Those words hit me like a ton of bricks when I read them. The full sentence read: “You didn’t notice that the dream God placed inside of you to accomplish great things for His Kingdom had grown dangerously distant.” And the reason it hit me hard was that it was true. The dream had almost died and I had not noticed. I was too busy with maintenance – not ministry. I was busy changing diapers of believers who had been following Jesus for years and who, by this time, should have grown up, matured, and been potty trained – taking responsibility as mature adults for their own walk with God. I realized that many of them didn’t need help they needed a kick in the rear so that they would do something for themselves.
No excuses – I let the dream of doing great things almost die. I settled for maintenance and let go of valid, dynamic, powerful ministry. Oh, I still had this dynamic, cutting-edge ministry when I travelled elsewhere but at home base I had let it slide into the boring routine of helping those who should be helping themselves; those who should no longer need someone to change their diapers – in fact, should have long ago outgrown the need for a diaper. I mean, how many times does a person have to hear sermons on having a prayer life, hearing the voice of God, reading your Bible, tithing, forgiving, dealing with offences and resentments … once should be enough if they are truly walking with Jesus and taking Him and His Word seriously. And, if they are not walking with God and growing a dynamic relationship then all the teaching in the world is not going to help. They simply need to become responsible adult Christians and do something for themselves. And, they never will if coddled and “comforted” by others.
So, I took a good look at my local ministry and made some serious and major decisions. I cut out a lot of what I had been doing. I changed the way I was doing things. I simply stopped meeting with many whom I had coffees regularly with. I dropped a number of people I was mentoring. I stopped playing the “Christian game” and got back to being focused on what Jesus called me to do. If what I was doing was not, in my mind, beneficial to the Kingdom and in line with the original call on my life – I dropped it. If what I was doing was in line with the call on my life but not fruitful -I changed (am changing) the approach and the way that I was (am) doing it. Massive changes and adjustments.
I didn’t focus on the financial repercussions because if it is what God has called me to do, He will enable it and supply the funds in His own time and His own way. I didn’t focus on people’s feelings – I simply did what I knew needed to be done to end the game and get back on track. I did it gently and lovingly but I did it. Ending maintenance and beginning to minister again. This also means a good number of “relationships” have ended or are on the back burner because they were not healthy and were, in major ways, one way – me giving care, support, and love and not receiving the same in return. I needed to face the reality of aging allowed myself to be used in the name of ministering. So, I am free to move on and pour time and effort into healthy relationships, with people who are not using and abusing me – taking me for granted – and with people who are moving on with God.
The result – my dream is coming alive again. God’s power and, even more importantly, His presence have become very real and very “present” at all times. I am investing my limited time wisely. I am no longer carrying the weight I should have never picked up in the first place.* I am moving forward in my personal walk with God because I am no longer assuming responsibilities that were not mine to pick up. I am spiritually alive like I was when I was first saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. I am determined and focused once again. The zeal is back. The passion has returned. The dream is alive and doing well. And, I honestly don’t care what people think – only what God thinks is important.
How is your dream doing?
*I am not responsible for the spiritual health of God’s people – they are. And, I refuse to be responsible or even feel responsible for their well being. My mistake. Time for believers to grow up, become mature, and be responsible for themselves – time to walk in the truth they already know; time to move out with God and make disciples and help Him build His Church and expand the Kingdom. Babysitting and helping maintain the facade of Christian respectability has ended. Obedience based in love for God is what is needed and God is moving on with those who are serious and passionate about Him and His cause of taking the Gospel to every nation.