Yesterday in class Andrew shared a list the Lord had put on his heart the week before while he was in Uganda at G42Africa teaching. I wanted to share this because I think it sums up a lot of what and who G42 is and what I have been learning about over the past 6 months.
Basically, these are guidelines to life in general and through out serving others. Most of these are not in line with the thinking of our culture now and how we were raised, but I truly believe this is how Jesus did life. This is how we can continue to grow in becoming more like Him. I can’t imagine how the world would be impacted if we all began to think in these directions.
SMALL NOT BIG.
– God is big yes, but He also wins peoples hearts ONE at a time. Think about your own personal story… each one of ours is unique to us. He does BIG things through us by starting out small. Then our small thoughts grow and increase into even bigger and bigger dreams. so don’t feel overwhelmed. No dream is too Big for the Lord, just start out simple.
DEEP NOT SHALLOW.
– In life, just looking good doesn’t count. It is the BEING good that makes a difference. Don’t just preach, actually live out what you believe.
LONG NOT SHORT.
– We need 100 year plans! What can sustain you for the next 50 years? What kind of community? What gives you endurance? Look for those things and grab it. Keep it. If we think short term, we will only get ourselves somewhere short term. Faith is more than what we can see in our future.
PEOPLE NOT PROGRAMS.
– Yes, small groups, recovery groups and Bible studies work of course, but the essence of them is in the relationships formed from them. Make people your priority. Love God and love people. The programs will follow behind.
HEALTH NOT GROWTH.
– It’s not about the numbers. One thing I was exposed to in Africa was how so many Christians think it is about how many people they can convert and get into Heaven. We shouldn’t tell people about Christ only so they can “get into” Heaven. Heaven isn’t only a destination- it is something that can be gained here on Earth now. Jesus longs for an intimate relationship with all of us right now.
When you have a new born you aren’t concerned with helping it to grow, you are first concerned with keeping it healthy and then as a result it grows. If something or someone is healthy then it can grow- but a lack of health keeps it from growing. If someone is not healthy due to their environment what do they do? They change it. So if your heart’s not healthy change something about it. Continue to feed your soul by feeding on Him.
GIVING NOT KEEPING.
– We’ve all got life to spare. I want to be a giver, not a taker. Jesus was a giver. Do you have joy? love? or the gift of encouragement? knowledge? then don’t keep it for yourself- pass it on! give it as a gift! You’ll get more when you give what you’ve got to begin with. He’ll trust you with more once you learn how to make do with the resources He has given us to begin with.
MULTIPLY NOT ADD.
– Following Jesus is about spreading His love. Telling others about Him so they too can be and live in His love. Jesus multiplied Himself in 12 other men. Do the same. Find someone to disciple. Someone to teach. Someone to activate. Someone to push. We should all be living a life where people are dependent on us being alive. Where we are giving value to those we come in contact with, not taking away. Jesus has given us the authority to do this when He was among us as The One who served us.
COVENANT NOT CONTRACT.
– God IS covenant. He expresses His will through His promises and He never has nor will He ever break His promises to us. No one desires a “contract marriage”- a relationship where “if you do this, then I’ll do that“. That isn’t how Jesus works. We should be learning how to take initiative and not just do what we’re told to do. Be yourself. Be creative. Build relationships and be responsible to stick to them and keep your word. Let your words be stronger than your signature…
STAYING NOT LEAVING.
– Our generation is awful at committing. We are very indecisive and when we do finally make plans, if something better comes up we do that instead. We’re not the best at keeping our word. We need to learn and teach others that when we make commitments and promises with people we should follow through with them. Jesus joined the table and He has never left our table, even when He lost His life. If we go into something with the mindset that we have an option to leave or back out, then most likely we will.
GRACE NOT LAW.
– This one is pretty self explanatory. We can’t earn God’s love- it is a free gift. It is not about what we do that defines us. Don’t try and be something your not, be at peace with who you are and who He has made you to be.
HIS KINGDOM NOT MY KINGDOM.
– “I live for you and you alone Lord.” The greatest leaders are those who know how to follow Jesus and others first.
When I first moved to Spain, I really had no idea what I wanted to do in life or where I was going next other than I just wanted to live my life loving others. I came wanting to figure this out more specifically and in detail. I came desiring to hear God tell me exactly what to do. HA I have learned that is not how God works with me…
God’s will for me is about making decisions. The choice is in my hands. It is up to me to commit. Joining Jesus at the table is an all or nothing hand of poker. My word is my life. It is up to us to change the world, it is in our hands. I have to earnestly desire Jesus. I have to stake my ground and then take possession of it. If we don’t do this we will continue to wander.
In Matthew 4, Jesus asks the fishermen to drop everything and follow Him. Men who only knew about fishing- He made them the pillars of the church. He chose them. He asked normal people like you and me. All we have to do is make the decision to follow. Of course there will be fear and risk, but Jesus is OH so worth it.
I don’t want to be a wanderer. I want to grab my inheritance. I want to stake my life in Jesus. I have learned I am the will of God. YOU are the will of God. It is not something we have to do. God blesses our decisions. He blesses our faith. He blesses this through giving us peace. So lets stop waiting for God to make us whole before we follow Him. All we have to do is first follow Him then He will make something BIG out of us. All we have to do is stay at the table.
There are broken people to help and cities to save so let’s go! He needs me. He needs you. He needs every single one of us.