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.
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!