Posted by: JennyRain | November 5, 2009

Losing sight of what is important, and what is not

Is it time to leave yet?!?

Two weeks ago I posted an article entitled Should I stay or should I go now that discussed whether or not to leave from a certain situation.

This week, it seems as if everywhere I turn, advice is pouring in about this same subject.

Monday night church with the Walters’ is always a treat.

Not only do I have the blessing of great fellowship, but I am always encouraged just by watching the two of them interact. If you aren’t laughing when you are with the Walters, well, there is something wrong with you, because they are really funny!

Ok I digress (as usual) 

Monday night at church Todd Phillips covered the story of Samson. Phillips said that “Samson did not finish well because he lost sight of the BIG picture.” God wanted to use Samson to deliver Israel from the Philistines, but he never did. Samson stayed in places he should not have and then became stuck in a place he could not get out of.

As a result of getting stuck in prison, not only did Samson suffer, but the people he was called to deliver suffered because they had no deliverer.

Samson had spent his life thinking about what he wanted and as a result of this focus on himself others suffered unnecessarily. At the end of Samson’s life he was still so focused on himself (rather than God’s plan for he and the Israelites) that his last prayer went like this…

Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” (Judges 16:28)

In Samson’s last words to God, he mentioned himself four times, and God only twice. Samson was twice as focused on self over God.

What a sad ending for someone who was so distracted by all of the wrong things that he failed to accomplish the one thing for the one group of people during the one life he had.

Samson never got it and because of that, the people he was called to help remained in constant fear of the warring Philistines.

One of the great motivators for me to move from DC to GA in 2004 was a comment I heard in my Experiencing God class. It cut me to the bone when I heard it and it became a clarion motivator for me.

In one of the teaching tapes Henry Blackaby said, “If you choose not join God where He is working, how many people will suffer as a result of your inaction?”

Any fear I had about moving was dwarfed by this call to realize that my move had more to do with something that GOD was doing. It was not just a simple desire to experience life in the South, it was something much bigger that was moving me.

But I had to make the choice to take my eyes off of myself, my fears of change, and place them squarely on God.

It was my job to choose to follow God. It was God’s job to fill me with His sustaining Grace. And God did. It was my job to trust. It was God’s job to place the spiritual and practical resources in my path to help me move forward.

Exactly one year after I moved to GA, Hurricane Katrina hit and I became a part of one of the largest outreach initiatives in my former company‘s history. By God’s grace, I was able to reach out to others and offer service and assistance and care.

For me this outreach became a defining moment that served to move me into full-time ministry and I had the privilege to impact thirty-one families during a critical transitional time with God’s message of hope and healing.

 I learned the truth that God was using my life for far greater ministry in this situation than I could have ever imagined or planned for.

What motivated me to begin examining the wisdom of leaving? An incredibly difficult job situation.

The circumstances at my job created a bone-crushing, spirit-deflating season, but God used them for good. Had I remained in my cushy corporate management job – leaving would have never entered my mind.

Four and a half years later, I stand grateful at the fact that I took my eyes off of myself. I am glad that in this situation, I was not a Samson.  I am glad I did not embrace my fear of change and instead chose to run with the wings of faith into the unknown.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Habakkuk 2:4 …but the righteous will live by his faith

 

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