I heard those words from three different people on three different topics on three consecutive days. In all three situations, they were applying the advice to themselves. After the third time, I finally realized that God was speaking those words of warning to me.
I recently took on an elder role in an affluent congregation with lots of opportunities for service and too many ways to become overwhelmed. I am one of two new elders who are about 20 years younger than the existing body of elders. Suddenly, many more people are pulling on my time and watching my actions. It has been so overwhelming that I have struggled to be focused at work. I have found that God has prepared me through a lifetime of experiences – minister’s kid, repentant legalist, committed unifier of the church, believer/atheist/believer, father, husband, 20 years at this congregation, well connected to other ministries in the area, philosopher, engineer,… The list could go on. Still I wonder why I am here and if this is where God will use me best. I have recently considered returning to school for an apologetics emphasis, even mentioned Oxford to Judy. I have often started my book, but it usually stops when a minister derides those who want to write a book. Nevertheless, I have lots of God-give wisdom.
Isn’t God lucky to have me!
There it is… the pride that brought ruin to David and countless others. Ugly isn’t it. Lord rescue me from this body of sin! Use me in your work, but strengthen me to keep my ego out of my ministry, out of my family, out of my work, out of my life. Let them be Your ministry, Your family, Your work, Your life. Let me die to self, so I can know the freedom of serving You truly, and You only.