Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What has God used to mature you???

First of all…..
Great Question……
Can’t answer it all in just a phone text…
Andrew M. ….one of our young guys in the ministry that is growing in leaps and bounds texted me today a question "What has God used to mature me?"
He asked me another great question- but one at time….
By far- what God has used to mature me…. is using me as His tool to disciple and train others. It has been such and exciting and challenging adventure- not always on the joyous side- or should I say happy-side. But it has definitely been the most fulfilling and growing things that God has ever done with me.
I can see the reason why it has cause me to grow so much is because when I am discipling another- when I am training another- I no longer think selfishly about myself- I am progressively growing more and more concerned about what I can do to help this other person that I am discipling grow more and more and get to a point where they are developing spiritual "OWNERSHIP" of their own relationship with God. Ownership- meaning they are taking personal responsibility to make things happen- they are no longer waiting for someone to do things- they are no longer waiting for someone to challenge them to read their bible- they are no longer waiting for someone to challenge them to find someone to help and disciple- they are doing all these things because they themselves realize that this is between them and God. THEY have to be the ones to say in

Josh 24:15 … " choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

I don’t care what anyone else does… I am going to serve Jesus Christ. Helping someone get to this point- and then helping them see how God can use them and then equipping them with the skills and confidence so that they can do that- man………. No greater feeling!!!
I had to get a point first where I had to make a decision- am I going to be a spectator Christian- or am I going to be in the trenches allowing God to use me powerfully in the lives of others. Sure God could use me- if he could use a donkey to speak to Balaam- He can use anyone and anything- but what I am talking about is making a commitment to :
1. Get training- so that I can mature and grow
2. Get training- -so that I can disciple others and train them to disciple others
So… getting to a point where Luke 9:23-24 (Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. ) was a REAL action in my life and I was sacrificing all my personal hopes and dreams to do things like become a doctor… make stupid amounts of money… all those things are literally and figuratively dying inside me as I am realizing that those are all empty pursuits and that if I REALLY wanted to help people- I needed to be involved with helping them with the ETERNITY question…. Making that commitment and allowing those ‘dreams and aspirations’ to die- that was a huge growth step for me…. A tough one… but a really huge one and fulfilling one.
So many other lessons too that I have learned as God has been using me to disciple others that is growing my relationship and dependence on Him…
One of them is how I was (am) so excited to help someone grow and/ or lead them to Christ- that I would do everything in my power to help them- but I realized that 1 Cor 3:7-11 is what the reality is:

1 Cor 3:7-11 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

So.. If I were really going to make a difference in people’s lives- I needed to work where God was already working- so that translated to committing to spend time with people who God was really tugging at their heart AND they were responding positively to that as well. God tugs at everyone’s heart- but not all of us truly respond positively- sometimes its really hard to figure out if someone is truly responding- because their words say they do… but I’ve realized that it is a person’s ACTIONS that truly determine what they are ultimately SAYING from their heart. I thought that if I simply spent enough time with someone- being their friend- they would eventually be as excited for the cause of Christ as I was- it was/is NOT true. And it cost me a year of my life figuring this out- and it almost burnt me out eternally too… all this before I was even 25 years old….
But I realized about myself is that I DO WANT to invest personally with everyone- but I just don’t have the time and energy- physical energy and emotional energy to invest with everyone- especially with someone who in the end can simply turn around and say they are really not that interested in Christ- but that they did like me as a person… which is cool- and I know God can use it to draw this person more to Him. But as a STEWARD of this body- a steward of ME- I have to use ME in the most effective way possible for the mission of Christ- and that is to invest in relationships where God is working and where that person is responding positively and aggressively toward knowing Christ and fulfilling the mission of Christ.
So… realizing this about myself and positioning myself in such a way as to allow God to "deploy" this weapon as best as He sees fit- that was a huge growing thing for me…
So much more… but I’ll end there… ask me some more…
I love talking about (writing I guess…) it all and showing how Christ is the difference in my life….