I've been struggling lately. I feel like I'm right on the edge of a great move of God in my life, but the anticipation and resulting restlessness and silence are suffocating. As long as I've lived in the silence - as much time as I've spent waiting - I still don't handle it well. Lately I've thought I've done everything possible to get close to God. I've been intentional about creating time and space for him. I took a long flight last night for that express purpose. I was alone at 6000 ft - waiting. I took my ipod and listened to Christian music - I created the environment, He didn't show. I went to bed last night feeling like I'd done everything I could. Sometimes God shows up and sometimes he doesn't. He's the wind. Right?
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5I read 2 Timothy tonight. I read pretty fast and tonight I was reading just to say I did it and kind of skipped over the first few chapters, but 4:5 caught my attention. This is what I've been feeling lately. I have to do something. I don't know what, but I really feel like I need to be more actively following Christ. I really think I've got the sober-minded thing ok and I know I've endured some suffering, it's the last parts I'm on now. Do the work of an evangelist - I have no idea what that would look like in my life, I'm sure I'm not called to be a vocational minister. So how do I fulfill my ministry? How do I know what my ministry is? This verse is comforting because it confirms that I do have a ministry - the desire to fulfill it is there. I just don't know what it is. After this verse grabbed my attention I went back and re-read the verses preceding it. I found two things:
1. What I don't want to be but fear I am fairly often.
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power... 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth... they will not get very far. 2 Timothy 3
Way too much of that sounds like me. In this moment it's the part about always learning but never arriving at knowledge of the truth that scares me. I think that's exactly the question I've been asking myself. With all of the reading and meditating - with the time and space I've created - why am I not getting it?
2. I haven't been reading the right things.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3I read some really great blogs and some really powerful books written by some brilliant and gifted people, but I don't loose myself in the word of God. The last place I think to look is the one place with ALL the answers. I need to be taught - trained. The middle of this passage points directly at the two things I want most to be: A man of God - competent. That's right, competent. I would like to be great, famous and wealthy. I would love to be respected and remembered, but at my core - in the distant places of my heart - I want most passionately to just be enough. I can think of nothing grander than to be a competent man of God. I want, so completely, to do every good work- to be equipped - to fulfill my ministry. When I take time to read the Bible it always points to one place to find those things. I need to be close enough to God to be consumed by his breath - to be lost in his word.