Monday, March 18, 2013

Undaunted

Today I finished a book called Undaunted by Christine Caine. It is a book written to inspire you to go into a dark and troubled world - because each of us possesses all it takes to bring hope, create change, and live completely for Christ. The book dares you to do what God has called you to do. It is a great book, but it has caused me to give myself a heart check-up. I have recently been praying that God would reveal to me little things about my life that I need to fix or improve and that He would test the purity of my heart. And He has done just that.


Here's an excerpt from the book:
"God does not want us to fill our lives with empty, obligatory good works so that we can appease our religious conscience. He desires to transform our hearts - because it is out of our hearts that all of the issues of life flow (Proverbs 4:12). When our hearts are changed, we see things we never saw before, hear cries that we have never heard before, and act out of compassion that we did not have before."

I want my heart to beat for people, but it has selfishly been beating for myself lately. I've done this and that and gotten involved here and there because I thought it was what I should be doing - not because I was necessarily doing it out of a pure heart. Don't get me wrong, I do love everything I have been doing lately and wouldn't trade any of it for the world, but I have examined my motives, and today I am choosing to realign myself with the purposes of God, not the purposes of Morgan.

Ezekiel 36:26 says: "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." I am claiming this today. I am tired of going through the motions because it's wearing me out physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our outer works do no good if our inner heart is doing them for the wrong reasons.

Ironically, this very morning I had to have an EKG done on myself. Everything came back normal, but as I lay there worried and clueless about what might be going on, I realized the one thing I needed in that moment the most: hope. Hope is having an expectation, and I was wanting to expect that everything would be normal or that I would be well taken care of. And then God showed me...

...every lost person, every broken soul, every abused child, every drunken adult, they all need it. It's the one thing we all want. Hope. And it's our job to give it to them. It's our job to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We may be the only Jesus that some people ever see. And it could be people we see on a regular basis. Reaching out and giving hope to the lost and needy doesn't require much. It doesn't even require getting on a jet plane to a third-world country. It just requires that we look under our nose. These people are everywhere. We have just become so comfortable in our own lives that we have become oblivious to the hurting around us.

Jesus tells us, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40). It is our job to serve and do for our broken neighbors, in the hopes that they might come to see or know Christ. It is our Christian duty. But we shouldn't do, as mentioned before, to fulfill religious duties. It's about so much more than that. It's about loving the lost and not turning away from them. If I've learned one thing, it's that to the suffering there is no difference in those who directly harm them and those who sit back and do nothing. We must go to them, like the Good Samaritan. We shouldn't turn away from them, even if we feel unequipped. Because that's just an excuse. And Jesus has given us clear instructions - no excuses accepted. He will equip us because when we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). We are empowered through Him. How effective can we be for the kingdom of God if we don't make an active attempt to love and care for the unlovable?

Honestly, sometimes I do feel unequipped and I suppose that is why I've had to reexamine my heart, but I remind myself that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). I am leaving for Johannesburg, South Africa in 122 days. I have such high expectations for that trip and know that God will do great things. I am already praying over what will happen during the trip. But before Africa gets here, before I get on that plane in Atlanta, I first have 122 mission trips. Every time I step out of my house and go to work, to UNA, wherever, I am on a mission trip. And I am going to continually remind myself of this truth from 1 John so I can effectively - with a pure heart! - be the hands and feet of Jesus each and every day. So that I can, because of the love and sacrifice of Jesus, deliver hope to each and every soul I encounter that needs it.

Not everyone will always understand why we do what we do, but I know in my heart that God will make a way. Hebrews 13:6 says, "So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" I will cling to this. I have nothing to be afraid of, no reason to live daunted. Like Jesus said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). 

"God is always with us and always making a way for us to do his will, to bring his hope and change into this world...Don't let Difficulty keep you from daring to go where God wants you to go. God will make a way...Start where you are, with what you have, however you can."-Christine Caine

I resolve today to pray my way forward, to step out in faith, to light up this world with the hope of Christ, and to live undaunted; and I challenge you to do the same.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

1 comment

  1. Wow. such truth. everyday is a mission trip. that will thrill Steves heart to hear you so that for that is a truth he/we are passionate about.

    love seeing all the Lord is teaching you each day.

    ReplyDelete

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