There is the awful predicament that I am consistently plagued – questions about the future. What do I do next? How do I handle this impending situation? What is God’s will? What is best? What is good and right? How will I know? What’s the deal – oh frustration.
James 4 – 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
Isaiah 55:9 – As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Interpretation: We are incapable of determining God’s thoughts through human reasoning; therefore, we are dependent on divine revelation.
These verses tell me that I can’t plan for tomorrow and that I can’t even imagine that I can come up with what my tomorrow should even look like. How depressing. What am I supposed to do? How do I deal with topics like:
- Retirement savings
- Emergency savings
- Decision to go back to school or not
- Moving or getting a new job
- Changing my longer-term commitments: girl, friends, family, organization, activities, leadership
When I read through the Bible I get even more confused. There are some really rich people in there and some really poor. There are people that gave up everything to follow a calling (but how can we be sure something is that “calling”?) and people that did great things in their positions (jobs). There are people who are well-learned and those with no education.
I guess I get frustrated at God’s creativity. For, I’d love to just be able to figure things out easy on my own. I’d like be able to apply analysis and logic to situations in my life and figure out what to do. But it’s not that simple, simply because God doesn’t want us bloat with pride by using the abilities he has given us to avoid Him. So, it’s cool in the end that I must go back to Him. I must not have pre-conceptions of where my future is going that I’m unwilling to release. I must constantly check-myself.
How do I check myself? Well, I generally ask myself these questions when coming on a decision. Of course, I’m not so objective or perfect that I always allow myself to admit the full truth, but it’s definitely a start.
- Am I rationalizing/justifying my actions? (Are there excuses or self-assurance with sensical reasons?)
- Am I scared to do it and it is in alignment with God’s truths (probably should take the risk)?
- Do I have peace that after (and usually before) that I’ve acted righteously and in complete and utter humble submission to God?
- Is this good and right?
Does this resonate?
I was asked to write briefly about how God is glorifying himself through my life and obedience since I have graduated from The University of Virginia. This write comes on the heels of my UVa campus pastor asking me to share for a few minutes in front of Chi Alpha (XA) at UVa several weeks ago. I’m always excited to push forward God’s kingdom and spur on others to take action for the name of Christ.
Continue reading God glorified since college
Over the past several weeks, myself and the guys at the God Lab have spent time repeatedly discussing girls and dating. It’s been quite a focus ever since spring arrived and so did the desire to enjoy the beautify of the world along with our own beauty. This desire for a girlfriend has been very consuming and along with this comes many questions, differences, struggles, and confusion. But, through this difficult and containing difficulty, God has been good and patient. Continue reading Do I really believe God’s way is better?
So, life is pretty hectic around the Christmas holiday season. I was in Atlanta for a week with short notice only to come back to work to prepare and support a go-live (so longer days at work). Then on top of that is the looming task of writing Christmas cards, collecting addresses, getting cool gifts, and making arrangements for the various activities of the season. I say that to say simply, that I was very busy come Thursday, Dec 21. I had not done any of the Christmas card work at this point and I was beginning to feel like I should just forgo the cards this year.
I was planning to leave either the evening of the 21st or the morning of the 22nd to return to the farm for Christmas. That morning, I decided I was going to stop trying to do things myself. I had meant to leave work early each day to work on the Christmas cards, but things just kept coming up. So, as I prayed that morning about my frustration with the issue, somehow I was able to let go of it.
I left work that evening around 10pm. I proceeded to go to Michael’s and pick up card stock. I then began to work. I consolidated my list of receivers, created the front and back of the card, and the envelopes. I began the printing of the cards and envelopes while working on the text for the inside of each card. I then printed all of the insides of the cards, and stuffed them into the envelopes. I then delivered all of the cards to co-workers directly to their desks. After this, I went home with a large stack of cards in envelopes arriving home at 7:30AM to see Phil finishing breakfast and getting ready for work. I then proceeded to address and stamp each card. I finished this a little after 9:30AM. I then packed my things for the trip to the farm and proceeded back to work because I left my power adapter there. I stopped by the post office and also returned the excess cards to Michael’s. I was on now beginning the 3.5 hour drive to the farm without any sleep.
After arriving home, I went to dinner with the parents, unpacked, etc. I went to bed at a reasonable hour of 10pm. Throughout the entire endeavor, I was consistently realizing God’s provision in my life. I know that it wasn’t under my power that I was able to work all day and night and the next day without becoming incredibly tired – that’s just not something I can do. Also, the simple fact that everything went smoothly shows that God was involved. I’ve never been able to create Christmas cards in anywhere near 12 hours of time.
Basically, that is the long way of saying that God is good. I feel like He really enjoys it when we rely on him and not ourselves. As I’ve been reading through the history Israel through it’s many kings and wars, God consistently blesses battles when the people rely on him and brings curses when the people attempt to overcome in their own strength. It’s the same with me, each time I find myself attempting to accomplish under my own strength I get frustrated and many times fail. Yet, when I just let go of my ego and pride and all of that self-centeredness for a few moments and rely on God’s provisions, things seems to work out. Hence why my favorite verse is Matt 6:33.
So, the past month has definitely been a time of learning and frustration – mostly frustration, but I am assuming there must have been some learning in there as well. I have been realizing (again) the simple fact that I simply do not really control my life. What I’m getting at here is desire/passion/vision/excitement. What are we without interests? passions? ambitions? Without exciting aspirations, life seems really pointless. Continue reading Passion only in Obedience