When I think of things in my life through the lens of the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ, things get a lot less personal. It helps me pull myself out of the situation I am in, look at it with the eyes of the Lord (impossible without much prayer!), and get perspective. It also helps me suffer a LOT more than I otherwise would if I took things personally. In fact, the more I do this, the more I am able to suffer for doing what the Lord wants me to.
Right now, I am focused on eliminating suffering that is not from the Lord. The past 2 years, I have focused on the difference between suffering for my own sin and suffering for the Lord. My prayer has been for me to stop sinning, so I can be sure that I am enduring suffering only for the Lord and not for my foolish decisions. God has answered that prayer in powerful ways for me so far and will continue to do so I am sure. I don’t want to suffer if it is not for the Lord!!! I do not want to NEEDLESSLY suffer anymore.
If I pray and seek the Lord’s will for each relationship and each situation, the Lord will show me whether or not I am needlessly suffering. If He shows me that it is His will, then it will be fruitful suffering. But, I am certain that if it is not His will, there will be no fruit (which in case He shows me to let go). And I am learning that some fruit is fruit! It doesn’t have to be major fruit! Just continual progress and growth (and it also depends on the type of relationship and also other factors that play into the situation…sometimes I have to let go for just a season….). And if I am not sure, I continue to pray that He show me if it is His will. As long as I am interested in knowing if it is His will and not my Will, He always shows me. I want to be longsuffering. I want to pour myself out as He pours Himself out to me…but I do not want to suffer outside of His will.
I love seeing the world through “Kingdom Eyes.” It always gives me His perspective. It always is an out of body experience for me. It is the Lord giving me His perspective, which is impossible for this sinner to have without His overwhelming Grace and Mercy. Thank-you Lord for showing me how everything plays a part in the advancement of YOUR Kingdom. And I best pull myself OUT of the situation, so that I can make it about YOU and not ME…lest I become a stumbling block to your Kingdom coming.