I received a number of responses to my SEO and GOD post, thank you so much! Though we may not always respond to each reply, we read everything and are so grateful for those of you who reach out. A number of you made comments in your correspondence that made me want to magnify my point a bit more.
ALL parameters are limitations.
It’s funny how we delineate our lives. The demarcations are defined very clearly in our minds. And when it comes to proper boundaries with people, it may be a must. But what I’ve noticed is that any stop I set in place with God only functions as a limitation of His grace and Life.
When I came to Shulamite Ministries it was a group of believers seeking God’s face. It wasn’t an organization, it was an organism. It was an organic home church with regular meetings, but no institutional structure. I came, leaving my entire world in Orlando, to embrace a wide-open unknown. I’d given God an all-encompassing yes and had to ride Him like a wave.
What that looked like was a carefully orchestrated, continual fall forward. I felt like I was in a perpetual lunge into the unknown. And the reason I felt like this is because that was precisely what was happening. God was birthing the organizational workings of a ministry from the ground up, and He called me to facilitate it. Though active body Life was present at Shulamite, a platform to broadcast the Life and the message was nonexistent.
Absolutely Nothing of Me
In steps John Enslow, with a “YES” and nothing more. I had educational training in nothing, I had experienced nothing, and I had expertise in nothing. I was simply a man with a yes to God, not knowing where or how He would apply that commitment.
Let me quickly share with you what God required of that yes and what He produced with my “nothing.” With no formal training or even the smallest understanding, I became a computer tech and IT guy, setting up and fixing the many computers of the ministry. I became a web developer and had to maintain our many sites. I became an audio technician, recording and editing all the audio content presented in our Shulamite Podcast and every audio series sold at Living Christian Books. I became a graphic artist and designer, a production and project manager. I became the publicist for Martha Kilpatrick. I became a great travel agent, who can stretch a dollar and travel points across the globe and back. I became an awesome farmer and shepherd, succeeding at the art of animal husbandry and veterinary work. I became a builder and general contractor…this list goes on and on. And though I may not be doing some of these now, when I was, it was crucial. No, the administration of the ministry is not a one-man show, but His Life has run me through the paces of every step. And as the authority, ALL of it is my responsibility. The buck stops “right here in river city” with me.
What did I think when I found myself elbow deep in the back end of a sheep, assisting in the birth of a breached lamb? What thought crosses my mind when I have to make arrangements to get us to Vienna by the end of the week and it’s Monday? What passes through my head when the server crashes in the middle of a transfer, and no tech guy knows why or can even tell me how to fix it? Not much! I don’t have the knowledge base to draw from, so it’s either His Life or it’s nothing.
Nothing of Me Means Everything
I say all of this not to show how wonderful or capable I am, because I am NOT. I am trying to show you what Christ can do with a willing yes for the unknown. I didn’t place parameters on where I would serve or what I would do, I just said yes. And with that yes came His Life. All the wisdom and understanding needed to perform these tasks was present with His Life to accomplish them.
I had not locked myself into a role of performance, because a role only limits His Life and the grace to achieve His will. If I had said, “I am only…” I would have shut God out to being anything other than that in me. And actually, if I say, “I am only…” it is usually only my life, my doings and me. YUCK! So does this mean I will be required to do things outside of my borders of comfort-ability? Yep, the horizon is nothing but open – but all to HIM.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me means anything Christ wants to do or be in me. See, Jesus didn’t call a man of many talents; He called a man with NOTHING. Why? Why would God call an ill-equipped man to start a ministry? It’s why He calls any of us who have nothing. He can be everything and this maintains our dependence.
So if you find yourself at a complete loss, behind a mountain of need, rejoice! You’re about to see the Life of the King exercise His right to be glorious. He’s able when we’re not. All He needs is a yes to His will, and then He opens the your world to omni-possibilities. Roles and limits only stop Him from being all. When I present my life as a clean slate, He takes me beyond my life, knowledge and capabilities.
I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me.
Philippians 4:13 [Phillips]