fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer…
Rom. 12:11b-12 NASB


My time in Baton Rouge finally came to its end. I knew that eventually, the internship would come to its end. What I did not expect was the feeling of longing that started to invade my heart.

Baton Rouge was not yet another place in which I spend summer. It was the place where God spoke to me, introduced me to what deep inside of me I was longing for. God put me in a loving and caring congregation. The Vineyard Church of Baton Rouge was the place God used to bring confirmation and commitment to the call he’d given me a long time ago.

It was during the last week of the internship that I was reading Romans. I came to Rom. 12:9-16, the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow me to keep reading. Those verses were like a magnet to me. Suddenly, they become irresistible, I couldn’t take them off my mind for a couple of days.

One of the lessons God taught me through the Vineyard Church is that to be effective in ministry you have to have humility and devotion. Humility in the way you relate to others, to the leadership, in how you approach the Word of God. Devotion expressed in the passion you put in caring for others, in loving the community, in the way your spiritual life is conducted and expressed.

This passage reminded me the importance of having a humble heart. Humility will lead me to love better and obey without arguing. One direct fruit of having a humble heart is that it produces a strong association with God and the Holy Spirit. But to limit that connection to the divinity will only reduce the impact my life can provide on behalf of the Kingdom of God. That association needs to be established between my peers. I have to be humble enough so that I may bridge the gap between the Kingdom and the broken, the Kingdom and the hurt, the Kingdom and the needy.

Love is the ingredient that strengthens the association between my interaction with God and the people around me. It finds expression through right attitudes towards life, people, and the community I have been placed. My association with the divine is manifested through good deeds that not only honors God but impacts the lives of those around me.

In the end, I am called to live a devoted life. Every single sphere of my life has to be impacted and influenced by the devotion of my heart. I am to be dedicated to God, to His Word, to holy things, and to His presence. I am intentional in breaking all these aspects. If I am devoted to God, I will be intentional in spending time with His Word, by spending time with Scripture, my life is exposed to the things that bring glory to the Father (godly things). When I am exposed what honors God, the presence of God becomes more evident in my life; as a direct result, my life will be positively affected.

As I was praying the Holy Spirit dropped these words in my heart: “I want you to continually surrender your heart, your mind, your strengths to me. When you do that, you will depend on me alone. When you do it, I will be able to speak into your heart and transform you from the inside out. Juan, if you allow me to do so, your life will be changed in such a way that people will want to know me.”