An Inside Job
In January of 2010 I felt a strong calling from God to plant City on a Hill Church. I had no idea how it was going to happen. I had never planted a church before. I had heard horror story after horror story of failed church plants. I hadn’t even had that heart to heart conversation with my wife until mid January. But there was one thing that I absolutely and totally knew. I knew that planting City on a Hill Church was going to be an inside job. I knew that in order to see the dream God had placed in my heart there was going to be some intense soul searching, repentance, prayer and fasting. Some things were going to have to happen inside me before God could effectively work through me to plant City on a Hill. I knew it was going to be an inside job because I was in desperate need of inner healing. I knew it was going to be an inside job because I was in desperate need of forgiveness for holding bitterness and anger towards others. I knew it was going to be an inside job because I was fearful and afraid living in the cage of responsibility and excuses. Deuteronomy uses the term “your heart” 30 times in the ESV Bible. 30 different times while God is establishing is Word and authority in the hearts of His people he constantly refers to their hearts. He fully knows that loving, following, and serving Him is an inside job. It has to happen on the inside before it manifests on the outside. Staying in right relationship with God is an inside job. That is why discipleship is so critical to the Church. Discipleship is an inside job. It introduces us to Jesus in a deeper, richer, fuller way. Through discipleship we get to know God. We don’t just learn “about” God we actually get to know His heart. We begin to learn to love what He loves and despise what He despises. Two years later my relationship with God is still an inside job. Pastoring is an inside job. Church planting is still an inside job. I can not tell you the depth of the inner struggles that I face as a pastor and church planter. The loneliness is like nothing I have ever experienced. This has been and continues to prove itself to be the most beautiful yet brutal journey I have ever embarked upon. Thank be to God I am not alone! I have Jesus and a very special group of men and women in my life. I want to shout out to Ed in Carolina, John in Oregon, Tom in Texas, Marty in FL and John in Virginia. I want to shout out to my Trustee Board Blanche, Dee, Paul T. and Royce. I want to shout out to my brothers in discipleship Van, Papi, Royce, John, and Pedro and my Wednesday night Men’s Group. All of you help me face my inner struggles. All of you help me shoulder my burden. Please understand today that life is an inside job, faith is an inside job and joy is an inside job. Deuteronomy reminds us about our hearts. He gives us life laws to live by but God isn’t just interested in us living out the letter of the law. He is interested in us guarding our hearts and being sure that what is on the inside matches the outside. Look at the verse at the top of this blog but if your heart turns away you will fall into idolatry. Every day something pulls at us from the inside. The call to an easier life, money, power, sex, fame and fortune they all seek to pull an inside job and rip us from God’s will for our lives. If we define success as knowing and doing the will of God we will be far less tempted to give them our attention. Be careful my friends not to let the heist of the century rob you of your faith and the hope that you have in Jesus Christ because 9 times out of 10 the heist will happen right under our noses. It is almost always an inside job and it happens so quickly that we don’t even see it until it is too late. The good news is that there is another kind of inside job at work in us. It is the inside job of faith, hope, and love. It is an inside job done by the work of the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. He is hard at work inside the hearts of any who would let Him performing the inside job of sanctification and calling us to a higher calling, empowering us to live lives to the glory of God, preparing us for every good work laid out for us, and acting as our down payment on salvation. This is the kind of inside job that we want to happen. God is still performing an inside job in me. It is daily. Be encouraged!