It was the worst Sunday I have had in a long time. It was one of those mornings where from the moment my morning alarm rang, the day seemed to be a mess. Late getting ready, arguing with family, little details not coming together – it was just one of those days where nothing seemed right and I wanted to just get my bag and go home. It was 8:30am. I went through first service and everything went fine. No major problems it was just a normal service; considering my poor attitude, it went much better than expected. But then, in between services, I ran into Pastor Kim.
This alone is pretty amazing, as many Sundays we can go an entire morning without seeing each other let alone having time to speak. As I was running in back and forth, from checking on the nursery to back downstairs to get our elementary service started, he made this comment “Our missionary today was showing pictures of 8 year olds being groomed into witch doctors.” This comment became like a splash of cold water to my face from the Holy Spirit. As I walked downstairs through the crowds of people switching services the Holy Spirit had my full attention. I could hear him speaking to my heart saying “Remember what you are doing and why you are doing it. Don’t get distracted by the little things.”
A few hours before, those things did not seem little. They seemed huge and frustrating and enough to just want to sit in a corner and cry. But at this moment the Holy Spirit was reminding me, does this matter in eternity? There are souls that need your attention, why are you getting distracted?
Needless to say the second service was completely different. Though it was the same lesson content the distractions in my mind were gone and the Holy Spirit moved freely. Kids were laying on hands on each other and declaring healing over their friends. We had a lengthened prayer time where the Holy Spirit had the full attention of their hearts and minds for over 20 minutes. It was beautiful.
In the past few weeks from this moment I have been processing through our distractions. How many people does Jesus intend for us to minister to during the week but we are focused on the temporary distractions instead of eternal destinations? Sometimes these distractions are HUGE and really ARE a big deal, a medical problem, an estranged loved one, financial stress. Yet in ALL these things we still have a plan and purpose to lead others to Christ. This doesn’t mean my distractions have magically gone away or even gotten better, but the priority I place on them has. They don’t get to determine my attitude, my day, my response to people or my ability to minister to those around me.
Throughout my life God has given me specific verses that have defined what He has asked me to do. I keep these verses close to me, to remind me of the call He has placed on my life. The one below is a verse God used to call me into ministry at 18 years of age in a small town while I was in Mexico. Let the words wash over you and remind you of the call God has on YOUR life, to keep focused on the eternal and not let the distractions keep you from your call.
Isaiah 61: 1-3
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lords favor has come and with it the day of Gods anger agains their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise in stead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.”