Saturday, November 2, 2013

No Higher Calling

Like Luke wrote to Theophilus, I write to my small group leader:

November 2, 2013

Dear Jen~

Your direct question beckons a direct answer:  My allegiance is with Christ. 

I renounce, that is, publicly declare, that I love Him more than “all these”.

Yet, I know only He sees perfectly and is greater than my heart as He says, so I declare  this knowing that He may yet reveal places of my heart that are divided and do not yet fear him.  It is with regret that I must say, until I see Him face to face, “Perfectly, No; Increasingly, Yes.

Though it’s a direct answer to your question, the path to get here as been anything but.
Several God-fearing women would challenge me over the last few years when they saw discontentment and restlessness well up in my heart.  Steve would challenge status-quo through His preaching and push me to further search in God’s Word for what God was saying.  God would one day speak directly to my heart in an authoritative and loving way that He would not “lose me” to a cause and that I am to Proclaim Christ, not Promote Him.  In the last several months, my husband has prayed that I would seek “no higher calling than that in His Word”.  I didn’t know it at the time, but my husband was calling upon the name of the Lord to grant me a deeper oneness with the Lord and contentment.  As he prayed over me time and time again, the Lord did a work in my heart.  I can assuredly say that God’s glory is our deepest satisfaction. 
Beginning with the Basics class at Freedom, I learned God’s priorities for my life, as laid out in His Word.  I learned that first and foremost, God works in my heart.  My job is lay low and listen.  The cultivated and softened soil of my own heart and my increasing willingness to surrender control, would make ready a place for God to work in my marriage, which in turn would create more cultivated land in which God could work in our children’s hearts.
I now understand more clearly how the family is an imprint of the Trinity.  I see now how the family unit works together, although people do it imperfectly, to proclaim who Christ is and the Gospel to the lost, within the framework of the Church.  All this by just being individuals who love Jesus and having people into our home to see how this works together.
There have been many times I’ve been deceived into thinking, by my own heart and listening to others, there is some “other calling” for me than being a daughter, wife, mother, and disciple maker within His church.  I now see the beauty of the church, the power of the church, God’s plan for the church, more clearly.  Christ promises to build one thing:  His church. Through the church, He gives elders to lead and protect, the proclaimed word, people to lead us in worshiping Him, groups that minister-small groups, children’s groups, etc.  God’s plan to make disciples is the Church.  His plan is clear, orderly and purposeful, not confusing, disorganized, and haphazard.   
God has taught me to get low and put others on my shoulders, so we can reach higher collectively as a church.  This means dying to self-what I want, what I think I need. It means pushing others out in my “area of giftedness” and stepping back to see God’s glory in His church.  It means taking the lowest place and loving to be last-serving others. It means forgiving others.  It means encouraging other women to die to self and live in Christ, love their husbands, children, and any others God gives.  I know God is a generational God, not a God who desires to see this generation accomplish it all.  And especially He doesn’t see ME as needing to accomplish His plan on earth alone.

Truly Jen, there is no higher calling than that in His Word.  And there is no other plan than that of His Church. 
I know this is a lot to say, but again your direct question, elicited this response that’s been stirring in my heart for some time.

So thankful for you, dear one.