Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - Surrender Self-Sufficiency
Since I was little I have strove for independence, which has developed into self-sufficiency. I have been convicted by it a number of times since trusting Christ, but it is certainly deeply rooted. During my study of 1 Peter 4 this morning, I was struck by verse 11. Verse 10 says, " As each has received a gift, use it to serve on another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:" followed by verse 11, "whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God, whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies - in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." "Whoever serves, as on who serves by the strength that God supplies"...Theologically, I know in my head that "apart from Christ I can do nothing" (John 15:5), but in practice I tend to serve out of "my skills and abilities."
The LORD has brought me to an interesting place in my "serving" this year. Our family has committed, at least this school year, to serve a ministry to teen parents. I've known about the ministry for the 7 years of its existence and always "had a heart for it," knowing these were needing girls (and guys) and little kids. After studying James our small group was convicted to reach out to the poor, the widow, the orphan more and chose this ministry. God demonstrates his heart throughout scripture for the helpless and the hopeless through His special concern for the moneyless (poor) , the homeless (sojourner), the husbandless (widow or unwed mother), the fatherless (orphan), and the childless (barren). These teen parents (and their children) often fall in the first four of those five "helpless and hopeless" categories.
Our family has taken a extra step of involvement and I have started to get to know the girls in more of a mentorship capacity. And this is what I have learned: I am ill-equipped! And that is such a GOOD place for me to be as it forces me to "serve by the strength (and wisdom) God supplies"! These girls come from backgrounds of generational poverty and family/personal brokenness and issues that I cannot related to nor have I dealt with in my meager Christian leadership training. Normally when I feel inadequate, I would tend to feel useless and defeated. However, although those temptations have surfaced, I have been able to respond to them with a humility and trust in God to work in and through me. So, ministering to these teen parents (in their life issues more than in their parenting skills) is a specific way I am learning the beauty of surrendering self-sufficiency and there is certainly splash-over lessons in all areas of my life!
For a list of all the daily lesson titles in the 40 Days of Surrender in one place, Click Here.
Abide in Love ~ Abound in Thanksgiving ~ Work in Joy...
Live Fully ~ Suffer Rightly ~ Trust Deeply ~ Bless Truly!
LISTEN & LEARN:
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
~ Psalms 25:4,5