I know this is a serious call. I NEVER thought it would include me. I mean it. No false modestly or humility here… only truth. In so many ways I know it’s still undefinable. I’m looking for a way to “define” it to my personality, because that’s the kind of person I am. God wants me to be another way, however, concerning LEANING on and TRUSTING in Him alone. There’s the rub of transformation, my friends! “Pastor” is not a job, it’s a (good) “Condition of the Heart”.
It’s interesting, though; the other day (a few weeks ago) God and I had a conversation where I was talking to Him about not having children in my life just yet. I was also crying to Him about not wanting to be “selfish” anymore. I put the two thoughts together and God connected them for me.
How’s He “chiseling” Me?
“Children grow you up”, I heard a man very dear to me say. I believe this is true. But with no children of my own yet, I said to God that a very critical component of learning SELFLESSNESS is missing in my life. I know it’s through NO fault of God’s, or of mine, for that matter. So… I said to God, “Father, I need to learn selflessness some other way because children are not an option right now.” How are You going to teach me this? He basically said, I’ve already put something else in your life to give you this quality: I’ve called you to the Pastorate. Oh, my Lord everybody! Oh my sweet Lord! I see it so clearly now…! And it makes this call on me easier to bear because it’s not so much a task I’m undertaking as it is an avenue of Godly transformation to which I’m submitting. Let me explain further so that I can hear my own heart in this. ( That’s often deeply necessary, you know?)
No pastor can give more to others than God gives to them. In other words, you can’t teach what you don’t know – you can’t lead where you don’t go. To communicate to others the enormously tender (downright mushy) heart of God, the supernaturally everlasting provision of God, and the unconditional love of God I must hold out my hands to God to receive these things in multiples through the avenue of true comprehension.
What? What does that mean?
Well, the Lord once told me that His definition of “comprehend” is to know experientially. In other words, to go through the stuff you’re teaching about. Again, you can’t teach what you don’t know, etc. That’s what Jesus did. He was made the Captain of our salvation THROUGH sufferings… through going through all the muck and mire that makes one handsome and whole in God. So I’m going through the avenues of wholly depending upon God to meet ALL my needs, and, for me, the REAL fire in this is realizing that I have NEVER truly understood and comprehended that I am NOT my own supply IN ANY WAY! I admit it – prior to this calling and testing and transformation wrought by God – I did not understand it.
I would say pious stuff like, God is the One Who got me this job – and I meant it. But because I didn’t truly understand it or its honest application to my life and heart, it was just a sentence of cool words I clung to in gratitude. Now God graciously accepted that gratitude from me, but He had a totally different world of understanding in line about it to present unto me when I was ready. A world of comprehending experientially… to know in understanding applied to my life’s experiences in not being able to supply a single cent of what I want for myself in finances of myself… what a joke that now is to my psyche and to my senses, and to my reality in understanding and comprehending Him! And Holy Spirit gently told me, “Sharon, you’ve NEVER been your own source for ANYTHING, ever.” Period. No one ever is…
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) Amen.
He is Faithful
And God supplies, every day and every month, the things I need to keep on going in Him. A “job” doesn’t do it – I stopped receiving unemployment checks over a year ago – and the transcription I’m paid for online is wonderful, but it doesn’t do a thing to defray the costs of living my set-apart life in Him in the way that I do. GOD DOES IT ALL, friends, and He’s always done it all. Even when I thought He just supplied the job and I earned the paycheck, I was absolutely dreaming! GOD DID IT ALL THEN, and HE’S DOING IT ALL NOW.
That’s a major lesson and transformation of my complete psyche He’s affecting through His call to the Pastorate in my life. Really, I don’t believe anything else – any kind of lesson in living – would have been as effective in teaching me that. And the power of learning how God’s heart can impact the hearts of those around me towards unselfish giving has made a purely unselfish heart out of mine. It’s still going on within me; I can feel it increasing every day.
I don’t believe I will ever pass by a need in the Body of Christ (or anywhere for that matter) without sincerely asking God if I can contribute to its relief in some way, because I (now) truly know what it is to need someone to just give you things, with no strings attached… even if you cannot repay. And I know what it is to see hearts willing to give in the same vein, never even looking to be repaid. That’s amazing selfLESSness, people. My Sweet Lord Jesus, that’s amazing.
More of this later, I’m sure… these thoughts are never-ending.