I work with a good number of people in many nations of the world. I watch a lot of news because some of what is transpiring in other nations has a deep impact on the men and women I relate to, disciple, mentor, train and equip. They are living through the people confrontation on Independence Square, Ukraine. They worked witnessing during the recent games in Sochi, Russia. They lead underground house churches in nations where the Christian faith is not welcome and Christians are persecuted. They are giving their lives to raising up the next generation of disciples and church leaders and seeing people saved.
I have also been working with some leaders here in North America. That was past tense. My work here in North America is always looked at and accomplished in light of what is happening in other nations. When you see what believers are doing with their lives and limited resources elsewhere; when leaders you know are in jail for their faith or fleeing their nations for fear of losing their lives; when you see and experience the hunger for truth and fresh insights into God’s Word in so many nations … When you see and experience this and then come back to the reality of the Church in North America… well, let’s say it is never an easy transition. And, it obviously impacts the work I do here. It can’t help but do so.
Recently I have released a number of people I was working with here in North America. One was so in love with himself (and yet really so insecure) that he was literally rude, arrogant, and unappreciative of the work I was doing with him. Another I have been working with by email and the original purpose was to discuss one topic and it quickly turned into a game where he is out to convince me of his extreme grace message – a heresy from the 600’s. Several others have been severed because of simply not staying in contact and thus simply ‘name dropping’ when asked who they submitted to and related to (their covering). I have also recently stepped back from several ‘friendships’ which were, in hindsight, just friendships in name only. I value all relationships but don’t have the time nor emotional energy to relate to everyone who wants to be connected relationally. So, I am pruning. I am stepping back and evaluating the use of my time and emotional and mental energy.
It is difficult to admit that some relationships simply have not and are not adding anything to your life or to the work God has called you to accomplish for Him. These are often long-term relationships with much invested in them. It is hard to bring things to an end as then you have to admit that you were not using your time wisely or that you were simply being used. As a relational person who enjoys people and spends a lot of time connecting to people it is difficult to have to break off relationships or tone them down and take them to a lower level then you have been relating on. It is never easy to say “enough is enough.” But, I had to do this and will continue to do this over the coming months. New beginnings and moving on with God often necessitates the ending of what was so that you can grab hold of what is and what is still to come.
I am maintaining relationships with those who are walking with the real Jesus, who are sharing the true Gospel, and are guided by the one true Holy Spirit and not the many other spirits out there. I am looking for new connections with people who are serious about building God’s Kingdom and thus taking the Gospel of the Kingdom – the power of God unto salvation – into the community where they live, the nation they are citizens of, and the parts of the world that have not heard about Jesus. In other words, people who are serious, committed, obedient, true disciples of The Lord.
I am simply not interested in playing Christian games and relating to “make believe” Christians who are not sold out to the King and the Kingdom. Time to move on no matter how painful that may be.