Friday, June 20, 2008

From the pit of doubt and the fear of failure to the top of God's holy mountain

Over the past several months I have had this nagging feeling that is a mixture of both doubt and fear of failure; mostly the latter. I have to admit that I have been spending less time in God's word as my schedule has become more crowded with church planting and now with getting our coffee house up and running. I regularly pray and ask God, "Am I making the right choices?" Months ago the idea of opening a coffee house in Troy's downtown business/arts district, for the purpose of connecting with people in every day life, seemed like a winner. Everything just came together; the finances, the paperwork, getting the storefront ready, etc. I believed from the beginning of this coffee house venture that the vision for such a place was continuous to the church planting vision God has been pouring into me. I still believe this. I can see this being a "third place" for people to just come and hang out. We've already begun seeing regular visitors. Some great conversations have begun. Yet there is this thought of, "What if it doesn't work out? What if it fails?"

This past week I have recommitted to spending more time in God's word again and meditating and journaling. Whatever else happens, my personal connection to the living God must remain strong. I am convinced that the abundant life Jesus came to give us flows as we commit ourselves to a regular habit of feeding upon God's word. Our prayers, our hopes, our dreams, etc. are shaped as we seek His will and His direction in our daily lives.

I have been reading and sudying Psalm 119...deep stuff. I came upon a verse that really hit me;

The teaching of Your word gives light, so even the simple can understand (Ps.119:130).

What happened is that I had allowed myself to stray from God's word, and my priorities got shifted. The light that shines within me began to fade a little and I left the simplicity that is found in God's kingdom for the complexity of the world that surrounds me. My desire to be a humble servant of the Living God became over shadowed by the desire to be a successful church planter/entrepreneur. Wanting to experience the world's view of success had begun to creep in. This is, what James calls "adultery." (James 4:4ff).

When I read the blogs and tweets of my fellow church planters I sometimes become envious. Why can't I experience that kind of success? Then I realize that their success is the product of being in God's word, and God speaking to them, and them obeying what God says to them. Then I remember the intervals of success I have had in the past as the Holy Spirit calls me back. It is the times when I am abiding in Christ and He in me, when my lamp is filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit, when my spiritual gas tank is filled to the brim and overflowing, that I begin anew to see things from God's perspective.

He didn't call me to be a great church planter or a successful entrepreneur. He did call me to be faithful and obedient; a humble servant, fit for the Master's use. So, I will continue in this journey with the living God as I reach for the summit. I will continue the upward climb towards the top of His holy mountain and I will endeavor to point others in that same direction.