During this time of transition, we hoped to bring peace in the midst of anxiety or fear by pouring our hearts out to God; we have offered prayers of confession, prayers for openness and eagerness for listening as the Spirit speaks to us, and praying for wisdom which comes from the Father. Today is all about taking ourselves out of the picture and letting God do his work through us.
A classic passage on following the Lord comes from Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.” There are three things to consider here:
- Trust in the Lord – walk with him through the darkness of life when the path cannot be seen,
- Don’t lean on our own understanding – wait on the Lord rather than taking control and usurping authority; basically we take ourselves out of the picture and let God mold us into the people he desires for his kingdom’s sake,
- Acknowledge him, not in many ways or in most of our ways, but in ALL our ways. That is all about trust and surrender.
Our attitude must be similar to that of the experiences of Jeremiah at the potter’s house. When does the clay say to the Creator, “Why have you made me this way? I’m not sure this is your best work. I prefer to be made this way.” In the illustration in Jeremiah 18:4, “But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.”
At times the Creator will smash the clay and remake it into something totally different, as HE wills, and for HIS sake. THAT involves extreme change. But we say, “We don’t like change!” After reading this story, how can we, the people of God, call ourselves “the people of God” yet refuse to allow him to shape us into the vessel he desires? WE as a staff are NOT calling for such change, but we MUST ask ourselves the question, “What if GOD did, would we be so submissive?”
On a personal spiritual level, we have to take a look at Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
When we become followers of Jesus, we recognize that we give up our individual rights to our lives and preferences. Christ lives through us, we no longer live for ourselves, but for Jesus. We surrender to his calling and his mission for us as the church. We develop an outward focus toward those who are not yet a part of this congregation. THIS is the change that God desires whether or not we have a senior pastor at King’s Grant.
So, we have prayed to confess, to listen, to seek wisdom, and finally to trust; to trust that our Lord will change us and the church into that which he desires for his divine purposes.
Let’s bow for our prayer for the interim time:
Father, we come before you admitting that we are frail, weak, and prone to selfishness. After we confess our sin to you, we humbly ask that you help us to eliminate our desire to control, manipulate, and lean on our own understanding. We want to trust you but admit that walking in the dark is scary. We don’t know what the future holds but we know who holds the future. Help us to realize that while we walk in darkness, we walk alongside of the one who is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. While we are a people of faith, yet we ask that you help us when our faith falls short.
Since we are followers of Jesus Christ, remind us daily that we are crucified with Christ and that the life we now live we do not live for ourselves but for the sinless one who died and gave himself up for us. Change us from the inside out. Mold us into the people you want us to be. Make us uncomfortable with the status quo. Help us to trust the Savior of our souls. Help us to rest in the fact that we are not left without direction. Remind us of the mission before us, left to us by the Lord himself, to always be about the Father’s business.
Let us be as clay in the potter’s house. As scary as this is, start fresh if that is your will. We trust in your kindness, mercy, wisdom, patience, timing, discipline, restoration, purpose, plan, and protection. May we be a light to the world, shining out to those who do not yet know the lover of our souls.
May we sense the burden of lost souls around us, those who are far from God, not caring about the grace, mercy, and forgiveness that you provide. May the waters of baptism be filled on a regular basis for those who have, like the prodigal son, have come to their senses and returned to the Father. May wayward children, even adult children, be brought back to you. Encourage us to never tire of doing good to those around us. Use us for your purposes and convict us of our preferences during this interim time.
We ask all of this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, AMEN