The intention of this blog is just to share with you the way God works in my everyday life. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Words of Significance

At the beginning of the year, KLove-a Christian radio station, encouraged their listeners to select a word for the year. I didn't go to their website, or fb page to post mine, but the word "covenant" kept ringing in my ears. Since that time, I feel that the Lord has spoken to me in single words. He will impress a word upon my heart, and then the lesson begins. Some of the words have all different aspects, some of which I may never learn, but I pray I will. I think this became so interesting to me when I realized that the Bible has different Greek or Hebrew meanings for a single one of our English words. When you see the word rejoice, such as in "rejoice and be glad," it means to leap for joy.

The word, love, I have learned can be two possible terms. There may be more, but these are the two that I am aware of: agape (ah-gah-pay) & phileo (fah-lay-o). Agape is Godly love. And since God is love, this is love in its truest and most sincere form. The purest, realist, most complete love. Unconditional love. Phileo love is brotherly love.

Back to my word for 2011, covenant. When I think of covenant, I think of more than a promise. I think of a binding agreement. A document with the King's seal. Something that is ventured into with complete surrender and not even a fleeting thought of not following through or even a doubt of whether you'll be able to keep your word. You make a covenant promising as if it has already happened. You are more than determined to keep your word, it is as if you are saying, "Consider it done."

Balance is another good one. I feel that balance is one of the main keys to a healthy, happy life of service to the Lord. I think many times we feel pushed to do things that we are not ready to do. Whether we are condemned by others, driven by our own guilt, or our self esteem or need for approval, we are not always driven to serve by a call. This is what I have learned and it may only hold true for me, but it is a guideline I live by:

There are things that we are asked to do, and there are things we are called to do. Once we are called, by the Lord, or by a need in ministry, our first step should be to pray. When we pray, we are seeking the Lord's direction. If there is no time to pray, if the answer must be immediate, it should be no. Now, let me make this clear. If it is a commitment, it should be no. No life changing decision needs to be made on a whim. If you get to church and you are asked to be in the nursery for that particular service, I think we should probably say yes, unless we have made a previous commitment.

If the call comes for anything that is going to require continual service and commitment, we should always consult the Lord before we decide. "A need does not constitute a call."-Beth Moore, Breaking Free. If you are asked to become Sunday School Superintendent, you need to seek God's will. Has God ever answered you in haste? I mean, when we pray about something, how often to we get a quick answer to our prayer? For myself, it seems as though all the answers I seek come just in the nick of time. We get to the eleventh hour, and when we are just about to give up hope, He says, "Oh, by the way, here's the answer to your question."

So, my conclusion to that is that God encourages us to take our time in making decisions so we'll know if we're doing it to bring Him glory, or ease our minds, or make us look good, or make us feel good. Our goal should always be to bring Him glory, and sometimes we can knock out the person fit for the job in our haste to be a good servant. Or a "good Christian."

Twice in the last month I have been asked to do two separate, completely different ministries at my church. Both times I have declined, and I have absolute peace about it. I honestly believe it was a test. Sometime before, I felt that I was called to women's ministry. When this came about, in my prayers, I felt the Holy Spirit specifying "Women's" Ministry. Not Children's Ministry. Not the Jail Ministry. Not Visitation. Women's Ministry.

Shortly thereafter, I was asked to serve in a children's ministry that would be a pretty long commitment, and would be during the Sunday night service. I agreed to pray about it, and almost immediately, I felt the Spirit whisper, "Women's Ministry."

We don't have to take on everything coming and going. We sometimes convince ourselves that "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I really don't think that meant we had to do ALL things and that we'd still be able to make supper, get the dishes washed, the kids bathed and in bed, read an extra chapter or two in the Bible before bed, spend time with our husbands, and then have a perfectly restful night's sleep only to wake up at 5am to work out, put a casserole in the oven for a church member who recently had surgery, get showered and apply full make-up and style our hair, wake the kids up and lay out their clothes. After making sure the kids have had a full course breakfast, packed their lunches, checked their homework, we gas up before picking up the other three kids we drive, all the while we have praise music blasting in the mini van while we referee arguments and try to give a daily pep talk. Once the kids are dropped off to the elementary, middle and high schools, we stop by the neighbor's to walk their dog for them while they're on vacation then we notice that our husband forgot both his briefcase and lunch this morning, so we run by our husband's office to drop it off to him. We put in our "drive-time devotional" cd, to work God in there somewhere, and head to the church to make copies for AWANA that night, dropping of the casserole on the way. While at the church, we manage to volunteer for two other ministries, and end up cleaning up the dishes in the kitchen that the last group seemed to have missed. On the way home, we run in the store to get milk and bread and pick up some extras for tonight's supper. We make it home with an hour to spare before we have to pick the kids up and manage to throw a load of towels in the washer while we iron the kids clothes for church that night. But, don't we feel good! And won't our rewards be aplenty once we get to our final resting place! Ahhh, resting place. It has a nice ring to it. One day when all the stress of this life is over, we'll be at rest.

Is that balance? You know in the Bible there are times (come unto me, and I will give you rest) when the Lord talks about rest in the sense of "Sabbath rest." We are meant to live abundant lives. Happy Lives. Peaceful Lives. It's not a contest to see how much we can do. It is putting our best effort into what we've been called for, not what we feel obligated to do, or guilted into doing.

Those are just a few of the words that have been going through my mind. Words that the Lord has used to impact my life. There are more, but I'll save those for another day.