Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spititual Life Lessons 7/3/2013

"I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications.  Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live."   Psa 116:1-2


Hope all is well with you. I received a call yesterday from a company offering me an instructor job in Shreveport, LA. This was odd because they found me (instead of me applying) and I had been praying for a better job. On top of that Tasha's father isn't doing too well, I just spoke to both of her parents on Monday. I informed them of my plans to move back to TX for grad school. Both were happy to hear the plans and state how nice it would to have everyone closer.
In the past, I've jump on opportunities such as this, and things didn't work out too well. I was unhappy with my then current situation and allowed myself to me swayed by "possibilities". We are in a good situation (could be better) and I'm very close to finishing school. Moving wouldn't disrupt school or any of my future plan, except where I do my reserve duty (which isn't a huge deal). My problem is I feel like I'm repeating the same behavior that has caused so much friction in prior situations, friction that I want to avoid at all cost. Yet, I have been praying for something like this for a while, and I don't want to miss a blessing. I have given it to God, but for some reason I feel compelled to seek your advice. What are your thoughts on the matter? How does one know if they are being blessed or being tested?



Beloved son,

That is an age old and very deep question. Gone are the days when God appears to us in visions and dreams (though he can still do it if he wants, I tend toward Heb 1:1-2). We must now depend on spiritual discernment, movement of the Spirit and of course prayer. These can sometimes be maddeningly uncertain things and sometimes you never really know until after the fact.

I always wanted to come to Missouri to advance my secular career. I prayed to go many times but was shut down every time. It wasn't until after I received my ordination and a few very significant family things lined up that things opened up and they opened wide. During the interim, I prayed for what I wanted, but more than that I learned to pray that his will be done in my life. Not knowing any other way to make a decision consistent with his will, I told God that I would apply. I would take another turn down as a no and an acceptance as yes. We've been in Missouri 11 years now and among many other great things that have happened, I've been promoted to a dream job, become the minister of a fine congregation and finished a grad degree in religion. In retrospect, it all seems that it was the right decision and God blessed it. It wasn't nearly as clear beforehand.

I won't tell you what I think you should do as far as your particular decision. I will tell you, however, to stay in prayer, appeal to God, fast about it and go where you think the Spirit is leading you. I think it says a lot that you are approaching it this way, when perhaps in the past it wasn't as much the case.  God will bless your spiritual growth and maturity.

I have prayed that God will give you clarity regarding this issue and cause you to make a decision that is in keeping with his will for your life.

I realize that none of this as solid as a voice that comes from heaven saying do this or do that. But that is where faith comes in. We walk by faith and not by sight and that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. If you do what you do for the right reasons and with the right motivation, I believe God will bless it. And even if this particular decision doesn't end up going the way you think it should, having made it with proper spiritual intent and humility, know that ultimately, God will work all things together for good. What ever decision you make will result either either in the God intended destination and answer to your prayers or just a step along the way on the path he has laid out for you.

Remember that Peter had confidence enough to step out of a perfectly good boat armed only with faith that Jesus would sustain him and this, in the middle of a storm. Even when his faith faltered, Jesus was there to save him.

Have faith. Have confidence. Make a prayerful decision and know that come what may, the Lord has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.



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