Knocking Down the Dams

By Abby Hersh (Ready For The Harvest Intern)

Are my blessings, giftings, anointing and Christlike love flowing out like a river, or stagnating within like a lake?

It’s a vital question to ask ourselves as we journey through the Christian life; as we come across so many viewpoints, mindsets and environments wildly different from our own in the day-to-day. It’s certainly part of being American (and, well, human) to seek and relish in comfort. To bask in the glow of being accepted, understood, even admired by the people around us. To see the places we tread our feet on significantly impacted and improved by our presence there.

Then there’s our wonderful Father God, who deeply loves us and truly knows what our hearts, minds and souls need most at any given season. He delights in seeing His children’s joy and prosperity, but is committed to their long-term development. As a wise, responsible, empowering father He won’t encourage selfishness or pride or laziness… He won’t tolerate lies and strongholds that hinder us from growing good character and progressing towards Heaven-appointed destiny. He’s well aware of the roadblocks we face as a well-to-do Western culture (many of the roadblocks appearing as the most desirable things our hands could ever grasp). Do our prayers/time/energy/money spent reflect saints who long for His Kingdom to come, here on Earth as it is Heaven? Or have we been gradually discouraged by the times, gradually downgrading our motives and perspective into well-padded, self-insulating community?

What’s been challenging me most in this area is my current workplace… secular and liberal, with a general energy and flavor drastically different from the community I’m used to being surrounded by. God’s allowing me to be fully immersed in the classic “fish out of water” scenario; tempted to feel largely disconnected, irrelevant and naive in this little-tank-in-a-big-city that we swim through 40 hours per week. I trotted in a year ago, of course, with high hopes of radically impacting the office with the life-transforming love and power of Christ. (& I’m sure, in many small subtle ways that we may never know about this side of eternity, we do.) But my plans were BIG- I mean, Todd White-Heidi-Baker big! I was expecting some massive miracles and massive breakthrough, especially amongst the five non-believing or sort-of-believing coworkers I share a tiny space with everyday. 

Once it sunk in that these radical changes weren’t panning out in the timeframe and scope I had envisioned, I slowly- without even realizing it- began to withdraw. I spent less and less time trying to engage in meaningful conversation with the team; less and less time bothering to show up to work events; less and less time interceding for them. I enjoyed retreating to my headphones most of the day instead, enjoying all the wonderful worship music, audio bibles and podcasts that were at my fingertips. I’d relish in that little inner escape- looking forward to the joyous Christian world awaiting me at upcoming ministry and church events- and remain mostly detached from the work world I couldn’t get out of yet. I still knew God had called me to be a powerful presence of love at that company, but it was just so much easier to mentally check out; to be fine with basking in the endless goodness and freedom of Christ on my own. (“Enjoy your chains and unhappiness, folks! I did what I could.”)

God has thankfully been refocusing and re-softening my heart lately, and I’m getting committed to be purposeful right where I am again, as unto Him. But this time He’s helping me learn to simply be present and be myself- who HE and no one else made me to be, unoffended and unafraid; seeking His help and leadership and trusting that His Spirit can work through that. I’m starting to recognize the daily little moments He continuously provides to simply choose love over pride (even if it’s just asking a jaded coworker how their weekend was and giving them a compliment or two, when it’d be much more satisfying to my flesh to keep silent.) He’s encouraging me to start setting an example with my conduct, work performance, integrity, words, kindness, forgiveness and even self-confidence (in spite of being the youngest and most out-of-place on the team). Think 1 Timothy 4:12 & Proverbs 28:1! 

No matter our age, qualifications or shortcomings, when we prove ourselves faithful with the small things God will entrust us with much. When we’re willing to stoop lower and make little Christlike choices and mindset changes, we can start finding real joy and progress in the present. We’ll begin making steps towards passionate dreams and goals, like going out and impacting entire people groups and regions; (or actually start having hearts burdened in that way if we didn’t before)! It will bring us unmatchable joy to accept where God has us right now, lean upon His grace every second and seek to love as Jesus did any chance we get- one small step at a time. He HAS given us the beautiful authority to accomplish this, by the price that He already paid! & right now He’s calling us, as His children, to be the victors touching those the devil made victims. Right now He’s calling us to “stop for the one”, as Heidi Baker would say, always knowing that one is worth the cost of our comfort, pride and reputation. Right now He’s calling the dams to break and the mighty love inside of us to flow like a raging river.
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