Here we are in Mzumanzi. I spent the better part of Tuesday working on a teaching on Ambassadorship. Here we are with 70 people and I’m wondering how good a representative of Christ I am. It’s hard to talk to people about something you yourself are unsure about. I know that it is said that we should allow the word of God to dwell in us richly and that it is only then (when it has become a part of us) that we can now give it out. It is like giving fruit instead of the seed you yourself have been given. Plant first in your own life and then allow others to eat of the fruit of that word. I know this but sometimes you’re not sure that the fruit you have is good enough to share. Back to my question: how good an ambassador am I that I can share this word? As far as ambassadors go, I am not the best of them. But here I am… with this word… hopefully from the heart of God.
It was a wonderfully surprising session. We spoke about representing Christ in our speech and conduct and then things changed. We begun to speak about husbands (pastors) and their wives and how they are treated. If we cannot take care of our wives with dignity and in servant hood then what business do we have with His bride? Are we using our wives to lift us higher into our position of fame and recognition at the expense of her crushing (as we step on her to be better seen)? My usual line frequently invokes laughter “you can stone me later, but first please listen.” It’s funny but I mean it.
We talked about husbands being the representation of Christ and how Jesus laid His life down to carry His bride and His sacrifice was her stepping stone. Are we like that with our wives? What is the picture of Christ, that we, as pastors, are giving to our people and families? It was exciting. There were those that were excited to be challenged but within the same atmosphere was the sense of “little girl…” and I leave the rest to your imagination. We could sense the power and presence of God in our midst. It felt like the Father had paid us a visit and set the record straight. The women were quiet throughout and I wondered if it was because their husbands were in the room.
“A pastor’s wife is not only good for starting choruses (praise songs) and sweeping the church. Do you know what God has deposited in her and are you man enough to help her discover her full potential or are you the one who, when the master returns, digs your wife out of the place you buried her and presents her as she came to you – without any multiplication of her gifting and potential?... Milanzi’s wife smiled and leaned into her husband. Mark’s wife looked proudly at him and it was beautiful to see. There were uncomfortable murmurs and strong shouts of affirmation. I could feel the heart of the Father, and it hurt. Ultimately, tradition does not hold a candle to the Light of the Word of God. There are moments when I watch it illuminate and completely obliterate the dull deceptive flicker of tradition – tradition that does not line up with His desire. This was one of those moments. God’s heart is exposed and lies before us and we have the choice of shunning it… or embracing it.
I am more conscious of what kind of witness I am, having taught this. What are my traditions that I so possessively hang onto that are opposed to His desire and His heart? How seriously do I take the call to be His heart and hands and feet here in a hurting and dying world? If I am His ambassador, what is my life saying about who He is? Ahhh, always coming home with questions. That’s good. When we speak the word, even the ears of the speaker should be open to hear the Shepherd’s voice.
Half way through, I looked up and saw the goat that was wondering over at the back. It brought a smile to my face. Ministering in the village is priceless. Nowhere else does one get to minister with goats roaming about in the background. God has a way of helping us keep perspective about what really matters. When I watch goats and chickens come into the room sometimes, I am reminded of the manger and of the humbling of Christ and am reminded that I am just a servant and that these animals are here to make sure I have the proper perspective on what I am doing here. The truth is there is nothing greater than to serve Him. I cannot believe that God would take dirt and breathe into it and it would come to life. The muck and mess of Keta stands and with the breath of God, speaks forth His heart! I marvel and I think, it will take us eternity to scratch the surface of the grace of our most Amazing and Incredible God!