Discovering Our God-given Destination

Scripture Reading and Text:

[1] THE PLANS of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the [wise] answer of the tongue. [2] All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart).  [3] Roll your works upon the Lord  [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed”  (Proverbs 16:1-3 Amplified Bible).

GOD HAS A PURPOSE–A PLAN FOR EVERY PERSON:

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’re going to end up somewhere else.”  [Lewis Carroll]

God does have a PURPOSE–A PLAN for every person.  Discovering this and fulfilling it is the ESSENCE of life.  Most people I think, don’t have any purpose with their lives.  I know, because that’s where I was several years ago.  We hope, wish for, but do so without a plan.  We sit idly by, waiting for a clue, something to happen.

I recently read a story about Albert Einstein [*See Footnote [i]]:

New York City Train Car
New York City Train Car

Some years ago the great thinker was on a train in New York City.  The ticket taker came walking through the train car. As Einstein reached into his pocket to retrieve his ticket, he couldn’t find it.  He frantically searched his coat pockets, turned his pant pockets inside out, but still couldn’t produce the ticket.  The ticket taker said,  “Don’t worry, Mr. Einstein, we all know who you are.  Forget about it.”  Twenty minutes later, the ticket taker came back through the car and by this time… Einstein was on the floor, searching everywhere for the lost ticket.  Again the ticket taker tried to reassure Einstein by saying,  “I told you not to worry about the lost ticket.  We trust that you purchased one, and that’s good enough for us.”  Einstein looked up at the trains employee and said,  “Young man, this isn’t a matter of trust but of direction.  I need to find the ticket because I forgot where I’m going.”

427570295_28a9ae8d99
Sitting in Idleness

 

 

The Cost of Doing Nothing–

Do you have a clear sense of where you want to go in life?  Are you headed toward that destination, moving away from that destination, or simply standing idle?

The SECRET to SENSIBLE LIVING is this:  Wise people have a SENSE of their God-given destination and have made plans of going there.

Nobody arrives at their DESTINATION in life by accident.  The only thing that arrives at its intended destination by accident is airline luggage.  In fact, without a PLAN, we drift away from our DREAMS.

Most people living in Asia, hope in “good fate” or “karma.”  Not many people are into planning.  They just accept whatever comes their way.

The FARMER and the DEVIL–

I recently read a story about a Finnish atheist.  He left his farm to the devil in his last will and testament.  When he died, the legal system was dumbfounded on how to honor his request in the will.

Finally, after weeks of deliberation, the court decided the best way to carry out the farmer’s wishes was permit the weeds and briars take over the farmland, allow the house and barn to remain unpainted and rotting, and let the soil erode and wash away.

The court had declared in its ruling, “The best way to let the devil have possession of anything was to do nothing.”  The best way to allow Satan to destroy your dream is to do nothing.

Living a life without purpose and direction–

Living your life without an ACTION PLAN, without a PURPOSE, you’ll never arrive at the desired destination in life.

WHY?  There’s a LAW that works in the natural world that also operates in our lives:

“THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS”:

This law in physics states that DISORDER in the universe always increases.

After your children are told to clean their bedrooms, it always has the tendency to become messy again.  This is the result of The Second Law. Simply put, the physical world is decaying and the direction of all creation is downward, not upward.

Everything eventually runs down. Everything is decaying  [*See Footnote [ii]].

2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV):  “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

DISCOVERING YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE AND AVOIDING THE 3 “D” s:

Because of the SIN NATURE we inherited from Adam, we do not naturally lean toward God in moving toward His plan for our lives.  If we don’t attempt to ENERGIZE a proactive counter effort, the natural course of events will lead to depletion of financial resources, disintegration of our families, deterioration of our own body, and yes, the destruction of souls.  That’s why it is ESSENTIAL to develop a plan to reverse the natural direction of your life in order to transport you to your desired direction.

The Wisdom in King Solomon’s Career…

And I purpose to build a house to the Name of the Lord my God,  as the Lord said to David my father,  “Your son whom I will set on your throne in your place shall build the house to My Name and Presence”  (1 Kings 5:5 AMP).

SOLOMON had a clear objective, a plan in mind, but he knew that the TEMPLE would not build itself.  He didn’t “over spiritualize” his dream by saying,  “If the Lord wants this temple built, it will happen in His way and in His time.”  SOLOMON already understood the importance of DEVELOPING A PLAN:

Proverbs 15:22:  Where there is no counsel, purposes are frustrated, but with many counselors they are accomplished.

