A Note from Pastor Rick: Submit to the Lord
Dear Wellspring Family,
In the midst of all the swirling that has been going on around us in these recent days, I had an interesting thought break in: I need to submit to the Lord in the midst of all this.
This thought came to me with God-like clarity and it felt like an invitation to peace and hope, and to partner with the Lord’s purposes. But what does it mean to submit to the Lord in the midst of a global pandemic? “Submit” means to yield, to surrender, to be open to.
We know that God is up to something in the midst of all that is going on in the world. Jesus tells us, “My father is always working” (John 5:17). In the coming weeks I hope to be able to share with you some reflections on this pandemic from a prophetic/biblical/Kingdom perspective. Understanding, however, usually comes only with hindsight. Yet faith beckons us to live forward. So what does it mean to submit to the Lord in the midst of all that is going on? Let me share a few examples.
–First of all, for me it means that I need to fix my eyes primarily on the Lord and not focus on the swirl. This past Sunday, Kerrie Butterfield encouraged all of us to: “Keep your gaze on God . . . glimpse at the world, but gaze upon God.” That is a really good word. I can’t afford to submit my thoughts, emotions, and creative energies to the swirl. If I am going to stay at peace for my own well-being, I need to submit my heart actively, regularly, and mindfully to the Lord, and focus my gaze upon Him.
–Secondly, for me that means zero tolerance for grumbling and ranting. For those who don’t know me, I have had a reputation as a world-class ranter; but I am coming to see how toxic the practice is. In the wilderness, the Lord severely chastised His people Israel for their grumbling about the hardships of the journey. He took it personally and was offended. None of us want to do that.
I heard a story once of a man shipwrecked on a deserted island. He built a hut to shelter in, but then lightning struck it and it burned down. He began to complain to the Lord about this before a rescue boat landed on shore. The rescuers cried out, “Ahoy! We saw your smoke signals!”
There is a lot of disappointment, frustration, and anxiety in our current situation. But if we get caught up in grumbling, we nullify one of our most important roles in this crisis. We are called to pray for the world and call out to the Lord for His intervention. Grumbling and ranting can nullify our voice before the throne of grace. We need to submit to whatever God wants to do through this situation, even when things are frustrating; even before we know all that He is doing.
–Thirdly, to submit to the Lord means to make ourselves available to be used by Him in ways that are out of our normal routine. We can ask the Lord to bring people to mind who we can call and check in with to encourage or offer to help in this crisis. We can ask Him for creative ideas about how to minister and take advantage of a very difficult situation.
We are seeking to do this as a staff team at Wellspring. Please join us. Let’s submit to the Lord and see what happens!