I went every Sunday. Every Wednesday. Every Saturday Morning.
I was there whether the doors were technically open or not. It was my privilege as a pastor’s kid. I had the distinct honor of always being available to serve the people of God.
It was our calling. It was my calling.
For as long as I can remember, my parents have either been on staff at someone’s church or pastoring their own church. As if “caring for the sheep” as my dad called it was not sufficient, they also founded a non-profit whose aim was to provide resources to God’s people to establish Godly marriages & families. Their resources spread like wild-fire. I guess that’s what happens when so many marriages & families are on fire. They catch quick.
Ironically, this isn’t about that passion of mine.
This is about me. This is about my hiding, my escaping.
See it’s so easy to forget you… especially when you are going after territory you see threatened by the kingdom of darkness. It can be so tempting to lose focus. Unintentionally missing, you are the target. Your marriage is the bullseye. Your family is under attack. Your focus is the reward.
Even now, as I write, my heart breaks because so many well-intentioned, righteous, called & commissioned lovers of God are headed into battle. They see their enemy so clearly. They draft an inspired strategy. God is for them. They have every plan to conquer. Diluting their fears with Romans 8:28 as they get in position to strike their doomed opponent.
Meanwhile only 27 verses earlier, Paul comforts them—the battle is optional. You are not a
slave indebted to fight. You are free…debt-free.
This, friend, is what I like to call hiding in ministry.
It’s the subtle motivation to repay the favor done for you. It’s knowing your heart is in something else or somewhere else, but sticking around anyways. It’s vowing never to leave them. It’s the little voice that says “give up on your dreams, it’s better to be obedient.” It’s the little tip on bottom of the receipt of our experiences that says, “that’ll never happen.” It’s scooting back from the table He prepared for us, claiming to be so full of truth we couldn’t possibly even taste something new.
We excuse ourselves. We bow out gracefully. We step into the bathroom. We stare in the
mirror, and look for something to fix. Truth is nothing is wrong with us. We’re hiding. We’re calling it just cleaning up a bit, washing our hands, relieving ourselves… it’s hiding. We name it this ministry, that conference, this prayer meeting, that mission trip. It can all be our way of hiding.
What would you pick if God didn’t care what you picked?
This question has changed everything for me. I so desperately want you to know the freedom Christ died for you to have. It cost Him everything, and it will also cost you everything. This is more than just being spared death. This is life I’m talking about. I’m telling you that the safety you think you feel in the shadows is an illusion.
You are not safe when you are hiding. The enemy is not after the person who is out front.
The enemy is after your focus. Hiding requires that you insist on not being found. You can hide anywhere—even in plain sight. The only requirement is that your focus be on remaining
Ministry is an easy cave. For some, it is their authentic, honorable gift; while for others, it’s their most practiced performance.
Paul tells us that all things are lawful, but not everything is beneficial. He said that everything is permissible, but he wouldn’t be run by anything.
What would you do if you weren’t concerned about sinning? Disappointing?
What if Christ really did set us free for us to experience freedom?
What would you do if you knew the only requirement was to see and be seen, to know and to
be known by God?
Whatever your answer is—that’s your table.
Will you use your freedom to dine?
I tried starving—emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually.
I recommend you go and eat. It’s ready.
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