Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ministry of the Unnoticed

Blessed are the poor in spirit. — Matthew 5:3

The phrase we hear so often, “Decide for Christ,” is an emphasis on something Our Lord never trusted. He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him, a very different thing.

The thing I am blessed in is my poverty. If I know I have no strength of will, no nobility of disposition, then Jesus says — Blessed are you, because it is through this poverty that I enter His Kingdom. I cannot enter His Kingdom as a good man or woman, I can only enter it as a complete pauper. (Oswald Chambers)

Understanding my poverty...that I am nothing of myself. I have not earned the title of "Christian" or "Child of God." I cannot earn this. This is actually comforting because if I could earn it, if it were up to me and my abilities or my goodness to enter the Kingdom of God...I would surely fail. I must recognize this and understand my poverty. This poverty makes it impossible to decide for Christ, because being a Christian is really all about yielding to Him. (We are back on that "surrendering of our rights and allowing him to work" theme that the Lord keeps hammering home to me)

I know what I am, in and of myself, with decisions. I am not saying that I am a fickle person. No. Not at all. There are things that I have decided long ago. I have decided that I would not use drugs or alcohol. I have decided that I would never be unfaithful to my husband. I have decided that I would always pay my taxes. I have decided that I would never cheat or steal. I have decided that I would commit to being a part of a community of believers in a get the picture. I did decide to follow Christ when I was 14 years old. That was a decision and commitment. I don't think that is what Chambers is talking about here. I think he means that we are people. People who fail...who get side-tracked. Get busy and forget or don't bother to take the time for prayer and worship and study. We are people who disappoint others that we love because we are not perfect. If it was up to my power of consistent decision, I wouldn't make the cut.

Instead, I yield to him. It is a constant learning curve. Yielding is surrendering our trust in ourselves and our own ability to get us there and trusting instead in His ways of getting us there. I cannot control everything that happens on this earth. I cannot stop the storms from coming my way. I cannot stop the tsunami from hitting me blindside and turning my life upside down...wounding me. I cannot make others around me understand my struggles with a mood disorder. I choose to raise my children the best that I can possibly raise them, but I cannot ultimately decide for them how to live out their lives. I must yield to Christ. When it hurts, when my life is in pieces...and when everything is going great, I must yield to Him. (Sometimes the latter is actually the hardest time to yield to Him)

In yielding to Him in this way, we serve in the Kingdom of God in the best way. If we yield...we serve.

Which are the people who have influenced us most? Not the ones who thought they did, but those who had not the remotest notion that they were influencing us. (Chambers)

Who has influences me the most for Christ here on earth? Simply by yielding up their lives to the Lord and living for Him? A quick look at my memory: Mrs. M DeVries, Mrs. J DeVries, Mrs. M Lamberts, Mom and Dad, Mrs. Lowater, the O'Learys, J Rowell, R Chinnici, A Falke, C Lazenby, C Meitner, W Connell, G Pulver, B Miller....

On that list there are only 3 men. Not that men cannot have a godly influence on me...but it shows me how important it is for women to have other women in their lives. I think most of these people would be surprised to find themselves on the list. They are ordinary people. They lived ordinary lives. None of them are famous. I cannot help but wonder if I have been of any influence to anyone. I know that this devotional discourages us from wondering about that, but I do. Have I touched anyone? Have I made any difference?

We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.

I guess that I can atleast claim that I am commonplace, and perhaps by being so, Jesus can be at work in me and around me...and even through me.

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