So today was the first ever Costa Rica staff training day. Yippie!! It was actually very fun and informative. We had an amazing guest speaker via Skype (that's for you if you're reading Janice) It was our beloved president of SI, Dave Hansen. We went over possibilities for ministry here, the vision and mission of SI, and just had some time to worship and pray. For our next year (and hopefully forever) our theme will be: Who we are is more important than what we do. It was confirmed in all of our hearts because we had all prayed it in some way before Jeff told us. A few days ago I was reading in James 4 and I read this: 1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Now when I read this I asked myself, "what are the right motives?" I began praying and I felt the Lord tell me that sometimes, even though what I want is good, i.e. miracles for other people, abilities to help the poor etc., it's not with correct motives. Everything I do in my life should come from the motivation that I want to know more of God. No matter what I'm doing, my priority should be to know God better. In Matt. 25 (goats and sheep) the goats have done so much for God. They may have looked like perfect missionaries, but they didn't know God. Therefore, whatever I do in my life, whether I think it's the right or wrong choice, whether I live in poverty or wealth, whether I am comfortable or uncomfortable, the goal is to know more of God, both through my circumstances and through the the times of reflection over a period in life.
I had just had all of this run through my head and then I read this a few verses away: 13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. Now this, after my little revelation, made me think about my time that I have been given here. First, If I know the good that God has given me here and choose not to do it, I sin. Obvious. Second, if the goal is to know more of God than I don't need to worry about tomorrow or where God will take me. Tomorrow is simply a means to an end. It's just to let me know more about God. Sure that will allow for me to work for Him and do the things that He's called us to do. That just means that you wont hear me say I'm going to be a missionary, or a pastor, or a gas man, forever. That's simply not the goal. All of those things are good. All of those things are also just tools that God can use to show me more about His character.
OK, so back to our meeting... It was just so good to know that God had already been talking to all of us about the same thing. We need to focus on Him before our ministry. We could "do" ministry without knowing God, but really what good would that do us. We'd just be working... Just gritting our teeth and working. THE GOAL IS TO KNOW GOD!!!
I pray that each of you that read this would have a new or revived passion to know God. Everything you do is simply an opportunity to know more about Him. It's so backwards from how we think but it's really the way it should be.
More Later... There's still another day of training tomorrow, and I didn't even write about our nice dinner with our phonetics teacher, her family, and a bunch of friends.