Just Where Do You Fit In – Or Not?

I attended an outreach event with the church I attend today and was disappointed right from the start. I was not disappointed with the event. I was disappointed in myself. I found myself so sleepy, lethargic even, that it did not take me long to realize I carried with me a spirit of oppression. Quite frankly, I did not fit in. I had looked forward to the event, had certain expectations about the ministry opportunity I suppose, and most importantly had expectations of myself. I assumed because of my passion for the Lord and my call to streets ministry that I would be energized, excited, and enthusiastic about this opportunity to reach out to the low-income population in a neighboring state. But the truth is that I simply did not fit in. I left early, I left defeated, and I left discouraged. I left with the wrong attitude, and I left with the wrong understanding. Only an hour later, thanks to another opportunity that I had not initially planned for my Saturday afternoon, I realized the problem – and the solution.
As a pastor who preached at a New York City church years ago taught his congregation, sometimes we stand in the way of those who are supposed to have a job by assuming a job that does not belong to us. Likewise, sometimes we are missing the job God has for us because we are assuming that other person’s job. How does this apply to what transpired today? There was nothing wrong with the event I attended, but what was wrong was my assumption that I belonged there instead of where the Lord wanted me in the first place. I only realized this after I left and discovered something about myself I have been realizing more and more.

One hour later, as I walked the sidewalks of Savannah with Traveler the three-legged dog and Mercy the paralyzed dog in her wheelchair, I understood what the Lord was showing me. People flocked over and again to the dogs, and I kept my spiritual eyes and ears open for any opportunity the Lord might give me to speak about Him. Though He did not lead me to share the Gospel, He presented me numerous times with the chance to glorify His name. When people commended me for the work I do, and little did they know how far I short on a daily basis, I immediately took the opportunity to point to heaven and give the glory to God. While the time I spent on the streets today walking by faith, exercising the dogs and giving them time for attention, and looking for God to open the door to share about Him was not any better or worse than the ministry event that I had left, there was one distinguishing factor that I cannot overlook. This was where I belonged.

As the Bible talks about, the Body of Christ is most effective when each part of the Body does what each part is called to do. We all must work together, and we all must do the jobs we have been given. While I was upset with myself for my lack of enthusiasm at the ministry event with the church I attend, I realize now that it was wrong of me to judge myself this way. Rather than focus on where I fell short, I need to focus on where I am called. I need to do the job I have been given. Walk by Faith Ministry is all about the streets. It is all about the individual. It is all about one on one interaction with people with whom I come in contact in person, on the telephone, and by e-mail, and via my writing. It is all about being sensitive to God’s Holy Spirit and doing what I am called to do day by day.

This ministry does not have a set agenda other than to fulfill the mission to share the Gospel as we minister the Lord’s love to a world in need – including people and homeless dogs. I do not have a long-term very specific vision other than to love the Lord with all my heart, love my neighbor as myself, and fulfill this mission. Unlike ministries that have long-range, detailed plans, Walk by Faith Ministry does not. It is all about being led by the Holy Spirit. If the Lord one day lays on my heart a long-range detailed plan, I am wide open to it. But in the meantime, I simply do my best to listen and follow. And unlike the pastor who preaches to 500 congregants in a church each week, I am called in and outside the church walls to look for open doors to share the Gospel, to help lead back to the Lord those who have walked away, to help those who have met the Lord to develop an intimate relationship with Him, and to help those who know Him to deepen their relationship with Him.

It is not my job to do someone else’s job. It is my job to do my job. Though I am not elated at how this day has turned out, and though I am even a little downtrodden still like the clouds of light rain that hang over the area, I do have a hope burning bright within my heart. My hope is in Him. And, for that, I am thankful.

A pastor recently reminded me how the Lord tells us not to bury our talents and gifts. For such a very long time, I did. Now that I have dug them back up, I have a responsibility to use them for the glory of the Lord. And just as God has given me different gifts than the person next to me, He has also not given me the same job as the person next to me in which to use the gifts He has placed in me. It is high time I stop comparing myself with others. My job, as the Lord reminds me even now as I write this, is not to answer to man. My job is to love and answer to the Lord.

I love you, Jesus! I love you forever and ever. Amen.

1Co 12:1 KJV  “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 
1Co 12:2  Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 
1Co 12:3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 
1Co 12:4  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 
1Co 12:5  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 
1Co 12:6  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 
1Co 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 
1Co 12:8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 
1Co 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 
1Co 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 
1Co 12:11  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 
1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 
1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many. 
1Co 12:15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 
1Co 12:16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 
1Co 12:17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 
1Co 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 
1Co 12:19  And if they were all one member, where were the body? 
1Co 12:20  But now are they many members, yet but one body. 
1Co 12:21  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 
1Co 12:22  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 
1Co 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 
1Co 12:24  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 
1Co 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 
1Co 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 
1Co 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 
1Co 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 
1Co 12:29  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 
1Co 12:30  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 
1Co 12:31  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.

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