I've been thinking about the times of testing and discipline God takes us through as His followers. Satan would love for these chapters of our lives to cause greater pain, brokenness, and isolation from God. But I believe God has different goals in mind for us as His children ... greater freedom, greater healing, and greater partnership. Whose plans will we seek out and embrace?
Do not be deceived: The fruit of today (just as in any day of our lives) will flow out from whatever source we choose to let the "headwaters of our lives" flow from. When we choose to make the headwaters of our lives us (our plans, our agendas, our efforts, our way), the water of our lives becomes and remains bitter and undrinkable. But as we choose to make the headwaters of our lives God (His plans, His agendas, His efforts, His way), the water of our lives becomes pure and refreshing.
Ultimately, the ministries each of us have been called to and entrusted with have very little to do with us. We are called to be broken, teachable, faithful, servant leaders. And as we make the choice to partner with Jesus Christ to become these things, the fruit will be surrender to God and to one another, visible righteousness, restored relationships, and peace of mind and heart. I'm sure that you have found to be true what I have found to be true: That when it comes to fruit, we usually find what we are looking for, and we usually eat what we pick off the tree. Again, choices.
I am believing and praying that the life and ministry we put our hearts and hands to will be more centered in Jesus Christ than ever. More beautiful in their expression of worship, sacrifice and service than ever. More tender and confessional than ever. More fun than ever. More incarnational and sacramental than ever. And more encouraging and equipping than ever.
Yes, God is sovereign. Yes, God will do what God wants to do. But because God has chosen to define Himself by His love for us, and by His relationship and fellowship with us, therefore, much of what He chooses to do is predicated on what we choose to do. Broken, teachable, faithful, servant leaders. This is the road we must travel with Him. Today and each day of our lives. Godspeed.