Please help me put this into words, Lord Jesus.

Yesterday I said that my soul was in ruins. That’s because God had been pressing me, relentless, drilling the bottom of a single question:

“What do you want?

Not, “What do you want for dinner?” Not, “What would you like to do today?” But, “What do you want?” As in, ultimately. What is your core, motivating, “Big D” Desire?

I’ve struggled with sharing what comes next, partly because it casts me in a less than flattering light and partly because I’m questioning my motives at every turn the last few days. That said, this blog is all about writing about life in the trenches, so here we go. I’ll put what I sensed God saying to me in “bold quotes”, my own words in italics, and my added narration in normal text. So God asks…

“What do you want?”

Fruitfulness. Effectiveness in ministry. Bold leadership.

Silence. So I dig deeper, pulling at a loose thread I’ve noticed before but hadn’t paid much attention to. Mostly because I didn’t want to.

I want to be admired. Important. Effective as a leader. And needed. And affirmed, because affirmation is the voice of admiration. Then it occurs to me: What if I had to choose between catalyzing a movement that really changed our city OR being admired? What if I am choosing, right now, and what if my choice is one of the reasons the movement isn’t happening?

I sense some truth in this line of questions. I may never know how much, or how little. Just that there’s truth in it.

“Explain admired.”

Ugh. My heart sinks. Aches. Throbs with a clunky kind of embarrassment as the truth floats up from the depths. I fumble out the words, hating them as I give them voice.

I want people to think I’m amazing, I want them to marvel at my preaching, I want people to say I’m amazing—to my face, behind my back.

“Worship.”

I want to say that’s not true, that it’s gone too far, but I know/sense the truth in it.

“And how can drawing attention to yourself ignite the movement when people, your flock, should be looking to me?”

It can’t. And worship creates distance, spiritual levels / elitism. Which is why I have often felt alone. I don’t like this. I feel dispirited. I’m onto something here, but God isn’t finished yet. Something about the wording. I haven’t “nailed it” yet. It’s important to nail it, by the way. To get a clear handle on the thing. A few days later, it comes to me.

I want to be wonderful. For people to think it, say it—and for me to deserve it. That’s it. This defines my “Big D.” I’m going to let this sit here for a day. Part of my humbling process. My heart is groaning, Lord.

Next post: Yuck… but now what?