[Month 3 (Week 11-12): This post is part of the “6 Month Discipleship Plan” series]
More than a month ago, I found myself daydreaming for something bigger, specifically for ministry. I mean, if you’re going to hope or envision for something in the Lord, you gotta do it big, right? In Isaiah 54:2, it even says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”
Enlarge, stretch wide and do not hold back.
Lengthen and strengthen.
Big words indeed and there is nothing wrong with it.
However, while daydreaming, the Holy Spirit injected a thought in me. I realized that “bigger” should not be the goal; it should only be the result of something else. Breadth should not be my hope and vision; it should just be a manifestation of something else.
And that something else is “Depth”.
I can’t enlarge the place of a tent if the tent isn’t ready. I can’t stretch the tent curtains wide if the tent curtains are not of good quality. I can’t lengthen tent cords that are made of yarn nor can I strengthen tent stakes that isn’t in proper form.
Well, if I try, I might be able to at least hold it but it will surely fall and become useless in a matter of seconds.
And so it hit me. I should not chase breadth but depth. Instead of daydreaming for bigger things, I should hope and envision going deeper with God and what God has already entrusted.
“You concern yourself with the depth of your ministry. Let God be concerned with the breadth of it.” – John MacArthur
I am reminded that when a follower of Jesus goes deeper in his or her love relationship with God, any dragging, boring, uncertain or disappointing feeling when serving the Lord is removed out of the picture. Sharing the gospel becomes more exciting and discipling others become energizing. No such thing as unmet expectations because his or her hope and encouragement are sourced out from Jesus.
I am reminded that when a follower of Jesus goes deeper in his or her love relationship with God, he or she will not do things for God out of “force” or obligation but out of an overflow of God’s grace and mercy. Even when people do not listen when the gospel is being preached and even when people turn down invitations to get closer to God, the race continues. His or her eyes is fixed on Jesus.
“Following-up on people, when done out of Christ’s love and the power of the Holy Spirit, won’t ever feel like a burden”, says my Bible study leader.
I am reminded that when a follower of Jesus goes deeper in his or her love relationship with God, discipleship plans do not become his or her motivation; it only becomes an output. Although a discipleship plan is a helpful tool for Christians to plan, prepare and be persistent towards short term and long term goals, it does not and can not go greater than our Lord’s saving grace!
I am reminded that when a follower of Jesus goes deeper in his or her relationship with God, the way of the cross (written in Mark 8) becomes a desire to be lifted up to God and a challenge to be embraced rather than a optional verse to follow.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – Mark 8:34-35
I am reminded that when a follower of Jesus is so in love with Him and so much in the centre of His love, he or she will not be moved — even when things are chaotic and even when things seem foolish.
My daydreaming should have not been of things bigger but of things deeper. My bigger things are never going to match the sovereignty and goodness of my God. My relationship with Him matters more than anything.
And I pray that God seals these things in my heart. Praise be to Him.