Gospel-Centered Pro-Life Podcast
Gospel-Centered Pro-Life Podcast

Episode 147 · 1 month ago

The Enemy of the Best is the Good

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In ministry, we can do a lot of “good” things. These things can be a distraction from the best things that God is calling us to. In this episode, we share some insights on how you can stay focused on the best things without falling victim to the "good" things.

https://sidewalks4life.com/equipping-articles/ 

God has good things for us. He has a good calling on our life, but the best thing is to walk in the good calling that God has on your life, not the things that other people want you to do. I Am Yours, I am yours, I am yours, and me Lord, I am yours, I am yours. I'm welcome to the Gospel Center Pro Life Podcast, a podcast designed to equip, encourage and challenge you in pro life ministry and always were the focus on the Gospel. Stay tuned. I felt show passish, touch your heart. Use Me. Welcome back to the Gospel centered pro life podcast. Appreciate you guys joining us. My name is Daniel Parks. I am the West Coast Regional Shepherd for love life, so oversee our efforts on the West Coast and I'm joined with my cohost, Vicki Kessi Org. Hey, there everyone, and Vicki Kessi Org is our director of sidewalk training. I have a new title. We've given her a new title. Vicki's awesome. She trains a lot of people and actually we're flying her around the country to various sidewalk ministries where we have a love life presence and just helping equip those sidewalk ministries by sending Vicki and her expertise out there to speak into that. And of course, as we've shared in the past, we both have an expertise, I guess you can call an expertise in sidewalk ministry. Basically, we've been doing it for a long time and we've made a bunch of mistakes and are trying to help you guys not make those same mistakes. So that's right. Yeah, so in this episode, I'm kind of excited about it. We were talking about just various episodes that we wanted to do in various titles that we wanted to to cover. We...

...cover stuff that's really needy, gritty and practical, you know, and then we cover stuff that's more like, I don't know, in the philosophical realm, kind of looking at what what is going to the our heart, like what's going on inside of us, as opposed to practical advice on how to Sidewalk Council, but what are some things that are really discouraging, yeah, US, that that we need to address? Yeah, yeah, yeah, because you can be as good a sidewalk counselor as you want, but in have all the principles and all the boxes checked and all that stuff. But if the enemy uses some other things to neutralize you, right, and you end up not going out through the sidewalk because you're distracted or because you're discourage or whatever it may be, then all the practical stuff does you know good? Right, yeah, and I think I love those words. But the N me is using to neutralize you, because the enemy is very crafty. And the interesting thing is if you're following the Lord, he's probably not going to use bad things right neutralize you so much. He's not going to. It's less likely in my experience that I'm going to be tempted to do something that's out right bad or wrong. Right, I'm tempted by what is good. Yeah, and that's how our podcast kind of developed. Yeah, and the title is the enemy of the best is the good. Yes, now, if you've been around me any any amount of time, you've probably heard me say that. Yeah, and yeah, I've heard a lot of others say that the enemy of the best is the good, and it's kind of that principle. The scripture tells us the devil comes as an angel of light. Right, the enemy comes a devil we're walking with Jesus, like you said, the enemy. He's not going to come with some straight up temptation to sin. I mean certainly we know he can and he will, but a lot of times that he comes in the subtleties. He comes in his craftiness because he knows if he just kind of shows all his cards, then...

...you're not going to take the bait. But if he can come and crafts, he can come with good things but they're not the best things, then you can get distracted. I think that's the main thing that we want to warn you guys about, is just being distracted. Yeah, getting distracted by other things, by things that vibe for your time and your attention and your focus. Whenever, in reality, the best things are. They're certain good things. Right, if we're if we're children of God, God has good things for us. He has a good calling on our life. But the best thing is to walk in the good calling that God has on your life, not the things that other people want you to do. Right, right, and for me those good things it's less an issue of distraction as much as just losing energy. Yeah, then I don't have the energy to put for spiritual, emotional whatever to be a fourth for what God has indeed called me. Yeah, to do. Yeah, and so, just to be real plain, the best things for you as a believer in Jesus is what God has called you to. Right, that's the best thing. Now, God calls people to all kinds of things. I certainly believe that there are more people called to do sidewalk ministry than are actually doing it. Yeah, there's a lot of people out there that should be doing this ministry. They're not right, but also don't believe that everyone is called to this ministry. Right. There are people that are called to do things in the political realm. There are people that are called to do things. You know, there's people that are called to be pastors of Churches and in order to do that and do that, well, that's the best thing for them. They're really not going to be involved in the sidewalk ministry. I hope that their church would adopt a we you can get involved with love life in some capacity, but they're not going to be on the sidewalk likely. Yeah, people who...

