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Making room in your heart

I’m writing this at the beach on an island off the Thai coast. Our debrief is off to a roaring start. Our racers have been in some very rough places and tonight as we prayed over them, I could sense the Spirit fall as the tears began to flow.  Our team of racers had held children orphane…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I’m writing this at the beach on an island off the Thai coast. Our debrief is off to a roaring start. Our racers have been in some very rough places and tonight as we prayed over them, I could sense the Spirit fall as the tears began to flow.  Our team of racers had held children orphaned by the cyclone in Myanmar; they had worked hard to get through its police state barriers – the first aid workers in that part of the delta.  A number of our women had ministered to prostitutes in Pattaya, a town that sees two million sex tourists pass through in a year.  And as we prayed, I sensed that the darkness still weighed heavy on their shoulders and in their hearts.  God had been breaking and expanding their hearts with the things that break his own heart.
This concept of expanding hearts is something God has been showing me lately.  The other day I was talking to Jumbo (my main man in Swaziland).  The ministry in Swaziland has grown a lot in the last year or two.  We didn’t used to feed orphans, but these days, we feed a lot.  More and more orphans are showing up at our centers looking for food and love.  I figured we were probably feeding a thousand or so of them, so I asked Jumbo what the number was.

“2700,” he said.

That blows my mind.  AIM is not an orphan ministry per se.  We minister to a lot of orphans as we seek to engage in “true religion” around the globe.  But somehow I’d misapprehended reality by 1700 orphans.

Churches in Uganda are not orphan ministries per se, but many of them devote the lion’s share of their tithes to the work of caring for orphans.  And I suppose a lot of us might say that “I’m not an orphan ministry person.” But the problem with that is that God has got lots of orphans and he’s an orphan ministry God.

More of us need to make room in our churches for an orphan-loving God.  He wants to make room in our hearts for his orphans.  As long as our hearts are filled with our own stuff, it can’t accommodate God’s orphans and other objects of his affection.  He must perform heart surgery to expand our hearts’ capacity to love.

Several years ago, he confronted me with the proposition that his orphans were going to start taking over my life.  He informed me that he wanted them on my porch and in my kitchen.  He made room in my heart for them. I like the privacy of my front porch and I know that Karen likes children out of the way when she cooks. 

But God was more interested in his orphans than our comfort.

What is taking up room in your heart that God may want to clear out of the way? My counsel is to go ahead and give it to him now.

Comments (5)

  • But the problem with that is that God has got lots of orphans and he’s an orphan ministry God.

    That line says it all Seth.

  • Amen! I’m praying for your debreif with the racers! Like the picture on this blog =)! Thanks for the encouraging words! I know God is definately making room for some stuff in my heart, and your right, it’s not comfortable!

  • There are orphans overseas and orphans across the street. Anywhere there is rampant poverty there is an epidemic of fatherlessness. Everyone “loves” orphans in theory, but it’s when they are in your home 24/7 that the rubber meets the road and our love deficit gets exposed. It is rare enough to find people who want to parent their own children in the Body of Christ, let alone someone else’s “troubled” children. I am excited though at what God is doing by moving His Children with the spirit of adoption. It’s signing up for pain, but then again, Christ did mention something about taking up a cross and following Him…..

  • Churches devoting most of their tithes to orphans…or any area of ministry for that matter! The American church needs to see that modeled.

    Yes, God continues to tear away the things that distract me from His calling. It occurred to me the other day that I read and believe God’s word. But if I don’t DO what it says, do I really believe? I don’t think so…

    Blessings,
    Brandon

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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