I have allowed recent experiences to discourage me from blogging
It’s true, I can be discouraged. Within the past few months I have gone through some pretty rough emotional times. Certain things have happened in my life that has a direct affect on my family. Through the process, there have been wonderful friends and family that has encouraged and loved me through it. There are times, though, where it felt like I was being abandoned, discouraged, lied to, and relationally abused—all under the umbrella of ministry. Wow, I never thought I would ever experience things I have recently experienced. But things are what they are and focus needs to remain vertical. So, I focus.
So what’s called got to do, got to do with it?
As I take the cheesy line from “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” from Tina Turner, there is a seriousness I intend here. I’ve felt called to church planting, though not as soon as I ended up going in to it. So, as I began walking things out, an opportunity opened to partner with another plant. Well, things went really bad. Not well. Down hill. You get the point. I came out of this experience feeling beat up, bleeding, and kicked in the teeth. At first, I was angry with God as to why He would allow this to happen. It didn’t take long, though, for me to rest in God’s will and soon gain encouragement, strength, and drive to head on ministry again – elsewhere.
I began thinking about that
So I looked at my situation objectively and thought to myself, “What would I encourage someone else to do if they were in my shoes?” My answer was obvious: Find a church to just chill at for a while and let God be the one to drop something in your lap. So, this is what I am going to do, even though it will be difficult to not do Anything!
In the meantime
I get stupid messages being called names on my phone. I mean, come on! Let’s act like men here! This discouraged me again. I shouldn’t let this get to me the way it has. So, I began thinking again: What’s my calling got to do with this? In other words, do I believe that I am really called. Not in the sense of ministry, but in the sense of being loved by God. Ministry comes later; preaching comes later. First is first: Do I believe that God foreknew me? Do I believe that God predestined me to be in a loving relationship with Him as His word says in Romans 8:28-30? The Scripture reads:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, (Some manuscripts God works all things together for good, or God works in all things for the good) for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
The word “foreknew” is in focus here how it relates to being “predestined.” When the Bible speaks of being “known,” it refers to an intimate knowing. For instance, Mary gave birth to Jesus, but never “knew” a man. In other words, she was a virgin. This word “to know” is the same reference as it is here in Rom. 8:29. It means, basically, to forelove. So, those whom God “foreloved”, whom He “intimately knew”, He also “predestined” to have an intimate relationship with Him. They are predestined because He intimately loved them, in a personal way before the “foundations of the world.”
So here’s my point
If I really believe that, I shouldn’t be allowing these recent events have such an effect on my life. What I have found myself doing is trying to find significance and security other than Christ. I have had to ask myself the question: Do I really believe God loves me more than the hurt I feel? If so, then I need to give to God what is rightfully His: my fear, pride, pains, and problems. Yes, I believe God loves me that much.
So, my assurance, first, is in the fact that God called me – not into ministry – but into relationship with Him through the blessed Jesus Christ. What’s called got to do with it? Everything. Being called by God is being brought into a divine relationship with Him. Having significance is knowing that Jesus died and rose again so that I can have an eternal relationship with the Father – the Creator of the Universe. Being secure is knowing that nothing can separate me from the love of Christ: not depth, nor hight, nor angels, nor demons, nor any other reason – even my own experiences in the past month; my security is not in ministry, but in Christ.
So I submit to His love and grace
And I hope that by sharing this, others will connect somehow and find encouragement. Other than that, I am simply one depraved man confessing his continual need for Jesus Christ – the One who offers true significance and security.
It’s not about me; it’s all about Jesus.
In Christ Alone. Glory to God.
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