Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfulness: Developing God's Heart

This season I am thankful for all of the usual things: my amazing family, my friends that God has so lovingly provided, my new ministry in Mexico, his providence in caring for me, my churches in Temecula and Porvenir, and for the daily blessings God uses to love on me. But I am also thankful for the huge heart change that God has wrought in my life. If you haven't read my post about Haiti (called The Important One) than this might not make much sense but I hope I can get my point across either way. These past few months God has been showing me what it looks like to have His heart for the world. I thought I had that figured out but He has been showing me that I don't really have a heart for the world in the way He does. Here is a letter I wrote that should explain it better:

---- "You said that I came to Mexico to develop ‘Your Heart’ Lord. This weekend at Shipwrecks you told me that to do that I need to have a bigger heart for people’s souls to match my passion for meeting their temporal needs. You showed me that in order to truly understand your heart I need to understand the cross... I need a heart for the lost to start developing your heart for the world. As far as head knowledge goes, I know what you sacrificed. I understand how much physical pain you went through. I know how much sin you had to bear. But I don’t really understand it. I can read about it all I want but until I see it in life I can’t grasp it. My salvation is still just a concept to me and I don’t quite see the gravity of your sacrifice. I take it for granted to the point of not truly desiring your salvation for everyone.

Except for today when you gave me a glimpse of where I would be without your grace. Without your grace I would be a hot mess. Without something higher to live for I would be chasing after all sorts of things that would destroy me and disappoint me. Why do I choose to not chase after sin? Why do I choose to redirect my thoughts when I am distracted from you? Why do I become patient without a husband instead of being frustrated? Because of my salvation and because I have something to live for other than my sins. I have your grace, your guidance, and your plan to rely on. I have your kindness and love that surpasses all worldly relationships and I have your promptings in my life to focus on you and follow you. Without these things I would be beyond frustrated with not getting to follow my plans to the point of living for myself and giving into sin more than I should. Thank you for saving me, for choosing me to be in your flock. Thank you for protecting me from myself and from a dark empty life. Thank you for helping me see, in this small way, how your large sacrifice affects my life and how hard my days would be without you in them. Help me transfer this gratitude to a passion for telling others about your love." ----

God may have taken away Haiti in my future or he may be giving it back to me. Either way I can see now why I need to follow Him no matter where he sends me. He has given me salvation! I can't desire for other people to know him enough. And yet I forget about the darkness people live in without Christ. That is what he wants to develop in me: eyes to see people's spiritual needs over their temporal ones and a heart to have compassion on those without Christ. I need to be broken for those who do not know the saving love of God, Haitian or not. I need to give Christ my whole life to be used how he can use it best to bring people to Him. I am ready to be sent wherever He desires, and that is huge. I am so thankful that He has shown this to me this season and I hope he will continue to work on me to develop His heart in my life.

Quotes That Spoke to Me on This Topic:
“Now, in my extreme weakness, I glimpsed what I would feel like all the time apart from His compassion and indulgent care. Under these circumstances, I faced poverty and absolute need for Him to work.” –Jean Fleming (“Feeding Your Soul,” pg 96)

“I feel there are two things it is impossible to desire with sufficient ardor—personal holiness, and the honor of Christ in the salvation of souls.” –Rev. W.C. Burns (“50 People Every Christian Should Know,” Warren Wiersbe, pg 83)

“It is a solemn and most momentous truth that our every act in this present life—and our every omission too—has a direct and important bearing both on our own future welfare, and on that of others. And as believers, it behooves us to do whatsoever we do in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Very early in the course of His ministry, the Lord Jesus taught His people that they were to be the light—not of Jerusalem, not of Judea, nor yet of the Jewish nation, but—of the world. And He taught them to pray—not at the heathen, who use vain and unmeaning repetitions; nor yet as the worldly-minded, who ask first and principally (if not solely) for their own private benefit and need: “For,” said He, “your father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him.” After this manner therefore pray ye:
“Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done: as in heaven, so in earth.”
And it was only after these petitions, and quite secondary to them, that any personal petitions were to be offered. [...] Instead of honoring Him with the first-fruits of our time and substance, are we not content to offer Him the fragments that remain after our own supposed need is supplied?” (“China’s Spiritual Need and Claims,” Hudson Taylor, pg 3)

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