So our Fall Outreach is this weekend! Today, actually. We leave for College Station at 1 p.m. and will be back Sunday early evening. I'm excited! Our team is so fun, there's about 15 of us going, then the other two groups are going to Norman, OK and Belton.
Reading in Isaiah this morning and thought I'd share this passage from chapter 12:
"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
In that day, you will say:
'Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;
Make known among the nations what he has done,
And proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
Let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
For great is the Holy One of Israel among you.'"
What that says to me about my role:
Replace fear with trust. When I trust in his strength, I will have no fear of inadequacy or fear of man. Sing and shout what he has done - which is rescued me from the pit of hell and from power of sin over my life and given me living hope. Proclaim his name to the world (and College Station) and tell them what he has done for us. Have a heart of thanksgiving and prayer (call on him).
God's role in this deal:
Dispenser of strength, song, glory, joy and best of all salvation. He offers his perfect salvation without prejudice. He is real and active in our lives, and puts praise on our lips in order that we might share His glory with those who know not of Him.
I think of the Samaritan woman at the well and how Jesus read her mail and then offered her living water. He didn't condemn her sin, but called her to return to her husband. While everyone avoided this woman with a bad reputation, Jesus went out of his way to meet her where she would be. And it wasn't church, y'all!!!
I think everyone draws water (life) from something. It could be drawing from the opposite sex in order to get the love and affection one needs; drawing from the well of education/knowledge for satisfaction; drawing from a well of religious acts and good works; drawing from the well of selfishness, of fame, etc. But there's a well that holds ETERNAL LIFE and when one drinks of this well, he will never thirst again. Hence, God is the only thing in this world that I've found that truly satisfies. And we will draw with JOY. We will live a good life when we choose this well! I think too many times we think Christianity will be a boring life of "DO NOTS." Yet we are more free than we think to live rich lives in Jesus. It is us, not God who imposes all these religious rules. In a sense, we trap ourselves to live these "lifeless" lives. For God always has more than we could ever ask for or imagine.
That's something the Lord is teaching me right now...that too many times when we speak of "revival," we want to plan all these meetings at the church and hope people will be drawn to them. Isn't that kind of like going to our familiar well and waiting for sinners to miraculously come to us? They are nothing like us and many feel uncomfortable with the way Christians behave or have treated them, and wouldn't dare to come near. So...the alternative calls us to proactivity: to GO WHERE THEY ARE just like Jesus did. God is calling us to be a people that go outside of the church walls instead of being so church-centric. I often feel that in the church community life, we are so busy attending this meeting, that service and the other that we are neglecting the great commission and have become self-serving. It's awesome to get fat in the Lord, but if we don't share the food (love, grace, etc) we've received, we are just being spiritual gluttons.
Even in speech, we lose non-Christians with words like "sanctification, living by the spirit, salvation, edification, justification," etc.
So Lord, let me speak simply and purely of your love this weekend!! Lead me to their wells to offer living water, just as you did. I am no higher than any other, for we are all saved by your grace. Salvation is simply "deliverance from the power and effects of sin." It is "liberation from ignorance or illusion" and "preservation from destruction or failure" (Merriam-Webster).