Personal blog detailing the perspective of life and ministry that Christ Jesus my Savior has given me.
I recently had the privilege of passing the one year anniversary of my family's time here at BPS El Paso. It is truly hard to believe that this year has passed. I can say with all assurance that God has blessed my family and I in so many ways. We truly love this ministry and dream of all the things that God will accomplish through this ministry. When I surrendered to missions at the age of 14, I could never have anticipated being where the Lord has allowed me to be. I am thankful for His hand of guidance and blessing.
As I spent some time reflecting on the last year, the Lord brought to my mind several lessons that He has been able to teach me. While there certainly are more lessons learned than space to share them, I wanted to pass on a few lessons that may be a help to others.
1. While I may not have been a part of the past, I am responsible for dealing with it. - I am sure for many of us, decisions made or words spoken previously have certainly affected us in some way. In coming into a new ministry, there may be statements made like "That co-worker said 'this'..." or "Someone did 'this' to me". If you have ever been there, part of you just wants to say, "Deal with it! I don't have time to think about something I wasn't here for." However, those involved may never have been taught how to properly deal with it. Often times, the person you are working with now may simply need to have some training on how to handle hurt or what was done in the past. Remember that we as leaders are responsible for helping people become what God wants them to become, not tell them to "Get over it!" The sooner I can help them grow, the sooner God can use the ministry and the team to accomplish more.
2. Nothing will be accomplished in ministry without God and His power. - I look back at the previous responsibilities I had and I can tell you that it is very easy to get caught up in performing the work of the ministry instead of daily walking with Christ and allowing Him to use me. When ministry is going well, it is easy to step back and recognize our abilities as the reason for success. That is when ministry is going well. But sometimes you do not have the opportunity to be in a place where everything is going smoothly. When I moved to El Paso, I suddenly realized that I had changed to a different ministry. The responsibilities, burdens, and issues to take care of now were so much greater than they were before. I realized very soon that my abilities were not enough. The greatest realization for any person in ministry is that God is the ONLY one who provides success in ministry. What I thought was sufficient in me was soon exposed to be wholly inadequate. It was the power of Christ that was needed to see the ministry grow. I also realized that I had nothing to do with the success in my previous ministry. God was doing it all! While dreams and plans are great, relying on God's power is the best way to accomplish success in ministry.
3. We fail to see God work more often, because we fail to seek Him each day. - This lesson was one that I was not prepared for. I had always prayed and studied God's Word. I had always desired to see God work. But I quickly learned that I truly did not seek God like I should have. After serving on these missions trips for the last year, I have been overwhelmed by how incredible our God is! Sure, I knew He was incredible before. Of course, I heard messages on it. But until you get to the spot where you live it everyday and fervently seek His presence, you will not see God work! We too often get caught up in the everyday events without ever realizing that it is God that is guiding each day. We look for the great Bible miracles, yet we miss the everyday miracles that He provides for us. Over time, we march through ministry like robots instead of walking with Him in a loving relationship. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be alone in the desert. Because of that, I have been able to see my Lord even greater!
4. Pray for everything and record it all! - I truly cannot express this enough--if you want to know God better, PRAY! As this last year unfolded, I quickly learned that prayer is the greatest weapon in our spiritual arsenal. When I moved down here, there were several things that were in a negative place. I was overwhelmed! For the first time in a long time, I began to get more and more discouraged. The problem was not that God had left me, but rather I was filled with pride and failed to talk with Him. So I began to study His Word more and found that the greatest characters in the Bible prayed often and fervently. I read of Nehemiah who "beseeched" God three times in Nehemiah 1. I found that David "inquired of the Lord" when He needed wisdom. You look throughout Scripture and when the people of God had need of something, they went to God in prayer. So, I did. Time and time again I found my Savior was all-sufficient! He continued to not only meet needs, but reveal more of Himself through that provision. The next step for me was to write it all down. Take your daily requests and record them. Then, once they are answered, write the date and response. For me, this took my daily walk to a whole new level! I began to be more thankful to Him. I began to be more mindful of His working in my life and in this ministry. I began to see God even greater--and the greater I see Him, the more I tell others of Him. Make sure you record all that He is doing for then you will grow in ways you have never dreamed.
While these lessons are certainly only the surface of all that God has taught me this past year, they are four of my favorites. I do not know what they will mean to each reader. All I know is that my walk with Christ and the ministry I serve in has been forever changed because of these lessons. Do not go through life or ministry without looking back and seeing all that God is trying to teach you.