… continued from yesterday… in honor of Crown's returning Internship students I am posting the manuscript from their commissioning on February 17, 2012…
So, who was the better follower of Jesus? Was it Philip- who spoke and got everyone saved and lived long and prospered? Or was it Stephen- who spoke and got everyone persecuted and who did not live long nor did he prosper?
Who was the better follower of Jesus? In my mind, according to the way things should go, early on in my ministry I thought that I would want to be like Philip. I thought that if I was really following after God then things would turn out dynamically like they did for Philip. This is what I projected upon myself… that a true follower of God, especially someone who earnestly went into a life of ministry, would have everything work out expectedly. “God, I’m following after you and I love you and I’m really secure in you and I’m giving it my all and so God, you’re just going to bless everything… in the way that I expect… in the way that I want… in the way that I think would be best… for me according to my will.”
The truth is that when you head out into ministry, all of the outcomes are left up to God. The only thing we really have control in and of ourselves is everyday dedicating our lives to Him… and even then we need help from God to stay on task… and saying “God, what do you want us to do today for you?” That’s ministry.
The outcomes, how people respond, what happens in life, what circumstances hit you across the face, that’s up to God. Blessed be the name of the Lord, he gives and takes away, he gives and takes away, but my heart will chose to say, blessed be the name of the Lord. Now, in those ‘take away’ moments, are you really going to bless the name of the Lord? It’s hard!
… Part 7 tomorrow…