group because they know that just as they have answered the call to go; the Body of Christ must answer the call to participate by praying, participating and giving provisions.
In Exodus – when the people realized that God had placed among them gifted artisans/skilled people to do the work; they willingly brought their gifts so that the work could be completed – so much so that Moses had to tell them to stop bringing gifts. It would be a beautiful thing if this would happen in the Body of Christ today. The work is not done! Not for those who are sent out – and not for those responsible for sending them.
What would it take for the Body of Christ to support missions in this way?
I don’t know. But my prayer is that it will be so.
The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the Lord commanded us to perform.” So Moses issued a command, and aproclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it. Exodus 36: 5 – 7
Interested in giving? We have over 200 people serving in 12 countries across the continent of Africa. Click on any of these country names to see how you might become a part of our More Than Enough!
WHERE WE ARE SERVING IN AFRICA
Have you ever been asked to do something new? odd? different? Do you, in spite of your gifts/talents, shrink back a bit when tasked with something that feels bigger than you? I’m sure you don’t – but I sure do. There is something about stepping out into some new ministry when you’ve had success in a smaller place that can take your breath. When I was in church ministry I felt like God was allowing me to work and minister in my sweet spot. But, I didn’t start off that way. I was quite content being an alto in the choir. My friend and mentor, the late Evangelist Brenda Waters, was talking to me over lunch at Picadilly Restaurant in Houston — she looked me square in the eye and said, “Whatcha scared of girl!? God has given you an ear for His music; He has given you a heart for His people; He has given you a voice that quiets a room! Just lead — you’re not a background singer; God created you to lead!” That started my life as a worship leader – my sweet spot. But just as I settled in to that, the call to missions came.
I couldn’t take my musical gift to Ghana in the same way that it had been used in the USA so I floundered for a short while and entered into a time of fear, afraid of being insignificant in the work of the Kingdom. Then the Holy Spirit helped me to see and understand what I was supposed to do in Ghana; lead people toward a life of worship; not just lead them in a worship service. Being in authentic relationships with people so that they would know what it was to live, move and have their being in Him. My new sweet spot! But before I knew it – another call came — lead!
This time He asked me to worship Him with my whole life in a way that others would do the same; to love Him in such a way that the people that I ministered to would feel His love poured out through me. Terrified! Didn’t God know about my failings? my bad attitudes? my own personal kind of crazy?! Yes! He knew all about it and we stepped into this role as ministry directors for Africa. And — you guessed it — my new sweet spot! Every time I get an email from a missionary saying that they feel heard and cared for — I know that this is place I’m supposed to be! The fears fell away – nothing is left except the power of God, the love of God and a mind that is clear about His purpose for me in this season and serious about being continually developed to operate fully in His purposes.
I want to encourage you. Push past the fear. Push past the feelings of inadequacy. Push past your fears and timidity. Push past your ego and your false humility. Push past the enemies lies that tell you that you are less than enough; inadequate; ill equipped. Press into the presence and power of God and you WILL find that your fears will cut tail and run! Trust me! More than that – Trust Him! When God asked you to do that next hard thing, that next new thing, that next step off of a cliff — know that He delights in showing forth His glory through you and doing more in and through you than you could ever have asked, thought or imagined! I don’t know who or what was vexing dear Timothy and making him feel timid — but Paul’s words to Him are for you today too…
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
We like to be busy. We take pride in the fact that we are doing so many ‘meaningful’ things. But take notice — being busy does not mean that you are getting the desired Kingdom outcome. Unless you are leaning in to His presence, taking His direction, moving in His will — you might be doing good things; but they may not be the thing He has for you to do. Abide! Without His presence – you cannot accomplish His will.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4