"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." -Psalm 73:25-26
Those words encourage and urge us to seek God and carry heaven in your heart! As I sit in the states now, I can testify today that God is among us, He is present in us and wishes for others to follow Him by using us! As I listen to Platts' Revelation series, the question begs are we basing our lives on "how its going" instead of "where we are going?" Recently, I've been experiencing conflicting events all at the same time: Massive vacancies (money needed to financially support us) - help falling through and no plan to renovate the properties in the future, lack of interest, support or even relationships with my extended family back home for us being in Ecuador and 10 hour days of dirty work, cleaning up after other peoples messes. Contrast that with now having our friends and partners with us (Brocks) on the camp, having friends step up to support, feed, house and equip me even with a truck (you know who you are) while filling 2 vacancies/talking another out of leaving all within the first week and then experiencing Him beginning to move at the camp - two churches praying about supporting the ministry, the local church beginning to get involved and three new in-country groups coming this fall. Its a lot to take in but regardless how its viewed, its all temporal. I tend to want to calculate, do the math, try to link 'how we are doing' with 'what we are doing or not doing' but that's not how He works. His long view trumps our clouded perspective that at times is too close for clarity!
Take Nehemiah for example. The prophet received word that the Jewish remnant that survived the exile were in great trouble since the walls of Jerusalem were broken and gates burned down. He fasted and prayed before God, "O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man." Neh 1:11 (He was cup bearer to the king). The king agreed to let him go and also provide support in the endeavor. While surveying the damage without telling anyone, he then made his plea, "'You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.' I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "'Let us start rebuilding.' So, they began this good work." Neh 2:17-18. After being ridiculed for attempting to do so, he answered by saying "The God of heaven will give us success." verse 20. Why didn't the Jewish people there in Jerusalem see the condition of the walls staring at them in the face, realize their vulnerability and fix it themselves? Why did it take the action of another to identify the need and formulate a plan? What's interesting is how the people responded when prompted. Each rebuilt a section of the wall, with scripture noting that each section "next to him" was repaired by another group - tying all the work together and generally as it states in Neh 3:28, "each in front of his own house," Are you relying on your own strength or basing the work God has for you on the outlook as you see or He sees? Are you always looking for the grand purpose in everything or content with the work that He has clearly set before you - right in front of your face! Neh 4:13 then goes on to say, "Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows." Where are your areas of vulnerability where the enemy can get in? Is it repairing the holes in relationships within your very own family? These are not blind spots, they are as visible as the holes in those walls. I've had to ask myself those tough questions over the last few weeks while on my own.
Unfortunately, we don't get to choose the circumstances or methods of how the Lord works in our lives. He doesn't save us from difficulty, just through it so that His glory will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). We will continue to be a people like the Israelites in need of constant prompting, prayer, reflection and restoration to reach hardened hearts for God because we're also the same. So, today if you are struggling with what we are doing for God begin asking where we are going for Him! Where is he leading you to act? Most often, its right in front of you, no need to go anywhere other than exactly the station, situation and location of your life because He put you there. Just know, it may look nothing like you planned, anticipated or prepared for but have comfort in that He purposed it. Lastly, if you don't have a personal relationship with the King of King's, Rey de Reyes, you are offered the opportunity to be His cup bearer. To bring life and living water to those in thirst......
"Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:39