Look Vertical Not Horizontal

We have seen God work in amazing ways and accomplish things only HE could do in our church in the last year.  We have been blessed to simply be here and watch His beautiful plan unfold for His church body.  He has added families to our church throughout the year and we could not be more thrilled!

As I have stood by my husbands side and watched the year unfold it has brought many joys and some struggles sprinkled in with it.

This is the first time I have ever been a part of a smaller church.  Growing up we attended larger churches.  Not mega churches by any means, but all of these churches run 350+.  So stepping into a church that was micro compared to these has been an adventure!

God has had to remind me that our church size is not what is most important to Him.  He has had to remind me that when some are not as faithful as we would love to see, it is not something to take personally.  It is not a rejection of us, because church isn’t about us, it is about God and ultimately it is an issue between them and God. That one can be a toughy to remember though!  I can promise you, the faithfulness of church members is a tremendous encouragement to the Pastor.

We have seen God do amazing work, and yet the enemy still tries to discourage.  His job is never done is it?  Always trying to get us to second guess where God has called us, always wondering if we are making enough of an impact in the lives of our church members and our community, always trying to get discouragement to settle in.

Satan revels when Christians compare themselves to each other.  Their gifts, their talents, their churches and church sizes.  Why would he revel in this comparison?  Because when we are comparing ourselves to others it means we have taken our eyes off of Christ, the One who has given us the gifts, talents, ministries He wants us to have.  We begin looking horizontally instead of vertically, right where the enemy wants our eyes to be.

So God has placed us in a church, a small but GREAT church.  A church full of people with a lot of potential to do amazing things for God.  Many people who want to live for and serve God.  People who need to cling to the grace of Christ just like everyone else. People who need to simply look up instead of side to side.  The Pastors family is no exception to the rule.

I love this prayer by A.W. Tozer, “Dear Lord, I refuse henceforth to compete with any of Thy servants. They have congregations larger than mine. So be it. I rejoice in their success. They have greater gifts. Very well. That is not in their power nor in mine. I am humbly grateful for their greater gifts and my smaller ones. I only pray that I may use to Thy glory such modest gifts as I possess. I will not compare myself with any, nor try to build up my self-esteem by noting where I may excel one or another in Thy holy work. I herewith make a blanket disavowal of all intrinsic worth. I am but an unprofitable servant. I gladly go to the foot of the class and own myself the least of Thy people. If I err in my self judgment and actually underestimate myself I do not want to know it. I purpose to pray for others and to rejoice in their prosperity as if it were my own. And indeed it is my own if it is Thine own, for what is Thine is mine, and while one plants and another waters it is Thou alone that giveth the increase.”

What a great reminder to keep looking to God to accomplish His will!  He gives the increase, He simply requires faithfulness and going out to spread the good news of His Word.   If His will is for our church to never become mega, that’s okay, because whatever His will is should be what I long for!  Numbers should not matter as much as just doing  what He wants.  It’s Him that gives the increase and the One that deserves all the glory.  It’s all about Him, not about us, something I needed to be reminded of.

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