Like I mentioned a couple days ago, I have a few thoughts that I really wanted to elaborate on from this past weekends conference. I know I quoted him yesterday, but Dr. Rick Rigsby made another statement that I really believe could impact how we view ourselves and our circumstances. He said, "Never focus on what you see, but on what you know to be true."
As I began to ponder about this idea and looking back over my life I can see His truth in my life now where during the experience I couldn't see God. I will admit there have been times since we have been back to Fulton that I have questioned whether I was where God wanted me or not. Then after doing life for a while I can begin to see where God has been working.
If you have read much of my past blogs then you know that living in community and discipleship are a big deal to me. I think they are vitally important and God calls us to live that way. Over the last couple years I have met several people that believe quite the opposite, or so it would seem based on their actions. It's during these interactions that it becomes easy to discouraged. When you feel like something is so important and others seem to think it of little value, quite a internal conflict can occur. It is during these times that we have to rely on what we "know to be true," and let go of "what we see."
I didn't really know what to expect when going to the conference this past weekend. I knew it was for men, but men's conferences can go all sorts of directions. What I found interesting is that God began to clarify some of His truth's in my life, by reaffirming the importance of discipleship. He even gave me some extra tools to use in reaching out to those who I believe God has called me to disciple. His truth became evident in a time where I could have easily been confused by what I saw and how I was feeling.
Then yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend about the importance of living in community. We talked of how it often seems that others don't want community and they want to be, what I would call, "isolationist." The seem to want to life on their own, so much that we could easily begin believing it has something to do with us. This is again where we have to believe in God's truth rather than what we see. God created us to live in community and what I have found is that even those who seem to want to live a life of "isolationism," often want relationship and for others to care about them, but have bought into the lie that they are different. The conversation itself was such a blessing to me, because I identified with what he was saying. I identified with how he was feeling. Yet, I knew the conversation was orchestrated by God so that I could see His truth in my life and could be reminded of it.
Sometimes we get so focused on what we see that we can't see His truth. It would have been so easy in all of the situations to just give up and feel like I have been wrong in believing in the importance of community. It would be easy to try and just hang on to the past and even wonder if our view in the past was skewed and wasn't what we make it out to be. That is when I am reminded by God that His truth is truth and sometimes it will be hard and sometimes it will seem like its not going to work, but if we focus on what we know to be true what we see can be changed.
Ask God to show you HIS truth and I guarantee it will change what you see.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV