Monday, March 16, 2015

god is working.

So if you recall, I mentioned in a previous blog post how difficult it is for me to be alone. I love people. I love being around people. I get my energy from people. Many folks would consider me to be "outgoing". But sometimes I am more reserved and worry what others may think and say about me, so my outgoing-ness doesn't show. 
I recently heard a sermon about Jesus being led by the Spirit into the desert. You can find the scripture in Luke 4. I encourage you to check out the sermon here.{I'll post the link when it's online}

In my Bible, the text above the bulk of the message says "Tested by the Devil".

The scripture talks about Jesus being led into the wilderness {desert}by the Spirit, and being tested by the Devil for forty days and forty nights.

The Devil tempts Jesus with food.
The Devil tempts Jesus with control and power.
The Devil tempts Jesus with personal recognition.

I've heard and read this hundreds of times. But Saturday night was the first time I ever saw the whole picture.

Sure the story teaches me that Jesus was tempted just like I am, so it allows me to relate to him on another level which is always a good thing. But it also shows me the type of devotion, discipline, and desires of Jesus.

Jesus went into the desert to contemplate, reflect, to pause. To BE STILL and know God. I hate being alone. I hate solitude. But when life gets cray cray and chaotic...that's when I know it's time to go to the desert.

I wouldn't exactly call this season of life a desert. Noah and I are getting a pretty good routine down, I'm learning how to THRIVE {not just survive} on much less, and God is really using this time to use me, teach me, and push me out of my comfort zone.

God gave me an amazing opportunity to serve yesterday in the heart of the ghetto in our town. As I walked up to our gathering place, there were people of all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds, clothes, cleanliness, and mental health walking there with me. 

A meal was served that may be their only meal for several days. There were beggars, homeless kids, even a couple prostitutes. As they came down the line to get their plates you can smell where they've been. Trash, maybe a little alcohol. I had fear for a split second. 

Fear of being mugged. Fear of taking my child around "these people". I imagined what I would do if I saw them on the street. Would I still shake their hand and pour love onto them? What if someone found out? And scorn me for putting myself in danger?

Then the Spirit told me He was with me. I was the hands and feet of Jesus.

A similar situation went down in college. It was the day before Thanksgiving break, it was pouring down cats and dogs, and I was closing down the office, locking up, etc. What appeared to be a student came up to the desk and asked me for a ride. I asked him where he lived, and it was on the way home from work towards my house. So I said sure. He got in the car with me, and I took him home. I was anxious the ENTIRE time, we made light conversation, I dropped him off, and he asked me for my phone number. I gave it to him. Then went home.

I got home and felt great about my good deed, so I told family and they totally freaked out on me. I was so confused. Didn't Jesus say "love the least of these"? And the greatest commandment next to loving God is loving your neighbor as yourself? 

They said "Yes, but"
*you could've been raped
*he could've had a knife
*you might have never made it home

So I went to my room and cried for a couple hours. My heart was hurting for disappointing so many people when I thought I was doing what God had called me to do. 

There's no room for "Yes, but" with God. Check out Luke 9:57-62:

Jesus said to a man, "Follow me." 

The man said, "Yes, but let me first go and bury my father." 

Another said, "I'm ready to follow you, Master, but let me first say farewell to those at my home."

Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day." Another version says "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

WOW. I'm worried about disappointing family, friends, strangers, whomever. I can't allow that to be above what my Savior thinks of me.

So when God calls me to put myself what others may view as a dangerous situation, He's there. So yes to a human mind, I could have been raped, killed, beaten, whatever the case may be. But God did not allow that to happen. He protected me so I COULD SERVE THE LEAST OF THESE in His name!

He protected me when I was in Peru during riots and bombings. He protected me from sickness and being mugged in downtown Budapest. He protected me from getting hurt by a stranger when I took him home. And He protects me wherever I go. 

It's not easy to follow Jesus. He might lead you to situations or things that make you feel uncomfortable. That will make other people look at you like you are crazy. 

That's when you know you are doing it right.


PS-I've really been digging this worship song:

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