Col. 4:17 - "... Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it." (NASB)
It is with great contriteness this is written for the hindrance and delay. Writing A Word to My Heart, God lead from a time of significant medical difficulty. The prompting to pen The Acts of Reluctant Apostle's He certainly placed on my heart, yet without seeming congruence.
In conversations, people related negative experiences of other believers insisting a particular ministry they were in was the call for their life as well. If not done, you were outside of God's will. When related, it brought to mind past encounters with other Chistians literally saying if I was not knocking on doors, handing out tracts, street preaching, or in prison ministry ... it was sin.
Concluding Reluctant Apostles and citing Jesus Himself would be ministering among "people of street", gangs, the naked, and suffering on earth. There existed no intent to suggest Christ's ministry on your life. If all handed out pamphlets and preached the alley ways; who minister's to stay at home moms? God rises up people in "professional" settings even in discomfort to build relationships with people who never walk the streets or set foot inside of a church building. With singularity of purpose in sharing God's love and invitation to the marriage feast of the Lamb.
These simple examples show a Savior desiring for us to participate in Him blessing others. Through being used of Him in bringing others to Father's Kingdom. Christ intends for this to occur in all walks of life and points of the globe. God's revealed through the conversation my "reluctant Jerusalem comfort zone". His call is truly stretching and honestly scares me.
II Cor. 1: 6, 7 - "But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort." (NASB)
The calling is not one expected on many but firmly pressed by the Spirit. The battle with mental health issues the past four decades; His great work and move is to provide grounding for God's purpose to minister to others in similar circumstances. The greatest fear rests not in what others think, though this exists. The revelation of the Spirit exposed a tremendous dread. Greatly terrified of and end as my cousin or uncle lost in a world of complete psychosis. The Lord gracious as always spoke to my heart. Gentely calling attention to His not allowing ths to happen over forty years.
Writing of the Reluctant Apostle's, day's earlier I learned of a young 36 year old woman very active in her Church ministry and Sunday school. All while fighting a bi-polar disorder since teen years and recently completing a Master's degree in counseling. Friends of the family returned from her funeral relating she leapt from a cliff apparently still in unbelievable turmoil. No words are available for this situation. God is using it as a stark reminder of the need and His plea on my life.
For a person with a major anxiety disorder (me), it is enormously difficult to be near those in horrific mental states. However the power of Christ can overcome, breaking the spirit of fear and timidity while replacing with love, self-control, and resolute conviction in His might.
Free from terror of descending into a condition worse than when begun. In love, allowing His Spirit to touch those deemed beyond human reach. Rightfully so, only God through His Spirit can touch and regenerate another's heart and spirit. How amazing the Lord desires to use us as His body to participate in Kingdom work!
The message in The Acts of Reluctant Apostles is God's "concern" lay not in my abilities great or small. Rather His intent gaze searches for my availability. Answering like Isaiah to God's call, "Here I am"! There are other choices as Jonah demonstrated in running or even to remain silent.
The same for all reading, God's call of ministry in your life is uniquely between you and Him, not dictated by others. The Lord merely searches for availability and readiness. In God's time choosing when and if to use any "abilities" gifted from Him.
My prayers remain steadfast as Christ leads each to their "place" of ministering God's life in and through you. Also, requesting your prayers for strength and rest in God to fulfill and walk His bidding in mine. It shall only occur through complete trust and surrender to Him.
There are no 'if's' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety - let us pray that we may always know it! - Corrie ten Boom
You are right about God calling us into various ministries and we do not all walk the same "streets". We are all commissioned to share the Gospel but often when it comes to ministry, we tend to focus on evangelism. Far too often the only ministry that takes place within the church itself is in the form of a Sunday morning message or a midweek service in a large group setting. These things aren't bad but are we solely relying on that to minister to the people within the Church?
Within our four walls there are struggling and hurting Christians. Those are our "streets". Every day you may walk the halls of where you work. Those are also our streets. What do we do when we encounter people on our streets?
"The Lord gracious as always spoke to my heart. Gentely calling attention to His not allowing ths to happen over forty years."
Amen. Remember that whenever you are in a dark place. He has not forsaken you yet, nor shall He ever, no. Matter. What.
"My prayers remain steadfast as Christ leads each to their "place" of ministering " Absolutely. We have no idea what God is preparing us for down the road. ...years or minutes. But each of us has our part, regardless how insignificant it may seem.
Good to see you back above ground.
"God's call of ministry in your life is uniquely between you and Him, not dictated by others. The Lord merely searches for availability and readiness. In God's time choosing when and if to use any "abilities" gifted from Him."
Excellent point, Les ! There are a number of examples in The Bible that remind us of the many years it took for different ones who were called to serve Him to learn to allow Him "to use any "abilities" gifted from Him."
Today's Daily Bible Verse reminded me of what Our Heavenly Father is doing in your life. It reads from John 1:16:
"From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another. (New International Version)
I just see one blessing after another happening in your life ! And thank you so very much for sharing these wonderful blessings with us.
Thank you wmj, Mark, K, Beth, and Barbra for your time in reading and commenting.
God truly does place each where desired according to His call. I appreciate your prayers for me and agree as Mother Teresa said we a responsible for those who the Lord brings across our path daily, one person at a time. It feels good after two weeks in a row of "medical tinkering to be above water". The Father truly has blessed my life and am so thankful his Spirit continues to do so ... a great majority through you.