It has been two years now since I came back here in the Philippines (October 2010) after doing missions work in a creative access nation. It is very encouraging to know our ministry there has been consistently growing since I left. Three (3) locals from that country already received ministry training, are now part of the leadership team there. They are slowly taking the baton of leadership of our church in that nation. The ministry has grown so much and the locals were able to come up with great strategies in reaching out to their fellow natives.
Whenever I’m asked to share about my experiences when I was still in that foreign country, I often find myself answering one common question, What are the very valuable lessons have I learned? And here is the same answer I give to everyone. If you’ interested, please keep reading.
“It’s more than what you want to do for God , It’s what God is doing IN , ON and THROUGH your life.” If there’s one big lesson I’ve learned throughout the years of my stay in that nation, it’s this one.
I could share a lot about my experiences, stories and many lessons learned , but if I could sum it up in one statement, I’ll give you the same answer. God is more interested in our being more than our doing.
Why? You might ask.
Because most of the time, we tend to set our eyes on ourselves, our skills sets, talents, gifting, strengths and weaknesses. we give more of our attention, resources and energy on what we want or what we think we are capable of doing.
There are a lot of things we know can do for God such as…
-Missions, OUTreach, INreach, Evangelize, Share , Preach, One to One
-Ministry, Volunteer, Music, Ushering, Food , Service, etc
-Devotion, Prayer, Intercession, Worship, Warfare, Tithes, Generosity, Attending church
Etc. etc. etc.
Now before I continue, let me tell you right away, I believe all of these things are good and I encourage everyone to do most of them. We have to know that they are evidences or outcome of a healthy relationship with God.
But we must not be the starting point; Who we are , what we have done or we what we are capable of doing.
The starting point should be Jesus Christ.
It’s all about Jesus and for his Glory to revealed. It’s all about Jesus and never about us.
The rest are outcomes, results, overflow, evidences of His presence and power in our lives.
I realized, every time I am asked with such question, I have the opportunity to either glorify myself and the ministry I’ve been part of. It’s either Jesus or me, myself and I.
We will all face the same temptation of bragging about our accomplishments, identify ourselves with them, and also, a possibility of “settling down”, thinking “I’ve done such a great job” already, We’ve reached the quota, if we’ve been part of the church for quite sometime already.
Our starting and ending point has to be, none other God.
If we focus our attention on Him and what he is doing, we will see greater things unfolding right in front of our eyes 360 degrees, everywhere we turn to.
IN – God is more concern with what is happening inside of us, than our performance before him. He didn’t call us in a performance-based relationship, He called us to be in His loving arms, in His family as one of His children.
Stop for a while, think of what the Lord has been teaching you, are there impressions of things He wants you to learn.
It could be that He is ….
teaching you to trust in him more,
increasing your faith in Him,
calling you closer to himself to have a deeper relationship with Him.
jealous of something or someone taking His throne in our lives.
ON – God has called us to be part of His family, we are His sons and daughters and not just slaves and servants. (Yes we are with some perspective but I we could be hearing that a lot of times already that we don’t usually remember who we are aside from “servants of Christ”, “slaves of righteousness” etc.
When we get to understand this, it will liberate us from “trying hard” and being pressured to do good because we think we need to perform better , act or behave in such a way that He will be pleased so we could get what we want from Him. To gain His favor, protection and blessings.
Sometimes, God wants us to just receive Him into our lives and all His benefits will just follow. He reminds that He is not a “Power- trip God”, that n His eyes we are valuable and highly favored, His blessings are upon us, His children. We are loved.
THROUGH – But wait there’s more! Unlike the salesman in a mall giving you an offer with a product he is assigned to sell, we don’t do what we are doing or about to do because we think we will be rewarded, because we know we will get a good pay or salary out of our good performance, we get to do things because of His love overflowing through us.
He doesn’t end with us and ourselves, This relationship with God, this intimacy with Jesus in its healthiest way, will break us out of ourselves , out of our comfort zones for others to experience and know more of who Jesus is. We get to share him to our friends , relatives our co-workers. We are
inspired to serve and be a channel of His blessings to others through the ministries we participate in, through our generosity, radically or sacrificially.
We are compelled to know Him more and to make Him known by the people around us. We get to see Him everywhere and in everything we do.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
So that’s it! If there’s one very valuable lesson I’ve learned not just in the missions but in my walk with Christ, it’s this.
“More than our doings, God is more concern of our being.”
“More than the things we want to do for Him, it’s what He is doing IN , ON and THROUGH our lives.”
“The beginning and ending of our Christian life is God Himself?”