I Have Found My Source

There's a temptation we humans have to try and have our needs met by what sometimes feels like a more tangible source.I was in worship nd a song came on that many of us know, "I exalt thee, I exalt thee O Lord." As I sang I had a realization that I was making a declaration not just for this moment in worship, but for my life. I was saying to Jesus, I exalt thee, I honor you above all things. I respect you above all persons. I place you above all desires of my heart. You get first place. I trust you more than anything or anyone else. Jesus you are my source.

It's amazing how easily we humans succumb to allowing other things to become a source. It's an easy temptation when you do missions to feel like your donors are your source. Those are the ones buying you the plane tickets, feeding the kids, and helping to ensure the visions God has given you are able to be completed financially. It's an easy temptation in ministry to feel like your source is those who follow you or support you. Did they like the sermon? Did they donate to the ministry? As a pastor did they show up to the midweek prayer meeting or pay their tithes? Are they going to invite you back to preach again? Do they encourage you? Do they feel like you do a good job? Will they follow you even in unfamiliar territory? What about your job is that your source? It pays the bills. It gives you the paycheck. It's how you keep everyone fed and clothed. It's super easy to think your spouse or other significant people in your life are your source. Will they love you unconditionally? Will they stay by your side? Will they support you? Will they always have your back and be loyal? Will they support your dreams? Are they trustworthy?

We begin to look to have our intimacy fulfilled in people. We can look to have our financial needs met by others or by jobs. We can have our value determined by whether or not we achieve our goals.

As we continued to sing I kept telling Jesus, I exalt you above all others, there truly is none like you. There is none who fulfills my desires like You. There is none who can provide like you. There is none who encourages me like you. There is none whose thoughts I value more than Yours. As I just told Him that He was my source of life I thought about another song I love. "You never ask that I earn your affection, I could never earn something that's free, I never have to fight for your attention, Your eyes are ever upon me"

I began to wonder what it would be like if He could actually say this back to us. "Jessika... you don't ask that I earn your affection, Jessika I never have to fight for your attention"

What if we truly allowed God to be our Source for any and all things? What if He didn't have to earn your affection, what if He didn't have to fight for our attention?

The Truth is that He is our ultimate source. He is the One who was and is and is to come. He is the exceedingly great reward. He is the one worth living for. Circumstances will change, jobs, goals, people, all of those will change through seasons of our lives, but He will forever be our constant. He will forever be the Source of true love, true intimacy, true provision, true affirmation, true value. Be Blessed,

J. Tate

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord! (Isaiah 31:1)

The Airport Devotional

I’m sitting in a little cafe in the Denver airport. As I walk through toward the back where I’m being seated I see the woman to my left with her iPhone in her face, the man behind her with his laptop typing furiously, the teenager with her family playing some sort of game on the ipad. Row by row as I stare at the focus on technology, I can’t help but ponder how much my generation is missing out on in life simply by neglecting real relationships in favor of hours upon hours consumed with social media, emails, games, and such.I can’t help but wonder if technology is helping the whole world hear by bringing the gospel to the most remote villages in the world, but yet our own country is becoming less and less evangelized. How will they hear if they live in a world full of Christians that are willing to run to the darkest of dark places, but won’t take their eyes off their phones in a restaurant? Have we become so trapped in our social media worlds that we can’t hear Holy Spirit when He whispers to us to talk to the waitress, the janitor, or the cashier in our own nation?

I’m writing this as I’m feeling Him speak to me, not about you, but about me. I noticed these things as I walked back to my table and proceeded to pull out my laptop and my phone. I began to jot out notes for a chapter in my book that I was thinking about, then as I turned my phone back on it immediately started going off. Currently at 7am I paused a whats app conversation with my best friend in England, texting a pastor in LA and a friend in North Carolina, while also making notes to contact people for the next conference I’m speaking in and emails to write for my next mission trip coming up to yet another conflict zone. I’ve done all that while sitting her for ten minutes, but I don’t know my waiter’s name. This is when it hit me. I am becoming that person that I’m most concerned about. I can become so busy planning and doing things for the Kingdom that I forget to stop for the one in front of me. Oh my friends and I run into war zones, we go to unreached people groups, we visit the homeless and the prostitutes, we preach sermons, we travel speaking in churches and conferences, I think we’re nice people, and from the world of social media it could appear like we have figured this Christian thing out, but my success in life isn’t measured by those things. Honestly, my life is best measured by this verse, “If you love me, you obey me” (John 14:12) Love. One thing I know is that love listens when He speaks. Love values what He values. Love moves when He says to move. I don’t want to run into war zones if I’m not willing to be a witness in Wal-Mart. I don’t want to lay hands on the sick behind the pulpit, if I’m not willing to stop for the homeless man in the wheel chair on the street. I don’t want to get so distracted by the planning, the phone calls, the emails, the Facebook statuses, the newsletters, or even the blogs that we stop making a difference everyday, right where we are, simply as disciples of Jesus. I don’t know what your life looks like, but I want to see a shift in focus for our society. As moms and dads, and brothers, sisters, daughters, friends, mentors, teachers, businessmen, preachers, missionaries, no matter your role, let’s take time to turn the technology off and look around. Do you see your kids playing there, go play with them without putting it on instagram. Do you see that man on the street go feed him and pray for him without putting it on facebook. Do you see your spouse over there on the couch, write the emails later, and go snuggle up next to her without your phone in your hand. Do you see that cashier at Trader Joe’s, put your phone back in your pocket and ask her how her day has been. I actually spoke to my friend yesterday and I said, "I don't put the best things that happen in my life on social media and I don't put my worst things there, most of the greatest and worst things in my life are only known by my closest friends." I don't want to reduce the importance of relationship with my family, friends, and mentors by allowing everyone in the social media world in on personal information. I want those closest to me to know that they are worth holding the things most valuable to me. I want them to know that they're worth more than a post on social media or an email. I love technology and I’m so thankful for it. Most of the people I’m closest to in my life live in different states and even on different continents. I get to speak to them daily, see them through Skype and facetime, and even visit them because of technology. The gospel is spreading rapidly thanks to the Jesus film in multiple languages, solar powered Bibles, planes, and other forms of technology. We can encourage the body of Christ around the world by things like this daily devotionals, blogs, or Facebook posts. Technology has been such a great benefit for the expansion of the Kingdom.

I just know at the end of the day it should be Him that leads us, directs us, guides us, and consumes our attention not the technology that is used for His purposes.

Be Blessed, Jessika Tate

 

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