Friday, September 26

A 'quiet' life pursued loudly.

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands" 1 Thessalonians 4:11 NASB

Shawn McEvoy, Editor of, wrote a blog entitled "Ambition" yesterday,, that spoke to my heart in regards to the pursuit of ministry and the purpose to which I write this blog of my own. I laughed at God, not just that one occassion, but in the pathway that He has given me to travel several times since whenever the topic of my ministrial call comes up.

Laughing because too many seem so shocked when I mention it, others shrug and continue on to other topics, and a selective few...who tend to come along in those moments when the twlight sets and my humanity is at its greatest, wrapped in the enticements of the Evil One's whispers of doubt and despair......who look at me with excitment and happiness to edify me and caution me to heed God's call because He has marked me in an obvious manner to His purpose of declaration.

Often times, when I was seeking God's wisdom before I ministered to the faithful saints at Meadowbrook Chapel, I would wind up furiously scribbing on napkins, scraps of paper, and even highlighting verses, dog-earing the pages minutes before I walked in, because God impressed upon my heart to speak of a topic or a verse that was totally alien to the 'prepared' sermon I had pages of notes about. This happened so much that I'd arrive an half hour earily unprepared to seek God's mind on the ministering at hand. He never failed to mention what He wanted me to speak of.

I started writing this blog because I felt that I did indeed have something to say, something to impart from my growing knowledge of Scripture and biblical truths....and yet, God has impressed Himself upon me here too...even in the political and ethical blogs I have written in regards to Obama's or McCain's presidential campaigns.

It never fails, when I want to personally write about something, it never works out right and most times, I'll never even post the thousands of blog topics I have struggled to write.

Yet, when it seems God has something to say, it flows like honey from my fingers upon the keyboard.

Most of you note that I have a 'tracker' on my blogspace, which points to locations on the world map where people have accessed the blog. It also keeps count of visits to the site, counting the address of the reader only once, regardless of how many times they access.

That is partly because of my unbelief, which Satan knows full well of, that I truly have something to say that God imparts upon me the authority to speak and teach in His name for the sake of His kingdom. Partly, because I try and figure out if the blog was well recieved, a hard thing to do but something I try anyway.

The highest 'readership' of a day was 21. The usual, 7, unless I didn't post for the day, which it drops down to 3 (me, and two other people). My own accessing counts for one, so at least I know that one person is reading it....even if it is myself.

When God spoke to me during Gene Appel's first conference speech as Lead Pastor of Willow Creek, Bill Hybel's church, and told me that He wanted me to serve Him in that capacity; I never saw or envisioned that I would be the 'famous' pastor of a mega-church, partly because of my own desire never to be part of such a haven of hidden lives as seems to be the lifeline of mega-churches and partly because I would never assume that God would be glorified in my personal pride.

I envisioned a church the size of that old Jehovah Witness hall on Milford road leading into Holly, and pictured preparing another to assume the mantle of the call when the congregation was big enough to need more space....breaking off a group to plant another church; one big enough to leave room for new members in the old group and firmly plant the new group in the new location. Nor did I think I'd lead the new congregation from afar, creating a 'manager' in essence at the new location, while retaining the mantle of leadership. I don't see where Christ did that in the first church and I don't see where I'd have the authority to make such a change. The purpose, I think, of a pastor is to shepherd the sheep in the fulfillment of the Gospel; tell others of Christ and to disciple them to lead lives personally devoted to Christ and reach out to others to disciple in the same.

There is evidence of this being the mode operandus of the first church, as Peter and the others decided upon Matthis taking Judas' place in the twelve. I envisioned my church being set upon that format; a pastor and twelve 'disciples' who would be eventual pastors of their own congregations, a cycle never ending and a cycle constantly in motion towards that end.

Of course, that may never come to pass in the life that I have left here. Through foolish judgments, false assumptions, or just plain undesireability in the eyes of man, I might spend my whole life seeking out God's purpose and never finding roots in which to watch it grow. Or God may smack around a few lunkheads to help them bring this to fruition.

Either way, it doesn't dismiss my willing submission to the call or my continuous movement towards a perfection that I know myself I will never attain truly and completely in this life, though I may be blessed enough to appear to come close. As I told my dear brother in Christ once; if I ever have the feeling that "I have arrived," is the moment I truly have superceded God's purpose for my own prideful ambition. I may never feel worthy to answer the call, but God has called and I have no other desire...even if I don't think I'm the man for the job....but to follow God's lead and trust He'll give me what I need to rely on Him totally in the Kingdom business........

That is my 'business', if you will, and something I am eager to do 'with the hands that God created and empowers with His mercy.'

It is my hope, my dream if you will, that I lead a life quietly in pursuit of God...though I trust God will make it as noisy as He wants it to be for the benefit of His plan of displaying His grace, mercy, and absolute love for those who don't declare Him God.

Whether you are called to be a 'stay-at-home mom' or a working CEO of a major corporation, the most powerful man in the entire 'free world' or the garbage collector clothed in shadows..never noticed or thought of in the grand scheme of things, each of us should serve our King as Paul calls the Thessalonians to.....quiet life worked with our hands.

For God's purpose, grace, and glorification.

Never our own.

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