Saturday, March 10, 2012
Going with it when God closes one door - and opens another
First, I'm sure you've had times in your life when things shifted in focus, in time requirements for various tasks, work load, and so on. In the last several months I've had such a shift, and it's only gotten bigger. I've been fighting to keep doing all the old things, in addition to the new, but - of course - it's just not working. In fact, it's been one of those times I've been praying for extra strength - only to finally realize God's not giving it to me because I'm trying to spend what strength I have on things He doesn't have me assigned to :-)
That's a common problem among those who are, or who actually aren't but still do consider themselves, "ministers". Because we buy into the human version of Jesus - instead of Jesus - and the human version of what makes "church" and what we and "church" are supposed to do - instead of Jesus' - we wear ourselves into the ground trying to get God's blessing on our own mountains of garbage and ridiculous self-portraits, instead of actually getting down to what God's assigned us to do. We're like school teachers who spend 90% of our time raising funds to open a bar across the street that we're going to call "We love teaching children!", and then we fall into burnout or cynicism - even while we continue trying to build the bar anyway - when it's hard to make it happen.
What I'm going through lately isn't that bad - though it was bad years ago when I still hadn't realized what a crock of stuff what our "Christian" culture calls "ministry" is, with all its church- and career- building and maintenance being put forth as foundational to "the work of God".
After I did realize what a crock that was, suddenly things got easier. Suddenly things were truly blessed, as evidenced not by the numbers of people I could get to sit in the pews I'd bought for fake Christians to sit their comfortable butts in each Sunday, but by the seeds of Jesus Christ I was dropping in people's lives, and by the Holy Spirit healing that was returning wounded people back to Jesus (instead of the fake "Church" that hurt them).
What God can do is really amazing, when we stop sucking on our own ego-juices, and start drinking from His (real) water of life. That's the blessing we get to really see, when we realize that this life truly is about GOD's plan - and not ours.
That being said, this "phase" of my life involves working 40+ hours a week helping emotionally and physically disadvantaged people in food, shelter, and - when possible - love and reality. People tell me I'm "really good" at it, and can do "unbelievable" things with these people, but what they don't know is that it's only "easy" because God's doing the work, and I'm just following along, being His hands, being His feet. Also what people don't know is that every pain I've suffered and survived in my earlier life, God helped me survive then, and God uses today to make me "safe" and "someone who understands" with these disadvantaged folks who need safety and someone to understand them.
God truly is amazing, in using all things to the good of those who love Him :-)
God also has put me in a position now to share His Good News - His REAL Good News - with even more local people who've been turned away or walked away from Jesus because of the evil choices and lives of "Good Religious People". God started me doing that years ago with wounded Gay people online, and then grew what He had me doing to include wounded straight people online. Then He began putting a few more people locally who needed that kind of help. All training me for more and more, apparently, because now it's wounded people all over the place. And now, what would have been too hard for me before is "easy", because God has trained me to get out of His way and let Him do it. Please, Lord, don't ever let me forget that lesson!
I'm wondering about YOUR life today, and how it fits in God's plan. Are you wasting the talents God's given you maintaining fake Christian church temples He has no plan for? Are you throwing away the strength He's providing you on creating or maintaining denominational garbage, even though that fits your plan, but not His? Are you hanging back, thinking your "Christian" duty is to throw some bucks in a collection plate each Sunday and sing some songs so you can go home feeling all "in touch with Jesus", even though you're actually just jiving on your own brain chemicals and ignoring the real work of helping your coworkers, neighbors, and friends see the real Jesus? Whether you consider yourself a "minister" or not, where is your ministry in God's plan?
Where, starting today, can you get out of God's way and start going with His plan, instead of ignoring His plan and going with one of your own that feeds your ego and feel-goods? I promise you that going God's (real) way isn't always pleasant or easy (in fact, sometimes it's ugly and takes everything you've got) - but it is always do-able and ultimately refreshing, when we let God provide the strength and wisdom we need.
For myself, what this means for this blog is that I'm going to continue to be here. But I'm going to be doing less organized study and more just sharing what's going on in my life, your life, and the world (when that can be done with complete privacy for those who aren't me, that is). And I'm going to do that when I have something along those lines to share, and not on any forced schedule (and again, I'll only share when doing so maintains people's complete privacy). I've worked with a lot of people online in the last several years - thousands, actually, who were searching for healing or seeking the real Jesus (even if they didn't realize yet that's what they were after). That will continue, but I can't do online ministry full time anymore with the more-than-full-time demands God's face-to-face work now makes of me.
I will still be here online. I will still answer every email I get. Each of you continues to be just as important to me as you were before. But when I'm posting here on this blog it will be to share what's going on in our lives, rather than creating something "official". That's it :-)
Continue to take care, letting God do the miracle of growing and making you part of His (real) plan as we get closer and closer to the really hard times Jesus said would come before He comes back. There are literally millions of good people out there who need to come to or back to the real Jesus Christ - a few of them are in your own life, right now, and God's got work for you to do! Are you loving them? Are you laughing with them? Are you crying with them? Are you helping to heal them?
In His love,
This article written by Lynne at http://NoJunkJustJesus.blogspot.com/. You can contact Lynne at NoJunkJustJesus@gmail.com.