Tuesday, April 01, 2008

One of many sets of eyes that steal your heart!

In my own life I am often reminded of how quickly my thoughts and then sometimes my actions will distance me from God's will. I am not proud of this, but I see it happen time and again.

It seems to occur without my realizing it. My mind has a natural tendency to move from the things of God to things that are not of Him.

I have learned I must make conscious decisions to keep my focus on Him and His desires. If I do not, I am quickly moving in the wrong direction.

Recently in Mexico, I saw this play out in others lives as well. First of all, we had an incredible team, and God did some amazing things through their obedience. This is part of the reason that this stood out to me.

Within our leadership we assign Team Directors (TD's), who are responsible for daily ministry. One of their responsibilities is to keep the team focused while traveling from one ministry site to another. This is accomplished through any number of means. Having the team pray, worship, give testimonies, etc.

Since I was always driving, I was not in a position to take on this role. It was assigned to others. They did it very well, and I was pleased with their effort and creativity.

However, I noticed, that if the TD's relaxed their efforts for a few moments, something disquieting happened. Each time they let down for a moment or two, the team began to talk or discuss things that moved them away from a ministry mindset. They were very simple, even natural conversations, but they would end in places that the instigator never intended them to go.

There is something about the mentality of groups that when focus is lost, they end up revealing even amplifying what is within each of us, that is not good. It is not our desire to say or do things that are contrary to His will. We often find ourselves saying or doing things more quickly in groups if someone does not act as the spiritual conscience of the team.

It is even interesting how that person can become disliked for playing that role. They do not intend to be holier than others, only to hold them accountable. They must do the same thing within themselves.

Our minds get transfixed on many things that are not Christ-like. Most of us have learned to take these thoughts captive, and surrender them to the Lord, so they never reach our lips. However, often times in groups, the opposite happens.

My point is not to denegrate my team or what they did. God worked in powerful ways through the team. My point is to remind myself and others that we have a natural tendency to think and perhaps do wrong things...these things must be held at bay by conscious decisions, whether in groups of by oneself.

Don't be afraid to be the TD of your group of friends! I will tell you that this is something I saw my son do on many occasions. It came very naturally to him because of the time he spent with Christ. I know he took hits for it, but for the most part, he gained the respect of people, and pointed them back to Christ.

This did not occur because he went with a mission organization, it happened because he knew what was right.

The more time you spend with Jesus, the more likley you will take on His characteristics. This tends to be true whenever you spend large amounts of time with someone. We need to spend more time with Jesus than we do the world. Otherwise, we begin to look like that which we do not want to represent.



At 11:26 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

It is interesting that you would address this because it was one of the things I loved about the trip: the very vigilant efforts on the parts of the TDs (GREAT JOB GUYS!) to keep hearts and minds focused. I was sharing with my church the other day that as we traveled from site to site, team members were constantly praying, praising and talking about the things of God.

But you are right--it was amazing how easily we shifted gears at times. I remember once being the "author" of such a shift via a seemingly innocuous remark about a cultural difference. God jolted me back to His ways as I realized the turn the conversation instantly took. Perhaps that moment stood in bold relief because what is too often out of place HERE(true fellowship) had become the norm THERE.

I will also say that, from that moment of realization on, God charged me to become a focus-bearer rather than focus-breaker.

Which one are you? Which will you become? To quote a challenge from the Awe Star presentation of "Freedom" . . .


At 11:27 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

P.S. Still

praying in pink
with tender love!


Post a Comment

<< Home