What does God want from you?

God wants you to be open to Him. Very simply that is it. God’s will isn’t often complicated. He wants you to be open.

I work at Chick-Fil-A. I know this is where God put me right now in my life. I also think it is where God will have me for some time to come. But if God changes that tomorrow, then I need to be open to that. God’s will isn’t for me to be stuck in what I perceive His will to be. It is a daily walk. Even though I don’t see the sharp turn on this road we are walking, when He turns I need to be in-step with Him so I turn too.

People ask me about the future. Only God knows. Sometimes, I feel He gives me a sense of what it is. Other times, I don’t know. That isn’t the point though. Sometimes I tell my children where we are going. Sometimes I do not. There are a wide variety of reasons I do this. Maybe their anticipation will remove them from focusing on the present. Maybe their excitement will cause their current responsibility to be neglected. Maybe they just don’t understand the passing of time in the way that I do and so will become discouraged thinking I have lied or that I can’t bring it to pass.

In this analogy, I see myself as the three-year old in my relationship with God. All the misunderstandings and points of ignorance within my children I possess within myself. Certainly I trust Him and as we walk together, He tells me to told His hand. Like my children, sometimes I do hold His hand and walk in-step with Him. Other times I’m trying to pull Him this way or that or I’m running every which way around Him. Sometimes I even break free and run on my own until I recognize I’m lost without Him and run back to Him.

The idea is that we walk with Him. That we trust Him. We can’t be open to someone’s leading that we don’t trust. We must trust He has our best in mind, He knows us, He loves us, He cares for us, and we will be happiest when we follow Him. Then we will be in His will. We will hold His hand and walk side by side with Him. And we will trust Him with any turns or deviations.

And that is what God wants from us. Trust and to walk with Him.

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More blessed

It is that time of year again at our church. The missions revival week is at the end of the month and we already begin focusing there. This inevitably leads to the discussion of faith promise, and thus giving. But, is it really that big a deal?

Its really easy for me, you see. I’m quite well off. I have a good job. I have a wonderful and supportive wife and family and way more things than we need. We can splurge and we can spend on things many would call extras. It must be easy for me to give to the church,  missionaries, the homeless, etc.

In fact it is easy. But not really so much for those reasons. God has made some promises to me that I can depend on.  He has taught me some things that make giving an easy decision. He has shown me the best investment opportunity.

By faith we please God. Not by money.

He that gives to the poor lends to God.

Treasure in Heaven is far more valuable.

We reap what we sow.

Life on earth is as a vapor and when God decides it is over we can’t take anything with us.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

We don’t have to focus on money when we trust God implicitly. We don’t have to worry about anything, really.

Pray that God will let you invest where it matters. It shouldn’t be hard, but rather joyous!

god-in-a-box

When we are ignorant, either mentally or experientially, of who God is we begin to believe and act like our God can be placed in a box.

Sometimes this is due to lack of learning or false teaching. A new believer may not know God in the way an older believer does. Or some false teaching gets mingled into the Truth and leads to misunderstanding God.

Sometimes we know in our minds who our God is, but we don’t act like it for lack of walking with Him. We treat Him like a genie in a bottle. We treat Him like he is angry with us, His children, as if we were the wicked. We treat Him as if He is only a ticket from Hell and not a real live person who desires a relationship.

When we place God in our box, we have severely hampered and deceived ourselves. Not only have we offended a holy God, but removed any possibility of living a life of joy or contentment. Christ says that without Him you can do nothing. That is not a God that can be put in a box. That is a Savior that is necessary to all of life. We deceive ourselves when we think that we are in any way continuing in this very moment without His breath.

Our box does not determine our God, but rather determines our perception of God. God is. He has shown us glimpses of Himself in His word. He has opened our eyes at points and to extents to know Him. God is not constrained by our box. The only thing that constrains God is God. He wills to do of hIs good pleasure. He acts of Himself. He does of Himself. Can I say it any other way? Our box does not determine our God; nothing outside of God determines our God. God is Himself. That is redundant. God is.

Learn who God is. Because He doesn’t change, and when this God who is, is known of us, there is no box that can hold Him.

That is a God worth serving. That is a God worth knowing.

A mess?

The world is a mess. But it is not my home. I’m just passing through. My treasures are laid up in Heaven.

When we look horizontally at the mess, at the tragedy, at the disgust, and results of sin, we focus there. Instead, we should look to Christ, our Savior, King, and God. When we look there,
we focus there. It is this awe inspiring view we need to hold.

Consider what happened when people in the Scriptures have seen the Lord? They were immediately refocused to the spiritual. The physical will pass away. It is not meant to last. Sin has caused a curse and will lead to death and the passing of heaven and earth. God’s Word lasts forever. We are spiritual beings with bodies.

The news, the internet, the world focuses on worldly problems because they think this is what matters. Their worldview says this earth is all we have, and these physical bodies are all we have. They will draw our attention the only place they know to look.

We have to be the ones drawing their attention upward. We, as prudent and wise, see what is coming and prepare. But our perspective needs to be different from the world so that what drives them to panic drives us to our Savior. What drives them to despair brings hope as we see God fulfilling His word and bringing this period of sin to a close. What a glorious day it will be when we don’t have this sin anymore!

So, don’t think about the mess. Consider the future and our Lord. Things are looking up.