One year ago today I was on a plane on my way to Maun, Botswana for the first time. I was unsure what to expect or how God would use me there, but I was very excited and anxious to see what the Lord had in store for me. Now, a year later, I stand amazed at what God has done!
This past week has been a very blessed one for me. I went to a young adult/singles conference on Friday night and Saturday morning. My spirit was so refreshed by the worship time and messages shared. One of my favorite things I heard on Friday night from the speaker, Ed Gunger, was that God does not just save us so that we can be happier and have more stuff. God loves the planet and all the people on it. He desires to save us, to rescue us, so that we will walk into the places of pain and suffering to tell others about Him, about how He can rescue them, too. He said that we need to not desire to have more power, but to have more influence. (Think Mother Theresa...not much power by the world's standards, but had incredible influence.)
I was again blessed Sunday morning when I attended the first of three leadership development classes at my church. We really went back to the basics of faith to examine how we are doing. I was so convicted in many areas and really reminded of where my priorities need to be. We were encouraged to really examine our hearts to find areas of needed improvement, and then to pray and ask God to work on us in those areas.
Finally, today during my Bible study time, I was reminded in Matthew 5:14-16 that we are the light of the world, that we should so shine our light before men that they would see and praise our Father in Heaven. The only way for us to be a light to this dark world is to be completely surrendered to the Lord and to daily allow the Holy Spirit to fill us up, so that "I may decrease and He may increase." John 3:30 It's such a beautiful process that as we spend time in God's presence and pray for Him to work on our hearts and make us more like Him, we then become more like Him, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit, enabling us to love the people in the world as He does. It's all from Him, through Him, and to Him. May I be filled with more of Him, so that Andrea decreases and Jesus increases. While I am here in Austin and when I am in Botswana, may I have so surrendered to Jesus that when people see me, they see Him. This is the ultimate prayer and desire of my heart.