What are you looking for and where are you looking?
I am sitting in a conference room, listening and writing notes, at a women’s retreat that I go to with my church every year. We are looking at only one verse. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). The speaker asks us to consider what needs we have and challenges us with this question: What are you looking for and where are you looking?
My needs comes to mind automatically. Direction. I am preparing to go on a new season of life, where I will move and be involved in a church plant by the Norfolk Coast. However, I still feel like I’m heading towards a big I-don’t-know. I can’t see up ahead, only the first few steps. Recently, I have been busy wrestling. What is my place, my role, in ministry? It is a mix of an identity crisis and what’s-in-the-future crisis. I want to know the roles I can play. I would like to explain to people exactly what I’m going to do. However, I have no exact details, just some vague ideas and clear commandment: Go.
However, I’m learning that ministry can be a distraction rather than an answer. I can’t help but think that we place too much emphasis in our actions of doing something for Jesus rather than waiting before Jesus. We prefer loud action to humble quiet. What are you looking for and where are you looking?
Slowly I realise that I was looking at the wrong thing in the wrong place. Asking for my place in ministry was the wrong question and the wrong assumption. I was wanting to find an answer. Ultimately, it was self-centred. In the end, my service does not matter, but my worship does.
Jesus is the answer to my question. Jesus is not looking in me for some Super Godly Woman or Super Christian. Jesus is simply looking for women who want to see Him. The place of ministry is at his throne where we simply sit, listen, and obey. That is our ministry.
Oswald Chambers (1935) writes in a devotional titled My Utmost for His Highest,
Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women but to be proclaimers of the gospel of God. The one all-important thing is that the Gospel of God should be recognised as the abiding reality. Reality is not human goodness, or holiness, or heaven, or hell- it is redemption.’
Reality of redemption must be known and experienced personally before you proclaim publicly. Your service does not matter, but your worship does. My primary goal is to see Him, who sees me equal and valuable, with all of His goodness and grace and from then, the ministry begins.
Chambers, O. [(1935) 1992] My Utmost for His Highest; An Updated Edition in Today’s Language, ‘ Do You See Your Calling?’ January 31, Dodd, Mead & Company/ Oswald Chambers Publications Association