A willing offering

Philippians 2:14-17 (AMP) Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness],  holding out and offering to everyone the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to rejoice greatly because I did not run [my race] in vain nor labor without result.  But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith [for preaching the message of salvation], still I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

Colossians 3:17 (AMP) Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

1 Corinthians 16:14 (AMP) Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].

Providence is the protective nature of God, trusting that I have a future. Can we just do everything He tells us in His Word without questioning if He has our best interest in mind? It gets more challenging, we are not promised that it will not be hard. We are anointed for the hard stuff. Paul is telling us to do EVEN IF your life is the offering. The race I run, the labor it brings forth, is not in vain. The sacrifice and service of my faith is for the salvation of others (the real prize)!

When God speaks to you to do something, do not be concerned with why not someone else. I have learned that when He calls you to it, He will equip you for it. When I started speaking, I was not great at it. It was actually very painful to watch. I had to trust that the words He gave me were impactful. My heart motive was not to make a name for myself, but to make Him famous.

I am not waiting on the situation to be right so that I can shine. I have never been into that “it’s my time to shine” when it comes to serving. Why do we need to feel like if we are not elevated then we really are not doing anything. Paul said even if I am being poured out as a drink offering. Pour all of me out Lord. Use everything that you have placed within me.

In the first part of 2 Kings 4, Elisha comes across a widow and her sons. She had a great debt and man she owed the debt to was coming to take her sons and make them bond servants. Elisha asked what she had. She replied only one jar of oil. He instructed her to get all her jars and even borrow from friends and neighbors. As she began to pour out of the single jar into the other, per his instruction, every jar was filled. She poured until the last jar that had been gathered was filled. Then she was instructed to first pay off her debt and then live off of the rest.

What if we applied that same principle to Matthew 6:33? But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. This is exactly what Paul was telling us in pouring out our lives as a drink offering. The anointing you have needs to be poured out. You are not called to this alone. Notice the widow needed the help of her friends and neighbors. Paul even refers to himself as a bond servant to Christ. Does not mean I have a debt to pay off? No, Christ paid that debt. My hearts desire should want to pour my life out because of His great love sacrifice. However, when I think of my needs first am I really trusting in the providence of God?

Colossians 3:14 (AMP) Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].

I want the best for you. I hope you feel the same way about me. If it takes me pouring myself out to be a drink offering for Him, so be it! Now, do not take me to the extreme. I do believe in rest. If you do not allow Him to pour back into you, then you will be pouring out of self. We cannot grow glory to glory without taking time with the Holy Spirit and the body that He called me to (for equipping). Pouring out has to be healthy. There is a fullness to this Gospel. I pray you dig more into your Word today to find out just how full your life can really be!!

Joints should not hurt

Hebrews 12:2 (MSG) Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. 

I have to admit I have been a little distracted lately. Have you ever felt that way? It is an attack on the revelation knowledge of the Word of God in my life. I do know that when you get to a new level of revelation that you will be tested in it. I was reading about the unmerited favor of God in our lives as partners with Christ (which so happens to go along with my husbands messages about the assurance of what our inheritance is). Basically, both are coming in line with each other and that is where the challenge happens. The challenge is that I like growth and want to pull those I love along side with me. As a pastor we desire to see growth in others, it is disheartening when people dig their heels in and refuses to budge. My challenge (to be honestly transparent) is to try not to focus there, but continue to allow the work to happen within me and the Holy Spirit to work on them.

Have you ever had that happen? Your thoughts rob you of your joy? You have conversations in your head with someone else? Or you think of the conversations they are having about you with someone else?

I spent many nights in my bed praying for the help to keep my eyes focused on Jesus. Prayers to renew my mind. Prayer to cast down vain imaginations. God, do not allow the enemy to try to rob me of this knowledge so that I can walk in the fullness that You have for me. I want to walk in the abundant life, the complete life. Why? I want to make an impact for good that gives glory back to God. I know that I am called to do it with the body of believers that I am called to.

A few weeks ago, someone in small group said that the body is only as strong as its weakest link. As a body we are suppose to be working together. Ephesians 4:11-13 (AMP) says, And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity]. Oneness of faith and unity stood out to me. The body of Christ needs to be in unity. Sometimes we start by saying the entire body of Christ, but what if we put it down to our body (the church you are called to). Does that not to be in unity too?

Ephesians 4:16 (AMP) From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up in [unselfish] love.

Every joint supplies. When we apply this to your local body, you get a healthy functioning church. Your body that you are called to can properly mature and become effectual in your community. I always ask people that if you have a ministry and you will not use it in your local body that you are called to, why? The Word just said in here that we are joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, that joint being your gifting/ministry included within the local church.

How does this get into walking in the blessings that God has for us? It is not a sin issue (not that sin should not be addressed) but it is a unity issue. I am not talking about having unity over the political, sociology and economical issues of our time. I am talking about the working together (yes, I said that bad word work) with the gifts and callings to build up the body of Christ. We, together, walk in the knowledge and truth that God wants to see the body complete, which is another benefit of Jesus going to the cross.

So my question to myself is that, am I being a supplier to my joint? I cannot lose focus on my calling worried about if someone is in theirs. Praying that God will send someone to fill that joint that is willing to. I cannot drag anyone to it, He will fill it. God I release it to you. I will keep doing what you called me to do. I will finish this race and keep my eyes focused on Jesus.

I would love to hear from you if you struggle with the same thoughts sometimes. Message me at amanda@desiringformore.org