God, what I most need/want from you right now is. . .
I shared at the beginning of the year that my “theme” for the year is discipline. Part of that included being more disciplined in my faith and actually looking at the spiritual disciplines. So in early June I started reading Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. The first chapter was focused on desire and looking at what our deepest desire was. At the end of the chapter there was this journal prompt that asked the reader to finish the statement:
“God, what I most need/want from you right now is. . . “
So I went to my quiet place, and prayed unsure of what my greatest desire was but knowing that there was indeed a longing.
What emerged was this:
God what I most need from you right now is to experience your glory my life & the lives of those I love.
I had been praying some big prayers. There were some great needs in my life and the lives of my dear ones, not to mention the overall brokenness of the world in general. I was praying hard and I needed to see God move. I knew in my heart and mind that He loves me; all of us but I needed to see and experience His glory.
I have to tell you that He’s answered several of those prayers already in just the past few months and I’m trying to live a faith that expects to see more answered beyond what I can even imagine. However, I also felt that prayer wasn’t just about Him moving but also about my own transformation.
In my last post I shared a little bit about the conference I attended and how I felt God was speaking some very specific words to my heart. The first was obedience and I’ve been trying to be more intentional about focusing on having a heart of obedience over sacrifice.
The second word that God’s been whispering to me is SERVE. I already do serve at church and I serve my family and my friends and clients, etc. BUT, I think God wants to stretch me a bit more and really wants to address the heart behind how or why I serve.
Truth be told, I often have my own agenda for doing things. Usually, they start out from a good place, I mean well but over time it becomes about me. Even serving can become about what I think is best, MY dreams, visions, etc. rather than how God wants to use me or how He can be glorified in the situation.
At She Speaks several of the messages had to do with serving. And I totally got the nudge. You know the feeling where God is basically saying, “PAY ATTENTION, this message is for you.” Yeah, that.
Nothing will get in your way in ministry more than your ego. -Liz Curtis Higgs
And then the clincher for me was the keynote from my absolute favorite speaker Whitney Capps and she talked about doing ME-nistry vs Ministry.
I was so convicted. I mean I have all of these great plans and ideas and I do them in the name of serving Jesus but seriously it feels good to be recognized, to have people say kind things, how helpful I am, what I great job I did, etc. What I was doing looked a lot like MEnistry. . . .
God let it nourish my heart but not go to my head.-Whitney Capps
That is my prayer. That if someone has kind words about what I do in the name of serving or ministry that it would be nourishing to my heart but not go to my head.
My greatest desire and longing was/is to see God glorified by I had been getting in the way by seeking my own glory.
So OK, as if my brain wasn’t full enough from She Speaks I went to the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in early August; because our church is a host site and I love this event. Seriously if you get a chance to attend, go. It is excellent.
And again I heard message after message about leadership being about serving, about self-sacrificing love.
The day after the GLS our women’s ministry director emailed me to find out what my biggest takeaways were and how I planned on applying any of them to the mom’s ministry I co-lead. Honestly prior to this summer I had been thinking about stepping away from the ministry because I wasn’t sure it was “for me” anymore. Our purpose was to encourage moms in their faith and build community and many in the group are young moms with little ones, I questioned whether I was adding any value to the group but honestly I wondered whether I was getting anything out of it anymore because my kids are older now.
But after both conferences I knew God wanted me to stay because it wasn’t about me. He gave me a renewed vision and now I think about how I could serve the women in the group and how I could be resource for the moms. I can be the person I wish I would have had when I was a young mom. Jesus was our greatest model of a servant leader so if I desire to be more like Him (which I do) I need to have a posture of service like Him. And most importantly I needed to stay because I KNOW God will be glorified in our ministry. He already has been and I know He will continue to be.
I had such profound breakthrough at both events, really over the whole summer about loving and leading well and I hope to share more over the next few weeks.
I realize I am on a journey as a glory seeker; I want to be looking for and expecting to see God’s glory not my own. I want to see it and experience it in my life, the lives of those I love, my church, my community, my city. The world. I want to live with great expectations of my Savior. He is capable of doing abundantly beyond all I can hope or imagine so I don’t want to be surprised when He does.
How about you friends, where do you want to see Him glorified?