One Small Part Of A Very Big Picture
My very dear friend, Lisa Bevere, wrote me these words after speaking at a women's conference last week:
"You have sown so well and so deeply into the life of this church...I pray I watered well what you've planted so carefully."
I was so overwhelmed by her words for so many reasons—especially because such a seasoned, international speaker and great mother in the faith did not need to write this to me.
CONVERSELY, I know she did because she authentically feels this way from deep within her core.
It is little wonder God has entrusted her with so much.
When she wrote these words, she wasn’t simply "patting me on the back," but rather acknowledging that we are all in this together. As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:7, "It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”
The more I travel and teach around the world, the more aware I am that what Nick and I do is just a small part of a much bigger eternal plan that is happening.
It is concerning when I read and hear of people who think "THEY" or "THEIR GIFT" is what everyone needs to see, and what will cause some miraculous breakthrough in an area. When people believe they themselves are the solution, they will over-step the boundaries God has placed them within, and into another’s field.
We are called to co-labor, and if God chooses to use us, then it is an honor and a privilege. We are definitely not the whole puzzle, rather just a small piece. God does not call us to compare, compete or leverage, but rather to complement and serve one another.
It is important for any of us who serve in someone else’s field to remember that whatever platform we are given actually existed before we ever arrived, and will continue long after we are gone. This is because of the faithfulness of those who have gone before us and will come after us. The steadfast labor of those in the trenches, day in and day, is what produces the fruit, not the "guest appearance" of a gift.
It is wisdom to remember the place and purpose in which you have been called. Thinking we are "the next big thing" or the "only thing" is actually very arrogant and prideful, and rarely produces any fruit that will remain.
There is only ONE big thing, and that is GOD.
In order for there to be sustainable, long-term, effective ministry, we must remember that it is God who gives us our gifts and talents; they are not for our own benefit, but to serve HIS purposes, build HIS body, and to give HIM glory.
If we all faithfully do our part, then it is GOD who will give the increase. It is not about "how big" the crowd is that we draw, "how many" follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or "what conference" we are invited to speak at; it is about God’s purposes being outworked on earth and His kingdom advancing.
We must remember that any strength we have is for SERVICE and not for STATUS. The fact that God would even allow us to play a part in His purpose is mind-boggling to me!
It actually has a whole lot LESS to do with us than we think...
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