This past week, I’ve been battling a cold. I hate feeling sick and so I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar (please be impressed – it tastes awful!), green tea, (though I am a coffee lover) and Emergen-C. My energy has been lower than normal and my to do list has been longer than normal. Can you relate?
Early one morning as I was complaining to the Lord about my energy level, I read Mark 3:14-15, “He appointed the Twelve, whom he named apostles. He wanted them to be continually at his side as his friends, and so that he could send them out to preach and have authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons”. As I’ve been meditating on those words, I was struck again with the importance of being with Jesus over just serving Jesus. In Jesus’ mind, He wanted his disciples to just hang with Him as much as He wanted them to go out and serve Him.
What are the lessons for you in these verses?
He appointed you. You, my friend, were chosen and appointed. Ah, doesn’t it feel great to know He picked you! Let that sink in. He wanted you! You have divinely given purpose. You were chosen to love God and glorify Him. Jesus said, “I’ve chosen and commissioned you to go into the world to bear fruit” (John 15:16 The Passion Translation).
He wanted you to be with him. Jesus wanted an intimate friendship with you. Think about your dearest friends. You talk with them and listen to them. You go out for coffee and lunch dates with them. You share each other’s burdens and secrets. You spend time together cultivating your friendship. Jesus wants that kind of close friendship with you! He said, “I call you my most intimate friends, for I reveal everything that I’ve heard from my Father” (John 15:15b The Passion Translation). Intimate friends share secrets. Jesus wants to share the secrets of His heart with you. Are you listening? Spend time throughout your day talking with Him and listening for His thoughts.
He wanted you to go for him. Go where? Go anywhere Christ is not known. You are Jesus’ representative. So, if your neighbors don’t know Christ, go there. If you’re on a business trip and your colleagues don’t know Christ, go there in your conversations. Don’t hide your faith. Jesus is counting on you. Be His representative. Dare to open the faith conversation. Don’t come on like you know it all – because you don’t. Don’t make it political – because politics won’t save. Open the conversation about Jesus.
He wanted you to have authority. Sometimes, we cower when we feel attacked by the enemy. Here’s the thing. You have all authority over Satan and any of His demons in Jesus’ name! He’s given you all authority. So, learn how to use the authority that’s yours in Christ. When Satan threatens or tempts, use your weapons; The Word of God and the Power of Praise. The Word is the sword of the Lord and Satan is allergic to praise. So, when he starts in your ear with his blah, blah blah, clobber Him with scripture and praise! But remember, you can’t claim your authority unless you’ve spent adequate time with Him. Be with Him first and then go and take authority!
Being with Him is just as important as doing for Him. Years ago, my mentor told me to use this rhythm in my life: Worship, Wait and then Write. When my to do list becomes a mile long, I remind myself to be with Him and soak in His presence before I try to accomplish anything for Him. He alone is my power source.
This week we are in Massachusetts, visiting churches and friends of Reach Beyond.
Then we travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil for the weekend. I will speak at Calvary International Church on Saturday and Steve will preach there Sunday morning. Sunday night we’ll take the red-eye flight back to the states so that we’re ready to minister at a missions conference in upstate New York.
How you can pray
Please pray for energy and health as we travel and speak.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit will flow through us and speak through us in the various settings.
Please pray for our missionaries in Ecuador. The country has been very unstable this past week. There have been many riots in the streets and the grocery stores have been running out of food. The president and his cabinet fled Quito. We are concerned for the safety of our missionaries and friends in Ecuador. Pray for wisdom for Steve.