I'm a planner. I love to create events and develop programs and special occasions to benefit others. Recently, I had the opportunity to serve on a planning committee to honor our senior Pastor. In the past I have spearheaded events for widows, anniversary celebrations and church programs.
Two new ideas have developed at our church that I am very excited about. They both involve serving the community and meeting needs which lies directly with our church's mission.
This fall, we will launch "Meal and a Message" every Saturday night at our church. Meal and a Message will provide an opportunity for our church congregation to meet both the natural and spiritual needs of those in our community. In addition to Meal and a Message, God has also opened a door of opportunity for our church to potentially serve as an overnight shelter during the harsh winter months.
As an overnight shelter, dedicated volunteers at our church will serve dinner, and our sanctuary will be transformed into an overnight shelter for homeless men, women and children.
As you can imagine these are big gaps that our church and dedicated volunteers can fill.
As I began brainstorming ideas, and talking with others that have embarked on this territory before, I was excited and nervous.
Perhaps you too can relate.
God gives you an idea. You know it is truly a GOD IDEA and so you are excited. Yet the further you explore the idea, you begin to understand the breadth and magnitude of work involved, and then you become nervous. You even begin to wonder: "How will this be possible?"
As I jotted down different notes and ideas, I began to calculate the needs. We needed food for both, Meal and a Message each week AND for the overnight shelter guests. We needed volunteers for both, Meal and a Message AND the overnight shelter. I then began to figure out ways to reduce the load.
Perhaps instead of being opened as a shelter for X days a week, we can be open for just one day?
Instead of asking for X number of volunteers to serve each week, we could settle for just four.
Instead of serving men, women and children at the shelter, maybe we should just only serve one gender.
Don't get me wrong. There are times when I do believe that the Holy Spirit leads us in wisdom to determine our skills and capacity levels, but this was not one of those times.
I began to shrink back the vision out of fear thereby limiting God.
Despite knowing that these two programs were God's heartbeat, the vision for both opportunities became fogged due to the needs. Instead of seeing all that God could do, all I could see was the work that needed to be done.
I began to get overwhelmed by the level of work involved. This can happen to us all if we aren't careful.
God calls you to go back to school, you're excited to do so, but then all of a sudden you begin to count the costs and fear sets in.
Or God calls you to expand the vision, to launch in another state or country and because of the costs, the work involved, you can no longer see how God will be glorified by your obedience, all you can see is the magnitude of the work and effort it will entail.
God is saying, "Don't limit Me."
Don't downsize your dreams or the vision God has given you, your church or your family due to fear, doubt or unbelief.
Do you know that when we doubt or begin to fear a vision that God places in our heart, that doubt and fear sets up a barrier that limits what God wants to do in our lives.
Psalm 78:41-42 says, "Yes again, and again they tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel."
The Israelites were God's chosen ones, yet they refused to believe God and trust in His promises. Their constant disbelief in God's power, favor and authority, placed a limit on on the level of blessings they received from Him.
I refuse to put any limits on God regarding whatever God desires to do in my life and in our church. Despite the workload, and seemingly big needs, I know this is God's vision -- therefore, He will ensure that we have the food, volunteers and whatever else is needed to ensure that Meal and a Message and the potential overnight shelter program for the unhoused community in our city are successful.
A few scriptures I am meditating on:
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5
"He who calls you is faithful and He will also do it." 1 Thes. 5:24