Saturday, August 28, 2010

I confess this to you.

I have been treating fund development as a "functional savior." 

This summer, as I raise funds to do college ministry with InterVarsity, my hope and prayer has been reaching the point of being "fully-funded."  Naturally, that term means I've raised my entire operating budget for next year.  The problem is that I've put this goal in such a place of prominence in my life, that it has often replaced my true hope found in Jesus.

I've even gone so far as to establish this as a "functional heaven"--a place or ideal which translates to paradise, peace, comfort, and completeness.  I've anticipated reaching my goal of being fully-funded and finding worth.  That disgusts me to read, typed-out here.  I'm not going to erase it now.  It's been embarrassingly true this week, and I want to face it.

Well then, how does one get to such a heaven?  By way of a Savior.  

This process of fund development has become the functional savior on which I've started to place all my hope, energy, satisfaction, and even identity.

Earlier in the summer, I was doing FD pretty well.  Humility to myself, trust upon the Lord, and wonder at His incoming provision--this embodied my FD process.  Deuteronomy ch. 8 was crucial in keeping my perspective grounded in the reality of my situation.  It's not: "my power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me" [v.17]  Not at all.  That verse comes in a passage that warns about forgetting God, and that's exactly what I've done.

Praise be to Him, for reeling me back in.

It was His word, not my own doing, that has called me into this place of contrast.  I see my own sinfulness against the truth of the great I AM, and that's not something we can see on our own, friends.  Here's how the Lord showed me.

"...apart from me you can do nothing." [Jn. 15:5b] 

I haven't been raising these funds.  I haven't been tuning people's hearts to have a vision and passion for my ministry.  The LORD has been at work.  I have only offered my best efforts of obedience to my calling, in faithfulness, and He is honoring those. 

All of the sudden, I feel like the little kid trying to help his dad cook breakfast.  I'm trying, probably even hurting his progress, but he's looking at me with love. [Jn. 10:21]

Since it was Scripture that brought me around--the true word of God--that's what I'm leaving with you.

"If you abide in me, and my word abides in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples."  [Jn. 15:7-8]

May you and I stay soaked in the word, and may the Lord be glorified by the fruit he bears through us.

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