There are big desires in me, dreams that rival the tower of Babel. I want to build monuments, resources, fellowships and ministries that tower to the heavens. The bigger the better. My dreams reach for the skies. I stop for a moment. I get sad. I’m in a secular job position. I’m trying to pay the hospital bills. I go home to a humble living room instead of a massive ministry campus filled with people or a mission filled in a dust-filled village in Venezuela. When will my dreams of building things come to pass? When will my passion for ministry and writing and worship provide financial stability for my family? When will the monuments begin?
Then a still small voice reminds me: “Richie, I have placed dreams and hopes in you that you will accomplish for my Kingdom. Don’t try to build your own, even with good intentions. I have given you a family to build and lead and the desire to do well. That is what I have entrusted to you right now. My love is here for you and any time you feel sad about your circumstances, remember that eternity is not about making money or building something glamorous. Eternity is about love. Focus on loving those in your life, those in your home. That is an honorable task. So many people focus on loving the world when they should focus more on loving the ones who depend on them the most. I’m here and your life is still in my hands. Look in the eyes of your wife and baby, there is eternity. There lies the task of building something great at this moment.”
In relation to these reflections I think of the Trinity Broadcasting Network or my home church from childhood. So many ministries, churches, and organizations begin with sincere passions to spread the Good News of Jesus but end up building their own kingdoms. Often they are reaching people for Christ but at the same time they are building dreams of man and wasting wealth and time and reputation on fleeting, temporal legacies. So many of them want to grow bigger and bigger, building larger sanctuaries, buying more satellites, asking for more money, and flying in personal jets while focusing on ‘reaching the world’ and building Christ’s Kingdom yet their message is being lost because of the glitz and glamour. God doesn’t seem to do things that way. The first disciples and apostles didn’t build things. The Church (body of Christ) was an organism not an organization. The Church was people who put their faith in Jesus, not a place of grand architecture or ‘cool’ atmosphere that would attract people caught in the latest fads. Jesus and the apostles focused on loving those who were in their path, and that changed the world.
Let’s remind ourselves that it’s OK to dream and build and grow. But obeying God and following His plan usually follows a more humble, subtle, personal approach. Jesus isn’t out for the attention of the world, He’s out for their salvation. Are we out there for attention? Or are we out there for the salvation of others and grateful for our own? I’m reminded of a post I wrote a few weeks ago about obedience being better than sacrifice.
Family is where it starts. Love your parents. Love your siblings. Love your kids. Love your spouse. Love your employees. Love your comrades. Love your fellowship of believers. And if God tells you to give $50 to TBN, obey. If God tells you to go out and build a giant boat on dry land, build it. And if God tells you to spend a week in Malaysia and minister to a village there, go. But keep in mind that you need to follow HIS PLAN because good intentions don’t lead to building His Kingdom. They may give you personal satisfaction, but that shouldn’t be a factor.
Let’s ask ourselves before we do anything: is this me or is this God? Is this for my success or their salvation? Have I loved those in my family or am I neglecting my first ministry task? Jesus said to be faithful with little and then we will be given much. I’m not saying we shouldn’t love and minister to strangers in our community or across the globe. I am saying as the Spirit reminds me that Christianity – ministry – love – outreach – obedience to God… it all pertains to the home first and foremost. Our homes are mission fields, our communities, our jobs and class rooms.
I realize this post may sound like a bit of babble, but the subject does say it’s a personal reflection. I share it in hopes that you learn something fresh from it along with me. I could write a whole book on the topic. Maybe I will!
Matthew 25:21, His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Kathy and I hope you have a blessed week and enjoy God’s love for you!