We’re suppose to model Jesus, right? Well, everything that Jesus did was motivated by compassion. Of course He had love. No one will argue with that but what fueled His ministry was compassion. We see the exact words “He was moved with (motivated by) compassion for them,” FIVE times in scripture at Matthew 9:36, Matthew 14:14, Matthew 18:37, Mark 1:41, and Mark 6:34. Whether He was healing the sick, teaching truth, or rebuking the Pharisees, everything He did was motivated from compassion for those that were hurting and being abused by religious authorities (Luke 11:46).
And the world sees right through our motivations if we don’t have true compassion. If we are motivated by pride, control, and the “need to succeed”, those outside of the church will see right through our empty facade. Maybe people enjoy the presence of God in your ministry or they like the cool activities involved in your church but are they getting healed and set free by love? Is your ministry a place of refuge for the broken?
I am tired of seeing people walk into a church and become more wounded when they leave it than when they first came in. It’s time for the madness to stop.
Signs that your motives might not be from compassion:
- You spend more time trying to convince people to “serve” your ministry, obey, be loyal to, and honor leadership more than you talk about having intimacy with Jesus.
- You are passive-aggressive and treat people like garbage from the microphone.
- Anyone in your church who addresses problems instantly “becomes the problem”… instead of evaluating and changing your methods of ministry, the person is instantly villainized.
- You spend more time caring about the reputation of your ministry than how people might actually be hurting in your ministry.
I like to argue sometimes… especially about theological and doctrinal matters. As long as it doesn’t get ugly (and unfortunately sometimes even if it does), I enjoy a nice intellectual debate from time to time. If you get me around an unbeliever or a traditional church member and the subject of God comes up, I always have fun trying to convince them with my words and sharp statements about “truth”.
But about a year ago I realized that though this kind of debate can be helpful at times, mere conversation and bold statements are usually not the ideal tool to convince others. I was attending a weekend conference with a speaker who is probably one of the most prophetic people in our nation today. He pointed me out of the crowd and spoke to me saying “young lady. You like to convince others with your words and through debate but the Lord is going to make you into a presence carrier. It will be the presence of God in your life that will draw others to the truth.”
The problem I see with many who are always trying to be shocking by “shaking the church out of their slumber” is that most of the time they actually enjoy being offensive… being able to cause reactions… and you can tell. I’m sure many of them are convinced they are prophets like Jeremiah who have come to speak “truth” to the church gone astray but rarely do they have the heart of the prophet Jeremiah who loved his people deeply and was very troubled by the call God had on his life. He didn’t spout off the judgments of God to look smart and profound. He pleaded with God to relieve him of his prophetic duties.
I have been a little troubled myself, after seeing some of the ways people have put themselves on a pedestal in the name of “truth”. Why are we spending so much time rebuking the church (I mean do we really think we’re that perfect ourselves?) when we could be convincing them of how great and wide and high and deep the love of God is for them? If we really think our words are going to shape church culture than we have it wrong. It is the all-surpassing, passionate, jealous, consuming love of God that is going to shift the state of the church in our day. If we want to be reformers then this is the message we must, must, MUST bring to the church. If we believe that God needs our words to change things… well than who gets the glory there?
It is not our words but His presence that ignites a fire in a dead church.
So I’m going through an inner healing program right now. It’s absolutely one of the most brutal experiences of my life. It’s funny how things are popping up that haven’t happened in literal years. People popping back into my life (briefly) who had previously caused a lot of pain, apologizing for the mistakes they’ve made. Family secrets that have been hidden for years being exposed and generational strongholds being revealed. It has been a lot to take in. In essence, I’ve been handling it by hiding. Finally, this weekend I decided to actually lean into Jesus rather than avoid Him. I’d been frustrated about not hearing from Him during this difficult time, but it was really mostly because I was too scared to let Him into certain aspects of my heart. So I spent much of the evening in the prayer room yesterday. This resulted in me finally having some dreams.
The first dream, I was at my childhood home in northern Wisconsin. My boss, Kristen Anderson was there and someone had stolen the security system out of her car. She called the “car company” to see if they could replace it but they wouldn’t so they had to tow her car away.
At first I thought the dream was about Kristen and was going to tell her I thought I might have had a prophetic dream about her but when I told the dream to my OTHER boss, Dale, she mentioned that the place that the dream was taking place in was very significant and the scene was the home of my childhood.
