Monday, December 20, 2010

Waves In An Ocean

A little wave was bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air—until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. "My God, this is terrible," the wave says. "Look what's going to happen to me!"
Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, "Why do you look so sad?" The first wave says, "You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't this terrible?" The second wave says, "No, YOU don't understand. You're not a wave, you're but part of the ocean."  From Tuesdays With Morrie By Mitch Albom

The above story illustrates a kind of destructive mindset in God’s people. Left unchecked it can be very misleading and even harmful to the Kingdom of God. What do I mean? Well; sometimes we who are part of the Kingdom of God can begin to take on an “independent identity” other than just being but a part of the Kingdom of God.

Like the little wave who forgot his true identity of being part of a vast ocean and decided that he would now be defined by the energy passing through him, so we too forget who we are when the Spirit passes through us and begins to accomplish some vibrant ministry by us. We forget that our identity comes from being "a part of Christ" and not from what we do for Him.

I have lived my entire adult life working to see the realization of the corporate life of Jesus Christ as it was first seen in the book of Acts. The road has been costly and arduous but unbelievably rewarding. I believe we have come to understand, in a very small measure, the Abundant Life that Christ talked about. That Life lived corporately with people who love each other, can yield 100 times whatever you had to leave behind in order to follow Him. See (Mark 10:29-30).

But that is not the subject of this post. 

After living for over 20 years in a corporate existence and thinking I knew what we would be doing in the future, I am beginning to see a new thought emerge concerning ministry. At first it was scary.

I had mistakenly thought we would spread out all over the world and replicate this Life we have been living for the past 20 years. But, alas, that will probably end up just a small part of what we will do. I rather think we will be helping other people accomplish their ministries. For I have come to see we are just a small part of a much larger picture...an ever growing picture being painted by Christ. 

Never the less I had become so convinced that duplicating our way of life would be our life’s work, I took on that work as my identity. It became me. Slowly, like the little wave, my identity became what the Spirit was doing with us ….not who He was in us.

Again, like the little wave, these revelations don’t come until you see your end, or at least the seemingly coming end of your identity. Those revelations usually have to come from the “other little waves” moving with you and wondering why you look so grim. Why are they asking me why I look so sad? Don’t they see the shoreline ahead?

They have to remind you that you and your ministry’s demise are but the release of God’s will for someone else’s life and ministry to grow.The shoreline may dissipate your energy but it will never dissipate you. Yet even knowing all that.... it still can be very frightening. But the terror of your end will be dwarfed (if you listen to the other little waves) by the knowledge of being a part of that Ocean. That Ocean is Christ.

And; don’t be too afraid of letting it all go… there is a lot more Energy in that ocean that made that little wave ….and its headed our way. I just hope we can let it that energy pass through us and not let it define us. We are not the wave we're the Ocean!

5 comments:

  1. This was very encouraging Abba. Even as an individual, it's so tempting to focus on my own life's work and try to make it define who I am. At only 32, I already think about the day of my death and I wonder if I'll ever "do something" for God. I'm sure in all your years of leading that you've probably wondered when Rose Creek Village was going to "do something" for God. On a personal level, this mentality has done nothing but bring depression. Your post, however, has helped remind me that I'm just a drop in the ocean that is Christ and that he can do whatever he wants with his waves. I want to learn to be content with simply being a part of it...to be just a small, small, small part of a much larger picture.

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  2. Ah ha, and the mystery is this: THIS IS JUST OUR BEGINNING...NOT OUR END!!!!! I'll race ya to the shore...

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  3. Hi friend! I was very encouraged by your post. I can feel the energy coming. 'Now we see dimly'... is becoming less and less dim. Its awesome all that God is doing and about to do! I'm glad I get to be part of that ocean with you! Love, Ari

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  4. A couple things...

    I love the way, as a people, God shows us stuff together. It's so much fun when you write something like this, and as we read it, our spirit goes, "Yes, that's it! That's what God's been saying!" Just another testimony to the Spirit working in us all.

    Second, we need this perspective so badly. This is very very good.

    I think that we can tell some of where we're at by how we react when the other waves are telling us that we're part of the bigger picture.

    If we get mad at being told that, then there's a problem and we need to look inside and see why we're holding on to our silly little wave identity so hard.

    Praise God for letting us be a part of that vast ocean that is Christ!

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