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Where Are You Planting Seeds for Future Relationships?


#21

I wholeheartedly agree. At least I personally am wholly inadequate on my own. I’m an introvert — not shy, but definitely, when in my own power, I find too much “people-ing” is draining to me. In His power, though, it’s a whole different story, because it’s not “about me.”

In my own present journey, the Lord has pressed on me that it is my responsibility to be filled to overflowing with His great love, and to overflow onto those around me. That is a task He has set me at this time, and as I go out into my small community, I see many of the same people around me regularly. (2000 people in my town.) I have set aside the mindset that I had been instructed to “evangelize everyone you meet” and instead, now I follow His urging to “love everyone I meet.” Not sure if this makes sense. My old prejudices and uncertainties about people very different from the church people I had grown up and grown older with are being put aside because Jesus didn’t refuse to love anyone. I certainly cannot.

I maybe am not putting this plainly enough to be understood. I am simply loving everyone I meet. I wave at those who drive by while I am out walking, I ask the Lord to fill me with His love before I meet and talk with a group of people at a celebration or at an IC service or a social function. I smile at the grocery clerk. I listen to the old man who wants to tell me about his daughter. I ask questions to draw out the hurting. I laugh and don’t take things too seriously like I used to do. I leave big tips when I can. I show concern for people instead of focusing on myself. I help instead of excusing myself as “too busy” or “too tired.”

I dropped any agenda I have had in the past at all. My only “agenda” is to be His love to everyone I possibly can. It’s a work in progress with me. I’m still learning. But the love I spread on His behalf, then continues to flow beyond what I can see.

The second part of planting seeds has been in simply obeying the nudges the Lord places on my heart. The more I obey, the easier it becomes for me to trust that, however challenging his current assignment is, He will use my obedience for His purposes. As mentioned in another topical reply, just a couple weekends ago I invited everyone from the IC I am connected with to my house for coffee. Someone invited a friend who is not part of a church and is recovering from an unwanted divorce. She is struggling with her faith and with guilt. That conversation was a beautiful expression of church with everyone who came there “just for coffee and a visit” participating in the conversation and ultimately praying with that woman. Every one of us left, knowing the Spirit of God was there that morning.

No sooner had that challenging assignment been completed when He nudged me to invite several families to come camp out and spend a weekend at the lake with us. Again … introvert … I like my “ME” time. But it’s not about “me” — and I know He will give me plenty of whatever I need to fulfill this assignments with joy, love, and laughter. And I know He’ll show up in spades while we’re out paddling around, sitting around the campfire, and sharing food together.

So, usually His nudges involve reaching out to someone, and usually I feel like a fool. But He knows His plans and purposes and I am just the tool, so I do the job and let Him worry about the result.


#22

Well I don’t really go out wondering if I am planting seeds for future relationships to be honest.
I am learning like Paul once said to be content, not without but within. My settledness and my OKness within who He is in me has become more established over the past few years. Now as I am becoming, rooted and grounded in love out of Christ in me, as I am beginning to grasp the length the breadth the depth and the height of this love, not out of any poor effort on my part but purely out of His life in me, now I have no hidden agenda or plan when I rub alongside another human being. I can trust this heart within me to respond in love, to see beyond a circumstance to just be with someone regardless. In that place conversation between 2 people can be whatever it will be because I know the God who loves us both is there, in both of us, regardless of where the other stands. They are still created in his likeness.
That may sound very “airy fairy” as they say, and possibly is on some day to day walks, when the coals you walk on are hot. When I expressed this to a friend the other day, saying I knew I had to walk through rather than around the coals, she reminded me it is not about how quickly you can get across that causes the least pain but rather how awake and mindful you can be about how you place your feet!
Once you have fully grasped that you are loved, then you can relax and let the one who loves you have the reigns and all that is joy unfolds.