It has not been a secret that I’ve been praying about what God wants Osage to do in our community. This kind of prayer is important for us all as we learn to follow His will for the church and our lives. Last Sunday I announced that God gave me an answer. Sometimes the answer we’re looking for isn’t what was expected, but it’s exactly what we need. Let me tell you once again how it came about.
Another pastor I met at the gym I frequent asked me what I’ve been praying for, so I told him. After the words left my mouth God immediately answered my prayer. He replied, “Let me tell you something.” To which I said that I was pretty sure I already knew what he was going to say. He continued anyway: “I was reading a book written by a pastor of a mega church. He stepped down from his position to grow in further intimacy with God. It wasn’t that what he was doing was wrong, but that he wasn’t quite sure what he was supposed to do next. Well, when he was about to go up on stage and speak at a large venue, he prayed, ‘God, please use me tonight.’ It’s a typical prayer. But it was like God answered him audibly, ‘You’re praying the wrong thing. You need to focus on me and let me take care of the rest.’ I think God has the same message for you, Nate.”
Obviously, he’s correct. Too many times we expect God to tell us something revolutionary or ask us to do something extravagant and different. It reminds me of the account of Naaman the leper in Elisha’s time in 2 Kings 5. He was expecting Elisha to come out and do something amazing. But the command for healing was simple. Naaman’s servant recognized the simplicity and encouraged him to do it. He went and washed and was clean. God does the miraculous through the simplest of commands. Naaman didn’t have to do something great, but only obey. What we can be reminded of is that God’s word hasn’t changed. His commands to simply love are the same. The question is whether we’ll be obedient to Him and experience the miraculous as He works through our obedience.
Based off what we’ve gone through as a church this year in desiring to become better followers of Jesus and live an “all in” love, that’s what we’re going to do. We are going to love. This is our next step. Here’s how we will do it:
- Love Intentionally: as a church or personally, we are going to go places, say, and do things with the intention of loving others.
- Awareness to Love: we are not going to be blind to what’s happening around us but actively look for opportunities to love in our situations.
- Consistently Love: loving others is not a one-time thing but maintains a relationship of consistent sincerity. We will follow up on the people we love.
This may not seem like something extravagant, but it’s exactly what our community needs and exactly what the church should be known for. This is how we connect Christ to where we live. So, let’s be aware together and purpose to love.
How can you creatively apply this to your own life?