I had a close and dear friend come into town today. I always love just sitting down and chatting with him; he is such an encouragement to me and my walk with God. We need fellow brothers and sisters like him. We need the body of Christ there lifting us up, challenging us, convicting us; that is what the church is called to do. Don’t ever think that you were meant to go through life alone. Of course Jesus is always with you, but He gave the church to be a true blessing here on earth; embrace it in joy.
So as we sat outside Starbucks with our pumpkin spice lattes, we proceeded to talk about what God was doing in our lives. I find it interesting that in Acts the church founders did this often: they would gather and share what miracles God was doing through them on their missional endeavors. We should emulate this action. Sharing what God is stirring in your heart edifies the whole body of Christ.
The unique situation my friend and I were in was very interesting. I started by sharing my frustration: I was in a place where I was seeking to minister without a title. For most of my life, I always had a stage or title to minister; I always had an outlet to disperse the truths that God was revealing to me. Now, in my time of humility, it is hard to stay peaceful in my pursuit of God’s truth. In layman’s term: I felt as if I was building up all this knowledge of God, but I had no one to share it with; I had no one to edify.
My friend on the other hand was seeking the balance of professional ministry and personal nourishment. He was in a place where He is always cranking out lessons and sermons, that He almost didn’t have time to just rest peacefully in the truths of God. Ministry is hard, and all who have even experienced it for a season knows what I am talking about. He then went on to share that he was envious of my position, and I replied that I was envious of his.
I saw the situation as this: my friend was in a position of intense pursuit, while I was in a position of resting peace. Sometimes I get so caught up in the next thing I am going to do for God, that I forget to see the blessing of peace that God has given me today. I was living with the wrong perspective. I need not focus on the tomorrows of my faith; I need to live for God today within the context and culture He has sovereignly placed me in.
Especially for Christians seeking full-time ministry in a church or non-profit organization, staying personally nourished in your walk with God is vital, but the danger on the other side of the spectrum is that is hard to stay passionate about the truths of God when one does not have an outlet for the rivers of joy being birthed in one’s soul. But I know someone needs to hear this other than myself: Thank God for this time of intense nourishment He has blessed you with. Do not get caught up in your inability to minister like Francis Chan or write books like C.S. Lewis, but take this time to bulk up your faith. Every giant in the Christian faith has had time for ferocious study before sharing it to the world, take these days to do the same. Sit still in preparation for what God is preparing you for; do not take this time for granted.
This is the paradox of the Christian life. Never cease to pursue God, but never forsake the blessing of peace and the times of serenity. Of course I am not promoting that one ever stops ministering, but don’t strain for the permission and title to do so.