Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
The words of Hosea 10:12 won’t leave me. Months ago, I read them in all their glory and they keep coming back to my heart.
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
Fallow ground is dormant, completely inactive, and unable to produce anything of worth. I wonder just how much fallow ground waits quietly inside my soul, and it unsettles me.
I’ve thought a lot this summer about where my writing should go and what direction I should take in every aspect of ministry. Questions have plagued my mind. Am I at the church God wants me attending? How can I use my gifts to serve? What gifts are for now, and what gifts need to be refined before I can properly serve Christ with them?
Recently, I heard Christine Caine say, “Your gifts will take you places your character cannot keep you.” Ouch and Oh, God, yes. So much truth.
I want to break up the fallow ground in my heart, soul, and life. I want to till it and plant seeds that will grow righteousness.
We’ve been traveling and the other day on one of our long drives from California to Nevada, my oldest son said, “I believe everyone’s purpose in life is to point people to Christ.” He went on to tell me that he isn’t a fan of the famous quote by St. Francis of Assisi “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
He told me that, of course, love is first and foremost, but God gave us words, and using them in love and truth seems to be a dying art. He’s right.
Our actions speak loudly, and they often prepare a heart to listen, but we must use words.
I’ve endured some trials recently. There are things I’ve said through them that I felt were important to say, but there have also been instances when I wish I would have handled particular situations differently. And in reliving those moments I have to be so careful because the enemy wants to whisper words founded on lies, such as, “See, it doesn’t matter how far you’ve come, you’ll never be good enough to serve Christ completely.”
Friend, aren’t you glad “good enough” isn’t a factor in whether we are able to serve Christ?
We will always have moments when we say the wrong thing, act incorrectly, and question our “ministry status’.” The reason being, without the belief and knowledge of Christ’s work on the cross, none of us are good enough. However, when we know who He is and begin to grasp the impact of what He’s done, we recognize that He lives in us and absorbs the weight of our sin, which flows holy blood to cover every piece that wasn’t enough without Him.
His love on the cross makes us enough. The fact is, on our own we won’t ever be good enough. It’s His love and outpouring of blood that qualifies us to fulfill every need He’s intended us to meet on this earth. He makes all things well, and that includes us.
So, for those of you who are questioning your purpose and whether or not you have what it takes to fulfill it, I want you to know…
If there is any fallow ground waiting to be tilled, then prepare it. Offer it to Him. He will lead you, guide you, and set you free. And throughout the process, you will produce the fruit of His purpose in your life to be used in nourishing the lives of others. And when you make a mistake, allow Him to pick you up and brush you off. Don’t ever lean on your own abilities. It’s the strength which comes from Him that makes you whole, enough, and loved more than you know.