I have done many things in the name of ministry and changed so much while I'm doing it.
What exactly does it mean to do ministry especially when we travel across the world? What does it look like when you go somewhere to bring the gospel of peace and serve others? Every ministry will tell you their programs or projects and those are different for us all because we have certain talents that God uses to bring glory to His name.
When I left for full-time Ministry in 2011 to go live in South Sudan I had so many ideas about how I was going to help. Some of those came true, some were crushed and some were never attainable.
"The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.' "
As I have been walking this path that He is leading on I allow Him to move me where He wants, sometimes kicking and screaming, but that happens less as time passes.
Things like a breast cancer battle or evacuating from your place of ministry seems opposing to a blessed life. But really God allows these storms to strengthen us and continue to move us forward into a person that more resembles Jesus.
How do we measure if they are His doors we have gone through? What is the gauge that we stand next to and say 'maybe I'm doing it right'?
Jesus Christ is that gauge!
Are we becoming more Christlike everyday?
Are we submitting more to His will then our own?
Are we loving the unlovable?
Do we go to the places He calls us to go even when it is one of the hardest things we have ever done?
Do we ask during and after the storms, "Lord what is it that you want me to learn at this time?"
One of my life verses that really struck me deeply in 2010 when I was preparing to become a full-time missionary is this:
JESUS INSTRUCTS "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." MATT 6:33-34
How do we seek His kingdom and righteousness so that we do not worry about the everyday things that come our way?
I have learned for myself that only a life grounded in daily (sometimes every minute) prayer and reading His Word then seeking to be led by the Holy Spirit so we are living the holy life which his Word teaches us and most importantly loving God first can accomplish!
I can say that I have learned to seek Him and that I rarely worry. But when I recognize that I am worrying I quickly give it to God and He removes my worries!
This did not happen in one day. He has been moving me towards what He would like me to be for the 15 years that I've known Him and told Him it is His life and not my own any longer.
You see I lived the 'fun' life of doing my own thing for my own pleasure until I was 42 years old. This life left me empty and without purpose, always worrying.
Now I am free to follow Him as His ambassador in chains! It is a wonderful freedom that truly takes away your fears and worries!
And He will not stop correcting and changing me because I keep seeking him and allowing him to go into those places that are not lovely and reveal them to me.
We must have teachable and correctables hearts! His word says two very important things; who the Father loves He disciplines and iron sharpens iron.
Sometimes His moving us forward comes from revelation of our own actions in light of the Word. Sometimes it actually comes from messing up and even hurting other people. And sometimes it comes from the people around us letting us know what they see.
So wherever you may be in your walk with the Lord please keep seeking him and allowing him to change you.
We all have a mission field the Lord will lead us to if we are willing. For some it is in there own home being Christ to their families, for some it is in leadership in their own church, for some it is by being a living examples of Jesus in their workplaces and for some it's going across the world to serve Him in the hardest places. Shine where you are!
Let the loving companion, Jesus Christ our Savior, be the One who leads you where you should go!