...are called to be a missionary in, you know, China or Africa or wherever oversees their call to are not going to be able to do the sidewalk ministry because that calling is the best thing for them. If I was to come along and try to try to convince then they need to do sidewalk ministry when they're really called to go to China and be a missionary, yeah, that I would be. I would be competing with the best thing for them by offering a good thing, right. So that's kind of the train of thought that we're going for here. Yeah, and I want to say I just want to affirm you guys that are listening to this. You're likely listening to this podcast because you are called to this ministry, whether you're called to it in some kind of you official, full time capacity as a love life missionary, or whether you're called to it as a lead volunteer or a volunteer, my weekly volunteer, monthly volunteer, whatever it is, you're likely called to this. And so what we're going to be speaking and kind of in the terms of is don't let good things compete with that calling, which would be the best thing. Right. That's what God has for you. Now I cannot tell you what is the best thing for you. Vicki's not going to be able to tell you what's the best thing for you? You have to seek the Lord and you know, we can, maybe, probably won't be able to drill into all of the principles that will tell you what are the best things for you. But the number one thing is you need to seek the Lord. Right, if you desire to do the thing that's that's a good marker of like this is probably what God is calling you to. But also you want others in your life speaking into that. Do you? Do you see in my life that God is calling me to this particular Ministry of that Particular Ministry? Talk with your pastor talk with people that love Jesus and that love you, that are close to you, and they can affirm the calling that you feel in your heart. Now, do not mean to say that you're giddy about being involved in this ministry. It's often across to bear for us to step into the best thing that God has for us. Right. Yeah, I mean I think of the Apostle Paul. What was the best for him? It was to go to be Apostle, an apostle...

...to the gentiles, to bring the Gospel to them. Because of that, it was pretty, pretty difficult for the Apostle Paul Right, he said down, shipwrecked. Yeah, haunted, pretty imprisoned. Yeah, he didn't have an easy time of it, but he followed his calling. Yeah, he did, and he followed it until he's his life was taken because of the Gospel, right. It's what Church history tells us. Yeah, and so again, we're not going to be able to tell you what the best thing is for you. That's between you and the Lord. But if the best thing for you is to do this sidewalk ministry, I can tell you there's going to be good things that compete for your time and your attention. Yeah, so, and that's that was one of the things that kind of sparked the the podcast. In the article that I wrote, I was telling you about an incident that happened a while back that I've always felt guilty about, where I was on the sidewalk. And again, we're doing this whole article from the perspective, basically, of if you're calling as as a sidewalk counselor I was on the sidewalk doing what I was called to do and and someone came great guy, but he showed up with a whole bunch of political tracks and wanted to have me hand them out. All my friends and family and all of our counselors and everyone in the pro life movement in fact needed to read and hand out these tracks and and wanted me to then call my representative immediately and and then show up at a rally that he can't and I was just as He's speaking, I'm thinking these are all it was good. It was a good cause. I don't remember what it was at the moment, but there's always something in the in the pro life world, and and I think this is all great, but I just was feeling panic, thinking babies are dying. I'm here with a mission that God has set me on and I don't even want to take the time really to engage with him about this very serious and important subject. But it wasn't it's not what I do.

Yeah, I needed to focus on the sidewalk and I actually told him, no, I know, I won't do that. I'm so sorry, but this is what I do, this is what I need to do. I can't take the time to do that. Yeah, and and he was kind of actually, I'm not sure he was thrilled with me right. He looked a little bit taken aback and and said, what, would it be okay for him to hand out the pamphlets to my sidewalk counselors? And I said okay, but I even then I was thinking you shouldn't be doing that. Yeah, I was thinking the best that that whole team could give to the Lord was to do exactly what they were doing. Yeah, not to be sidetracked by this very important and good thing. Yeah, and and then I felt great, great guilt. And and so I think what this story reflects is what I like to call the tyranny of the good right of the urgent. They were urgent things. We will all face them. There are good things. We will all face them, but we do need to keep our focus on what God, yeah, would have us do. Yeah. So the scenario, if you guys didn't catch that, is she's out on the sidewalk reaching out as people are going into the busiest abortion center in the southeast. Twenty five to thirty baby scheduled to die in that place. Okay, and she and the team were there reaching out, trying to reach those MOMS. A guy comes along with political flyers, a good political movement and a good political push and some things that I don't again not like you got always provide. It's definitely pro life. But so in that scenario like that's that's a terrible scenario to be focus in your attention on some kind of political thing like you're dealing really in the ditch with people that are dying at that moment right if he could read the situation, well, he could have read that a Kay, it's probably not a good idea for me to be drawing their...

