When we feel convicted it isn't a pleasant experience. It's kind of a pang that hits you spiritually and you feel it physically. We realize that something needs to change. Maybe it's a habit that needs to stop, maybe it's something that you've been neglecting, or maybe it's something that needs to be made right with another individual. Whatever the situation, the only solution is action. Without acting on it and doing something about it you will simply find ways to dull the pang of conviction and nothing will ever change.
This week I was convicted. We were talking about support raising and partner development at our training and I got the 'pang of conviction.' The Josiah Venture Partner Relations Director, Gord Nickerson, shared something that he had heard early on in ministry and always remembered. He said there are three questions you have to ask yourself as a missionary:
- You're asking people to pray for you; what kind of prayer are you?
- You're asking people to give to you; what kind of giver are you?
- You're asking people to partner with you; what kind of partner are you?
Those three questions have convicted me since he shared them. I quickly wrote them down in my journal and they have been staring at me all week.
- The Lord challenged me on how I pray for others. I do plenty of praying for our situation as a family and our future but praying for others and their needs seems to take a back seat. That needs to change. I am serious about this, if you have an area that you need prayer in please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give me a call (630 460-1694) and I would love to pray for you.
- I also felt deeply convicted in how we give, both to the church and to others. I read 2 Corinthians 8:2-3 this week and God hit me between the eyes, it says, "In a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means and beyond their means of their own accord." I felt pretty low after reading that. I always think if I had more I would give more. That simply isn't true, if I can't give with $50 in my pocket, I won't give with $50,000 in my pocket. Sorry for the rambling about generosity and giving it's just where the Lord has really been working on my heart.
- And lastly how do I partner with others. How am I coming alongside others and what God is doing in their lives. The common denominator in all of this is taking my eyes off of myself and my situation and looking to God to see where he wants to lead and use me. Whether it's praying, giving, or partnering with others.
Hear my heart in all of this, I am not writing this to try and convict you. I am writing to share what God has been laying on my heart. Thanks for listening.