They say when it rains it pours, which is true. But I say that when you walk in obedience, Doors fly open.
Sometimes we are living our life according to God’s will, and others we are ignoring it. We are not always intentionally ignoring , sometimes we really don’t know we are doing it. That side comes from either being tricked by the enemy, or not spending enough time with God to hear him clearly.
For myself personally, I have walked in and out of God’s will for me for years. I go through this vicious cycle the enemy keeps me in where I hear God’s plan for my life, get on fire with excitement and passion for it, and then become distracted by other great opportunities and then suddenly I am not doing what God wants me to do and I know it. Some times in my life I have lived with the intention of getting their eventually, but something that caught my attention was when I read that even delayed obedience is disobedience. If you’re a parent you get this one pretty clearly, if you ask your child to do something and they do it 3 hours later, is that really listening to what you asked? Is that really obeying you when you called them to do it? The last 6 months have been very cool because I have finally said ‘Enough’ to this cycle and am starting to take leaps of faith and risking my security to give my life up and take up the cross and follow him. I can’t tell you what this process has looked like in words to make you understand and convey what God has done in it, but miracle after miracle is all that comes close to it. From the moment I decided to take a stand against the enemy’s distractions and schemes to get me away from God’s work, doors are literally flying open in front of us, in area’s we didn’t even know doors existed. People are calling us with opportunities we didn’t even contact them about, it is seriously such a wonderful confirmation that we are walking in God’s will, that we are being obedient and that we are listening. Even more so, that we are being honest when we say to God ‘When you open a door, I will walk through it’
Something I want to look at today is how do we get from out of God’s will INTO it. How do we clearly find and live our purpose for our lives? And how to we deal with they discouragement and wastelands that come along with following God’s dream for us.
A life changing tool aside from the Bible, has been books to help me grow and learn. In this area of purpose, the book ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren has been such a wonderful guide. I encourage you to read it, and the link is below if you would like to check it out. This first thing in this book is so important for us to do:
Look to God. This isn’t about us, the purpose isn’t about us, the dream isn’t about us and let me tell you from firsthand experience each and every time you try to take it and make it yours, God will ask you to surrender it back to him and check where your heart is at. I have literally surrendered ONE dream to him over 4 times because I keep trying to take it from him! It’s not mine, and your dream isn’t yours. God has a way bigger picture that we can’t see, we are vessels and the ones he is allowing to be apart of the puzzle, but we need to keep that in check because it is our nature, and the schemes of the enemy who get us thinking otherwise.
The next thing to look at is what drives your life? What motivates you? What encourages you? What would people say if asked what drives your life? We have to remember we are here on earth for a blurp in the grand scheme of things. We have been promised an eternity of amazing and wonderful things, its hard to not get caught up this ‘life’ and think it’s all about having the money, the cars, the material things and its even harder to shift our focus away from those things (especially the way the world is and what it’s telling us) and to rather focus on much more important things like ‘what has God put on me on this earth to do? What can only I do for him on this earth, that I completed my call on judgement day’
If you are at a place in your life where you do not feel like you are living according to God’s will or purpose for your life, you need to get down on those 2 knee’s of your’s and start asking. A couple of things to help guide you along from my journey:
- Check your heart. If you are coming to God will an impure heart, with intentions that are manipulative to what you want and not open to what God wants, you will not be able to receive his words and blessings along the way.
- Spend time with him. Being in his word daily and talking with him constantly is how this works. I think back to my university years, which were darker days on my walk, where I just called my dad for money and wasn’t pouring into the relationship whatsoever. That’s not how relationships work, and if you aren’t putting in effort and daily action into God, God isn’t going to just give you what you want and guide you through it. God wants to be our father but also our best friend, he wants us to come to him with the good, the bad and ugly.
- Wrestle with him. Yes I just said that. God is okay with us doing this! We work things out this way, he is able to work in our hearts when we do this because we are coming to him with it! C.S Lewis said ‘Pain is God’s megaphone, pain is the fuel of passion-it energizes us with an intensity to change that we don’t normally posses’ Its so true and let me tell you this: God Wastes NOTHING. There are the smallest itty bitty moments or things I went through that God will use for his purpose for my life. Most of the things we are doing, even when out of Gods will are building us up for the real deal. God doesn’t waste a single moment, a single tear, a single mistake or a single attack.
- Understand that even when you feel like you have a clear picture of what God is asking you to do; there is still a battle, still a struggle, still moments of weakness and doubt, still times you feel like your lost, still times you want to give up. The journey is not easy but the reward is worth it.
This is a tough one and one you will very likely encounter. When we are taking up the cross to follow Christ, we go through many steps or phases of the processes; the Wasteland is the most discouraging and disheartening one but also so necessary. It purifies us, it removes all the junk we have built up over the years, it cleanses us from the things that aren’t God or are going to hinder us on our walk. It is not fun though, it is usually really hard because we have grown attached to this junk we think we need. It is also hard because most of the time it requires change from us and our hearts, which as sinful humans we are not always eager to do. Another problem we encounter in the wasteland is doubt. A wonderful quote that I have never forgotten and has gotten me through many wasteland experiences is this “Never doubt in the dark, what God told you in the light’ In the wasteland, it’s very easy to lose sight of why you are there, what you are fighting for and to resist the urge to go somewhere comforting and easy. The easy road never takes us where God wants us and with the rewards God has for us, just ask the Israelites. Wasteland experiences do things to our heart that only wasteland experiences can. We cannot change the way God needs to change us in other circumstances, or we would! We recently came out of one of the most difficult wasteland experiences as a married couple. The catalyst was God moved us from a place we loved, with comforts and escapes and support. We look back now and see why we had to leave there in order for us to face the issues that needed to be dealt with. If that change was able to have occurred where we were, God would have done it. I’m sure he gave us ample opportunities to try to work it out in an easier way, but when we wouldn’t take it he had to take matters into his own hands. Now that we are on our way out of the wasteland, I am being given a clear picture from God WHY things had to go down the way they did, and what part that plays in the bigger picture of the plan.
Another wonderful thing about the wasteland is it continuously brings us to the realization that we need God. You cannot overcome the wasteland without accepting this fact. God needs us to be in a humbled, submissive and in a trusting place if we are going to live according to his purpose for our life.
As you spend time with God, as you work through the things that are keeping you from an intimate relationship with him, as you surrender thing you’ve been holding onto, he will reveal things in our heart that guides us on the path of the plan he has for our lives. Sometimes it’s a sliver of the picture, sometimes its a glimpse at the entire thing, and sometimes it’s literally one step at a time. However you get it, grab hold of it and make it your mission, your life’s goal and your purpose on this earth to live according to what God has called you to do.