Thursday, June 21, 2012

Five Areas to Evaluate before Him so I won't "Look Back" but will "Press On"

“Come, follow me.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9

I love the word of God. It is exactly what I need in my life, without it I would be nuts and if you know me you really know that's the truth! I was thinking yesterday how much I love/hate it when God teaches me from His word and through my relationship with Him. I love it because I never want Him to be "finished" with me. I want Him to keep working, but when I realize my heart needs work sometimes it feels just like when the bible says the word is "sharper than a two edged sword." The depth of the work Christ needs to do on my heart hurts sometimes and hurts deeply although it is always always worth it in my life. 

Luke 9 was a cross reference to the Philippians 3 verses I was studying this morning. And I read, "Come follow Me" and loved the Life App's take on it and wondered practically what keeps me from "looking back" or abandoning the work Christ has given me. I realize the correct answer to this question is that Christ alone keeps me going in ministry but I also thought through some practical things that keep me going in ministry.

I realize I am young in ministry but the longer I am in ministry the more I admire people who stick this ministry thing out for the long haul. It is hard and much worth it work. I make this list for myself from my time with the Lord for me to offer these things to the Lord for Him to tell me what I need to do with more dependance on Him etc. 

So with all of that said, I feel like the Lord gave me 

Five areas to evaluate before Him in helping me not "look back" but instead to "press on":

1) Time Alone with God

A must. I heard this quote somewhere and don't know where it came from but it says, "You cannot minister to others if you are always with people." I have to be filled with Christ in order to be able to pour into others, otherwise the ministry depends on my own strengths and abilities instead of the overflow of Christ in my life. Christ was our ultimate example in this area. 

And early in the morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.  
Mark 1:35

2) Priorities

I am constantly having to reevaluate my priorities. I could spend the entire day on the phone trying to talk with people or texting people in need but then my family and especially my girls would not get the attention they need or deserve from their mama. To me this is such a touchy subject, the Lord directs each family and person differently. I know for myself, that making sure my priorities are in order: Christ, my husband, my children, my ministrys, etc takes me asking the Lord to show me where I need to change constantly. 

But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you. 
Matthew 6:33

3) Seeking the things above.

If I don't keep my eyes on things above, I will get weighed down with so much whether it be how wicked the world is, bad things happening, people I love hurting, church drama etc. My only hope to keep the right perspective is to look vertical and not focus intently on the horizontal, remembering that God has a plan for good (Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28.) This is NOT easy for me, I can so easily get wrapped up in the horizontal and don't get me wrong the horizontal relationships and life need my attention and time but in the midst of these things the bible is clear as to where my mind should abide.

Set your minds on things above and not on things of this earth, for you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 
Colossians 3:1

4) People

We are made for community. I must make time to spend time with other Christian ladies who encourage me in my walk with the Lord. This rejuvenates and encourages me.  

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 
Hebrews 10:24,25

5) Rest

God made of creatures who need rest. We must have it so we are refreshed for the task ahead. For me, I tend to feel guilty when I rest. This is a lie from the enemy that rest is bad, without it comes burn out therefore it is so important and any kind of guilt is not of the Lord! (Romans 8:1)
The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”...
Mark 6:30,31

 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27

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