Friday, June 29, 2012

Church Planting on Steroids? God Is Able!

It feels like our church is being planted at an accelerated rate... (I'm sure the launch team has not noticed!  Ha.  Ha.)  On one hand, logically, this should scare me.  On paper - it's scary.  We're gonna do what?  In how many months?  How much money?  Whaaaat? 

Confession:  I'm not scared.

Every now and then, a small part of me will stop, and ponder, but even then, I'm not really pondering how I should be scared.  I'm actually taking note that... I'm not.  At all.  *At alllllllll...*  And that I attribute to God, because worrier or not - logical or not... I think just about anybody would look at a one or two sentence summary of this whole thing and laugh.

The ridiculousness of this entire endeavor only lends itself more to my firm, unwavering, unshakeable belief that God's hand is pushing this along.  I think it, I feel it, I believe it, I know it... completely certain, completely sold.  God is propelling it along.  Fast.  It is ALL God, all of the time, down to every last blessing, every last penny... and every last trial and tribulation that He may not be a fan of, but allows to happen anyway... it's all a big blessing, with some soon-to-be-seen or possibly never-seen but still equally awesome way that is bringing glory to God's name.  It is always God.

It is God who fights our battles for us.  (for example, Psalm 60:12, 1 Samuel 17:47)

It is God who bears our burdens.  (for example, Psalm 68:19-20)

It is God who builds His house.  (for example, Psalm 127)

It is God.  (for example, Genesis 1 - Revelation 22)

While I wouldn't say, exactly, that we're church planting on steroids, we are church planting on God.  And, whether God chooses to move slowly, or at a lightning speed, and whether He blesses with 160 thousand dollars, or 16 thousand dollars, or 16 cents, the important part is that God is the one in the driver's seat.  He is in control.  He has much more wisdom than us.  He is able.  This is why it is so important for us to stay clinging to Him.

So, here's just a long thought, encouraging us all to stay in God's presence and cry out to Him.

I love Psalm 3.  Love it.  Here's a portion of it:  (verses 1-4) 

"O LORD, how many are my foes!  Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God.  But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.  I cried aloud to the LORD and he answered me from his holy hill."

A week or so ago, I felt really burdened for a few different things and even took a little early morning prayer drive after my coffee run - when the Lord burdens you, he burdens you.  Whattcha gonna do?  ;)  Obey, of course! 

Long, awesome story later, I will just say this.  I think God is wanting to grow my (your?) prayer ENDURANCE. 

I have been noticing God answering all these *smaller* prayer requests.  BIG answers to prayer, but compared to $160,000, or a cure for cancer, they're on the smaller scale.  Yet, I think it's very important to notice and appreciate the small answers to prayer.  (Matthew 6:26) God takes care of the birds - why do we worry He won't take care of us?  Kind of along the same lines - God takes care of a broken refrigerator, pink eye, opening a stuck window... He bothers with those prayers, how much more will He bother with the bigger prayers? 

When I was praying for a blessing for my friends, a broken refrigerator wasn't what I had in mind.  If you must know, I am absolutely certain God let my friends' refrigerator break, so that He could bless them.  Reassure them that He is there, He is holding them in the palm of His hand, and that they are EXACTLY where they are supposed to be - in God's will.  ["Christ never uttered a hopeless word. In the Father's will there are no hopeless words." PF Bresee]  And not only did He bless them, but by answering my prayer, He blessed me.  And when Kim gave her testimony Sunday night, I think He blessed all of us. 

And, if you must know, because God is good and I'll swallow my pride (think I'm crazy, go ahead!) - I am absolutely convinced that a month ago I had pink eye when I woke up in the middle of the night.  Now, pink eye = not cancer.  But for whatever reason/reasons this sent me into a panic as "the straw that would break the camel's back" and I prayed that God would just take care of it.  And, He did. 

And, again, silly, but here we go:  a few days ago, before it got to be a sweltering 103 degrees, we had nice weather.  I tried to open my bedroom window to get a cool breeze and I couldn't.  It was stuck.  Really stuck.  And I don't have anyone to help me open it.  And I tried and tried, and just as I was asking God to open my window because I couldn't, and I just didn't need to deal with a beligerent window on top of other things, IT OPENED.  I'm seeing God answer my prayers, little prayers, all the time.  Now, the "me" even from a few months ago would go, "No, your window just wasn't as stuck as you thought it was" or "It wasn't contagious pink eye" but the me in the very recent is just so certain of God's nearness and His answer to prayer.

What is an answer to prayer if not reassurance of His nearness?

I think God is just showing His great love.  All of the time.  Answers to "small" prayers are BIG.  He has a wonderful character.  Need a good place to learn about God's character?  Psalm 103 says a lot about the character of God.  Though you pretty much can't go wrong anywhere in the Bible.

This Sunday will be week 11 until launch.  Keep close to God, and cry out to Him.  "Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!"  Psalm 115:1

(who now has internet, and had a long nap this afternoon, hence, it's almost 11pm and I'm here)