Some challenges of Matthew 5-7

I, Dan, have been studying the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew ch. 5-7) for my quiet time since the beginning of the year. As I have read, and re-read the same verses, I have begun to see thing differently and be  convicted of many things.   It has been very challenging during the past 10 months.

Recently I was challenged again, specifically by Mat. 7:7-11.  As I looked at the ideas of asking, knocking, and seeking, Jesus seems to be saying, “don’t give up. Keep on asking; keep on seeking; keep knocking.”  I’m sure there are many life areas in which I need to continue asking, seeking, and knocking, though currently, this furlough, the context often in my thoughts is that of our support raising.  In light of that I have a few questions that are also prayers.   First, “what is the balance here?”  Second, “how do I continue to seek, ask, and knock without offending you, God, and without offending churches we are trying to talk with?”

I, (we), have been praying about certain churches and general support raising since mid 2012.

The struggle I have is not with the many “no’s” and the few “yes’s'” we have gotten.  The struggle is in the silence.  The struggle is in the wait.

During the silence and waiting, I need a balance of not being pushy with churches/people.  But, I also can’t let us fade into the backgroud. After all, the stark truth is that we are but one of thousands of ministries that are seeking funds.  I know that God is working in the heavenlies.  I know that people are working here weighing our ministry against other ministries, looking at church budgets, dealing with time constraints, and handling their own work and ministry.  Also, I know our time constraints.  We have less than 7 weeks left to support raise, we need to balance spending time with family, study/work on ministry training, pack up so we can go back to Mozambique and prepare our transition to Portugal.  I know once we are back on field support raising becomes much more difficult to do.  Going back under funded increases stress levels; it can mean cutting our budget…both my personal salary and that for ministry.

So the struggle is in the wait time, in the silence….do give myself over to worry?  I can’t, as worrying is dealt with in Mat. 6:25-34.  There goes that conviction thing again!

Do I keep asking, knocking and seeking?

Yes.

But God, please give me wisdom and balance in how to ask, knock and seek in a way that honors you. Give me peace in the wait and silence.

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