”as you know”
“God is witness”
(I Thessalonians 2:5)
My basement office not only has a desk, it has a floor full of toys…Lego! My three grandsons also love the basement. I’ve learned a valuable lesson about having my office in a basement full of Lego: “Before you take another step, turn on the light!!”. The same can be said about shadow missions. In the last blog we faced the reality of shadow mission, the truth that hidden in the shadows of our hearts, even hearts that deeply desire to follow God, are those still existent desires to “use others or even ministry to build ourselves up”. So, we asked the question: what can we do about our shadow mission(s)?
The first piece of advice is, before you take another step, turn the light on…and keep it on! Actually, this comes right from the Apostle Paul. He says in I Thessalonians 2:5: “For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed – God is witness.”. Paul opened up his heart, his motives, his hidden places to God and to other people. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is to be totally honest with God, to tell Him not only what is going on in my life but ask him to have a look at what is going on in my heart. If I’m not sure what is going on in my heart, tell Him that too! Anger, jealousy, low self-esteem, and all the other stuff in the shadows, need His light! As I indicated in the last blog article, even as I start writing this blog, the often-reoccurring question that comes from a father wound in my heart (a blog for another day), is: “will people like it, will they approve”. The approval I seldom got as a child is frequently the fuel for my shadow mission. I can, and should, (and did), tell my heavenly Father that the side-winds of my “needing approval” shadow mission were blowing again. I can’t fight them on my own, but it’s amazing what happens when I bring the exposing and healing light of His presence into the struggle.
I can do the same with other people, I can let someone I trust know what is going on in my heart. Just last evening I did that with my most trusted friend, my wife and life’s journey partner, Darlene. It was amazing how quickly letting her into the shadow, into the struggle, brought light, both the exposing light and then the healing light as we prayed about it together.
There is more to dealing with my shadow mission, (future blog material) but certainly not less than this. Let God “be your witness”, let other people “know”. Before you step on a Lego, turn on the light!