...attention away from this right now. Let me let me get her phone number or email address, an email or about it. You know, that would be a good way to read the situation. Yeah, so we don't mean to say that standing against wicked stuff. I mean I know in California this Abtwo to twenty three bill, what they're calling the infanticide bill, is something that state of California at this point there's like really close to passing. Yeah, and I want to get into all of that, but certainly we need to stand against that stuff and there many of our people in California that stood against that. Certainly they do, but weren't right there in the ditch and we're trying to stop people from killing their children. That's not the time for us to be focused on these other things, to be thinking about those other things, like people are dying inside of the building right there. We need to focus on on that. Yes, now we'll say too that, for for the brother that came by to share those things with you right maybe the best for him is that he has that political movement and all of that stuff. That's maybe the best thing for him. Often Times the best things for us will draw other people. It will be the best things for us are the good things for other people whenever they're really in the vein of the best thing for them. All of this is between you and the Lord. No one can tell you really what's the best thing for you. You've got to seek the Lord and figure out where he's got you and where he wants you. The point of this podcast is you can't do everything are you'll burn out and end up doing nothing. You'll do nothing well, and so that was the first main point is that no one can do all things well. And I would even I would take what you said. I agree with what you said, but but I also believe that at no point would what he what he was asking me to do, be my best. Yeah, I just I know my limitations and that's one of the things we're going to get through.

As we talked about and we kind of wrote up principles of discerning, yeah, what is best, and the very first one is really what you've already said. Be In the word and he'd got's calling. Yeah, God doesn't want us frazzled, discourage, never having time for for to prioritize the things that God wants us to prioritize. Yeah. So I was thinking in scripture there's so many examples of that where there is a leader that God has appointed, he's given them the mission. That leader knows his mission and he's overwhelmed. Yeah, Moses, Elijah, Jesus himself. Well, I don't know that I would describe Jesus himself as overwhelmed, but but Jesus himself will points in in every one of those cases and in every case in the Bible where there's a leader, godd urges that leader or someone in that through God's inspiration, someone urges that leader to delegate and there are some things to just let go because they can't do it all. So, you know, find out what your mission is before God. He will reveal it to you. If you're in the word, if you're in prayer, if you're seeking godly people's advice and counsel, he will reveal it. Yeah, and then follow that with all your heart. Yeah. So, so that was the first thing that we had already kind of let me mentioned to along those lines. Delegation can can be a key. Yeah, because you can't do everything. And even Jesus, as you mentioned, delegated, right. Remember, he sends out his disciples. He can't go into every city at one time, so he sends them out. Yeah, and so certainly delegation is a key, but you can't start delegating stuff until you actually know what God has called you to correct. And so being in the word and and heating God's calling...

...is a really critical way to figure out what is the best for you. Yeah, yeah, said, like you mentioned. Yeah, think other people's feedback is really key. That's the that's the first step. And then once you figure that out, I think the second thing is prioritized. Yeah, prioritize your time, Priori prioritize your focus, your energy and a general kind of priority. I don't know framework, I think for really every believer. Maybe you'll disagree with me, but God is at the top prioritized. Spending time with God, yeah, reading his word, worshiping her him, speaking to him, yeah, having a relationship with him. That's number one. Yeah, and then second is your family. Yeah, and spending making Tart, having targeted time when you are spending time with and meeting the needs of your family. And then thirdly, I think would be your calling, right, focusing on your calling. This is where maybe there's some disagreement. I thought third was focusing on your calling. And then, fourthly, restorative activities and time for rest whatever, giving yourself a cushion where you recharge your batteries. And then, if, after all of that, then you can look at those good things and decide do you have the time, the energy, the inclination, the desire to do those? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think that's a great framework. You know, I would say it says we're talking about good things. I mean we're talking about political things. Yeah, or maybe on the flip side, if God's best for you is to be involved in the political realm, we're talking about sidewalk ministry, then maybe that's one of those kind of peripheral good things. Right, you could do...

