01 January 2009

What a Year of Reflection for Me

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

What does it really mean to be patient? Are we really patient, when we are waiting on the Lord to answer our prayers? James says “let patience have its perfect work” What does he mean? Don’t resist or go ahead of the Lord submit to Him, and allow Him to strengthen you to spiritual maturity stop going ahead of a your Savior. James says patience or as the Greek word meaning “endurance or perseverance” drives us to a deeper communion with the Lord Jesus Christ. So the big question for me this year has to be; have I allowed the Lord to have His perfect work in me? Has my maturity grown with the time of waiting? As I look back and reflect on a year gone by I see friends getting into full time ministry. I see our house finally selling, I see a church close its doors, and I see a new place of employment (same boss different location). The one thing I don’t see is a church for me to minister in! Then I look deeper into myself righteousness and I see a year of opportunity for me to minister to my wife and children. I see my youngest daughter come to the Lord. I see an opportunity to minister to young children in Nova Scotia. I see the opportunity to share the Gospel with people I work with. I see the opportunity for me to fill the pulpit for a church in St Stephen’s as they get back on their feet again. Then that fleshy part of me comes in again, that resistance to the Lord’s perfect work in me, and I begin to think to myself, still no church! Then when that sets in bitterness and resentment comes to the fore front, and I begin to ask God those big questions. Why? What is taking so long? Isn’t this what you called me to do? Are you even listening to me God? When I get to this point I get humbled really fast and I open the Bible to find answers to those selfish questions, because it’s the authority for my life right! And I read Solomon say “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil”. Prov 3:5-7. I must stop this way of thinking because it’s sin. The Lord saying Michael it’s not your time yet. I need to remind myself that God is still God and He is working out that perfect patience in me. I need to stop doubting a sovereign God who is capable to move mountains at the sound of His voice. So I bring myself back that question I asked at the beginning. What does it mean to be patient?
It means to be:
Content as Paul (Phil 4:11)
At peace as Mary (Luke 10:39-42)
Thankful as Peter (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Prepared and ready as Ezra (Ezra 7:10)
Persevering like Job (Job 1:20-22)

See if I really think hard and look back at the year 2008, the Lord has really answered my prayer. The Lord has given me a church; it just not a nice building with stained glass with fancy carpeting, or wooden pews. He has given me a church that is dirty and full of darkness, a place full of people who need the Savior Jesus Christ. It called the church of New Brunswick Paul said to the Roman Christian’s “And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!" Rom 10:15. He has given me a message of hope. He has sovereignly saved me from the doom I deserve, which is Hell. I need to be patient where I am and minister here where I am needed the most for now. People at work and people around me are not saved by His wonderful grace. I am! I need to be a church here until the Lord calls me and my family out of New Brunswick and place me in the church of His choosing, because the Psalms say “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart” Ps 37:4. The desires of the Lord’s plan for me, will be the desire of my heart. I am His servant. I must trust and obey my Master because the Bible says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. He knows what’s best for me and my family. He knows my heart’s desire. He knows what church is waiting for us. He is the one who will complete me at the day of Jesus Christ. He is the one who continues to grow this wretched man Mike Andrews. I always remind myself with the words from a song by Steven Curtis Chapman “He is God! And I am not, He is God, I am man. We serve an Awesome God who deserves our praise and adoration, even when we think He isn’t listening to our cries of frustration. Be patient and let the Lord have His perfect work in YOU trust me it works! To Him be the glory forever and ever AMEN.

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