Monday, October 27, 2014

Operating from God's Abundance over My Own Lack

A friend of mine asked me today how often I blog.  Well.....

Let's just say I'd like to post more.  I've got a lot to say, but not enough time to write, especially as I've been working on my book, revamped and retitled The Jesus Rule.  Plus, there was that little jaunt to the Middle East for a week with my husband and then I had to recover from jet lag....

At this moment, I'm eating a lean cuisine snack I found buried in the back of my freezer (because I need to go to the grocery store) amidst a desk cluttered with papers crying out to be organized, bills needing to be paid and Girl Scout forms to be completed.  The baby is asleep before school pick up (and we go to said grocery store) so instead of all that, I decided I would rather write this post, time or no. 

It's that, but I've also been processing this new/not new precept the Lord has been trying to teach me.  I guess you could say I've learned it some measure in my own life, but the Holy Spirit is trying to teach me how to live it, by faith, for others.  It isn't new, truly, it is the foundation for every abundant life in Christ.  It is the principle the Apostle Paul calls out in Philippians 4:19,

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  - Philippians 4:19

In 5 very different, very active scenarios, I've had the opportunity to very actively apply my faith.  It is that faith that believes He is the God Who supplies all my needs, so He can do it for others if I ask Him to.  As I've stayed with those the Lord brought into my life, I've seen the Hand of God, sometimes before I've even asked for it.

It has proven out two things:
1. The Lord knows what we need better than we do.
2. His methods are far more specific to meet those needs then what we know to ask for.

Before the most recent situations came to my attention and involvement, I had a dream I got pregnant, had the baby and immediately got pregnant again.  Meaning I would have five children!  In the dream, I bawled when I found out I was pregnant with the fifth.  I kept saying,

I can't handle any more, Lord!

That I'm now engaged in 5 different ministry activities is not lost on me.  It was a prophetic dream because that's the way I've felt a lot of times in the few weeks since these "God Assignments" have been offered.  When you step out in faith, you get more than you can handle because Jesus wants you to give it back to Him to handle.  He ALWAYS gives you more for the purpose of teaching you absolute dependence on Him and His resources.  I.E.: You are not supposed to do it by yourself!

This all started after Labor Day.  I was challenged by a friend at church to notice, engage and pray for the "invisible" people in our lives.  So one Tuesday, I pulled over (sans children) to talk with and pray for an older man who was panhandling. His name is John Lindsey and the sign he carries tells a lot of his story.  His need was/is money.  Social Security covers only half of what he needs to live, plus he has major medical issues.  We talked for awhile and I prayed for him, including claiming Philippians 4:19 for him.  In addition to the money I had in my wallet, I gave him my card.

During our conversation, I told him my church could help and I was confident we could.  The funny thing is, as I walked back to my car, I had a desperate, empty feeling in my gut.  I'd given him what I had, including my access to the Lord, including asking boldly for the Lord to meet his needs.  Now what?

I was confronted in that moment by my utter lack of ability to help John.  I was not in a position to support him beyond what I already had done.  I was very discouraged, when I expected the opposite to be true.  Aren't you supposed to feel good when you help someone?  I thought so, but I was mistaken.  Sometimes, a situation is too big, too complex for you to solve.  Here was the lesson to be learned.  I was so used to being able to help people out of my own resources and make a difference.

But, in this assignment, I was not going to be the one who made the difference.  I had to let Jesus be out in front on this one - not Amy.  If it was truly to be about Him, He had to do the work.  I had to ask and then I had to let go and let Him do it.  I had to acknowledge my very real lack of supply and to call on God's.

I had to trust the Lord would care for him.  So, when I got back to my car, that's what I prayed for. Ultimately, that is what happened, as after a few weeks later, he called me.

To make a long story short, My church did help him.  I've been keeping in touch and able to put him with a few other resources.  It's not anything earth-shattering, but it is helping, praise God.  I'm finding being an usher for the Kingdom of God is most often in the small details.  It is in being willing to be used by God for the betterment of someone else, so they will see His glory.

It is about trusting God, not myself.

In the other scenarios, I almost feel I am wearing my old recruiting hat - trying to match people up with the right Kingdom resource to help them get better and closer to Christ.  It is laughable, but enjoyable too.  We often think of ministry as focused, to one particular group of people.  I'm learning about all sorts of different resources, building up my knowledge and preparing for the future.  I know the Lord will use that at some point, but for now, my job is to learn.

Sometimes He gives me what to pray about and do.  Sometimes that discernment doesn't come so I rely on Peter's words from Acts 3:6, I have no silver or gold, but what I have, I give you.

In those moments, I give what I know - my access to Christ in prayer.   It doesn't seem like much - when we pray for someone.  But in those moments, I have to trust it is what the Lord would have me do - to introduce them and their needs, so He can take over providing.  And if we stop reading there, we might miss the enormous impact of that supernatural introduction.

That's not the end of the story though.

After Peter speaks those words, he heals a man crippled from birth.  Peter presented his power in Christ, to heal and restore, and that is what happened.  It happens still.  I believe the Lord is gently preparing me, you and the American Church at large to witness and perform those types of miracles.  It is already happening everywhere else around the world.  When we give what we have, when we rely on Him, trust Him to fill in what feel like gaping chasms of need, He will and miracles abound!

I'm not sure how, I'm not sure when but I believe He will meet your deepest need.  He has more than enough for all of us, so I pray we start asking for it.  We don't receive because we don't ask - as the Apostle James so wisely pointed out.  And don't just ask for the obvious, not just for the safe.  Ask for the big stuff, for the miraculous.  Ask for His perfect and pleasing will of healing, redemption, restoration and salvation in the lives of people you know.  

Let's see what happens when we start, asking in faith, not hedging our bets.  God loves it when His people go out on a limb.  He loves to shower blessing when His people seek it from Him, from His overflowing stores houses of Heaven.  Let's not just pray

If it is Your will....

But rather

We want Your will, Lord!

Ask Him to supply our needs and do His will in us and around us in remarkable ways and watch what starts to happen!

No comments: