This weekend we were privileged to listen to Dr. Florence Muindi, the leading voice in community development work across the globe. I was struck by the depth of a couple of her quotes, and wanted to expand on them a little in the blog.
“Following God…is saying yes to what is heroic but also with equal passion saying yes to what is ordinary, everyday stuff, because your life, your service and your all is to God.”
Maybe, like me, there have been times in your life where you’ve asked God, “What do you want me to do?” Normally it’s in the big decisions, the bottom-of-a-well moments of life, or in regards to the far-away future. But Dr. Florence reminds us that following God doesn’t just consist of the big, heroic moments where you really feel the weight of your decisions–it’s made up of the daily monotony, the mundane, just as well. Our attitude with the kids in the morning, the way we talk to the drive-through attendant, the words we say around our co-workers…obedience in these things could all be just as significant as obedience in the “big decisions.”
Erwin McManus writes in Seizing Your Divine Moment: “Can you look back on your life and remember moments that would have changed your life forever had you made different choices? Some moments have a lifetime of momentum; other moments appear mundane and later prove to be monumental. Every moment is priceless, unique, and unrepeatable. And within the countless numbers that make up our lives, there are divine opportunities awaiting us.”
“Joseph did not strategize. God revealed and he followed in obedience. That is the plan that unfolds with surrender.”
Do you find that you spend more time thinking about what God wants you to do or more time listening for what God wants you to do? Dr. Florence made the point that Joseph spent less time thinking and more time listening. He knew the limits of his own intellect and understanding. When Pharaoh asks Joseph to interpret his dream, Joseph responds: “I cannot do it…but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” (Genesis 41:16) He doesn’t even attempt to understand the dream on his own–he appeals directly to God. I wonder how many times I’ve been working so hard trying to understand on my own what God wants me to do and at the same time He’s just waiting for me to listen?
“We don’t believe in the power of prayer, we believe in the power of the One who answers prayer.”
I love this quote. It’s on our mission wall near the north exits. The quote puts prayer in perfect context. If we just believe prayer has power within itself, then it becomes something that we do, in order to get a result. We begin to try to pray “the right way” so that we can get the response we want. And we self-righteously believe that the more we pray, the “better” we pray, the more we’ll get what we ask for.
Instead, prayer is more like asking an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving Father for what we need. And the power is not in the one who asks, the way we ask, or how often we ask–the power rests squarely in the decision of the Father. And we approach Him confidently, knowing that He wants to, is able to, and will give us the mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.