Learning through Life

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Hampshire, United Kingdom
I love how our day-to-day life can teach us lessons to help us understand our past, challenge our today, and inspire our future. We can learn through experiences, situations, conversations, songs, books, nature ... the list is endless! Live with eyes ready to see, ears ready to hear and a heart ready to be touched.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The one with the Symphony

This morning, as I sat in church, I knew that God wanted to speak to me.  Of course he did, he loves to speak to us doesn't he?  I just hadn't anticipated it stirring me up as much as it did.

God of Justice, Saviour to all, 
Came to rescue the weak and the poor ...

As I stood worshiping God, I felt a nudge to stop.  At times I can get so caught up in the music, the words, the atmosphere, that I forget the One to whom I am singing: The Creator God.  It is all for, and about, Him.  Not me.  So I stopped, and as I did, God spoke deep into my heart.

There is a whole world outside the comfort and stability of our church walls that Jesus came to rescue.  We all know it don't we?  And we continue to sing ...

Jesus, You have called us
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give

We must go live to feed the hungry

Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go

To act justly everyday

Loving mercy in every way
Walking humbly before You God

You have shown us, what You require

Freely we've received
Now freely we will give

Fill us up and send us out

Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out Lord

(Tim Hughes, God of Justice, Holding Nothing Back, 2007) 

Jesus, fill me up and send me out.  I prayed it and I meant it, and God started to give me a glimpse of where it was he was sending me.

And then, we were reminded of our upcoming Carol service and told to invite people.

The moment passed, and I felt as though a book had been taken away before I had the chance to finish the chapter.  God had been filling me up to send me out, and I felt ready for the challenge.  A challenge that he had been preparing and equipping me for.  A challenge to invite people to the Carol service?

I couldn't help feel as though we were missing the point. We had been asking God to fill us up and send us out, and then perhaps we limited the response.  Was God sending us out to bring people back to the same church at the same time?  Or did he have his own plans?  Was he equipping us for the same job?  Or did he have a different work set aside for each of us? And as I thought about this I felt God say ...

Do you only listen to what people say, or do you also listen to me?
Do you only do what people tell you to do, or do you also do what I ask you to?
Do you follow people, or do you follow me?

God is a creative God, and his people are all different.  He designed it this way.  

He doesn't paint us all the same colour.
He doesn't ask us to play the same instrument.
He doesn't give us all the same fragrance.

If we were all a shade of green, how could we paint with yellows or blues? 
God asks for different colours so that together we can form a rainbow.

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If we all play the flute, how can there be an orchestra? 
God asks for different instruments so that together we can play a symphony.

If we all had the fragrance of a Rose, what of the cut grass?
God asks for different fragrances, to encapsulate the scent of a summer's day.

We are unique.  We have different gifts to use, and different people to reach.  This is God's plan and purpose for the world.  

We need to ask Him to fill us up and send us out ... not to follow the footsteps of another but to carve the path that he has called us to.  A path that will feed the hungry and stand beside the broken.  A path walked in humility with God.  And we need to encourage and empower others to do the same.

Fill us up and send us out - as an army of people - marching to your drumbeat Lord. 


  1. :-) thought provoking as ever. It's staggering to think how much God has in store for us and really uncomfortable to think how much we can limit that. I love the idea of us all marching to the same drum beat - hopefully while we're going in the different directions and styles God has for us!

  2. Nice post.

    The odd thing is that even if everyone who prayed was indeed filled up and sent out the results would look vastly different. For me being filled up and sent out would meant writing fast, relying on God and not on my own abilities, not letting pride come into the picture, being kind to my family.

    Inviting people to carol services wouldn't come into it. Though I suppose being a Christian is a long and winding road, and one might well take the first step at a Carol Service. However, I suspect the exhortations to invite people is because ministers don't want their services to flop.!

  3. Your "do you" questions in this post are a worthwhile challenge for me at present. Thanks as always for writing!

  4. Love that we get to bring our own fragrance to the earth. So good.

  5. WOW! what an excellent and very timely message!



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