I’ll be honest with you. Sometimes it’s a real pain to embrace the diversity in our movement. Working with strong personalities, bridging denominational differences, mission backgrounds and juggling various agendas is demanding.  I often hear a cacophony of voices pulling me in what sometimes feels like different directions:

“We need to make prayer a greater priority!”
“There’s not enough emphasis on business!”
“Why aren’t we spending more time in worship?”
“Shouldn’t there be more emphasis on language learning?”
“Where is the power of Spirit in all this?”
“We don’t spend enough time on best practices!”

But lately the Spirit has been showing me a more positive aspect to our diversity.  What is the unifying theme or ultimate value behind all of our desires? The ultimate value is our desire to see God glorified in all things. Truly we yearn for the supremacy of God working in us and through us.

What do I mean by the supremacy of God in all things? To value the supremacy of God in all things means that we seek a God-centered way of thinking, living, working and witnessing that exalts His magnificence and surrenders our flesh to His lordship. When I begin to exalt His magnificence, something happens in my heart. My self-centered focus, my burdens, my anxieties melt away. I feel secure. I feel loved. I feel rest.  My soul is fortified, my vision renewed. I am ready to fight the good fight of faith. This in turn moves me to greater surrender – because I long more of Him. Desiring the supremacy of God in all things glorifies God, satisfies my soul, and motivates me to serve Him.

I experience His supremacy when I acknowledge my dependence on Him through prayer. I experience His supremacy when I delight in integrating His glory in my work. I experience His supremacy when I walk in the Spirit and drink from the rivers of living water. I experience His supremacy when I submit to His will for the people and in sharing His will in their language.  

I am humbled and strengthened as I reflect on this ultimate value. I am humbled because I realize that I need a full dose of each of these things. No one person, no one strategy has it all. The supremacy of God is most fully manifested as we pray, worship, walk in the Spirit and abide in His Word. We need each of these emphases.

At the same time, I am strengthened because nothing moves me more deeply than exalting His magnificence and surrendering to His lordship. I feel like Mary this Christmas: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Luke 1:47-48

May we all exalt the Lord in this season.

 

 

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.