Proverbs 16:9:  A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.

Proverbs 19:21:  Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.

Proverbs 20:18:  Purposes and plans are established by counsel; and [only] with good advice make or carry on war.

Proverbs 21:5:  The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent tend only to plenteousness, but everyone who is impatient and hasty hastens only to want.  

FINDING CONTENTMENT IN PLANNING:

[13] Now listen, you who say,  “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money,”  [14] Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  [15] Instead, you ought to say,  “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that”  (JAMES 4:13-15 NIV).

JAMES isn’t opposed to PLANNING.  He is WARNING against planning without God.

The foundational question we all should ask ourselves when it comes to establishing our goals,  “Is this PLAN in keeping with God’s will for my life?”

What does it mean to be CONTENTED?

Does it mean I should have my DESIRES limited to that which I already have and achieved?  Or, does being CONTENTED mean, I should have my DESIRES limited to which I am CONVINCED God wants me to have and that which God wants me to achieve (Proverbs 16:9).

The first statement reflects LAZINESS, a sluggard’s philosophy.

The second shows DEPENDENCE on Christ’s Lordship.

GOALS that are within the will of God are designed for the GLORY of God and is pleasing to Him!!

“BUT WHAT IF I FAIL?”

Oh how many times have I asked myself that question.  When those thoughts come to mind, I turn to God’s Word (Scripture) to encourage me in moving ahead:

Sanballat’s words in Nehemiah 4:1-3:

“I have plenty of time, so what’s the hurry?”  Or, “I do not have enough time, so why bother?”

Steve Farrar, founder and chairman of Men’s Fellowship Ministries warns…

“Our continual mistake is that we do not concentrate upon the present day, the actual hour of our life; we live in the past or the future; we are continually expecting the coming of some special hour when our life shall unfold itself in its significance. And we do not observe that life is flowing like water through our fingers, sifting the precious grain from a loosely fastened bag.”

* [See Footnote [iii] ]*

“Instant Coffee Theory of Life” – (“Instant Orange Juice Theory of Life”)  – *[See Footnote [iv]*

Rabbi Harold Kushner describes this theory as similar to our tendency when you open a new jar of instant coffee.  We tend to dole it out generously at first because, after all, you have an entire jar of coffee.  But halfway down the jar, you become more conservative, and by the time you reach the bottom of the jar, you begin measuring your portions more carefully by reaching into the corners of the jar for every last grain.

In the same way, when we’re young, we tend to be careless with our time, thinking we have our entire lives to achieve our dreams.  But by the time we reach the end of our years, we ask ourselves,  “How did it go by so fast?” – We pray the same prayer Moses prayed:

“A PRAYER OF MOSES” – Psalm 90:10-12:

[10] The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.  [11] Who knows the power of your anger?  For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.  [12] Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  (NIV)

How To Set Up Meaningful Goals for Your Life–

How can you develop a PLAN that will get you from where you are right now to where you BELIEVE GOD wants you to be…

In your marriage…

In your finances…

In your career…

In your ministry…

And in your spiritual life?

CLARIFYING YOUR PURPOSE:

This is a big question each of us must know:  WHAT ARE WE ON EARTH FOR?  WHY DO YOU EXIST?

The answer is clear:  “We all live to GLORIFY God.”

Clarifying Your Purpose
Clarifying Your Purpose

The “clarifying purpose” involves something that you are passionate about.  My PASSION is teaching God’s Word.  That’s how I got started in Blogging For God several years back, coining the title THE WORD DETECTIVE.

“But what if I don’t have a PASSION?”

Bob Biehl, president of Master Planning Group International, suggest SIX QUESTIONS to help you identify your PASSION:

#1.  What needs that I see in the world are of concern to me?

#2.  If I could meet any need in the world, what need would I meet?

#3.  What are the most urgent needs in my country, my community, my church?

#4.  What age group or type of people naturally interests me?

#5.  What are the major needs among my neighbors, my friends, and my family?

#6.  If I don’t meet these needs, who will?

REMEMBER, your life’s purpose should involve something for which God has gifted you with (Study 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:6-8).  And don’t forget about your physical talents: “photography, painting, gardening, cooking, etc.”–All can be used to GLORIFY GOD!

