If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Please read pages 72 through 75 in Made For This.
The word I chose for 2020 is awaken, but the word flourish is a word that has been especially meaningful over the past few months. God has placed in my heart a strong desire to help the Body of Christ become healthy; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This is a calling that was born out of my own crisis.
I realized very early in our own journey to healing that I wasn't going to be able to continue "stuffing" long time hurts, disappointments, or unmet expectations. If I was going to be helpful in mending our marriage, I was going to need all of my abilities. I simply didn't have the energy to to hide, cover, and pretend. Whenever I wasn't operating in healthy patterns, I always did more harm than good even though I really thought my ideas and thought processes were in line with God's Word. It turns out the state of our heart actually does affect our contribution to the world, and the brokenness of the world has done a number not he state of our hearts.
Ladies, we need for God's people to be as well as possible, because it's exhausting to be all in for anything. So, how do we flourish in a way that invites others to flourish with us? I think the answer lies in Jennie's encouragement to come to terms with our thorns.
What if we just ran despite our thorns and our sin and let God straighten us out as we go? We can't wait until our sin is gone before we run, or we never will. We have to fight as we run. (page 75)
Our stories are messy and extremely imperfect. I don't think for one second that God is asking us to "stuff" those stories, to forget about them, and get on with spreading the Gospel. I believe we find the graciousness of God as we come to terms with the imperfections of our story. Then, we are more able to begin mission with pure motives. Our egos can't get in the way when we have a healthy view of who we are, how far we've come, and how much more work Jesus has to do in our own hearts.
Let's run to share the Gospel with Jesus.
Let's fight to keep our motives and egos pure before God and man.
Then, let's patiently settle in for the long race. Pure devotion isn't in a rush. God's doing more than we could ever know even when we don't yet see the fruit.
Now, respond to Jennie's thoughtful questions on page 76. Then, please spend time reading Paul's words in Galatians 1: 16-24. Remember, if anyone had reason to serve with an ego, it's was Paul. However, Paul never forgot what Christ saved Him from. With pure motives, He proclaimed, imitate me as I imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
God, let this be our plea, our mission, our only goal. Give us the freedom, the clarity, and the pure desire to imitate our Savior, Jesus, and encourage as many others to join us as possible. I believe it's the only way. Save us from our ego. It is such a trap and always gets in the way. Oh, how our Enemy knows He can derail our mission in a heartbeat by simply tying up all of our thoughts and emotions with ourselves; our hurt, our pain, our disappointments OR our victories, successes, and talents. Pull the veil from our eyes the instant our vision moves from You to anything else. Make us healthy in YOU.