Ministry Spotlight: Discerning When to Act and When to Abide

Information is at our fingertips every second of every day.  We have access to knowledge of what is going on around the world at any moment. With that, we become aware of needs and causes that could demand our attention, both in our city and across the globe. How do you balance the desire to “act” and make a difference with God’s call to “be still” and “abide in Him?” How do you discern when it’s the time to act and when it’s appropriate to pause?

Caring Network is a faith-based pro-life agency in the Chicagoland area. With our relationship with Christ as our foundation, we serve women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Despite changes in our culture around us, we have maintained the same mission for almost 40 years. If you’re sensitive to the pro-life cause and would like to learn more about our work, check us out today.

Information Overload – Knowledge is Power?

Not only does it feel like we are experiencing an “information overload” in our culture, but studies back that up.  We are exposed to a greater amount of information than ever before in history.  According to the “Knowledge Doubling Curve,” human knowledge historically doubled every century until 1900.  By the end of WWII, it was doubling every 25 years.  Currently, it is doubling approximately every year. But with such exponential rates, it is predicted to soon double every 12 hours!

With the intake of more information, we become more aware of issues, needs, and challenges.  For some, this can become a source of anxiety or worry.  It could cause you to think about the future or of all the “what ifs” that can occur in life.  Awareness can also breed feelings of energy or anger.  Perhaps through learning of an injustice or a cause that is in need of support, you feel compelled to act.

Called to Action – Where Do You Start?

As you become aware of needs or injustices in the world around you, how do you choose where to put your efforts?  There are so many great causes and there’s so much work to be done to bring God’s kingdom to earth.  So, how do you discern where to use your own gifts, skills, and resources?

  • Consider what aligns with God’s heart. Is this cause a way to glorify Him and be the hands and feet of Christ? Is it in line with biblical principles?
  • Examine your resources. How much time do you have to offer?  How much of your budget could you contribute?  Do you have talents or skills that may benefit the cause?
  • Mull over your commitment level. Some projects may be short-term, while others require a lengthier commitment.  Are you willing to sign on the dotted line? Or will you get bored of this effort quickly?  Is this something you can see yourself fully supporting for the amount of time needed?

A Season for Acting, A Season for Abiding

In some cases, we may be overloaded with information regarding needs in the world, but perhaps it’s not our time to act.  As Christians, we have the perfect example in Jesus – who always had more work to do, but drew away for times of solitude and prayer.  He was completely obedient to God’s will, even when that meant leaving the tasks of healing and teaching for later.  Communion with the Father and obedience to His purposes were paramount.

For us, that can mean taking a step back and prayerfully considering our role.  We are not meant to be task-driven, saying “yes” to every need that comes our direction.  Instead, our primary focus is to commune with the Father and be obedient to His will.  At times, that means getting into the trenches and faithfully serving the needs of others. Other times, it means spending time in solitude and prayer. Neither choice is better than the other.  Bringing God’s kingdom to earth requires sacrifice, service, and surrender—abiding in Him.

At Caring Network, we strive to maintain balance between acting and abiding. As a faith-based organization, we set aside regular times for prayer and worship, while also continuing to strive to meet the needs of those around us.  God has used us as a vessel for His work of reaching women for eternity and saving the lives of the unborn. Learn more about partnering in this vital work today!