Let me encourage you where you are:  Sit quietly and ask the Lord how you can discover a PLAN in your life in accordance to His purpose, His will; and SHARE WITH OTHERS the results– the gifts of your passion.

“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure”  (Proverbs 16:9 AMP).

 


POST FOOTNOTES:

[i] – Billy Graham & Albert Einstein Friday Study Ministries – The First Church on the Net.

[ii] – ENERGY and KIDS http://www.kids.esd.bg/basic_principles.html

[iii] – Steve Farrar, Anchor Man (Nashville, Ten.: Nelson, 1998),  91).

[iv] – Harold Kushner, When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough (New York: Pocket Books, 1986), 158-59.

Photo Credits:  Photo Pin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Buffet-Style Spirituality”

OUR TEXT:  Joel 2:28 and Romans 8:14.

“And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

So many choices
So many choices!

Well, THANKSGIVING DINNER will soon be upon our family once more.  No matter which one of our homes the dinner will be at, there always seems to be too much food!  My wife and I have often asked ourselves over the years “What are we going to do with all the leftovers?”

My son-in-law…“bring your famous stuffing”, or my daughter-in-law–“I just love that dessert you make.  Could you bring that again this year?”  And on and on.

All the dishes, including the carved turkey (and ham for the ‘patriarch’–that would be me], along with everything else being served “buffet-style”, all because the table can’t hold all the choices.

What does all this have to do with “Buffet-Style spirituality”?

It simply means, it’s where you pick and choose… a little of this and that of what you like from that RELIGION…and others; a little of something else from here and there.  If that’s the case, you are probably going to exist in the future with a lot of “leftovers” that will have to be freezer-wrapped for months, then warmed for another time when too lazy to prepare a new meal.

The Number One Religion in America and Perhaps the Country Where You Live:

Numero Uno is… we are fiercely independent thinkers; we have a John Wayne/Clint Eastwood mentality.  “Don’t tell me what to do – and “if you think you can, well, just MAKE MY DAY, PILGRIM!”

The problem with that way of thinking, when it comes to spirituality, you can be sincere in what you think – it just doesn’t mean you’re going to be right in what you think.  Your words determine your thinking…right or wrong!

And when it comes to God’s way of thinking…

Just because you’re SINCERE about what you think, certainly doesn’t make you right–or acceptable in God’s eyes.  You can’t pick what you simply want, to believe about God.

In fact, SINCERITY aimed in the wrong direction can get you in big trouble.  GOD decides for Himself how He is to be worshiped; THAT is the issue and the whole idea of God.  He alone is Sovereign…in charge…or He really isn’t God.

GRASPING THE OBVIOUS.

9056343278_e45991ba2cSherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were on a camping trip.  They had pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep.  Sometime in the middle of the night, Holmes wakes Watson:

“Watson, look up at the stars and tell me what you see.”  Watson says, “I see millions of stars, and even if a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might be life.”  Homes replies,  “Watson, you’re an idiot, somebody stole our tent!”

Grasping what is obvious to the command,  WORSHIP HIM, and not our own IDEA of who He is or what we think!

Somethings Are Obvious–

Like Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson, if we are going to grab hold of the obvious, about what Joel and Paul said living life is, as led by the Spirit of God, then what is it we will grasp?  What can be said about a Spirit-led life?

It’s a Life of Dreams and Vision…

It is important to define our terms at this point.  On the way into the city I live nearby, I have noticed a sign posted in front of a well-kept building: Psychic Readings Available.  You know, someone who says they can interpret your visions and dreams–connect you with the departed.

The Word “VISION” in the Bible: 

The Hebrew word is “chizzaoyoon, literally, a revelation.  It means we “plan” or “contemplate” tomorrow.  Animals can’t do that.  They react to their surrounding influences; they respond to instincts from within–to build a den or protect cubs.  Only humans set GOALS; dream of tomorrow’s possibilities!

Being Led by Holy Spirit…

Being LED by the Spirit is to bend your will to His and allow His already revealed Word (as we have in the Scripture); to inform your human mind and spirit–to shape you into the image of Christ Jesus:

OBEDIENT,

YIELDED, 

USABLE.

A Spirit-led Life–A Life of Dreams and Visions:

AND…it’s a LIFE in the LIGHT–

DARKNESS is for bumping into things.  We’ve all made our share of mistakes…we’ve all jumped to the wrong conclusions at one time or another…we’ve all played the jerk!

