Real Men Wear Aprons
God has given us all skills, multitudes of abilities and talents to use along our journey in this thing called life. He has also given us a calling, a purpose and a ministry should be choose to want to live and walk in it. Sometimes it is hard figuring out how to do both.
I am not the only one out there who loves what they do and would help trafficked girls and preach His word for free everyday- I wish food appeared on my table and the rent miraculously got paid every month- but this this not reality. Reality is that God has given me and you skills that we can use in life and sometimes some of us get paid for doing what we love (regardless of what that is). Sometimes too, God wants to see us be faithful in what He has given us before He can increase that load.
Look at examples of kids who turn 16- MOST children, don't get to practice on dad's brand new car. They start off with something less heartbreaking and valuable to mess up on. Think of that with what God has given you. Can you be trusted with the little? Are you ministering in the workplace, using it as a first step in the mission field? You want to go to Africa but you can't reach the cubicle next to you? You want to preach but haven't gone out on the local street outreach? Are you being faithful with what is around you NOW?
A great person we can learn this from is Paul. If you're up for a gold nugget from the Holy Spirit, then jump into Acts with me:
"God gave Paul the power to do unusual miracles, so that even when handkerchiefs or cloths that had touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases and any evil spirits within them came out." -Acts 19:11-13
Paul was an amazing apostle, whose handkerchiefs even healed people! Could you imagine touching Michal Jordan's handkerchief and suddenly being able to dunk? Imagine the crowds if that were to happen. Well, in Paul's day it did and he drew major crowds! But before Paul was the famous apostle, he was Paul a tent maker. You see, he worked while he preached to pay his own way. (Acts. 20:33-35).
In Acts 19, even when handkerchiefs or cloths that had touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed ; that term “cloths that touched his skin” in Greek the is simikinthion (SIM UH KEN THEON)
It is actually describing as an apron, a specific covering which workmen were accustomed to wear in that time.
What a keen glimpse this gives of Paul preaching in his work clothes, his lunch time audience probably dressed the same way; being faithful in any and all opportunities. In the Mediterranean, they take a long afternoon lunch. Often times closed mid day due to the heat. Paul was preaching on his lunch break. He preached after work, during work and took some evangelical breaks in between. It was not only his job and his calling and his dream- it was who he was!
This week I want to challenge you to bring up human trafficking in America and cultural change with your circle of peers, your colleagues at work and even your family. Be a Paul in your workplace!
Not Paul the apostle… Paul the tentmaker…. You’re not hearing me: I’m not talking about Paul the apostle, the calling upon his life, I’m talking about Paul the tentmaker, the man he was along the way. You can do something while on your journey to fulfill your own destiny!He used that gift of tent making to open doors, to pioneer new lands. He used tent making to pay his own way and to identify with those less fortunate than a Roman citizenship provided.
God has placed you where you are for such a time as this. There are 3 things that we can learn from Paul and his tool of tent making that will help us not only raise awareness now, but may even equip us for our future:
- Model what a Christian life looks like, through lay offs, through recessions, through tyrannical bosses, through unmanageable employees and difficult co-workers. God has you there to model to those around you. Most of the victims coming out of human trafficking have no clue what being “normal” is like, let alone enrolling in this army of Christiandome (yes, thats a word).
- Identify with those you want to reach. Paul wasn’t only a tentmaker, he was a roman citizen- a higher class citizen than lay workers of that time. Paul used his tent making to win the hearts of the craftsmen. God wants to use your tools to identify with others. You want to put your hands to the plow and help those less fortunate? IDENTIFY with them first.
- Learn how to face your battles without fleeing. Without consoling yourself. We need to learn how to turn to God when battles come our way. Learn about human trafficking in America and talk about it with those around you.
God has given us all a dream. If you haven’t found the purpose for your existence yet, ask Him. Kris Valloton says it best “if money and resources were not a problem what would you do with your life? Now that’s what you’re suppose to go after because God’s resources are unlimited.” That’s your calling.
A passion that burns deep inside, a longing to someday be or do. But, how many of us know that these dreams and these callings they don’t happen overnight. There is a lot of waiting in between. A lot of preparation, testing, trials, and building of our character that needs to happen in the meantime. A lot of “facing war so we don’t change our purpose and turn away” from the calling on our life (Exodus 13:17).
Together we can shift the mindset of this culture! Start today at your workplace and join us in this fight !