This week my aunt turned me on to the newest female Bible app and community, First5. The app was created by Proverbs 31 Ministries to ensure that you spend the first five minutes of each day in God’s Word. I came upon the app because my aunt had just read The Best Yes by the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst. On several occasions my aunt sent me recommendations about this book and I began to research it as well as lay claim to her copy once she had finished her reading of it.
The author is speaking this weekend at a Proverbs 31 conference called She Speaks. At this conference Lysa is speaking specifically to women called by God to write, teach, preach and lead. Which if you think about our calling as Christians that applies to every one of us in some way. Although I cannot physically be at the conference in North Carolina, (once I found out about it I seriously contemplated the idea of hopping on a plane and attending, but alas, it was sold out) I was able to view the opening session upon the download of the First5 app.
I stayed up late listening to the entire lesson. It was nearly an hour, but the teaching was so applicable and relevant that it hardly felt like ten minutes. During the opening session Lysa spoke about recognizing God’s role in your ministry. I felt so convicted because so often it’s easy to rely on my own strength in ministry without first coming to God and realizing just how much I need God in my ministry before I can be effective.
The scripture that she pulled from was Mark 6:30-56: The Feeding of the Five Thousand and Jesus Walking on Water. Did you know that apart from the Resurrection of Jesus that the feeding of the five thousand is the only other miracle of Jesus’ ministry recorded in all four gospels? It is this very truth that led Lysa to examine this miracle so closely. The things of most importance always seem to be repeated throughout scripture.
Here are three points that Lysa made that really hit home for me:
1. The disciples came to Jesus bragging about their own ministries.
In the first verse of this section it says, “the apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught.” In essence, the apostles are returning from their individual ventures they were commissioned to in the world and were telling stories about all of the things they had accomplished. I picture this as a slightly competitive conversation. “Oh yeah, well I did this…” To me, this passage stood out because I know that oftentimes I try to accomplish things in my own power. Worse yet, I take credit for things that God has done for or through me. I hope I’m not the only person who can relate here. I’m guilty of pride when my blog boosts high stats or when an author of a book I’ve read responds to an email I sent. This verse put me back in my place. Just as the disciples could not have performed their miracles or drove out demons without first having the power of Jesus within them I too cannot take credit for the words that Jesus has divinely given me to use in my ministry of writing.
2. Jesus did all the work. All we have to do is serve.
The disciples are sitting with Jesus getting a little frustrated by the crowd of people he was drawing to himself. All they wanted was a little time alone to recharge and reconnect. But, in the midst of their selfishness Jesus calls them to serve. In verse 36 the apostles plead with Jesus, “Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But Jesus responds simply in verse 37 with, “You give them something to eat.” In this verse Jesus is telling the apostles that their role is to serve the people who have come to learn from Him. He didn’t tell them it was their responsibility to conduct the miracles and multiply five loaves and two fish, but rather to serve the people who were hungry. In the same way we who are called by God to write, teach, preach, or lead are called also to serve those around us. We are to allow Jesus to do His thing without taking credit and humbly serve others.
3. Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
This point was so powerful. Lysa continues to the narrative of Jesus Walking on Water. Not only are the apostles quick to forget what they had just learned with the miracle of feeding the five thousand, but as they are sailing across the lake they fail to recognize Jesus and verses 49-50 say, “when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.” Being the linguisitic nerd that I am I love when speakers dive into the original Greek meanings of Biblical terms and phrases. In her discussion, Lysa says that the term terrified here in the original language means, “setting into motion something that was meant to be still.” Wow! This really spoke to me as someone who struggles with anxiety and fear. Like Lysa, I’m one of those people who is constantly working myself up with worst-case scenarios. But this translation of a word so prevalent in my vocabulary showed me how often I set myself into motion when all I am meant to do is be still. I freak out and imagine outcomes constantly when I should be staying still and putting my faith in God to see me through.
Lysa made more points than just these, but these three that stood out to me that I felt applied to my life and situation. I wanted to share these truths with you.
If you haven’t already, you should download the First5 app. The first study begins on Monday and I am looking forward to it. I can’t think of a better way to spend the first five minutes of each day than in God’s Word. Join me and thousands others as we embark on the journey of First5 together.