So I pieced the symbols together. Kristen, is my boss, so this speaks of authority. The car speaks of ministry, and my parents were both pastors. The security system was stolen from them. It all started to make sense. When I was around 11 or 12 there were some serious issues in our church. It’s sort of a long story but one of the major major disruptions was when my dad was accused of stealing $10,000 from our church. A huge split happened and there were rumors spread all over my small town about my family. In the end, the truth was found out and it involved a mistake of someone else in the church. My parents ended up staying at this church for another five years but that year caused a lot of insecurity issues with my parents. At the time of this happening, I was really tough about the whole situation. I don’t remember feeling a lot pain, but definitely felt a lot of anger towards the people that were treating my family in this manner. I’ve always felt, for some reason, that I needed to be strong for my mom. I think my mom suffered more than anyone else in the situation. My dad handled the situation as well but I think that I internalized a lot of the pain I felt and covered it with an appearance of resolve and indignation at the injustice. Without knowing it, I believe that this scenario caused a deep level of insecurity in me because of the shattering of outward security in my parent’s lives. I will write more at another time.
I will add another dream (or what I can remember of it). This one I really have no clue what it is talking about but I’m hoping that someone else gets it.
I had moved back in with my grandmother in Little Rock. In my dream, I had a room there ready for me. It was a room from my childhood and I had a lot of other things from my childhood in the room. However, when I went to move into the room a girl I hardly know, named Joelle was in my room playing guitar. Like I said, I barely know Joelle, but I looked up the meaning of her name and it means “be willing”. Anyway, I saw her and I went into another room next door to this room. It was like I was talking to her through the wall of the two rooms and I was saying that I should have brought my keyboard so that we could worship together.
So I kind of think it is the Lord calling me out to be willing to see the painful things from my childhood but to worship Him in the midst of it. Yikes! If anyone else gets more interpretation from it, let me know. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
So I had a dream awhile back.
It was shortly after I returned from England. It was very symbolic and I have been dissecting it for months and months when Jesus this weekend gave me some pretty interesting insight on it.
I was a nanny for Paul McCartney and Elizabeth Hurley (don’t laugh).
They were on their honeymoon and we were all together in Egypt.
We are all in a jeep and it is a really hot day.
They hand me their tiny newborn baby to take care of and I take it and walk down the streets of Egypt with it.
I wind up walking right into a city in England. I’m not sure if it was London or not but it was England.
I was on a street lined with shops and the baby is suddenly about 2 or 3 years old.
In this particular part of the city, they were having an art festival.
I went inside a store and it was full of classrooms where people were working on various art projects. I’m carrying this toddler around and we are inspecting all of the art projects.
At the end of the dream I see a closed door and I go to it, curious to see what is inside. When I open the door, my dream ends.
I’ve figured out that Egypt was here in Kansas City. This is my wilderness season. The baby is my vision for London. It was newborn at the time I had my dream. When the baby is older, I figured out this means that I will be in England around the time my vision is about 2 or 3 years old. So basically I’m sticking it out here for 2 or 3 years. Let me tell you… sometimes it sure feels like Egypt here.
What I didn’t understand for a long time was all of the artistic stuff. For one thing I’m carrying the baby of two English celebrities. McCartney, a musician and Hurley an actress. Then I end up in an art festival and then in a store full of classrooms with people working on various art projects.
I believe that when I entered the closed door that this was prayer and intercession. But what is all the rest of it?
Saturday, I woke up with a start. I suddenly realized what this meant… well in part anyway. There is a school in New York City called “The New School”. It’s a place where adults can go and take classes on various things. Anything from dance to history to writing to foreign languages.
If there is anything that that can get the humanistic culture in London to have an interest in the church (other than a sovereign move of the Holy Spirit, which is of course ideal) it’s the arts. My crazy, nutty plan is to eventually start something like “The New School” in London where teachers (who are secretly prophetic messengers) are interacting with adult students daily. In the back of the school somewhere I foresee a furnace of prayer and intercession for the city and small grassroots church plants sprouting in various homes around the city… or maybe just one big one. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like yet.
I know I sound like some kind of crazy idealist nutjob but I really think this might be Jesus. There’s no way I could come up with it on my own.