Monday, October 30, 2017

Are You Ready For His Call?

We often pray for God’s will in our lives. Starting in our youth, we begin asking Him to reveal the path he has laid out for us. Even as an adult, I cry out in confusion begging Him to reveal His divine plan for me, but am I really ready? Are we truly ready to begin God’s work? If He told us now, would we put aside our dreams, our needs, our wants, to go where ever he may lead? We say we’ll follow, but what if it means packing your family up, your whole life up, and moving halfway across the world to a mission field? What if it means less family time, and more ministry time? What if it means sacrificing your desires for that of the Lord’s?

"For many are called, but few are chosen." -Matthew 22:14

I heard a message preached by an outreach Pastor entitled “Silent Screams.” In his sermon he made the statement, “you don’t really want to know God’s will.” At first I was confused, but his point was that we often think God’s will is going to be glamorous. We think it will carry us to the mountain top, and for some it does, but for others, it takes you through the valley. It takes you to the streets, to the poor, to the mentally tortured. It takes your time, your energy, your strength. It takes you to places where you may have to walk alone, where you may feel most venerable.

You see, God’s will isn’t always heroics and fame. Your obedience may go unnoticed to man. Your sleepless nights spent in prayer pleading the blood of Christ for a complete stranger may go unseen. Your constant witnessing to those in need of hearing God’s love for them may go without recognition. The countless times you’ve tried to reach out to the lost, to your family, your friends, may not bring you popularity. So is it worth it? If God’s will takes you to the drug infested streets, will you still follow? If it takes you to foreign land, will you go? If it leads you to the children in your own church, will that be good enough? 

If God shows you His will for your life, are you without a doubt prepared to answer?

I ask God quite often to reveal His divine plan for my life. “Let me share my testimony, Lord.” “Use me, Lord.” But the truth is, I’m afraid. I’ve grown up watching many good men who have devoted their entire lives to the ministry, suffer from lack of support, suffer because they loved too much, suffer because they helped the helpless too often, suffer because they wouldn’t conform to man made rules, suffer because they gave when they didn’t have anything else to give. They didn’t suffer because God wasn’t blessing their ministry. They suffered because in a moment of desperation brought on by fellow man, their mortality revealed itself. Despite their love for God and their utter desire to help the lost and hurting, at the end of the day, they were only human.

So you see, my friend, God's will for you isn't always going to be a path perfectly paved out in gold. There will be good times, and bad times, high's and low's. There will be times of great triumph and times of great sadness. There will be a season of growth and a season of drought. The question is, are you ready? Are you ready, physically and spiritually, to go when God says come?

"A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there."

Somewhere in the distance, the distance I myself have created, I hear His voice. I look at the world around me, strangers, friends, family and wonder, "why isn't someone doing something about that," and then I realize, "I am someone." I wonder, "why hasn't somebody reached out to them," and then I realize, "I am somebody." But despite my revelations, I choose to stay in my comfort zone, where it's safe, where I face no uncertainties. I choose to let my fear cripple me. I ask myself, will people doubt His call for me? Will I be taken seriously? Can I handle the responsibility? Am I good enough? Will I have support from those around me? I’m left with so many uncertainties, so I run. I pray just enough to feel something, but not too much. I study just enough to know the basics, but less than I know I should. I give just enough to God to ensure my salvation, but never enough to hear His call. I’ve asked for a part in His mighty work, yet I cower in fear. I hear His whispers, yet I cover my ears to hear. I feel His pull, yet I pull back in opposition. Why am I so afraid? When I am ready, will it be too late to heed His call?

Will you let doubt flood your mind as I have, or will you run with perseverance when God says go?


"...Then said I, here am I; send me." -Isaiah 6:8

-M


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pursuing God's Glory Continued...

I wish I could say that my divine revelation brought me joy over night, that because of my new mission, I was instantly joyous, but that isn't the case. The pursuit of God and His glory is just that, a pursuit.


pur·suit

noun



  • 1.the action of following or pursuing someone or something:"the cat crouched in the grass in pursuit of a bird"synonyms:striving towardquest after/forsearch for, ...

Pursuit is the action of following someone or something. Thus, it is constant. The pursuit of joy is the constant pursuit of Christ. They are one path. 

So what does it mean to pursue God's glory? It means to constantly seek Him. Constantly seek His word. Constantly seek to live Christ-like. It isn't enough to find God, receive salvation and then go on with your life. When you finally earn the love of another, do you stop trying? Aren't we supposed to maintenance our relationships, our marriages? Our relationship with God requires maintenance, it requires a pursuit of His likeness, of His glory. 

What is His glory?

His glory is all around us. It is in creation. It is revealed in Genesis when He created the heavens and the earth. It is revealed in His offering of salvation to a wicked people. The sun, the moon, how they know when to rise and fall. The sea, how it knows to brush against the shore so as to not wash it away. The cry of a newborn child after being birthed from its mother's womb. The persistent faithful prayer of a mother who refuses to lose her child to the world. The kneeling of an once sinner at a tear soaked alter. The plea of a burdened pastor for his flock. The compassion of God's people for a suffering world. The sincere prayer of an unknowing child. A praising church in a time of drought. Each of these acts of servitude and faithfulness reveal God's glory. 

