Tuesday, September 16, 2014

for the times I hear people talk about finding 'God's will' for their life

I have seen a few things lately that have inspired me to share my thoughts on God's 'will' for your life or mine.  Having your 'best' life or staying on 'God's path'.  I would like to challenge the idea that "if things aren't going well in your life, or if you are unhappy, that you have somehow 'lost God's will' or have 'lost his path' for your life".

That is just.not.true.  Where in the Bible does it say that if you do it all correctly, and listen to God hard enough, that your life will be everything YOU think it should be? (hint: no where. not in the Bible!)

I would like to offer up the examples of the apostles, who died deaths they did not desire.  Who were imprisoned and tortured, does that sound fun?  Did they get to have the perfect life with the well paying job & the beautiful house?

So why do I?

Did I do something right?  Did I earn God's 'favor' somehow?  What about the example of Job?  He was given much, and had much taken away.  He had much restored to him for his faithfulness.  Am I just waiting for God to test me that same way?

Did God make any of us the same? no.  Will God send any of us down the exact same path? no.  Should I expect Him to 'test' me specifically? no.  Should I expect him to teach me, grow me, prune me, discipline me, & make me more like Jesus??? YES.

What about the example of Stephen from Acts 6?  Check our the sermon given at our church, Experiencing God, by Brian Wages.  The humbling story of Stephen, who saw God move in miraculous ways in his service to others, in the lesser jobs, in the everyday activity.  That he was accused & stoned.  That his face shone like an angel & then he saw Jesus in Heaven.  Wow.

What is God's will for my life?  It.is.EXACTLY.what he has given me.  This life that I am living.right.now.  Do I have to seek His will as though I've lost it somehow? no.  If I need wisdom to move in faith & grace through these present trials, I should ASK HIM.  Take it to His feet, and leave.it.there.  Can I trust Him to guide me, if I ask Him, as I walk through this life?

Is my life meant to be happy? no.  Does every perfect gift come down from heaven, from the father of heavenly lights? YES.  Can anyone, even myself, snatch me out of His hand? NO.  (remember the story of Jonah and the whale? Who can out run God?  Who can hide where He will not see you?)

Can I have joy, peace, patience? CAN I FIND CHRIST in my everyday life?  In my service to others & in the midst of pain & struggle?

I was so grateful for the next sermon given by Pastor Jeff Henderson, The Joy of the Lord.  He read from Nehemiah 8:10 which teaches the people "...Don't be dejected and sad, the joy of the Lord is your strength!" The Joy of the Lord.  Not the icing on the cake, not what makes you life 'happy', "not an 'accessory' to the Christian life", but what strengthens you.

Should you be living the Christian life without the 'joy of the Lord'? no.  If you are living without it, no matter what else you are doing, you should be loving & serving others "...so that my joy may be in your & your joy may be complete..." from John 15:9-13.  If you're caught up in yourself, maybe get outside yourself & find a way to serve others.

God's will for your life, his plan for you, is to glorify Him.

I am so grateful for God's hand & this life that He had given to me.  May I serve Him & be a good steward of God's varied grace. (I Peter 4:10)

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