Personally, one of the areas God challenged me in is how I serve him. When I am serving the people I lead out of the obligation of his call on my life in ministry, I burn out. To be honest, it happens like a roller coaster for me. For awhile I serve out of my love for him. Then I start carrying the burdens of others on my own shoulders and quickly, my motives of service are to help others, or to not let people down, or because I can't say no, or just because I know it is what God has asked me to do. Let me tell you, strength does not last long when focus is lost. This week God so lovingly and gently reminded me that I love him deeply. I love spending time with Jesus, singing to him, talking to him. It is sweet. That alone is my motivation for working for him. With my focus on my love for him, his love for me, and his love for others, boundaries fall nicely into place. I take my junk to Jesus and ask others to take their junk to Jesus, too. It works beautifully! His love really does make it worth it all!
As a community, 53 of us met to pray on Friday night. Chad and I have talked that it was probably the most spiritually powerful event that Second Mile has had to date. People showed up ready to pray and worship the Most High. Definitely, the Spirit showed up to guide us in speaking to him and worshipping him. I don't know if I've ever heard a group of people sing, "Your Name is glorious, glorious" more loudly. Completely powerful doesn't do justice to the intensity of the night.
Each time we gather to pray we incorporate times of silence to listen to God. The times are always short, and gradually we will grow in the discipline of sitting quietly as a community, but God speaks to us, even in the couple of minutes that we sit and wait. Through the time of sharing what God may be speaking to us, the theme was rich and God-focused... "He is able to do more than we ask or imagine. Don't limit God! Thank and praise him for what the future work he will do! He has blessed us with many gifts. We should be intentional, out of our comfort zones with discernment!" I'm so thankful that God hears us and responds. He is a personal God even though he is holy, just, and huge.
Whatever it is that God will have us do in this city, I know it will take sacrifice in a way we haven't yet experienced. I believe we are becoming a church who prays which will require a sacrifice of intentionality. I know we are becoming a church who unashamedly worships which will require the sacrifice of self. I hope we are becoming a church who boldly proclaims the gospel which will require the sacrifice of reputation. I pray we are becoming a church who sees change in Tucson which will require a sacrifice of time and money. There is no other way than to be a church who is completely Christ focused which will require the sacrifice of our whole lives. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Phil 3:7-11
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Eph 3:20-21
If you are willing, please leave a brief comment in response or about what God spoke to your heart over the last week. Let's encourage one another in sharing some ways God teaches us. We give him glory for what he is doing in our community!