Last night, I prayed that I wouldn’t have an agenda planned out in my mind anymore. I think its very difficult to just let it go after one night of prayer. It’s nearly impossible. My prayer is that my agenda and plans are nonexistent. They no longer exist because I want the Lord to be in control of my future. It’s so easy to say “I’m going to live in Africa long-term” and then start searching for directions and avenues in that area. But doesn’t God call us to give all our desires up to Him and just let Him lead us? I’ve always felt that Africa was where I was going to be called to long-term, and believe it or not, I still do believe that. But I haven’t had the confirmation of the calling yet. I don’t know for sure because God has not shared that with me. Even though it’s sometimes very hard and selfish to say we don’t want what God has planned clear off in the opposite direction than where I want to go, it’s still completely wise and worth it. I’m in the process of learning this. I don’t have it all together. Honestly, I think Africa is the best place for me because I felt at home there; more importantly, I fell in love with the people. They are so beautiful. Every different and diverse culture is so beautiful to me and so beyond creative that only God has something to do with that. In fact, how He made people I think is a work of art.
I was actually reading this new book I found in the GU Library called “Out of Africa” (not the same as the movie) and it’s all about how the Nigerian church got started and why there are SO many Christians there now. Anyways, this pastor talks about the many churches God used Him to plant in many countries, but he was always wondering why he didn’t stay at any of them to continue to nurture the growth of it. He says: “I learned that the church(our work/ministry) must never be my own thing! Even though the Lord may use me to start a church or ministry, I must not see myself as the president for life or the supreme authority. I am there only as long as He allows me to be, and I should always be ready to relinquish it if need be, maybe for another mission field or another country. Once that lesson was firmly established in my heart and in my mind, God released me to plant a new church in Kiev. This time He directed me to pastor it, not to turn it over in its infancy to the charge of another. Today, by the grace of God, our church in Kiev is well over 20,000 people strong. But because of the lesson the Lord taught me–never to attach my heart to the work but only to Him–I am ever ready by the grace of God to hand over the ministry to someone else at anytime, as the Lord instructs. This freedom is probably one of my greatest assets in ministry today.”
How convicting this was for me. Here I am more passionate about the children and the mission field than the God I’m serving on the mission field for. I have some rearranging to do in my life. I’m thankful I read these words. For we are not to attach ourselves to what we are doing but the great Maker alone. How difficult is that!
So from now on, I pray to not have an agenda, and no plans. May this be your prayer as well.