“There is no domestic or foreign policy that can change the human heart”
That is a quote from a sermon of Pete‘s this last Sunday. That one, simple sentence is rocking my core. I have been thinking of all the things that people do for change. We take up politics, we go on a mission trip, we serve at church, we donate to an organization….we, we, we. Do you see that, we keep interjecting ourselves into everything. How many times do we stop and instead of belittling elected officials we choose to pray for them? How many times do we take the time to pray for the people we leave behind on our way home from a mission trip? When we donate or serve, are we doing it because we are serving God or simply man…and looking for a compliment or audible sound of encouragement?
There are days that I fall into everyone of those things except prayer. Days where I selfishly believe that because of me, I am making a difference in someone’s life. The truth is, without Christ, I am nothing. NOTHING! Yes, I may possess certain skills or characteristics but without Christ I am lost. God has allowed me the opportunity to see His light, His grace, His love. And what do I do? I make it all about a systems of rules, regulations and even (gasp) ministries! Even with the best approach or resources a ministry is simply a tool.
I have said many times before that when a leader begins to think that a ministry is ‘theirs’, it will fail. Ministry, regardless of children’s or adults, is a tool that God can use. We just have to be willing to step out of the way and allow Him to move. And let me tell you, I mess that one up big time! I am constantly having to rethink where I am serving and how at church. I am always evaluating my heart. It isn’t because I am looking for God to tell me something new (although I love it when He does) it is to make sure I am allowing God to use me while I serve.
God does the heart change. You and I may get the opportunity to be preset when it happens or simply be a marker on the path to change. We might not even know we influenced it. There are many people in my life who many never know the impact that their listening, serving or grace meant to me on my way to Christ. God used everyone of those people to weave a path that I could follow to Him. The day I stood in front of my peers and expressed my desire to live for Christ was truly a public moment. However, the moment in which I made that decision was a private moment. It was shared not with my parents, not my best friend, not a pastor. It was shared with a Father who held his child as she cried tears of repentance on a dirty floor at a ski lodge. The day I was baptized my friends and pastor all stood with me as I cried similar tears mixed with joy and awe, that God would still choose me. However, even though the day was shared, the decision to get there was one that came from pouring out my heart with every emotion known to man to a God that could not just handle but relieve me of it.
I think I often hide behind ‘good deeds’. I pretend like my strengths will make the difference on someone’s life. I believe, and pray, that God will use them for His glory. And yet, I pray he uses my faults and mistakes too. I am not perfect. I totally fail at times….and everyone can see that. If God can use all of me, then I want to be His tool, His opportunity, His chance at bringing someone to the arms of the Father I love.