During this week of prayer for the Annie Armstrong Easter offering for North American missions, I would like to share a story I recently heard from a friend, Dave, and the lessons it taught me. He has a certain place where he has hanged a world map on the wall and marked it according to the missionaries and ministries he’s familiar with and participates with. Each Saturday he will go to this room and “soak in the tub” while he looks at the map praying for each person and ministry on the wall. This lasts up-to an hour each week.
Dave has long been a friend and encourager to me and God’s ministry through my life, and when he shared this story with me recently it was a great encouragement and inspiration for more reasons than I can even understand. Let me share just a few lessons I’ve learned.
Never exchange the work of the Kingdom for my Kingdom work.
While I am not suggesting we should quit work and church activities in favor of living in a monastery away from people, I am saying that prayer is something I too easily forget or do passively; however, I rarely avoid the activities of my work and church involvement.
What if the things I do with God in private are the most important activities of my day, even more so than the things I do for God in public? Is this belief reflected in my priorities?
Never forget God is at work in the people around me even when I am not aware of it.
Sometimes I am so focused on what God is doing inside of me and ‘in my ministry’ that I lose sight of His work in and through the people around me.
What God is doing in and through others is just as important, sometimes more important, than what He is doing in and through me.
Never disconnect from other believers, because God sometimes uses them for my good.
People are sometimes the source of discouragement and even anger, but they are also part of God’s plan for my discipleship and sanctification. I wonder how often others view me as their frustration.
“Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25, Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Thanks Annie – www.anniearmstrong.com