Hijacking God’s Gifts (#528)
It's an often-repeated story... God reveals himself in some unique way and soon people are swarming all over it with the all-too-human need to protect, manage, or exploit it for their own gain. Once we regard his work as a possession of ours instead of a gift to be shared, his presence withdraws and moves on to touch people in other ways. Human ambition has done more to thwart God's work in the world than any other thing and it is tied to our need to find significance outside of our relationship with him and make our mark in the world. Brad and Wayne talk about what it means to be successful in God's eyes and how we can cooperate more freely with him in rest and contentment rather than fear and ambition.
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Wayne, this was a beautiful podcast and it spoke so true to my heart as God has pulled me back from ministry these past few years but is lovingly showing me what it means to walk in his presence, to live into the revealed identity in which he is showing me.
Learning to walk WITH God, rather than think I am doing work FOR him is a gift beyond measure and one I could not have understood had he not allowed me to experience heartache.
There is a great podcast on YouTube by Graham Cooke entitled, ” why wounded and betrayed believers are so useful in God’s kingdom” which reminds me of yours and Brads conversation a bit.
Also, I find it interesting that I have become friends with Jennifer Wilder Morgan, and she and I talked about both of our books a few years ago when we first became friends through our former church. Last month, we were invited to a private filming of her video production for her book, Come to the Garden. At that filming, she did an interview Q&A with someone you’ve worked with for his upcoming movie. I was standing right next to him and so tempted to ask him about you. I didn’t sense any nudging from the Spirit so I didn’t but wow, my humanness so wanted to! Anyway, as Tom and I were leaving the event, I found myself filled with tears and wanting to ask God why all of this fame has come to others when I was promised that by so many “well know folks in the industry” and it never happened. It was actually a very cleansing time and opportunity for true confession to God which she has done beautiful work in my heart since that night. The reminders that he is leading me into deep connection with himself and using me when and where he longs to lead me–a relationship grounded in faith, healing, wholeness and MORE!
Wayne, thanks for that podcast. I’ve struggled with what you were talking about in this podcast much of my adult life; I don’t think that my struggle is unique. As you were talking, my mind was directed to Jesus’ very profound saying, “24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt 6:24 (KJV) When we commoditize God’s gifts we serve mammon, and serving God with our gifts goes “out the window”. As a clergy person there is a unrelenting temptation to commoditize the gifts God gives to minister. I struggled with this in seminary 30 years ago, when I asked myself the question, “How can ministry be a profession?” And in the profession, the question never really goes away. I am grateful that you are allowing God to lead you in a direction away from serving mammon and toward serving Him; by doing so I am encouraged to move in the same direction.
I like “walking WITH God rather than doing FOR God”….
Does this seem “lonely” for some?
I think Jesus being about the Fathers business was lonely many a times.
I think in had the disillusion that working with Jesus would be more corporate or where the majority of Christians are but in my journey I’m finding as I abide,follow, and work with Him it can be less majority and more minority. Yet this minority aspect ushers me to minister with more authenticity and sincerity with those whom are minorities in our small town community.
We sometimes forget that the Way is narrow and that it’s not a majority that find it!
For me, it is more lonesome. I have to be very carful to not get inside of my head too much in this time. That is where I realize that the true awareness of God as OTHER THAN ME is key. The Spirit indwells and opens a deeper awareness and ability to commune with God. If you read Judges 6 and the story of Gideon where the Angel of the Lord (Jesus) appears to him, gives him his identity (mighty warrior), works with him through his doubt, then leaves. Later, Gideon has direct connect with God through the unpacking of his call. Gideon becomes aware that God is calling the shots.
I love this. To me, it is part of the exchange–we let go of what man wants to offer us for the exchange of true connection with the Spirit and Father through Christ in us.
Life is less what I had “hoped”, but as I gradually let go of the worlds ways, and embrace MORE of His Kingdom offer, I experience the fulfillment of the even deeper longings of my heart.
The realization that there are few on this sort of journey makes the ones that are a priceless gift when they are discovered!
Some seasons I do this better than others. Keeping my eyes on Him and asking each day what He has in store makes for an adventure. Stand firm, look for Him at every turn and the loneliness will fade into the background. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!
I was listening to this podcast in the car the other day, and short of pulling to the side of the road and writing down my thoughts, I decided to wait a few days. I think I forgot most of what I was going to say, instead of the main thing, thankfully.
The ‘machine’ can definitely take on a life of its own, whether it be a ministry, a business, a form of entertainment, or some other venture. And usually there is a person or group of people, the ‘creators’, that spawn its success. But in order to build the ‘machine’ and keep it going, it often involves many other people that had nothing to do with the initial inspiration. Yet somehow they take on a sense of entitlement that this ‘machine’ is a going concern as long as they are a part of it. And often when the creator or creators see the light at the end of the tunnel and are ready to leave the ‘machine’, there is backlash.
I saw an interview with a prominent host in which, when he was considering quitting, was told, ‘Do you know you are going to put 4,400 people out of work?’ He responded by saying, ‘Don’t put that on me. These people aren’t guaranteed that when one show goes away, another one will take its place.’ That is the nature of any concern, especially when it depends on a person or people, not God. We have to be careful of that.
Several times here it was mentioned that this podcast would not go on forever, and it has gone on longer that was originally expected. And it is my hope that Wayne and Brad continue to do this podcast as a passion, not an obligation.