Years ago, shortly after we were saved, we were faced with a difficult decision. My husband had designed and built a beautiful custom home for our family. It was over 3000 sq. ft. on a decent sized parcel of land, in a very nice neighborhood in San Jose. The decision we were faced with was whether we should keep the house and continue to commute to church and school, and struggle to keep the house and the kids in Christian school, or to sell the house to move closer to the church and have an easier budget to work with to keep the kids in Christian school.
I remember sitting in church hearing the preacher talk about when God takes things from you – he said it is either because it is not good for you, He has something better for you, or as in the case of the Levites – because you belong to Him, you don’t get the “inheritance” as the other children of Israel did. As we sat there, my husband and I both knew in our hearts, that, that was our case. We knew that God wanted us for Him –that we were His, and that we would not have, down here, what others had. I wish I could say I was overjoyed and honored – but in truth, we looked at each other and said, “Well, that’s us.”
As young Christians, we didn’t realize the honor God was bestowing upon us in asking us to give up our house, and we didn’t understand that it would mean “always” and “in every situation;” we really thought it was just concerning our house. We decided, that night, it was more important to keep our kids in Christian school than try to keep the house so… that week we listed the house.
Since that time, that same scenario has repeated itself – we have “our dream” and then the Lord moves us. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that God was revealing to us, all those many years ago, His plan for our lives. Only today I realize today what a tremendous honor we have in serving our Lord; in being His as a gift to His children to minister to them.
Nu 18:6 And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Jos 18:7 But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance:”
As I ponder the truth that we won't have our own church building, our own church family, or our own home to own, as we tried to do last year; I realize it is because the Lord has a “GREATER VISION” for us.
We thought we could stay in one place as a base to work from- we had hoped we could continue to plant churches and have each one sent from our first church plant – but that was not God’s plan. God’s plan is a greater plan – He has a greater vision.
I thought of Paul and how his bonds allowed him to further spread the gospel. I am sure that he was not pleased that it looked like he was a criminal in prison – but God chose those bonds in his life so that the gospel could spread further.
Philippians 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
In our life God chose bonds (not of prison) as well and He made it very clear that He wanted us to serve Him as full-time missionaries planting churches. The bonds he placed in our lives led us to a door that opened so that the gospel could be spread further! We know how that worked for Paul – and I believe that is the case for us as well. I understand the truth is God is moving us for the furtherance of the Gospel!
As I sat as a guest in a church the other night and saw the church family interacting with each other, the beautiful facility in which they were meeting, and joy of being able to see fruit of their work staying with them – I must admit I felt a little sad realizing that in our calling we will not be able to enjoy that. We are as the Levites – we belong to God, we have a job to do and we don’t have the same inheritance as some others;our privilege of serving God is our inheritance.
As I thought about the truth of what I was feeling and what God was showing me, I suddenly felt ashamed at myself and at the same time I realized in my heart that in truth, I would rather have Jesus than those things. What a privilege that God would choose us to be His – and that our inheritance is the fact that we are His! Our inheritance is the royal priesthood that God told us about in I Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” That brought tremendous joy to my heart!
So, early in our journey on deputation as a church planter’s wife and missionary I have found this song to have a new meaning to me. “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” This is a song that people love to sing – but are these words your truth?
I’d Rather Have Jesus – The Lyrics
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.
Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.
He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs,
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.
It is with great joy that we embark on our new journey and joining so many of our heroes that have gone before us. Thank you Father for entrusting us with this ministry – may we honor and glorify you in all that we do! Today this song is the truth of my heart. I pray that you may know this joy as well – for truly “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
Have a wonderful day!