...yeah, I would say you can do the good things you can go to political rallies, you can go out to the sidewalk if your focus is politics. I mean, I'm trying to think of some other examples. You know, if you're a missionary overseas, that's the best for you. When you're in town, you know, visiting family, maybe you got to the sidewalk or something like that. Maybe you have political Alio, I don't know. Yeah, but you should never do the good things at the expense of the best things. Right. Again, the enemy of the best is always the good. You can do good things, but you should never do good things at the expense of the best. Right. And so that priority list for me helps me to stay focused on am I really giving my best in the proper priority of what God has has called me to called me to do. Yeah, and and remembering that that we cannot do it all. We've already said that. That's another principle. Remember that. Don't be ashamed of that. We can't do it all. Yeah, like I think in the in the article I said at some point I could be involved politically. I was actually politically involved, much more so before I became a sidewalk counselor. But to do both of them, I will be basically a lousy sidewalk counselor and allows your political advocate, because I can't. I know my limitations. To part of knowing that that you can't do it all is is is to know what your own personal limitations are, right in terms of energy, physical time. Yeah, yeah, whatever. ME. Some people have a higher capacity, some people can spend plates in all kinds of directions and they can do a lot of stuff and do it all well, right, yeah, and some people are sort of singularly focus. Yeah, now I'm I'm learning, I've learned to spend some plates and that sort of thing. Yeah, but really my band is toward being singularly focused, like I can do one thing and do it well. Yeah, but by God's grace he's helped me spend...

...some places and I think the season I'm in right now, I'm doing the best that the Lord has for me. But I do have to I do have to know myself and know my limitations. Like, one thing I do know about myself is I have to have a day to disconnect and you need a nap to and I need a NAP right. Yes, do have to take naps and a regular basis and I do need a day to disconnect, right. So the best for me, yes, is for me to take a day to disconnect. Yes, so when a good thing comes in a ministry opportunity or, you know, political rally or, you know, worship night at church or something like that, which actually that might be more of a refreshing time for me. But really I just need a time to disconnect, to be at home, to walk slowly, you know, and just ponder, ponder life for a day, to go and wander around the mall or Wal Mart or something, just disconnect from ministry. I have to have that. Yeah, some people can do without that, I think. Yeah, but not me. And so I know my limitations and I know in that particular situation, I know what's the best for me, right, and also have learned that I can't do it all. Right. And the next point, and this is probably the hardest point for me, yeah, don't feel guilty or feel the need to apologize. Yeah, you've you you know what you're calling is. You've prioritized your life, you know what your limits are, you know you can't do it all. And then when someone asks you to do that good thing and you know that you need to say no. You don't need to feel bad about it. Yeah, I do. I still feel bad about it every time I tell no to someone. Yeah, but I'm urging me and all of you listening, you should not feel guilt or the need to apologize for trying to be the best that God has called you to be and determining, like on your day of rest, for...

...example, Daniel, I I imagine that there are some people that think, yeah, Daniel's got to go play air soft instead of instead of, I'm coming in and recording other podcast or whatever. Yeah, and I do think that we can be very hard on each other. Yeah, we can look at how everybody else lives their life and say that is not what they should be doing. Yeah, so, but we shouldn't have to apologie dice, we shouldn't have to explain ourselves. Yeah, and I think all of us need to remember to extend respect and grace to each other that are doing their best, as they see before God, doing their best. Yeah, and that that doesn't mean that, in brotherly love and Christian love, that we should not point out if we don't, if we really do think there's a problem. Yeah, and an issue. But but anyway, I think that that, for me, is one of the hardest parts. I do feel guilt, right when I say no to those good things, like I did that day when that political guy came and handed me all the tracks. Yeah, I think I did what was the right thing, but but I still felt bad about I felt bad about it actually, even for months. It happened, maybe even a year ago, right. Yeah, one thing I do want to point out in this same vein is the pro abortion crowd accuses us of being hypocrites. Yeah, if we advocate for the unborn, but we don't do foster care, we don't have we have an adopted ten children, we are not feeding the homeless and we're not working in every pregnancy resource center, right, you know, within a twenty mile radius. And we don't want to fall into that same trap. That is that is wrong, that is illogical, right, and we don't want to fall into that same trap towards each other that, unless we're doing all the pro life things, we're not really being, you know, doing what God has called this to...

