In Luke 1, the angel of the Lord proposes to Mary. Will you birth the savior of the world? Mary answers, “Be it unto me according to your word, oh Lord.” The NLT says, “Let everything happen to me just as you have said.”
Only time would tell just what that meant. ‘Let everything happen to me’
Many of us have responded in the exact same way. “Yes, Lord, I will follow you. Please use me for your purpose.” With this agreement, we release persecution upon our life that would not be there if we would have said, “No, Lord, I won’t follow you.”
Mary faced the physical pains of the natural birthing process. She also unleashed the wrath of a society that believed she was in sin for conceiving a baby out of wedlock. After this waned, she faced the struggle of her adult son traveling the region preaching, teaching with no home and no means of survival. He eventually is tortured and sacrificed on the cross in front of her face. Her own son.
“Be it unto me” threw heavy punches to the young nazarite virgin.
Many of us have been impregnated with the purpose of God and He is wanting us to give birth to ministry that will further his Kingdom. As we carry that ministry to term and then live with it in adulthood, it takes a toll. We look for solutions to deal with the wounds and the pressure. Since Mary’s solution was her baby (Jesus), we are tempted to think that our solution is our baby (our ministry). Therefore, when struggle comes, we work harder. We try to catch people that leave us. We think one more service, one more sermon, one more encouraging word and one more conversion will help our hurt. When this happens we continue to dig ourselves into a hole that we can never get out of. If we are looking to ministry to heal our hurt, then we will always hurt.
The mission field is inexhaustible. There is always one more Sunday to plan for. There is always one more sinner to save. We chase joy forever, if we think it is found in the grasp of our ministry.
We do not find our hope in the birth of our ministry or our work. We find our hope in Mary’s baby. Jesus was born once and it was enough for eternity.
Personal connection with Jesus is the only way we will find healing for our ministry wounds. We will continue to chase after sinners, hunt down demons, plan weekends, and get really creative with technique. However, we will stop the rat race of thinking that heals us.
Jesus, you are our source. You are our source for help and healing.
We were at a point of brokenness. We had hopes that this would all go away even after the initial tests. We thought we would pray, believe, and get the results we wanted. However, after weeks of ‘no’ from God, we finally arrived at the breaking point. At this point, we finally realized our plans and God’s were very different. We came to the grips that we were in a race. We raced not in a sprint but in a marathon. Now, many years into the race and as a senior pastor I have come to grips that God allows everyone to sink to the breaking point. To some it comes early in life and to others, it comes much later. However, it is to our benefit spiritually and naturally to see this breaking point. This point is where you realize you cannot possibly see victory on your own and you must have the help of another entity to survive much less thrive. Read the rest of this entry