I found this morning's devotions helpful as we look ahead...
"The believer must refuse to rely on past virtuous deeds & achievements in ministry or to dwell on sins & failures. To be distracted by the past debilitates one's efforts in the present." -j. macarthur
"Not that I have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:12-14
The goal for living right now, this very minute is Christlikeness. The future prize is Christ, Himself, face to face. Christlikeness should be my motivation & goal whatever today may bring.
1. A painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger. Fear expresses less apprehension than dread, and dread less than terror and fright. Fear is an uneasiness of mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us.
Fear is the passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil.
As we think and prepare for Haiti I am tempted to fear many things. Sometimes I fear physical endangerment to our family either by sickness or unexpected evil. Although, last night I was contemplating the fear of man & the fear of failing. What if we fail? What will people think of us? What if I don't bring honor to His Name? What if the goal is aborted? Will people question if we're ever in the will of God? What if we spend our lives and have little to show for our efforts? What if? What if? What if? What ifs, can be quite hazardous or faith building depending on what we do with them.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Who He Is. I need to look these plausible fears in the face and come to Him; seeing them through His word. With each, "What if?", He met me with - "lo, I am with you always..."!
The reality is that God's definition of success is often different than ours. Sometimes He sends out or raises up His children only to end their mission abruptly (or what seems abrupt) like John Bunyan for example. He uses even infirmities to glorify His Name & strengthen the church like Joni Eareckson Tada . The Lord even told Isaiah that for 60+ years he was to point the Israelites to Himself but that he wouldn't receive visible fruit in his ministry.
All of this lead me to rest once again in Him (Psalm 131). Isn't it interesting that we overcome fear by resting in Him? He alone is wise and all that He does is for my good. Therefore being with Him is the best place to be. Whatever lays ahead I am assured that He is with me. He asks me to know and obey Him today. "The safest place to be is in the will of God." I must labor and live for an audience of ONE. He told Isaiah that his obedience would be delightful to Him even though to Isaiah's understanding it seemed fruitless. Once again resting instead of fearing. His grace is always sufficient for today!
I once remember saying to a dear friend, "I will never blog. Way too many people blog when they should not." The Lord has a waggish way of bringing us face first to our NEVERS. Uhm - Yes, here I am... I mean, here we are launching a blog. This quote helps set a little blog perspective:
"Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few."
The blogs we enjoy the most are the ones that keep it real, are informative and most of all God centered. We'll do our best.
Christian World Outreach first requires that both Jason and I write our vision for missions in general and more specifically Haiti. Here is Mr. J, busy hammering it out, with the help of Let The Nations Be Glad.
We keep comparing our life now to what it might be like in Haiti. One thing is for sure, we wont prepare anything in the cooling comfort of central air. For now we're grateful.