In the final chapters of Mark’s Gospel (chapters 11-16), there are several messages I felt God was speaking to me.
The first was to be alert to the world around me. Whether this is in regards to false teachings, temptations or whatever else will take my eyes off him. I need to be constantly aware of what is happening around me and know that there are dangers. When I pause to reflect there are so many things and people that can draw me away from my focus — that is God. My life is busy. It’s crazy. Lots of people wanting my time and filling up the hours of my day with activities and tasks. But what is really important.
Over the last week, I was struggling to keep up with these readings and realized that I was rushing through them to get them done. I had to stop and refocus. The purpose I have for reading through the New Testament this year was not to just say that I read it through again, but to gain a new perspective to God’s leading in my life. I needed to not treat this as an assignment for school, but a step in my own faith journey. And God desires my full attention to this goal. So I re-read some chapters and spent some quiet time just trying to be quiet.
And yes, it was extremely difficult to just sit in the quiet and wait for God to say something. But after a couple of attempts, I felt comforted and at peace.
Life is as busy and crazy as I allow it to be. So, what can I stop doing to reduce some of the activities, committees, events that I am involved in? The answer is ….. I don’t have a clue. As I sat in a meeting today that resulted in another thing added to my plate. Is it e ever possible to say ‘no’. I so need to take a class on that — wait, that is just something else. Guess I just keep scheduling time with God and the rest of the work will either get done or is really not that important.
The second message that was clear in several of the readings was the strong need for me to be firm in my faith, in my beliefs. These chapters are the final days of Jesus’ earthly life. It details the physically, emotional pain that he went through for me, for you. He did all this for me, yet I feel like I continually let him down but not standing up for him.
I get so busy doing things that I am now wondering if the message of hope, love, salvation comes through in these activities. I know that it does in most, but I still have some work to do. My prayer is that as I continue to move forward that I am to better show the love of Christ in all my activities, decision and words.
I can get so excited for upcoming projects, and I am really aware that my focus has to be on him, not on the responses I get from others. Currently as part of my ministry, I am working on moving one of our family services to a larger location and expanding what we do. It really involves a shift in the way that we all think as we minister to our neighbours who are struggling. I really want us as an organization to make life-lasting impact on people that we serve. I have never felt so strongly of God’s leading as I do this year with where he is taking us in our family services operations. And as I read the words of Mark’s Gospel I am reminded that my focus has to be clearly and firmly on God, then all other things will become clear.
I know that God has great plans for me. I am determine to put my priorities aside and follow his leading. Whether these will be popular or not, God is in control.
The end of chapter 16 talks about not being shy, but go forth boldly in his name and witness. This is not a direct quote, but Jesus instructs the disciples to go forth. So away I go!