READ: Exodus 16-18, Psalm 23, Matthew 23, Acts 23
Abiding for Others
The best thing we can do in Church Planting among unreached people (or in ministry, or as a mother, or as a follower of Jesus who desires to make disciples) is to Abide in Jesus. When we “stand before God for the people” (Exo. 18:19), we do more for those we seek to bless than any other frenetic activity or ministry on their behalf. Extravagant daily time with Jesus – in His Word and in His presence through prayer – is the single most productive thing we can do; it is the most effective way to bless others.
Moses was being worn weary by the demands of life and ministry. His father-in-law Jethro tells him (as Jesus tells Marthas everywhere), “You are distracted with much serving, but one thing is needed.” When we stand before God for the people, several important things happen: (1) Those we lead and serve learn to rely on God for themselves, (2) Jesus gives us the wisdom for the “hard cases” (Exo. 18:26), and (3) we do not burn out but are able to endure (18:23). The long-term wellbeing of both ourselves and our disciples is predicated on our daily abiding, our standing before the Lord for the people. When we abide with Jesus, we bless others.
A restored soul (Ps. 23:3) results from continual abiding in the house of the Lord (23:6). Restored souls don’t fall into sin or depression. A passion for holiness is only supported and sustained by a disciplined process of abiding. It is not emotion that keeps us pure, nor is it unrefined desire that keeps us from sin. Only the disciplined rhythm of a life consecrated to being with God morning by morning, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year – only the continual standing before God keeps us from falling. We position ourselves for God’s protection by the process of daily giving Jesus extravagant time.
When standing before God becomes our daily practice and priority, it is not only “the people” who are blessed – we, too, are preserved and sustained. Abiding in Jesus is the primary way we survive and thrive.