Moses is the perfect example of a man's pursuit for God's glory. He desired to see God's glory desperately, and wouldn't take no for an answer.

"And he said beseech thee, shew me thy glory" (Exodus 33:18). "And the lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin..." (Exodus 34:6-7). 

Moses, being mundane as you and I, could not physically see God as He is, therefore God revealed His glory through His divine character. His glory is His mercy, His grace, His compassion and faithfulness, His justice and long suffering. God could have shown Moses His power and might, but instead He showed him his love. God showed him His glory by showing him His character. God's glory is revealed through His sincere love, through His perfect, unfailing, impartial character.    

So how do we live for God's glory? We follow in His likeness. We too must possess these glorious characteristics mentioned above. Man was made in God's image, therefore we must project His glory, His love and mercy. But we are only human, you say...how are we supposed to show mercy when no mercy is given? How do we show love to those who portray us? How are we to remain faithful when we have endured so much pain and suffering? How can we forgive without an apology? These thoughts are driven by revenge, bitterness, and malice. Not by God. These thoughts are driven by our need for joy in man. We look to family, friends, spouses, acquaintances to bring us joy, but the truth is, they are only human, and humans are imperfect. Man causes pain, even when they don't mean to. Man brings sadness, even when it is unintended. Man brings disappointment, even it is accidental. 

Moses didn't look to the people surrounding him for joy, and he definitely didn't find God's glory in man. No, he relentlessly pursued God's glory in God himself, and when God's glory was revealed, it was written all over Moses. Those very people who we so often look to for happiness, saw God's presence in Moses. God never intended for us to look to others for the kind of love only He can give. When we pursue God and His glory, His presence, His sacred character, lives within us. His mercy, love, grace, justice, long suffering, all radiate off of us for the entire world to see. His character will live through us, and that, Christ living through you, that will bring you joy. 

"The deepest and most enduring happiness is found only in God. Not from God, but in God." 
- John Piper

Don't pursue God for what He can give you, pursue Him for what He is to you. Relentlessly pursuing a God whom you have already found is the greatest love story you will ever live. Begin your love story now. Rekindle the fire that once burned inside of you and flourish in your constant pursuit of God's glory. 

-M




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pursuing God's Glory

"It was not always plain to me that pursuing God's glory would be virtually the same as pursuing my joy. Now I see that millions of people waste their lives because they think these paths are two and not one." - John Piper

As I laid in bed last night crying I decided scrolling through Facebook may hold the key to my happiness (kidding...but seriously though), little did I know I would come across a post that may actually change my life. The post included the above quote. I loved the quote as soon as I read it, but was left puzzled. What exactly is God's glory, and how do we pursue it? 

You're probably wondering why I was crying. Let me fill everyone in since it has been over a year since I last posted!

As y'all know I was a full-time college student, naturally that is extremely overwhelming, so I found very little time to write. Recently however, actually exactly 10 days ago, I graduated with a degree in psychology: Christian counseling from Liberty University!! I am beyond excited to finally be finished, I mean that was my goal right? To finish? Well yes, and I am sincerely relieved, but I'm left wondering where to go from here? What's next?

Maybe I'm still in shock and this is like PTSD, or maybe I'm truly lost with no direction now. This is how I have felt since July 9th when I closed the final chapter of my very very long book called life. No, life isn't over, but that part of it is. A part I spent years writing. A part that took up all of my time, money, and sanity. There is no doubt in my mind that God lead me straight to that college, to that degree, so why does it feel like it had no purpose?

As I read that quote last night I realized that I didn't know what it meant to pursue God's glory. Of course I live my life for God daily, but are my dreams and His purpose for me the same? Am I chasing my own definition of joy? For so long I have put off working for the Lord saying I didn't have time because of school. "As soon as I finish school, Lord, I'm all yours." Sure I served him through it all, but did I completely consume myself in servitude? No. I put my own personal pursuits before God, and that is where the problem lies. That is why I am left joyless upon accomplishing something I thought was so important that God had to take the backseat. I didn't earn a college degree for God's glory, I earned it for the glory of myself and those around me. I wanted to be praised for my hard work. I wanted the approval of those who pushed me to do it and believed I couldn't. And where are those people now? Going about their everyday lives as if nothing had happened. For this, for my spiritual immaturity, I am left feeling as if I hadn't accomplished a thing. I am left empty.

So, as I proceeded to lay in bed and cry, I read the quote over and over again, "it was not always clear to me that pursuing God's glory would be virtually the same as pursuing my joy." Wow. It obviously wasn't clear to me at all. I know joy comes from the Lord, in fact, I ask Him for it often, but what I wasn't grasping was the fact that joy isn't merely given, it is received. It is received when we finally realize that pursuing GOD'S glory and OUR joy are ONE path. When we desire nothing else but to serve and please God, there will we find joy. There will we find accomplishment.

"To have found God and still pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love." - A. W. Tozer   

To be continued...

Blessings,

M.