It has been a long time since I've shared my thoughts. These have been my thoughts as of late. I just returned from my 3rd missions trip to Poland. I led a group of 9 people this time. I had each person give me a verse that described what led them to missions. We later when on to look at each of those verses a little more in depth. The verses that I chose were Philippians 2:1-7. The first 4 verses say this:
"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion,then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
I chewed on these verses for a month. What they reminded me of was something we had talked about in Sunday School in the first quarter of this year. If we believe in the grace that has been given to us, why do we not use that grace as a motivator to tell others of the grace that only Christ can provide? That study was based in Ephesians 1. For the verses above, Paul puts it pretty simply. If we have been given all of these things through freedom in Christ, why are we sitting around holding on to that which he wants us to share? This life isn't about how to better ourselves. That's the trap Satan wants us to fall into. He wants us to focus on ourselves. If he can get us focused on that, we will continue to be lukewarm in our walk, and we will be "spit out" and "cut off" as a branch that bears no fruit. The problem is that we don't realize the gravity of the situation. We tell ourselves that we will do it tomorrow. It's not a priority in our lives. It falls behind our jobs, our vacations, soccer practice, and even our Sunday time of fellowship. We've put so much stock in the schedules that we've set for ourselves because we've spent so much time creating them. It leaves no room for God and the purpose He has for our lives. We fit God into the few minutes we can spare for Him. Maybe that's daily, weekly, or monthly. Either way, something needs to change. We sit around listening (like I am now) to Christian songs that call us to make a difference in this world. We even sing along. But do we believe that we can live out the words, or are we just listening to Christian music because that's what Christians do? Heck, it's just music. What about the call in the Holy Word? I'm not saying that you have to move around the world to obey the call (although I believe global ministry should be a part of it). What I am saying is that we all need to shake things up a bit. What is important in your life? Are you willing to share about your freedom with your family, those around you, the un-reached around the world? Does that call reach beyond our jobs, vacations, soccer practice, and fellowship time? My challenge to myself and those who read this is this. Stop looking at the Holy Spirit's tug as the greener grass on the other side of the fence. Get a ladder, grab the bolt cutters, get a truck for all I care. Climb over, cut, or mow that fence down to get to that greener grass. Joshua and Caleb saw the greener grass. They didn't care about the fence between. It's what God had for them, and they were ready to plow through that fence. We are God's children, and our purpose is to grow the family. Get out there and start planting, watering, and harvesting the seeds as He provides the opportunities.