Simplicity in worship. When I was a young girl in worship service, I can remember the simplicity and a strong sense of togetherness. Our family traveled to Central Baptist Church to sing this Sunday and it was like going home. We had a joyful time sitting in Sunday school listening to a message about putting God’s Word first in our lives for 2014, praying for the needs of others, and admiring the plans for ministry opportunities. We were immediately made to feel a part of the family of God.
On the way there, I checked Facebook and saw the magnitude of God at work all around the world. A friend ministering in an orphanage in Guatemala, a baby being born into the world, a funeral to attend, and a much-needed vacation for a couple. God is at work all around the world. If you’ve ever done Google Earth or watched a movie in which the camera begins in the sky–the heavens, and then, narrows toward earth, then a country, a village, a street, a home, and an event or person, it reminds you of how vast, yet small our existence is.
As we were singing, I truly felt the presence of the Lord working in me individually, and in my family. After the program, a woman shared that hearing the song Jesus Loves Me from my youngest reminded her of her mother who had passed away–she sang that song to her everyday until her passing in her home. It was joyful tears. Simplicity. She shared that her health has not been good but coming to church helps to get her mind off her pain.
A small gift that was huge in the universe.
Attending the seniors’ Sunday school was beautiful. I noticed many women faithful to God’s Word. Only one man was in attendance, and I assumed it was because many of the men have gone on to be with the Lord. The one man shared with me, after the program, that he joined the women’s Sunday school class when all of his men friends had passed away. His wife confirmed that there are only 3 couples left–the rest are women carrying on in faith. This small observance was huge in the universe.
Teenagers running sound, little children holding their Bibles, young couples seeking God’s Word–small occurrences but huge in the universe.
Steven Furtick, a pastor, had the audacity to pray the same prayer as Joshua–a prayer that stopped the sun.(Joshua 10:1-14) Have you ever read powerful, motivational sermons and prayers only to be discouraged? Consider the power of the ordinary, the small gifts, or the seemingly mundane occurrences.
When you strip the Biblical miracles of their spectacular special effects, a common plot point emerges: extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience. (Steven Furtick–Sun Stand Sill Devotional)
God may call you to something the world would define as “small” or insignificant but in God’s universe–the sun will stand still!
Allow God to ignite your ordinary. Churches, stop striving for the latest and greatest and see the simplicity. Take away the critical white gloves, the striving for significance, and the ever searching for spiritual entertainment.
Ignite the ordinary…..
My husband and I discussed the ordinary, and he shared something truly profound. He shared that perhaps your outreach is small in number or seemingly insignificant, but this doesn’t lessen the work of Jesus in your soul. Your soul work is just as significant as someone who teaches and reaches millions.
This was not a pride statement but a profound realization that God is at work all around the world, and we should not be in the business of measuring HIS work.
Today, what are your assignments? Allow God to ignite the ordinary and see just how extraordinary He is in you.
As I was writing that last line, I was reminded of our lunchtime after the program with a beautiful, young couple. A small restaurant in a small town became a joyful reunion and a Holy experience. Her precious three-year old sharing her child-like faith and joy, and a little baby boy in my arms cooing, smiling, and making faces–pure heaven amidst chips and dip and the sound of Spanish music over muzak.
Our lunch was a divine appointment! The ordinary was ignited and God was there.
His work truly is extraordinary!