...do. Yeah, that is at an inaccurate, yeah, and impossible, right thing to do. Yeah, I mean the question often again, this is from proboard people on the sidewalk or wherever? Are you going to adopt any of these children? How many children have you adopted? That's always the how mean, how many children have you? Have you done falster care for right, right. Well, I understand that that's a a very that's the best for some people. Yeah, adoption, falster care and all that's the best for them, but for me I cannot do it all right, and I certainly couldn't do what I'm doing now and do falster care now. Maybe God will give me grace and open up that door and that would be the best for me and my family at some point, but it's not right now. I know my limitations and I don't feel guilty for that. I don't feel guilty that I'm not doing that because I know what the best for me is. But a lot of times that stuff is just the distraction and again it's just the devil trying to heap guilt on us when in reality we're doing what God has called us to and we're keeping our focus on him, not on what other people say. As far as like, we certainly want to input from other godly people. If you got godly people speaking in your life and they see a gift in you and you're not utilizing that gift, but you're doing some other things that are not utilizing that gift, then you need to take heed. But if you just got a bunch of ungodly people throwing accusations at your even your own conscience, sometimes right, throwing accusations against you, you, you know, probably just need to give it to the Lord. Yeah, yeah, I'll say to this kind of manifest itself. You mentioned before we started recording this podcast that we get emails and stuff and we love to hear from you guys. We love to hear, you know, input, feedback, questions that you have about sidewalk ministry. It's our focus. We love those things. But we get emails and, you know, calls from people want us do all kinds of things. You know, I've even got eat all kinds of things. I've gotten. People want me to read their book, they want here, you know, do this or do that, and I just can't. I don't have the bandwidth to do all...

...of that stuff. I can't read every pro life article that's ever been written and give my opinion on it. No, I can't. Can't read every prolife book and give my opinion on it or whatever, and so I have to you have to call some of that stuff out because you'll wear yourself out. Now let's just tell you I am not obsessed with the issue of abortion. Okay, it does not consume my life as much as I'm involved in this Ministry and this is the passion of my heart. I'm obsessed with Jesus and the Gospel like I want him. I want to be near to him. So I don't spend every week an hour of my life thinking about abortion and reading books about abortion. I do my due diligence to be well informed of these things, but I want to know God more and more, and that translates into what I do in this ministry. So the best, best, best thing is to know Jesus and then find out what he's calling you to. That's the best thing, and walk in that calling. So I say that just you know. If any of you listening have sent me an article and I haven't responded to it or whatever, it's probably just because I don't have the time to read all that stuff. Right that that just happened to me just I think it was yesterday, maybe the day before, someone who I love sent me an article, and I did and said do you want me to continue to send these and I said no, please don't. It's not that I don't appreciate so much that you love these things in that you're thinking of me, but I just just what you said. I just don't have the band with yeah, to people send this stuff all the time, but what you were saying about God and and being immersed in in him, that he is our should be our top focus. That is the very best. Is kind of the last point that that we make in in this article is rejoice. Rejoice in the Lord that he has given you the privilege of knowing your calling and equipped you to do it and then do it to...

...the best of your ability, because if you don't, then that is one of the pieces of his plan that is not being what he has called them to be and that can disrupt everything. Yeah, so you know, the Bible uses the analogy of the body, the body of Christ, and speaks about the human body. Right toe is not a finger, a finger is not a toe, and every part of the body has to work. It's complimentmentary. Yeah, but they can't know the toe can't replace the finger and vice versa. Right yeah, so you need to do your best. Let everybody else do their best. Yeah, and and hopefully the body then is, you know, functioning, functioning optimally. Yeah, to give glory to the head, to give it races Aart. Yeah, and understanding. We're all connected. None of those different components. We talked about the political area, we talked about the sidewalk area. There's a lot of other things that have to do with prolife, ministry and all that other stuff, and none of those things are bad. Right. Those things are good things and those things are the best things for those who are called to them. Right. So, about God's grace, will stay focused on the best things for us, will not let the good choke out the best, will not do the good things at the expense of the best, and we'll keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Amen. Man, Amen. All right, guys, we appreciate you joining us for this podcast episode. We'd appreciate if you guys would share this episode with others that you think it would be a blessing to. You can reach out to me, Daniel at Love Life Dot Org. You can reach her, Vicki, with a why at Love Life Dot Org. Give us some feedback about this podcast or other episodes. Maybe some ideas of other episodes that we could do and leave us review. If you find the time to do that, it would be a real blessing to us. Let us if it would be your best. Yes, leave us the best review that you can. If you just going to leave us a good review,...

...you don't leave us for best. Won't five stars now we would appreciate that, just to help us to get up in the ranking so other people see this podcast and can partake in the blessing that, hopefully it is to you. But with that, until next time, God, bless God, that you all give me our love for love. Give me our love for gratitude. I know it will cost me my life. Nothing's too precious, and some that you.

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