After last night's Open Door, Jer and I were discussing my teaching and he pointed out that a couple of times during the talk I got emotional. He was surprised, as he feels he hasn't seen that out of me often when I teach. He asked where that came from, and in reflecting on it, I think it's because I'm waking up to some things. I've been realizing lately just how much I've been relying on my own capabilities to get through my everyday life. I'm pretty good at trusting Him with the things that I can't control, but I'm not so good at recognizing my need for Him in the boring, everyday, mundane events and relationships in my life. The reason this makes me emotional is because I'm sensing that this is a deep, tectonic shift for me and for the Open Door community. I'm finding my heart captured in a new way, as I see that Jesus has so much more in store for me.
I wanted to share those quotes from last night, so that we can keep chewing on them. All too often, we hear something impacting and don't take the proper time to let it marinate inside us. Here are the things my friends shared with me:
This is from a member of Open Door: "My uncontrollable desire to be liked by anyone and everyone permeates a lot of relationships and I need Jesus to break me of that and draw my focus away from myself. Then and only then do I see myself being willing to sacrifice, becoming generous, and genuinely kind."
This is from a teenager who awakened to Jesus' love for the first time two months ago. It's a beautiful thing to hear her speak, because she's just discovering things about Jesus that I've long forgotten…how wonderful it is to be getting to know Him for the first time: "Everywhere. In Jesus we are like small children. We are amazed at everything and want to dive into all the beauty He gives. Before Him I was wasting my life crying over something that was a blessing in disguise."
This is from one of my mentors: "I cannot put things in their proper place without him - my possessions, my time, my stuff. I cannot put my aspirations and dreams in the the proper place without Him. I cannot put my fears and my failures, the ways my past has misshaped me in proper place without Him. I cannot receive the good gifts of His creation in every moment of ordinary life without Him. I cannot find my place in His creation and in the renewal of creation without Him."
Perhaps my favorite, one of my friends cited this passage from Colossians 1:15-17: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Every moment, every aspect of creation needs Jesus in order to stay together.
These are hints of people learning to look past the external, beyond the immediate, on the other side of sin into life and recognize that they…need…Jesus. On His own terms and not ours. I loved asking these questions, because it allowed me to help others see their need for Jesus that day; I'd like to think that the question made them aware that they actually NEED Him in those things. So...
The Israelites had Rome; what's the thing you can't see past?
Where do you need Jesus?