It has been a long time since I wrote to you last.
When I started with SIM in February I thought I would write newsletters every month so people would be able to know what is happening here in ministry and in my life, so they could pray for us. I also wanted to use the news to show how much the Lord is at work here in Australia where most people don’t want to know about him, but he still wants to know about them.
But since that first month I just did not manage to sit down and write a letter.
Why is that?
I am a very organized person, I love planning things and making them happen as per plan. I marked in my calendar the days in which I was going to take time to write my newsletter but they didn’t happen at all until today.
But today I said to myself: drop everything else and write the letter!
The reason why I have not written the letter is not because I don’t like to write. I love to write! It is not because I have nothing to write. I have plenty to talk about!
I am thinking that I have not been able to write it because I got my priorities wrong.
I have been pretty busy with work, trying to learn as much as I can at the same time as working hard on what I need to do. There is always something to do: attend an event, plan an event, interview people who are enquiring about missions, encourage people to consider missions, speak in churches, or colleges, or schools. There is a lot of paperwork to do and organize, procedures to write, ideas to consider, changes to be made. As long as I have time I can find something to do.
I think this is exactly the issue for me at the moment: I realized that my mindset is that as long as I have time I “must” find something to do. And even when I don’t have time I must multitask so more things get done. I don’t usually rest and I actually don’t really know how to rest.
So instead of using my time for what is priority I fill my time with lots of things to look busy and I don’t end up paying attention to what is important.
I have already been warned about this issue many times. People who know me well have told me that I must learn how to rest and maybe re-evaluate how I prioritise my tasks.
But there was a difference when the Lord himself spoke to me about my attitude towards doing things. I was in Brazil last time doing a lot of things for the local ministries, getting involved, and filling up my days with visits.
But the Lord challenged me by saying: My dear daughter, I love you so much! I love you exactly the way you are because I made you that way. I know that you can do lost of things for me and I am pleased to see how much you want to do for me. All those things are good but I want you to “be” instead of “doing”. I want you to “be with me” instead of “doing things for me without me”.
I thought to myself: This is interesting! I can do lost of good things for the kingdom of God but what my Lord wants me to do is to be with him. What a revelation! The Lord is more concerned about me walking with him, talking to him, relying on him, worshiping him, glorifying him than all the hard work hours I can put on to do lots of things in his name. Because if I do things for him without him…. Is there any meaning for doing it?
I think it is remarkable how this experience I had translates what salvation is all about.
Lots of people think that to go to heaven, or to climb the ladder of spirituality, or changing bad karma into good karma, or to be a better person we need to do lost of things.
We have to pray, we have to fast, we have to go to church, we have to do good acts to others, we have to help the poor, we have to use kind words, we have to eat well, we have to respect the environment, we have to meditate, etc.
All those things are good, but that is exactly the point. To go to heaven we actually don’t have to do anything like that!
In reality, even if we did lots of good things how can we know when we achieved the perfection? Let’s not deceive ourselves, we can never be perfect.
So then, how can I be assured that I will make it into heaven?
Well, surely I won't make into heaven by working with SIM, it is not by being busy in ministry, it is not by doing good things to others, it is not even by doing good things to please God.
I just have to be with him. I just have to accept the reality that I can’t make it on my own. No matter what I do I will not gain a space in heaven. I need Jesus.
That can only happen because God himself has already made a way for me and for you. He is the only one who is perfect and can make a way for anyone to get there.
He sent his only son Jesus to live on earth, to die on my place, to resurrect in his perfect body so by his blood we can be accepted in God’s family.
We only have to accept that. Just realize that without him we can’t make it.
He is the one who has done it all. And that is why I don’t have to do anything.
And that is why he told me he is pleased with my willingness to do things for him, but he reminded me that he has done it all, so I don’t have to do anything, I just have to enjoy my relationship with him. I just have to be with him, to walk with him, to glorify him every day of my life. Until he calls me home to be with him forever.
Isn’t that great? That my boss (Jesus) has asked me to be less concerned about being busy doing things to be more concerned about walking in friendship with him?
No wonder I am feeling tired: I will never do enough! It will never finish!
No wonder I can’t find time to do anything else: I have got my priorities wrong!
So as I change my priorities and concentrate on walking with Jesus I can experience a great relationship with him, the one who has done it all so I don’t have to do anything.
And what about resting? I am not really good at that. But that is exactly what Jesus is asking me to do. Rest! Rest in him for he has done it all. Enjoy life with him and balance my daily activities so my priority will be my relationship with him. The other things will be done…. somehow…. one at the time.
Praise the Lord for calling me to work with SIM. I completely love this ministry.
Please pray that as I walk day by day I will not forget that being with Jesus is more important than doing things.
Pray for the work of SIM so that all of us will continue to be guided by Jesus in all we do, so his will might be done through our work.
Pray for my prioritizing of tasks and hold me accountable for it. You can write to me to ask where my newsletter is…. and I will be happy to hear that you are praying for me and holding me accountable with what Jesus asked me to concentrate on.
Lots of love,
Angela & U-Don