Friday, April 20, 2012

just. do. something.

I feel so liberated right now. Set free. Released. (You get the picture.) All because my perspective was changed by a short, little book....

All throughout this senior year of mine, phrases like "waiting on the Lord" and "the will of God" have seemed to repeatedly keep popping up. Chances are, they've popped up in your life every now and then as well. As soon as things become a little uncertain, that's when "God's will" becomes ever so important to us. And, boy, have I been uncertain a lot lately!

With so many "life-altering" decisions coming up (i.e. college), I wanted to be certain that I was making the right choices. I knew God had a plan for me, but I didn't know what it was. Many days were spent pleading with God to show me His will and stressing over decisions. After months and months, I still didn't have an answer. Why was nothing clearer? Didn't God want me to make the right choice?

And then everything changed.

No, I didn't get a sign from God. No, He didn't reveal His entire will to me. But I discovered that I was in bondage to the idea that I had to find "God's will" for every decision in life. I was held back by the fear that I would make the wrong decision. I was looking for clear, distinct, unmistakable direction for my life; but that's not always how God leads.

Let me just cut to the chase: I read this really awesome book called Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung that totally changed my perspective on making decisions and seeking God's will. Trust me, this book is liberating. Because my attempted explanations to describe this liberating approach to finding God's will could never do this book justice, you will just have to read the book yourself.

I discovered that God's way is not to tell us every detail of our lives ahead of time. God's way is to grow our faith by having us constantly rely on Him. God's will happens not when we "let go and let God," but as we trust God and get going! Honestly and truly, this is one of the best (and most needed) books I have read. This is a book I will be recommending to all of my friends!

Final thoughts? JUST DO SOMETHING. And read this book.

"Trust God and do the next thing" -- Oswald Chambers

Sunday, April 15, 2012

of bank accounts and (probably) nonsensical ponderings

You know those incredible experiences that grow you and change you, yet at the end of it all, you're left with more questions than answers? I do.

I've been reflecting on the last several months of my life. Although I didn't realize it then, I can see that God has done SO much in the last year. I've changed. I'm not the same person I was 12 months ago. Yet, in spite of all the life-changing experiences I've encountered, I don't have any more answers. In fact, I may even have more questions than I began with.

I'm left with new perspectives, new ideas, new options, new possibilities, and new opinions. I've grown, but everything is even more uncertain than it was before. When the door is thrown open to endless possibilities, the daunting task of making a choice becomes even heavier.

In the midst of my indecisive feelings and ever-growing questions, I have somehow managed to hold on to peace. Peace that comes from God. Peace that surpasses all understanding.... even my own understanding! I should seriously be freaking out right now. But I can have peace because I've given my anxiety over to the Lord.

Why am I worrying over the future, as uncertain as it may be, when I have no control over it whatsoever?

That's right, I don't have any idea either. I serve a God who never takes risks. At all. Therefore, I can afford to take risks. I can risk because God never does.

I have gained so much these last few months.... from people, from God's Word, from life experiences. And while I may be left with more questions, I have been prepared to face these questions in light of God's sovereignty. I have so many questions. But I feel prepared. I'm ready to face the future. Because God is sovereign.

Like a bank account, I have been filled up. Each new piece of knowledge, each new step with God, and each new relationship made has been a deposit into my "bank account." The more I seek God and equip myself for His service, the more deposits I make.


Money in a bank doesn't do any good if it's just left in there. Neither are my "deposits" of any benefit if I don't eventually "withdraw" them.

Serve. Influence. Encourage. Challenge. Comfort. I must used what I've gained and put it into action, pouring into others' lives what has been poured into mine. I want my life to have a healthy, balanced cycle of "deposits" and "withdrawals."

This is what God requires of me. Sure, I don't know all the details, but I have a God who does. There's a whole lot of unanswered questions, but it's all the more opportunity for God to show Himself great in my life. If I'm faithful in the small things, God will show Himself great in ALL things.