Over the years that I have participated in ministry directed toward vulnerable populations, I have fallen into the temptation to measure “my” work by human standards: numbers and results. You see, these things are attractive to us… they are concrete, we understand them, we can see them, we can count them, we can quote them, we can attempt to control them. But this is not how our God works. The Lord of the harvest allows some to plant, some to water, but HE is the one who brings about the growth – in His time, in His way, according to His plan.
Therefore, we cannot allow ourselves to become distracted or preoccupied, bogged down or discouraged with our “production” in this ministry to children in need. We cannot “produce” anything anyway. That is God’s responsibility. Our only job is to be obedient. This should bring great freedom to you, brothers and sisters! We are called to be obedient whether or not we ever see “results” this side of heaven. If change happens in the life of ONE child, it is all worth it. I take that back… if NO change is ever seen in anyone, BUT the truth has been proclaimed and Christ the King has been honored in word and deed, it is all worth it. He promises that His Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
Obedience is what our Lord desires. If all He wanted was efficient results, He would do all of the work on His own and not bother with bringing us into the equation. (We tend to make a sloppy mess of things, right?) But He is such a good Father that He wants a relationship with us, for us to learn to be dependent upon Him, for us to have to trust His plans (which are higher and better than ours – Isaiah 55:8-9)… because He knows that is what is BEST for us! Participating in this trusting relationship with Him is in our best interest. He is committed to His work in each of our hearts!
The great hope and freedom for us when we labor in this field of ministry (which is incredibly difficult, by the way) lies in this: the change that God works through us to bring about will happen not because of our successes and in spite of our failures. He will not allow one heart that He has predestined to capture for Himself to hang in the balance or be lost because of my disobedience or misreading of His call. I am just not that important! How dare I be so prideful to think that someone’s eternal destiny or even the accomplishing of God’s plan for their earthly life is contingent upon me!
Therefore, it is imperative that we do not respond to needs, but that we respond to the person of Jesus Christ. There will always be needs around us, so we must learn to listen to His direction regarding where and with whom He wants us to spend our time and talents that He has given us. He may intend to use you in ways you would least expect.
I urge you to follow Jesus’ model and go deep with a few. Look at His life… He spent 3 years pouring into 12 men… and those 12 turned the world upside down. Do not fall into the temptation to overvalue numbers and breadth and undervalue discipleship and commitment. This is our heart for Not Forgotten. Join us as we strive to imitate Christ. Let’s be obedient and trust the truth that He is always working!