"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I am reposting this from Rob's blog. I am doing a little editing to highlight a few of the points I want to consider. If you want to read the whole unedited thing, go here.

This letter was emailed to a pastor friend of mine. He was given permission to share it and it so resonated with my spirit and what my soul feels, I asked for permission and was also given permission to publish it. I hope it impacts you too………
I was thinking about today’s message a lot, and wanted to share a story with you.
A few years back I was doing special music in a church in Indiana. The night before the church, and our family, had attended a very good concert. That night, as I lay in bed trying to relax and settle down, all my misgivings kept rearing their ugly heads. The concert we’d been to was soooo good, and there was no way I could compete. I was sure I’d look like a totally untalented novice. I wanted to cancel! But as I lay there arguing with God, He said something that’s stuck with me ever since. He reminded me that His purposes may or may not be the same as mine. What was my purpose? Well, to glorify Him, of course. Naturally, I wanted to do that with excellence and come out looking like a shining star in the process. Oh, wait … did I just say that? HA! He told me that night that I don’t need to worry about results, I just need to be obedient. He’ll fulfill His will, which may not look at all like mine, but it will be GOOD. (whether I see it or not) Maybe, just maybe, the only reason I was there was to completely mess up … and maybe through that, someone else would see and have HOPE that they could be imperfect, too, and still serve Him.
This lesson has served me well through the years. How FREEING to no longer worry about the results of our obedience! Who cares if the ministry “fails”? Who cares if we fall flat on our face? If we’re called to do it, that’s all we need to attend to! We can’t see the big picture …we have no idea what He could be doing through our supposed “mess ups”.

Someone once said to Brian, "God won't take us this far to let us fail." Really? Fail (mess up) in whose eyes? The world's or God's? There are plenty of times were we have seen (the world say that) people "mess up" and the result--the ALL of the good things that God works out is even more glory for God.
As you can imagine, this hits us in a way that maybe you can't understand; or maybe everyone I can, I don't know. What if...

A few years after this, the position as worship leader at Grace opened up. Honestly, I had NO experience. I’d never played an instrument. I’d sung some, rather poorly. Yet I felt called to submit a resume. I obliged, completely certain that God’s purpose was something OTHER than to put me in that position. On our music director’s last day, she showed me a D chord on the keyboard. Now keep in mind, I’d never played keyboard. I couldn’t even read bass clef! (still can’t, actually) Two weeks later I started leading services, on keyboard. About another month in, and I was officially offered the position, which I held for almost 6 years and from which was blessed immensly. And listen — I honestly had NO thought of actually getting this job … I only submitted that resume in obedience, thinking that maybe God wanted me to update it for some other reason. I obeyed, He worked, there was a need, He equipped me to respond. If I hadn’t been willing to obey in faith, imagine all I’d have missed out on? I know He would have found another … but I’m so glad I was given the opportunity!
The point is, when we learn to surrender our own purposes and simply obey, who knows the amazing good He might bring out of our lives?
I Peter 1:18-19 (one of my FAVORITE verses) says, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
I don’t want an empty life, I want a meaningful one.

And if we are truthful, it is really hard to get back to this point.

It is my prayer that this letter also did something inside of you! There are suffering people right now that are waiting right now for you. What’s your answer?

Honestly, I don't know. It feels a lot harder to say this time.

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