LIGHT is a matter of finding-out, we don’t have all the answers; sometimes we are chasing a dream that may not exist.  Reality has disappeared, and we are on the run with it.

VISION is Good!

God’s LIGHT on that VISION tells us if we have been in the sun too long, or not on the right track.  James helped me out here in understanding:

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him”  (James 1:5 AMP). 

I like the way the New Living Translation puts it.

“If you need wisdom–if you want to know what God wants you to do–ask him, and he will gladly tell you.  He will not resent your asking”  (James 1:5 NLT).

Is your VISION, your DREAM a pipe dream; “a hope, wish, dream that is impossible to achieve”?  Does it match with God’s will, His written Word?  How do we bring the light of God’s Word to bear on our VISION?  Again, how do I do that?

Question #1 is always,  Does it line-up with God’s Word?

Another way to bring your VISION to light is to share it with respected leaders in the Kingdom.

The Scripture says,  “Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety”  (Proverbs 11:14).

Clarifying our VISION and GOALS by sharing in the light of Godly believer’s counsel is God’s way of sharing wisdom.  We can’t live without VISION!

“Where there is no VISION the people perish”  (Proverbs 29:18 a).

Being led by the Spirit–It’s a Life of Growth.

Every living thing is born, grows and dies.  That’s the life-cycle.  Yours and my Visions and Dreams are living things.  If nurtured and tended to…they will grow!

One real hallmark suggestion I’m learning to live with in being led of the Spirit is:  It’s not how many “screw loose” ideas I come up with; nor is it a way a person can pray publicly, or lay out policy and church program changes; it isn’t about having a phony smile on your face as you enter the church doors on Sundays, or singing Kumbayah with feeling.

Being Spirit-led is all about sticking to the PURPOSE for which God placed you on this planet.

It’s about being an OBEDIENT and BENDABLE instrument in the hands of God to accomplish His will.

It’s all about hard work, commitment with no personal agenda, other than being the best servant on earth, approved in Heaven.  My mother-in-law would always tell my wife in growing up:  “If it is worth doing, then it is worth doing right!”  It is all about what the Apostle Paul told Timothy he needed to be about:

“Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth”  (II Timothy 2:15 AMP).

Do You Dare to Be A Dreamer?

Our pastor, pastor Kyle, his message to us all included the request… asking God for a VISION in our lives.  Now I don’t know about the rest of the assembly, but to me personally…it became a dare!

Do you dare to have VISION and DREAMS?

Do you dare to bring them into the light of God’s wisdom, sharing them with the family of God?

When we were kids growing up in our neighborhoods, how many times were we confronted with a “DARE”?  “Mel. I DARE you…I ‘double dare’ you to jump off the roof of the house.”  Did I jump?  What do you think?  He “double dared me”!

According to The Free Dictionary, the term DARE means:

To have the courage required for…”jumping off a roof”;  To challenge (someone) to do something requiring boldness; To be courageous or bold enough to do or try something.

You and I can be that way when it comes to asking for a VISION in life…then SHARING the vision with other believers.  God told us Jesus died for that…so we could be living an abundant life, to the full, in the overflow with the poured-out Spirit, the living God (John 10:10 AMP).  He did it because He loves you and I.

John Nash – One of the Greatest Dreamers:

The movie, A Beautiful Mind, is a wonderful and compelling story of a 1994 Nobel Prize winner John Nash.  Nash is a genius and after a decade of productive life, suffers a breakdown.  His life falls apart and the beautiful mind becomes a tortured mind, plagued by schizophrenia.  His lovely wife stands by him, fiercely holding things together as John suffers in a mental hospital, struggling to rid his mind of persons who torture him emotionally.  These people only exist within his mind…not real and yet…he chooses to ignore them and love his wife.  At the awards ceremony, Nash s’ acceptance speech has this statement:

“That search for reason and logic has taken me a lifetime, through the theoretical, the metaphysical and the delusional and back.  And it is only in the mystical realm of love I have found any reason and logic.”

LOVE…the Final, Lasting, Overcoming DREAM!

Do you want something to build a life on?

Do you want to DREAM a VISION that will withstand the scrutiny of light?

Do you want a life of GROWTH with REASON and logic?

Do you want to settle for “leftovers”–left out for you the rest of your life to pick through?

Building Dreams and Visions in God’s Love for you:

“But anyone who does not LOVE does not know God, for God IS Love”  (1 John 4:8 New Living Translation Bible – NLT).