Thursday, March 20, 2014

Standing On The Word

Eric and I spent ten years in youth ministry.  I was 6 months pregnant with Emma when he came home to tell me he had agreed to take over the ministry at our church for 6 months.

Those poor kids.  We had absolutely no idea what we were doing.

{My Emma, and one of our youth girls, Stacey,
at Emma's first youth camp.  She was 7 months old}

Obviously, six months turned into, well ... ten years.

Looking back over those formative years in my own walk with Christ, I cringe at the mistakes I made.

Eric kept insisting I teach a high school girls Sunday School class.  At the time, the boys and girls had class together and he felt strongly they should be separated.  It was a good decision {to separate them}, I just don't think I was the right person for the job.

I was still such a baby in Christ and had so much to learn.  I was holding so tightly to a set of rules and guidelines, so I could seem and feel holy ... and I passed those rules along to the girls.  I would learn of things they were struggling with or sin they were involved in and would set out to find verses to fit into a lesson to bring before them.

Bless their hearts.

Those years have been on my mind so much lately.  We are deep in the study of James, with only two weeks to go and I'm not sure I have ever dreaded to see a study end like this one.  That's saying something considering I've studied some really good ones with the ladies at my church, but this one ... it's so incredibly convicting.  I wake at night thinking about it.  Surely there isn't a more convicting book than James.

Yet, in all that conviction, and realization that I will be held accountable for every word out of my mouth, I am very thankful for the timing of God and His Word.

It should come as no surprise to me that during this very study, I have been challenged and attacked from every angle, and realize more than ever I must know what I believe and WHO I believe in. {This study could also be blamed for why I have been so quiet on this blog.  I'm just trying to discern whether or not my words are necessary.}

I am so far from perfect.  Shoot, I'm so far from even doing what's considered right most days.  I let the enemy put doubt in my heart about my ability to discern.  And, it just felt like too much to bear this time.

I have prayed "No weapon formed against me shall prosper" so much lately, I need to just make it into a song :)

WE all have a sphere of influence and have to be mindful of what we're doing and how we're leading others .... do we lead them to the cross or away from it?

I don't have a theology degree.  I break out into a sweat anytime I teach for fear I'm relaying the wrong message or got scripture all twisted.  It remains my biggest fear.  I don't think that's sin, I think that's healthy respect for God and His Word.

So, at the end of the day, I trust Him.  Sitting in my closet {it's where I do my best thinking} I finally said out loud, "God, you know I haven't a clue what I'm talking about half the time.  All I know is that I love you.  Is that enough? Will you watch over me and my words and fill in the gaps?"

He will.  He is faithful.  I trust Him.

And, as for those girls that had the unfortunate task of sitting under my teaching early in my walk with Christ? I wish I had that time back so I could tell them Jesus loves them where they are and they don't have to strive to be the 'good girl' everyone tells them to be.  Performance-based spirituality will leave us all lacking at the end of the day.  I would also tell them that we all are learning what it means to live righteously.  None of us has arrived.  The beauty of walking with the Lord is allowing Him, through His Word, to shape us into who He wants us to be.  I would tell them it's hard most times, but if we're willing, we will come forth as gold.  Jesus is the answer and as we learn to walk and rest in Him, He is faithful to guide us and lead us to righteousness.

The Word stands on its own and doesn't need to be defended.  That's where I must stand ... on His Word .. and, that's where I'll take my fears of messing it all up.


Anonymous said...

My daughter sat under your teaching for 4 years. High school has to be the hardest years of our lives when we look back. She learned a lot from you. She will still bring up lessons you taught them. You are a gifted teacher. Don't think you did not impact their lives.

Rebecca Jo said...

I understand that fear... I've been in youth ministry now at my current church for 10 years!!! WOW... the things I've probably messed up... but I pray that I taught them more then anything that God loves them no matter what. I have always been very honest with my failures with those kids so I hope they see no one is perfect - especially the teacher :)

I loved that James Bible study... it is right to the heart. Such a short book of the Bible with so much information that makes you want to rethink how you live life.

Enjoy the ending of it! :)

Piper said...

Oh D! In our walk with the Lord we all learn new things and we all are striving to be like Christ. My daughter loves and respects what you have taught her and continue to do so. God will use us in mighty many time I ask why me Lord? I know so little. I am not sure who said these words to me so many years ago.... God does not call the prepared He prepares the called. You have touched many lives, there is no doubt that God has used you!!

Stephanie said...

Youth minstry is so important especially these days. I have done a bible study in my church for the youth since my youngest sister was born, she's six. I find it very rewarding and encouraging to spend time with young christians who are eager to learn the teachings of God.

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