This past week I was allowed the privilege to worship with some of the dearest people I know as well as thousands of students from all over the US. The conference we were a part of is called SOAR, and the message this year was about discipleship. Looking back I am confounded by the intricate workings of God in my life and the lives of others involved in this past week's events. He had already been preparing us days (ok, weeks. and even years!) for what was to come this past week. He formed relationships through mutual friends, through generations of being discipled, through long distance communication, and even through a few hours of worshiping corporately together so that a three day conference could take place. For His Glory!!! He wove stories so deep in my heart of His truth being lived out in faithful consistency that I will not forget them. And very specifically in my life, He has opened my eyes and my heart to some change I need to embrace.
#1: "Do-ology" - I heard it said once that in following God, it's not a person's theology that is weak. It's their "do-ology". I have to say that I strongly disagree with this man. We 'DO' because we believe. We don't 'DO' because we don't believe. This is a point that God has really been driving home with me through His word and His wisdom in the words of others. If we really believe that God is (insert whatever adjective), then we live accordingly. Doubting that what He has said is true produces disobedience. So, HELLO! Doubting and not knowing = weak theology. Weak theology = no action, inconsistency, laziness, lack of desire, etc... That may offend you, but that is Truth. If God's plan for me is discipleship, I want it. And I want it God's way. I'm learning that people who are passionate about TRULY wanting what God wants will stop at no ends to get it. They sacrifice their time to meet consistently in small groups and with a mentor and with an accountability partner to know God more. They leave no stone unturned when it comes to honesty and confession. But the biggest thing is that IT TAKES TIME. Inconsistent, flaky, half-hearted, lukewarm attempts at discipleship will not do. God wants hot or cold. No inbetween.
One of the heads of SOAR, Steven Carroll, shared a story with me about his wife's desire to be discipled. For so long she prayed for a godly woman, and for so long, none were found. Then one day, from nowhere came Kathy Fields. I believe that discipleship is God's plan. I believe that He will provide a godly woman who really wants to meet with me. And I look forward to the day when I get to tell you about my Kathy Fields.
#2. Differences - Let me just start off by praising God for having the honor of calling some of His most amazingly gifted children my best friends. Remembering them overwhelms me because of the slew of talent that is found among them. And being so close to people makes it SO hard not to compare. But honestly, sometimes in my amazement and marvel, I can't stop looking at their talent instead of looking back to their Creator in praise. Then insecurity and jealousy and envy creep in. And the people that I love so dearly, Satan intends for me to hate. And the people that God wants for friendship and accountability in my life, Satan wants to use to make me feel lonely and inadequate. The Truth is each and every one of them is better than me at A LOT of things. And that is the way God has woven it. PRAISE GOD that I can't cook and play the guitar like Steve. PRAISE GOD that I can't arrange flowers like Tate. PRAISE GOD that I can't walk and lead in the humility of Aaron. PRAISE GOD that I don't have the charisma of Jake. PRAISE GOD I can't sing in the stratosphere like Kim. PRAISE GOD that I don't have a compassionate heart like Jenna. And honestly this list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. But I am so moved to worship God for our differences. Satan does not have the power to hold me with his lies. We look different. We sound different. But through God, we can all love the same. So I glory in Him for our differences. I glory in Him for our weaknesses. Cause when we are weak, and when we are different, HE is made much of.
Soli Deo Gloria