One of the reasons I decided to do The Daniel Fast was to gain knowledge of God’s will concerning a pastoral ministry opportunity that was offered to me. This may sound a bit bizarre, but I didn’t ask for any details – I came away from the conversation with only the information offered so I know very little about it. I don’t know much about what would be expected of me, I have no idea how much time the commitment entails, I have no means of evaluating what I may have to give up in my current life in order to fulfill responsibilities in this role … the typical things I would normally ask and know to determine if I should say yes to an opportunity to serve are not available to me. But I decided that if I truly wanted to know God’s will concerning this, I wanted to go into the fast to pray about it, devoid of any details. It’s about His will, and I don’t want to do my usual thing of figuring it out on my own and then taking my decision to Him in prayer only to ask for His agreement.
Since there are 3 major things I want to hear from God on during this 21-day fast, the mathematician in me figured the best odds of getting answers from God on all 3 was to target one a week. So I started getting a little anxious yesterday at the close of week 1 with no clear answers yet and decided to step up my game, you know start moving God along in the process.
I looked up LEADER(S) in my Bible concordance (apparently I had done so before because there were 4 passages in the list highlighted) so I could pray about whether I have what it takes to be a pastoral leader from a biblical perspective. Matthew 20:26, Mark 10:43, Luke 22:26 – all pretty consistent that a leader must be a servant … well, okay I can do that – no spiritual rocket science there. Let’s see what Paul has to say in 1 Thessalonians 5:12 – we are to honor those who are our leaders in the Lord’s work … I think I’m good there, too – I honor, respect, even love my pastors at The Plant.
So no leads there … hmmm, it is definitely an honor to be asked, and it would be nice to be known in that capacity (even though I don’t know what “that capacity” really is), but wait a minute … then I would be one of those leaders that would be honored by others in the Lord’s work according to Paul? Ooh, that doesn’t feel right at all. I am not worthy of that, especially since I don’t even know what I’ll be doing if I say yes, so how I can even anticipate doing something worthy?
Feeling a little unsettled and no where to go next with those feelings, I went to read some comments from previous posts – thank you so much girlfriends for those … you can’t know how valuable your take is on some of these things I’m wrestling with; God truly speaks to me most audibly through my sisters’ voices so PLEASE KEEP SHARING – remember we’re already down 1 week and I need you and treasure you journeying with me!
So I read my truth-telling friend’s comment on the Day 3 post – What do I crave? being valued…love….and being accepted for who I am. And the meltdown began … reading those words touched off something in me so deep, so wounding, and the watershed began. I do not have the gift of speaking in tongues, but if blubbering through tears would be elevated to a spiritual gift, I would most certainly be anointed. That is so me, needing to know I’m valued, that I’m worthy – yes me, not what I do, but who I am. I couldn’t fathom being honored or respected as a leader just for who I am – and soon I was sobbing at the realization that I had to be given an assignment to prove myself worthy of the biblical mandate to respect our leaders.
As I prayed about whether this ministry opportunity was in God’s will, I had no footing, no details to make an informed decision. When what I could do to make me an asset was taken out of the equation, I was left at the foot of the cross with only who I was, crying, wondering why – when I thought I had handled this issue so many times before, was there still a voice so deep but accessible saying you are not worthy, you do not matter.
In the time it took me to raise a finger to my cheek to wipe a falling tear, I made up my mind that I cannot accept the ministry opportunity unless I hear yes clearly from God, because I DON’T FEEL WORTHY of being asked.
And in the moment that followed I heard His voice “Really?” “Really, Susie?”
Do you struggle with feelings of unworthiness? If you shared your feelings with God, would He respond “Really?”