Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Only For You

Jesus you called my name
       giving me life again
Forever I'll sing, forever I'll be
       only for you
-- Sam Cox, Newday 2015 
Last night Jesus spoke to me through a dream I woke up with fresh in my mind:

I was preaching at church and it was going well, I was in my stride and making what I felt to be good, points when all of a sudden (for good and legitimate reasons) people began to make their excuses and leave, one by one. Before long I was left preaching to a room of only two or three people; at this point I was faced with a dilemma, do I carry on preaching? I stopped preaching, disheartened by how few people were left in the room.

This is how it can feel in Seaford from time to time, disheartening; this is not due to the people in the church - the people are fantastic. The family of the church are phenomenal and a genuine blessing, but building a church here to a size of sustainability and evangelistic effectiveness is slow going.

But then the image in my dream changed. There was a train on the edge of a platform and a man in the carriage and some of the people who'd been listening to me there was well. The man in the carriage was lacking in personal hygiene and quite obviously poor. One of us offered to wash his feet for him, an activity that was truly disgusting due to the state of his feet; we were left with filthy hands from the job.

Almost instantly the meaning hit me and I woke up with it on my mind; it was as if Jesus himself was speaking to me and reminding me of what he has called me to. I am not/we are not to measure success by the size of the crowd but by the service that's offered. As far as the Lord is concerned (and surely it's his opinion that is important) all we are ever supposed to be are foot washers. We are called to greatness and by his own words, the servant is the greatest.

In this service the smellier the feet the more fragrant the worship offering (literally!); in this service the grimier the task, the more hand-dirtying the task, the more it matters to him. Jesus knew what it was to be adored by crowds and he also knew what it was to preach to a dwindling crowd; yet his measurement for success wasn't in the numbers he spoke to but the faithfulness with which he ministered.

Besides that, if we're honest, it's far harder to wash someone's smelly feet than to speak in front of crowds of people. It's far harder to embrace the path of service than the path of being served!

All of this, all we do (all we have) and all we bring, is always only ever all and only for him; for his eyes only. If it's happiness and contentment I'm after (which it is), then I'm to trust him and live only for him.

I was very encouraged to wake up with this in my mind today. Thank you Jesus my king and my friend. Only for you.

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