Just Receive

So Laura and I went on our coffee date and got to catch up on a million things, such as our recent mission trips. As amazing as that was, what Laura shared with me afterwards, as we were on our way back home, really inspired me. To write. This. *

For about a week after missions she had been feeling distant from God. It all started with her listening to some secular music one day. At some point afterwards she was feeling distant from God and eventually decided that it must be because of her listening to that music earlier. Even so, she couldn’t get out of this feeling of being distant. She found it hard to get close to God at all.

Even though she sensed God saying to her throughout the week:

“Just receive.” 

Fortunately, at some point Laura realized that it wasn’t the music she had listened to earlier on that week that kept her from feeling close to God and loved by Him. And it wasn’t God either. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword? What about death or life, angels, principalities or powers, things present or to come? Or height, depth, or any created thing?!? Nope. Nothing can. The love of God which is in Christ Jesus is stronger than all of these things (Romans 8:31-39, paraphrased). 

Try to imagine a God who is so afraid of or disgusted by what we all do, that He cannot help but distance Himself from us every time we fail to meet His standards. It would mean perpetual separation. He wouldn’t have time to come back on the scene again before something else occurred.. 

Remember the Garden? God didn’t separate Himself from Adam and Eve. They hid from Him. But He was calling out for them. He wanted connection. And He hasn’t changed! 

Laura realized how much she had felt that she had to do the “right things” in order to stay intimate with God. Then, when she happened to feel distant from God, naturally she searched for an answer to why. What had she done wrong?? It must have been that music.. 

Thankfully, God’s love is unconditional. His love for Laura didn’t change a bit because she listened to some music. It wouldn’t change for the worse if she had killed someone. It wouldn’t change for the better if she was the most saintly person alive. 

I would suggest that there’s only one thing that can separate you from God’s love:

Yourself. 

Not from messing up and disqualifying yourself. Then we’d all be in big trouble. 

But we all have a choice to make. Will we say yes to God’s love? To His gift of grace? Or will we try to earn His love and run away from Him when we mess up? 

Once Laura realized the lie she believed; having to work hard and not mess up in order to stay connected to God, she laughed at it. 

Instead she could fully embrace the truth: “Nothing can separate me from the love of God. Nothing.” 

What was left to do? Absolutely nothing. 

Just receive. 

And so she did.. 

 

* with permission from said person 🙂 

 

 

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Testimony of Someone

Another story from a ministry trip:

About a year ago, I had had a lot on my plate for a while, and felt physically and emotionally drained.

Someone on the team I was with advised me to take a day off, and I took their advice. Sometimes you need help from others to make that decision.
So I wake up the next morning and expect everyone else to be out doing ministry of some sort. Well, they all are. But not everyone are doing what I’m expecting. 

Someone comes and serves me breakfast and keeps me company while I eat.

What do you need today? Someone says.

I don’t know, I say. What I’m thinking is that Someone shouldn’t stay with me. Someone is the kind of person who could lead 5 people to the Lord before lunch. I won’t stand in the way of that!

No, really. What would be good for you right now? Someone says.

I’ll be ok, I say. And I mean it.

But Someone is persistent.

Honestly, to go out, get some fresh air and a coffee, I eventually say.

Let’s go, Someone says.

 

I’m about to decline, but feel God’s love and healing on this moment.

Don’t let go of such a precious moment. Receive it!

It’s true. It took me about 10 years in ministry, before someone chose me over a potentially great testimony or ministry opportunity (That I know of).
Someone didn’t get a great testimony to share with everyone from that day. Instead, I’m testifying of Someone, who was willing to give up the great and exalted seat and go low. For me.

I don’t know whether or not this was a tough decision for Someone. Whether it was or not, Someone knew how to stop for the one. Right in front of them. 

On a sidenote:

I’ve heard a lot about letting family come before your career or ministry, which I totally agree with. Usually, the issue is a husband putting his career or ministry first, and his family second.
I’ve never been married, so consequentially I’ve never had a husband choosing his career or ministry over me. But it’s not all about some husbands!

It’s about all of us. It’s so easy to miss the ministry opportunity in front of us, look past it and go after the “real ministry”.
For all of us who are not married (yet), we also need others to choose us over some ministry opportunity.

Stop for the one. You probably won’t have to go very far. 

Thank you Someone.

 

Being Ministered To

(Written 2012)

God want us to be whole. Did you know that?

This truth really hit it home with me a few months ago, while I was on a ministry-trip.

Yes, a ministry-trip. Those trips where you minister to other people in different ways. I’m not even sure where this lie snuck in, but somewhere in life I bought in to the lie that I’m here to minister to others, and that I’m not that important. You’ve probably heard it; be a servant, be humble, love others, etc.

When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense though. I mean, none of us are going to care about being ministered to ourselves, but we need people to minister to!?! Where do those people come from? In this kind of mindset, you’re either a receiver or a giver, and you’re told you should be giver!!! So we’d produce a culture of givers, but with no one to receive..

I’ve been on a bunch of ministry trips over the years, and although I would grow from the experience, see great things happen, and overall be encouraged, I’d also always feel burned out by the time we were done, or even before we were halfway through. I had this mindset (unconsciously) that I could only minister to others while on a ministry-trip – or in any kind of ministry. My own needs were not important, were they sleep, nutritious food, being loved on by others, getting alone-time, or other things.

I wanted to love on others, but didn’t love myself much, or didn’t dare to! Jesus however, tells us to love others with the same measure we love ourselves (Luke 10:27).

Why?

Well, you can’t love others more than that! You can try, but it’s not going to work.

Back to the ministry trip:

The team leader told us (the team) that:

“I don’t care if you don’t minister to anyone on this trip, as long as you are being ministered to and made whole by God.”

To me, it was as if God Himself spoke through that man and directly to me. God told me:

“I am healing you right now.”

God wanted me to know that He wants to and can minister to me at all times.

He wants me to be whole, which means a whole, healthy body, soul and spirit, as I am a triune being.

I am important to Him!

How sad it would be if I was created only for what I could do, and not for who I am!

Then God would only like me for my works.

Instead, I’ve come to realize more and more how I am pleasing to God the way I am. And He wants to make me fully whole – for my sake, because that’s how real love is.

I have a full-time job; would you like to hear what it is?

To be loved.

I was created to be loved by God. This is not something I can only enjoy in my spare time.

No, it’s a FULL-TIME job!

During the afore-mentioned ministry trip, I discovered that God had set me up to be ministered to by Him!

It was like I couldn’t escape HIS ministry to me!

That’s the beauty of it – you can receive it anywhere. And from anyone!

One instance was as I stood in front of a congregation with the rest of the team, to prophecy over and pray for anyone who’d want it. The first man in my line didn’t come to get ministered to (this is highly unusual, by the way!)

He gave me a word, and left me baffled. And that was neither the first or last surprise ministry I got that day. God ministers through people. A whole lot.

Later that evening, our last evening there, I was planning on going out into the hot tub where we stayed, with some other people. As it turned out, no one else were going, and I was contemplating whether or not to go, after all.

Then I was reminded of this person I heard about who had had a God encounter in a bath tub. For me that was a green light, and I got up to get ready. Just then, a guy called my name and told me I should go in the hot tub even though no one else were going, because:

“I think God wants to encounter you there.”

Sweet.

Well, I went, and had a good time, feeling like God really spoke and ministered to me there. But that’s another story 😉