Remain

Do you ever want the Bible to say something that it doesn’t? Like, have you ever needed an answer to a problem in your life, or a map to find success in a certain area, but it just isn’t there? Welcome to my current season of life: marriage.

I’m 3 weeks into marriage and I feel as if I am doing all I can to be the best husband I can, but sometimes, I’m just so off base in my thinking. I’m learning a ton about how my wife thinks, how much we prioritize different things, and how much we need grace in this season.

I’ll give you one quick example before I make my point. Carissa is a stickler when it comes to dishes in the sink. She hates it when I leave dishes in the sink when the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty. I have found her saying, “Philip, the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty,” and found myself not getting the hint. I, on the other hand, don’t feel this way about dishes, but rather, about laundry. I am not one to try and wear all my clothes before washing them. I like to do a load of laundry every other day to keep the hamper level to a minimum. Carissa doesn’t feel this way. AT ALL.

What’s my point? There isn’t a chapter and verse for this? There wasn’t a chapter in premarital counseling about cleanliness priorities. It is something we have to figure out.

I’m finding that ministry, for me, falls into this as well. I am discovering that I have a concept of what ministry should look like for me, but it’s almost as if God and I aren’t on the same page. We are fighting this battle where I want this or that out of ministry, and He continually has to nudge me back to reality a bit. See, I have a tendency to want to know what’s next, and He has a desire that I focus on now. This has been a learning process for me, because I never found a chapter and verse on this… Well, not until earlier this year.

John 15 changed everything for me. John 15 is a passage where Jesus is talking to His disciples about their future in ministry. You’d think He would tell them where to go, and what to do, but He doesn’t think like us. Instead, He shows us that the most important thing isn’t where you go, or what you do. The most important thing is who you do life with. 11 times in John 15, He tells His disciples that the key to healthy ministry is to REMAIN in Him.

Here is the main thing this has taught me: Society focuses on arriving; God focuses on remaining.

I want to arrive. If you’re honest, so do you. You want to be a perfect spouse. You want the corner office. I’m not going to have all the answers to be the perfect husband, or all the answers for ministry, and that’s okay. Jesus shows us, through His conversation with His followers, that what matters more is doing life with Him. Your job is to simply remain. Whether in ministry, marriage, school, career, relationships, etc., the key is the same: stay close to the One who died for you. He’ll work out the rest.

The outcome is God’s responsibility. Obedience is yours.

Remain.

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