Today begins something I hope to look back on a year from now and say that God was at work in all of it.
Since April’s Men’s training day, the 4 big things in my mind have been Jesus, family, work, and ministry. I haven’t taken the time to flesh it out and I’m looking forward toward the next few weeks in seeing how this looks like.
Here are some ideas that have come up through prayer, counsel, and reading scripture.
- It all starts with him. I’m seeing that all of life is connected to him whether it be family, finances, work, mission, etc. All purpose and all life begins with him. What would it look like to nourish the relationship that Jesus is pursuing me with? How has he pursued me in the past? How does this affect me now and how he is pursuing me for the year to come?
- Very convicted that I have not loved them well at all. It’s easy for me to do a drive by once in a while, but I believe the Spirit is convicting me to demonstrate, display, and proclaim the gospel with my life and words toward them however that may look. Scripture that comes to mind is the one about providing for family as well as James’ call for works consummating the faith that has been given to me. I’ve grossly neglected familial relationships and there needs to be some consistent and substantive time to develop the relationships God has put in front of me – in hopes of not only loving them better, but ultimately desiring to see them know and experience the love of Jesus.
- By God’s grace, I passed the pharm tech exam yesterday after much hesitation, uncertainty, and even fear. I’m praying that opportunities will open up for work to be closer to home, but also strategic work to not only put me in a position for potential pharmacy school, but also to lead, serve, and love well in the upcoming year. I’m looking forward to praying about how to really leverage work and not be a slave to it as a means to serve my idol of comfort or security. Learning to really take advantage of it and be ambitious and worshiping Jesus or the security a job promises can at times be a fine line. The DreamJob Course is underway for another month before I can get a refund – I’m giving myself another month at this and we’ll see.
- Just finished membership class today. Lots of things to pray about with that. Is Mars Hill where Jesus wants me for the next few years? Will I build my life here and invest here even if Jesus doesn’t use me to leverage resources for underground churches or immigrant churches in LA? What is the most important thing right now? I think taking a step back, I’m already seeing that I’m in a season where some critical foundations must be set – who is Jesus, what does it mean to follow as a disciple (hence, reading Disciple), what is the church and why is she important, how does this affect family and preparing for one, what does mission look like, – the list is endless. I know for a fact that in this coming year, Jesus wants me to focus on the basics and the foundations – knowing him, leading in repentance, and letting him work on my heart in bringing about boldness as I see him at work in my life and in others in the body. Whatever implications this may have for LA, immigrant churches, underground churches, etc will come as it may. I can trust that Jesus will continue to build his church and that he can completely do it without me – he’s been doing it for thousands of years and he will continue to do it today.
Some questions to start thinking about for this week that Nollan helped bring to mind:
- See where God has put me. Pray about where he has put me to know where you want to be next year. Look back at God’s grace before you plan on where you want to go. This is all encompassing – finances, tithes, devos, discipleship, books, communion with God, work, education, serving.
- Then pray about how God wants to use you by looking back at what God has done by the convictions he has given you.
- Look at how he has sanctified and pursued you in which you were challenged by the gospel of grace.
- Most importantly – pray that in these plans, you go about it with the freedom he has purchased for you so that you are not enslaved by or condemned if the plans are not accomplished.
- Important to cultivate and nourish the relationships God has you in.