He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.” ~ Psalm 47:4
The Lord has been so gracious to allow me to be in His presence in places where He has chosen to show up through His signs, His wonders and His miracles. I know I am blessed and that He has used these times and situations to increase my faith. I have seen miracles of healing, miracles of food multiplied, I have experienced and seen deliverance from depression and anxiety and addiction. I long for the day that those that are God’s own children will not be as those from Jesus’ hometown, expecting so little and so receiving and seeing little of God’s power in their lives and communities.
I think so many think of God as sooooo familiar. Meaning they think they know all there is to know because they have sat in church and think they know all the stories. The Bible says though that the stories could fill volumes though so no way we could know them all. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. John 21:25. Yes, in many ways God is familiar but in many, many more ways or probably most ways, He is a God that we can not define or put into our little box or our little human minds. He is infinite and yet reachable. He can reach out to the most scholarly yet has made His gospel simple enough for a very small child. He is a mystery and yet tells us He wants to be known. He is magnificent but humble; the Lion and also the Lamb.
After a wonderful Sunday where God moved through our pastors to give the Word, I am pondering today His call on my life and how to apply His Word. I know in part what God can do and am confident in the Word and that He can do infinitely more….but there are times when I wonder how it will all come to pass since I wasted so much of my life and talents and resources on temporal things and the roadblocks seem endless. Will I go to my grave reminding myself not to look back with regret? Will these roadblocks turn out to actually be the steps to what has been prepared? Though I am a person that is pretty focused and committed still I wonder sometimes. I was thinking along these lines this morning and I felt my Father pose a question to me. He told me upfront that it was hypothetical but He told me to take it seriously nonetheless. The question was this…Excluding praise and worship, reading my Bible and prayer and excluding all otherhuman opinion, if I could do only ONE thing of service for Him all the rest of the days of my earthly life, what would I do and why?
It was early so I had the time at 4:30am to ponder these things, but it wasn’t necessary. I immediately knew my answer. If I could only do one thing of service — I would feed the hungry. I know you think now I am talking feeding the hungry physically and spiritually but I am actually mostly talking in the physical. I would feed the hungry real solid food and pray that God, in His mercy, would give me also opportunity and ways to feed them spiritually as He saw their need and mine.
Because long before He told me to preach or pray, He told me “you give them something to eat” from Matthew 14:16, Mark 6:19, and Luke 9:13. When God spoke this to me, it was one of the first times I ever heard God speak directly to me through His written Word. It stuck with me. On looking over these last years, I have found that from my obedience to“you give them something to eat” has come most of the miracles, signs and wonders that I have been allowed to see and from obedience to that command, I have been given opportunity to share the Word and pray with people and I have been able to see people saved. Real true lasting fruit. From obedience to that command I have met people that live in their cars and in the woods and I have also met hungry ministers. I have been allowed to minister to those that have given their lives for the Gospel but found themselves being fed through my hand but in that moment of divine appointment (and I believe that is what it was), I found them there feeding me in such beautiful ways. Truly I tell you, from obedience to that command “you give them something to eat” I, myself, have been fed and sustained by God and have felt the presence and LOVE of GOD HIMSELF through them toward me. It was never just me allowing the love of God through me. He gave me love through them.
I find myself now in a season where I am removed and separated at least for a time from that kind of ministry and there are days I grieve. Not because I miss a ministry but because I miss the people and what they brought into my life. I miss the faith that desperation brings into a people. I miss the mutual need. God transformed my heart of prejudice and gave me love and acceptance and compassion. He gave me understanding. In return so many of the people also accepted me and loved me back. For so many once a month I was friend or mama figure or prayer partner. They were daily in my prayers and that prayer created a bond. I look for them always when I drive the streets of Gastonia. I am so hopeful when I don’t see them out there. I made it a point to know their names and their children’s names and their situations and their hearts. I miss their hearts. I miss their hugs. I miss their stories. I miss how they bonded to others and how they helped their neighbors. They grabbed the concept we know as “church” so much better than most. They were rich in ways I think few know.
A verse that struck me this morning during those early hours with the Lord was this: Psalm 47:4, “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.” I have always loved that promise. I have always asked the Lord for the nations but my inheritance is His choice. When someone leaves you an inheritance it is their choice as to what they leave each person. The poor and the poor in spirit are my inheritance…this I know though I can’t fully explain all of what that means yet or how my wonderful Father wants me to take care of this precious gift he leaves me.
Selah! [pause, and calmly think of that]