Pastor Steve DeNeff spoke this past Sunday about a new way to view our role in the world as Christians. He gave us this metaphor that explained how we need to be relating to people spiritually, not just through mindless charity; taking people who have nothing, and raising their dignity. This new compassion is one that doesn't just give, but transforms.
The world is broken, and it is filled with destruction, pain, and sin. I see it getting worse as time passes, and it solidifies my belief that giving and serving is nothing without God. The problems in our world always have a spiritual core, and if the spirit isn't saved, then what is accomplished?
I was challenged by the metaphor he gave, for Christians to live like graffiti artists. We are painting alongside the graffiti that is already there, painted on by the world. But ours needs to be deeper and brighter than all the rest.
"Salvation is a mural, where we are carrying buckets of paint to create something beautiful against all the trash. Paint a picture of salvation. Paint it with your lives." - Pastor Steve
It is a constant battle to be a Christian who is truly and wholeheartedly devoted to God, because the truth is, it's not popular to love God and give everything up to Him. People don't get it, and they look at you like you're crazy. I find myself fighting to be understood, but I should be more concerned with how I am seen by my Father.
This pressure from the world has lead me to be controlling over my own life. I worry too much, and I want to make all of my decisions, planning out every detail of my future. Deep down inside I know that God is in control. I just need to allow Him to control and lead instead of trying to do it on my own.
Pastor Steve said it perfectly, "Wait on God. Waiting on God is to do everything you know to do right now while you wait for God to work. Shut up and do the thing in front of you while you wait for God to change things. Don't disengage - stay in the game. If you learn to wait, God will make your life calm and steady."
Any beauty in this world is from Him, so we should not be taking credit. I am humbled and inspired, because the nature of sin that is within me can only be changed through His love. I am small, but He carries the world and He carries me.