Just where on earth am I and who’s in front of me? It is the question I ask myself as I minister all over the world. The answers come and my stomach goes into a knot! How can my words possibly meet the heart needs, convince the minds, and move the hearers towards God?
I could be standing in a strange place in front of youth of all ages, prisoners, women from different ethnicities, leaders, or followers. I might be in front of students, hostile listeners or fans, old or young, few or many, sick or well, clever or dumb, interested or bored, friends or enemies. Who is sufficient for these things? Well! We know the answer to that, don’t we?
Yes, we do, but knowing must be translated into faith-action: obedience and trust. In that ministry moment we must turn our knowing into experience. At such times, I call to mind His promised, given Holy Spirit which is truly the dynamic of all He calls us to do and say and be. Whoever and wherever we find ourselves, His Word is truth, a sword that divides bone and marrow, a hammer that breaks rock in pieces, yet is sweeter than sweetness, a distressing, healing ointment, an electric touch. It brings rebuke or correction, encouragement or clarity to both the confused or too-clever-for-their-own-good minds. And always – it brings life!
My own words, untouched by the Holy Spirit, are unintelligible to the spirits of men. Too quiet to rise above the rude noise of unbelief. Too unimportant to warrant a pause in someone’s busy day. Unless His truth pierces the conscience and spurs the hearer to response, my words are useless. But let loose His Word in the power of the Spirit, and it will do all it promises to do. His sword will pierce. These words will speed their way to the heart of the matter, doing their unique transforming and energizing work! He it is that turns our words into soul syllables, breaking down barriers and stripping down arguments, ‘til He is acknowledged as the only truth that must be heeded and obeyed.
When the inadequacy overwhelms me (all the time), when the apprehension rises, and my blood pressure pounds, when my body is fighting jet lag or a migraine, or worse, I’m just plain frightened, tired or old and want to go home and hide (like now!), it’s time to STOP and quit the frantic chasing of my spiritual tail. I need to be still, take a spiritual deep breath, and ask myself, “Why don’t you cast (hurl) all your cares on Him? It’s time to have a hurl, girl!” I tell my quivering heart.
So right there, right then, I run to the steps of my soul and find Him waiting in the garden of grace, in the deep place where nobody goes, with my present and future in His hands just smiling at me! I love it when He does that! Why, this moment alone is worth all the stress and strain, fear and weakness. JOY!
Seeing then that “the joy of the Lord is my strength” (Neh. 8:10). I have a good cry, wash my face, get up and get on with it! What a life!
Why don’t you do the same? Cast it all – go on! HURL IT!
“I’m here, Lord.”
“I can – I will!”
“So will you help me?”
“That’s my Name.”
“What’s your name?”
“Helper. It means one called alongside to help.”
“Oh my… are you coming?”
“Oh my… are you coming?”
“I’m here. I’m with you to walk this road of foreboding.”
“Of course.” Then: “Throw it all on Me, Jill, I have broad shoulders.”
Then I remembered: “The government will be on His shoulders” (Isa. 9:6). I wasn’t sure quite what that meant, but I didn’t worry about it. I shifted the weight off my back onto His. Whew! I should have come sooner!
Why don’t you have a conversation about this, too?
Just Between Us