This Soul Tending Tuesday, we ask “Who am I God?” and explore the tension of “for” and “with” when it comes to your soul.
When can I meet with God? was a cry of the sons of Korah in Psalm 42. I can guarantee the songwriter wasn’t looking at his watch when he penned those words. He was reflecting on the condition of his soul.
How do you sustain the practice of meeting with God while giving your service unto Him in cross-cultural work? The balance between your hopes for your assignment and meeting with God is a delicate one. But one thing we know for sure: meeting with God is the source of fruitful undertaking. Our life purpose is grounded in relationship. A healthy identity is rooted in it.
Yet the struggle is very real. My personal experience as a global worker has highlighted this…
My early years in Central Asia were heavy on the objective side. I thought I was fulfilling my purpose by doing things for God. My sense of identity was connected mostly to the work we were doing. My identity somewhat unraveled when I transitioned off the field because the “assignment” was terminated. Or so I thought.
Shortly after leaving the field, I searched for ways to replace the pursuit of purpose with another, in my case, coaching, pastoring, podcasting, and writing. A perceived loss of identity motivated me to pursue and regain a “for God” posture instead of a “with God” posture, something author Skye Jethani talks about in his book With. (A good read by the way.) I slowly realized this approach is not sustainable. It doesn’t lead to the abundant life God has saved me for.
And so my prayer has become, Lord may I prioritize meeting with You over and above my assignment for You.
Skye continues to make his point…
“He (Paul) understood that his calling (to be a messenger to the Gentiles) was not the same as his treasure (to be united with Christ). His communion with Christ rooted and preceded his work for him.”
– With, Reimagining the Way you Relate to God, Skye Jethani
Transitions have a way of messing with our sense of identity, purpose and calling. At the same time, transition can be a wonderful opportunity to re-orient ourselves to what really matters.
I leave you with The Message version of Psalm 42:1-3 and some reflection questions…
“A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’m thirsty for God-alive. I wonder, ‘Will I ever make it— arrive and drink in God’s presence?’ I’m on a diet of tears— tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, Pestering, ‘Where is this God of yours?’” – Psalms 42:1-3 MSG
Think of a time when you were extremely parched. How desperate did you feel for a drink? Have you ever felt that desperate for God? Describe the intense longing.
Issac was a well digger (see Genesis 26). His survival depended on it wherever he went. If one dried up, he dug another. What are some wells which have dried up for you, and why?
How and where could you dig some new wells in transitions…wells that lend themselves to meeting with God?
What do you do when forgiveness is not coming easily? Or a new believer ask you how to forgive someone and you find yourself stumbling over your answer and eventually say, “You just forgive them.” Then this workshop is for you! Get it here.