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Posts Tagged ‘guidance’

It happened.  I fell into the trap.  I have not updated in a while.  At first, it was because I was waiting for inspiration for a post.  Then it was because I had not updated in a bit so I could go for a little longer.  Then, I was busy.

Then nothing.  Every now and then I would feel a twinge of guilt.  A “Hey, maybe I should… watch TV.”

Here I am, a little less than two years later.  I have envisioned a blogging project with a much cooler name than my initials.  But, ever the loudest critic of my work, I stop and ask, “If I cannot maintain a practice blog, how can I keep a larger than life, ultra-cool, widely read blog?”

Thus, you are stuck with me for a little while longer until I can prove to myself that I am worthy of running a blog.

Well then, let us begin…again!

Change

I have been through some switch ups recently.

I am working for a Bachelors Degree through Liberty University Online.  I am almost finished!  Then onto my Masters!

I upgraded my position at my job!  God has blessed me with a promotion over the past year, which answered a lot of prayers.

There has also been another development which I have been praising God for in the past year.

Did you know those kids in high school who knew exactly what college they wanted to go to, for which degree, for which job, and who they were going to marry along the way?  For instance, I knew a girl.  All she wanted was to be married and be a florist.  Well, let me tell you, she is now married to a really cool guy and she is…can you guess?  Yes.  She is a florist.

I lacked that conviction, that surety in life during high school.  I assumed that I knew basically where I was heading and what I liked doing and that the rest would fill itself into my life along the way.  Fast forward nine years.  Nine whole years form graduation and I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I was George Bailey, wanting to travel the world and getting nowhere fast.  I needed a job.  I needed to pay bills.  I needed a car.  And, before long, I was stuck.

Life happened (I love that euphemism) and God put some really godly men in my life.  I still did not have concrete answers.  But one of the guys, Mike, kept drilling in my head: Seek Ye First.  It’s almost a mantra now.  One foot in front of the other.  Follow God in the little things.  Show myself to be a good steward of Gondor…I Mean my talents.  The rest shall follow.

August of 2012 rolled around a couple months after my last blog post on, ironically, looking to God for guidance.  I had tried a lot in the course of the previous years.  Food services.  Computers.  Business.  Accounting (that lasted about two classes).  Teaching English as a second language (thanks to a group from my college year at Lancaster Bible College).

Nothing.  I had a long list of what I knew I did not like.  In the course of this time, I was serving in the church.  I always gravitated towards teaching.  I loved it.  I loved digging into the word.  I loved figuring out what God was saying through His people.  The elders at my church helped me with working out lessons.  They kept telling me to get at the application and to facilitate more than lecture.  I am still working on that.

I also knew I wanted to be in the mission field.  Ever since I read of Hudson Taylor as a kid, I wanted to smuggle Bibles into China.  Well, China has Bibles and there is a lot of good work over there right now (I even hear there is a rise in Calvinism!!!!).  In this vein I spent a summer with a buddy and a pastor at the boardwalk handing out tracts, witnessing, spreading the gospel, and street preaching.  From this I have determined that while I am to go out into all the world and preach the gospel, I do not have the gift of evangelism.  It does not come naturally.

Well, I was lost.  I was stuck at my job, praying for change or something to point me in the right direction.  God had started something and He had definitely forgotten about me, right?

Me and a group of guys from the church had read Radical by David Platt earlier that year and Mike told us how his son and a friend were going to Kenya for two years right out of college to preach the gospel.  Some men had stepped up from the church the two guys attended in the Carolinas and offered to pay for their tuition.

God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

Radical.

So I stepped out and, after prayer and talking with the elders at my church, I applied for Liberty University’s Online program.  I was working full time and could not afford to leave for college.  So, in the fall of 2012, I started taking classes.  God opened up doors so that I could finally move out and get a place with some roommates.  Full time job, full time classes, my own place.  God really blessed me and there was nothing that I could take credit for other than being faithful and trusting God.

Then it happened.  I’m not exactly sure what the date was or where I was exactly.  But I finally figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up!

There is a ministry that takes those with Masters or Doctorate Degrees and sends them to pastors who have little to no access to bible colleges.

My heart leapt for joy.  Even now as I write these words I rejoice that God would reveal this to me.  I had no idea this even existed.

Now I am close to the end of my degree.  I have 7 more classes.

In the past couple years I have not been even close to a role model.  I have raged and whined and worried at where God was leading me.  I still do.  I do not count it all joy.  I do not place my hope and anxiety in Him who feeds the sparrows and clothes the flowers.  But I am still young and God has a lot of work to do anyway so hopefully that will be taken care of down the road.

My prayers were not answered right away; my pleas were not met immediately.  Is there a time this has happened to you and later down the road you were thankful your prayers were not answered?

Peace,

Bill

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I have always wondered at the mystery of the phrase “God led me to…”.  I always wondered how God leads us.  Was it an audible voice?  If so then why could I never hear Him?  Was I not saved?

A couple years ago, when I was searching for direction in my life, this became a huge question.  How would I know where God was leading me if there was no “Voice from Heaven?”  Then, for my birthday, my Mom gave me a book by J. I. Packer titled Guard us, Guide us.  I was so excited.  Finally, a book that could teach me how to listen for God’s guiding call.

If you have ever read a J. I. Packer text, you will know that he is not a light read.  This is not something you can just pick up and set down with ease.  You have to invest some time with it.

So, I didn’t really get through the first chapter for about a couple years (sorry mom).

But, strangely enough, I began to see that, despite not reading this book (which I still plan to do), God has been leading me and I have been seeing it very clearly in my life.  Not that I’m perfect but I feel as if this book is now more of a supplement than a primary text.  Which is exciting in and of itself.  As I have been growing in my walk with God, I have been learning to follow Him and see His guiding hand.

So, now you may ask, how does one see God’s guidance in their life?

So far, through God’s word and Prayer.

What?  It’s that simple?

Yes.  Even more so.

We read what God has commanded of us in scripture.  This is the basic way of following God in a general sense.  You come to a decision point.  I am hungry for a snickers bar.  Do I steal one or do I pay for it?  What does God’s word say?  Stealing is a sin.  Answer: Pay for it. (Or be healthy and buy a carrot instead).

In a more situational sense, prayer would come into play in more than a mere “Lead us from temptation” sense.  You have to confront a friend, a brother or sister in Christ.  How do we go about it?  In love, yes.  One on one, yes.  These are the basic guidelines laid out by scripture.  But specifically how?  How will it play out?  Do you even confront them?  Is it your place?  These are all specific issues that are not necessarily covered in scripture.  “Do I date this Christian girl or that Christian girl?”  “Do I even date?”  “Can I watch rated R movies?”

If your reading this and this is something that you learned a long time ago, congrats and I wish I had.  But I hope this somewhat helps those who are still learning of God’s Guidance.  And seriously, you will want to pick up J. I. Packer’s book.  It’s a good read so far (I’m up to chapter 4).

Peace,

Bill

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