We want to be everything for everyone all the time. We see the needs of others and want to intervene, even when we aren’t meant to. How do we determine which needs are ours to meet, and which are not? Aimee Joseph joins me today to share how she has found freedom in deciphering when a need is a call for action.
Aimee spent many years directing women’s discipleship and ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian Church and Campus Outreach San Diego. She and her husband are currently planting Center City Church in their neighborhood in San Diego. She is the author of Demystifying Decision-Making. Aimee helps us understand that we sometimes need to say “no” to a need to glorify God and activate the Body.
1. How do we discern when the need is a call?
First, recognize that God created us to be limited, exhaustible, and dependent on each other and Him.
Determine each week what is in your circle of responsibility and what is in your circle of concern.
If you see a need you are unable to meet, connect the need to the Body.
“We are significant because we are made in His image. We’re the only thing in all creation that has souls, and yet we’re derivative. That means that we don’t exist in and of ourselves; we are limited. We were created to be dependent on God and interdependent on each other before the fall. Our culture and flesh and the enemy want us to be independent. Everything in our culture says, ‘Be independent, meet all needs, be self-sufficient, be self-reliant,’ which is the very opposite of the gospel.”
— Aimee Joseph
2. Consider the passions, priorities, and providential circumstances when determining what needs you should be meeting.
Passion: Look for the 3 E’s: what do you enjoy, what are you efficient at accomplishing, where are you effective?
Priorities: What are your priorities in this season? A new baby season will be different than a teenager season, a church planting season different from an established church season.
Providential Circumstances: A season of anxiety, a child with special needs, etc.
“Do what you can do that only you can do. Only I can raise my children in this season. Only I can love my husband well. Only I can make sure that I’m getting my time with the Lord. That’s not to say that there’s not going to be times where God stretches us outside of our gifts and what feels natural. There will be times when He does that, but He doesn’t call us to live there, He usually brings us back into the lane where we’re most wired and comfortable.”
— Aimee Joseph
3. When an urgent need arises, pause before you act.
Before anything else, bring the need before the Lord in prayer.
You want to be a paced presence in people’s lives for years to come.
If you commit before you’ve sought the Lord, repent and then either help find someone else to fill the need or ask Him to help you meet it.
“We often think this person needs a meal, or needs me to walk with them, or needs wisdom, when the first thing this person actually needs is for me to bring them into the presence of God. Start by praying.”
— Aimee Joseph
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