Serving God is the most important thing in my life and also my wife’s life. Because of this, we came to New York City to train in the Equip missionary training program and have been here for about six months now. Next year, we will go overseas as long-term missionaries. The Equip program has given us many great tools to tell people about Christ and to communicate cross-culturally.
The experience we have gained while living in this vast city, among so many different cultures, has been invaluable. This program has presented opportunities for us to share our faith and testimony in a variety of cultures. But none of these things rank as the most influential aspect of this experience. Not by a mile.
Teachings from God
God has been teaching us here. But his most valuable lessons have not been in the busy city streets of New York. The most profound lessons are in the quiet moments. If you want God to use you, if serving God is of utmost importance to you, if you want Christ to shine in your life, it does not emanate from an overflow of what you are doing. Spending more time in the street evangelizing, spending more time in the community serving, these things will not make me a more effective laborer for Christ. Although, it is easy to think that doing more equates to being more.
We often want to fill our cup with good works in order to feel like we are adequately serving God. After all, faith without works is dead. A healthy vine bears fruit. Therefore, more works and more fruit must mean that we are those robust healthy (faithful) vines that we long to become. And this flawed thinking is exactly what God has been laying our hearts. Our doing is irrelevant to his grace. his grace is enough. We are justified by it. It is sufficient.
God’s grace is sufficient
Not only is it sufficient, but it is a reminder that our purpose is not in doing. Our purpose is in him. We were created to love him and to be loved by him. Our purpose is a ceaseless worship of him. It is a never-ending celebration of his glory, righteousness, faithfulness, love, and power. We are made to abide in him.
Do not mistake my point. We have a job to do. He asked us to go into the entire world and preach his holy name. The lesson he has been teaching us is subtle but profound. Our doing is not our “why.” Our why is to worship. Anytime we are serving God emanates from our worship of him.
To summarize: if you want to be used by God, to carry his name into the nations, it is not a matter of how many hours you spend on the street serving God, it is a matter of how much of your heart is earnestly and constantly seeking to know him more. When your heart overflows with the joy of his love and the humility of his grace, your words matter less. In this, he will shine.