Last Sunday we had six people at Faith in God Church. It may not seem like much until you realized the ages of the people who attended. We had a man in his seventies. He was a former pastor of the church there. He was the one who started the church a number of years back. Then there was a woman in her fifties, another which I think was in her forties, and another woman in her twenties. There was a teenage boy and a boy who was two. I forgot all about taking up an offering. I have spent so many services by myself so far that I simply forgot. I’ll have to remember next week I guess.
All those months alone during church services has reminded me about God’s promise to Abraham. God gave Abraham the word that he and Sarah were going to have a son. It didn’t happen right away, and it didn’t happen because of anything that Abraham did. Matter of fact, Abraham tried to make things happen and look at the mess he made! The son promised to Abraham is still wrestling with the son of Hagar!
God gave Isaac to Abraham in a way that Abraham had not thought possible.
Putting Aside My Own Preconceived Ideas
God brought me to this church in a way that I never thought possible too. I grew up thinking that women should not be preachers. I thought that perhaps I would one day marry one. My husband Jeff and I started a ministry in Doniphan, Missouri several years ago and it was a total failure. I came here because Jan and Johnny Thomlison advertised that they needed someone who felt called to pastor a church. I thought that at least there would be someone here right? That was not the case. I had visitors for the first few months but they weren’t usually during regular church services. Most services I was on my own, by myself.
It really didn’t bother me too much though. Okay, so it bothered me a lot, but whenever I would think about it and pray about it, it was as if the Lord was telling me, “Well, when people do show up, you’ll know it wasn’t you who brought them. Under no circumstances will you be sharing my limelight. Never forget this time alone in this church. When people do come, it won’t be because of one of your brilliant programs. It will be because my spirit drew them.”
That’s not as harsh as it may sound. It’s a lesson in humility really. Having humility is not about being humiliated like some people might define humility. Humility isn’t about being walked on at all, it is about submission. Humility is when we give authority over to someone else. The situation becomes their responsibility rather than our own. It means whatever happens the one in authority gets not only the glory, but gets the blame as well.
Christ’s Perfect Submission
When I think about perfect submission, I think about Jesus in the events immediately leading up to his crucifixion. He was not tricked into going to the cross. HE CHOSE to go to the cross. He went to the cross because he knew that was what his father wanted him to do. He did it because he loved us and knew that was the only way that we would not face separation forever from the one who created us, the source of all love (including self-love).
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Passion of the Christ, the movie shows you how he submitted to physical pain, but what it was unable to demonstrate was the emotional and spiritual torture that Jesus faced at the same time. This emotional and spiritual torture that he submitted to belonged to us. Each of us owned a piece of that torture that he submitted to because he loved us.
Humility and submission is never about being less than anything. It is about allowing the Lord’s authority over us. At this church, I am happy to say that right now, God is in charge and he’s telling me that he wants this to be a youth church. He’s also telling me that it is to be a missional church. I will take more about that later. How am I going to make this happen? The truth is, It can’t make it happen. God will make it happen as I submit to him.
What God Is Asking of Me and You
Right now, it is all about keeping my personal agenda out of it. I am leaving the execution to God. Oh, I’ll do whatever God tells me to do and only what he’s telling me to do and here’s what he’s telling me to do.
1) Pray for God to reveal his direction in our lives today.
2) Meditate on his written word
3) Listen to his voice. What is he telling us?
4) Take action where he says to take action.
5) Praise him every day for leading me as he directs.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga