Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When We Go With What We Know

"... for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith."  1 John 5:4


So. As you know, the Bible tells us a bunch of times to go.

Go into the highways and byways, compelling others to 'come in'
Go visit those in prison
Go into all the world
Go care for widows and orphans
Go clothe the naked
Go feed the poor
Go minister to the saints
Go visit the sick
Go and intercede in prayer for others
Go heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons
Go sell your possessions and give to the needy
Go show hospitality
Go bear one another's burdens
Go and look not only to your own interests, but the interests of others.

Here's what I've seen. 

Christians who don't know their specific gifts and callings (yes, I'm talking about that again), will almost always feel overwhelmed and guilty when they read those Bible verses which tell us to go.

They listen to missionaries from 3rd world countries and see photos of horrific needs there and then come away feeling guilty because they can't help much. And hopeless, too, because the needs are huge, dire, endless. Hopeless and paralyzed like worldly people, even, might feel.

 And maybe they even feel angry at themselves, for their come-and-go caring and mad, also, at all the other flakey, non-loving Christians out there who aren't doing enough, either.

Maybe even a little angry at God for allowing such poverty to exist in the first place.

And all that guilt and anger and overwhelming helplessness? It accomplishes nothing. It helps and frees and feeds and clothes and heals no one. Instead, those bubbling feelings just fester and--if they don't turn to bitterness--they eventually fizzle down to a sad form of apathy.

Until the next missionary or film strip or blog post with missionary zeal comes along. And then the hopelessness pattern begins again... and the world, for one more year, remains a big, hurting mess.

Of course, there is a better way: Discover God's big plan for you on this planet.

When we're doing what He's called us, specifically, to do, there's great Grace to do it. There's all the energy and provision (financial and otherwise) needed to do what God asks of us because what God orders, He pays for.

We can do what God equips us to do--there's no overwhelming hopelessness, but rather, a joy! An assurance that God will bless and stretch our obedience and He'll help people by using our hands and feet and words and money and our love and more. 

He never gives us hopeless, it's-too-big-for-you, failed-before-you-even-started ministries.  He's not like that.

When we're doing what God created us to do, things get done. Accomplished. Healings take place. Needs of all kinds get met. People grow and learn how to keep growing and how to care for themselves. How to seek God for themselves, how to stay plugged-in. And then, how to care for others, themselves, so that all those caring ripples spread-out like rings in water, spreading far, farther, then everywhere.

We can do what we were created to do. Not just solely using our own gifts, true, but when God asks us to do things in addition to our callings? When He asks us to go other places where we feel not so gifted? He's right there, too, with all the Grace and provision and wisdom required--as long as we lean heavily upon His cloak.

And the knowing of these things should fill us with great hope and excitement! A desire to start changing our world today.

It's possible, you know. God, through each of us, longs to make a difference here on Earth. And that diffference will begin the moment we take a first step... and keep going... and going.


"Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires."  ... James 1:20

 "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  ... Galations 6:2

"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."  ... Mark 16:15



Terra said...

This post is a reminder to me that God equips us to give and to help, in big ways and in small, in our town and overseas, wherever He calls us. That giving brings joy.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense that if you are a good automobile mechanic you can't necessarily do a good job as a hair dresser. God also gives us our own special talents for His use and if we have those talents the tasks we are to do then would be within our range of comfort. Also we might do a better job at it than someone who is not given that particular talent. If He wants us to do something we are not sure is within our talents He can provide the assistance through his Grace. He has a plan. We have to be willing to be open to hearing when He needs us. I can't say I always have. I can't say I am even sure of my special calling or talents. I know one. Would there be more? How do I know or learn about them?As always I read and reread your posts and they stay with me and I keep rethinking on them and they do affect my life. Debra, thank you for using your God given calling Sarah