Good Morning Church! What’s Next?
We are in the midst of the Holiday Trilogy.
The time of the year where, we first give thanks, during a time of Thanksgiving.
Followed by a CHRISTMAS renewal of our spirits, as we focus on the birth of CHRIST.
Then a New Year to discover the Purpose GOD has for us all.
My post from November 19th, expounds on this thought, and if you missed it, please go check it out with this link.
The conclusion was simply this; What next? How can you more powerfully live and fulfill the purpose GOD has for your life?
Not your resolutions, but your true purpose, your mission. What is it that God created you to do?
As Christians, most of us have spent a lot of time reflecting on that very question.
We are constantly seeking some type of affirmation that we are on the right track.
In the past few months I have been faced with a big challenge.
One, that at first, seemed a bit absurd, but would not leave my mind.
As I contemplated where I truly felt GOD directing me, my greatest concern was;
Is this GOD’s direction, or something that I have concocted in my own mind? Or, worse yet, was this notion placed there by the most sinister of invaders.
As I began my quest for discerning GOD’s direction, I spent an extensive amount of time in prayer.
It was just as my son was returning from Afghanistan.
Since I was the only one in the family available to meet his plane as he returned to American soil, I decided I would drive from Nashville, to Fort Bliss, El Paso all alone, in complete silence.
I spent the drive praying, and meditating on whether or not what I was being challenged to do, was even reasonable to consider.
The drive took about 20 hours.
By the time I arrived in El Paso, I was confident that the path I was considering was reasonable.
Still, after my son’s homecoming, I had the drive home to consider my decision even more deeply.
The 20 hour trip home was spent mostly in silence this time. So I could continue to reflect on where I felt God was leading me.
As I returned home, I knew what I was considering was possible, but I was still concerned that I might be more consumed with selfish desire than GOD’s pure will in my life.
I was still unsure.
I spent weeks studying, and seeking studies, that would guide me, and advise me.
Finally, one night, very late, I stumbled across a lesson from someone that I probably should have started with, considering he is the authority on finding GOD’s Purpose for your life,
Yes, I am talking about Rick Warren, author of, ‘A Purpose Driven Life.’
He had presented a lesson series, aptly titled, ‘How to Recognize God’s Voice.’
In the lesson, Rick outlines 7 questions to help you know whether the idea you have is something GOD wants for your life, if it something ‘you think’ GOD wants for your life? Or, worse yet, is it an idea spawned by Satan himself, masquerading as a messenger of good ideas?
I will quickly outline them for you, but do not let my summary stop you from listening to the entire presentation for yourself.
Rick presents the lesson with a co-teacher, as you will see when you watch for yourself, but the very quick overview is simply this;
Does it agree with GOD’s word?
This one is easy. GOD will never lead you to do anything that contradicts HIS word.
Does what you are contemplating make you more like CHRIST?
Rick said the question, What Would JESUS Do? Is still a good question to ask, in everything we feel we are called to do.
We are called to be like CHRIST.
Can we achieve that goal, if we seek this new direction?
Does my church family confirm it?
This was a huge one for me.
I sought and received an enormous amount of feedback from my church family. Not a single person contradicted what I was considering. Rick also uses this moment of the presentation to remind us how vitally important it is for us to have a church family. A close knit, body of believers, that we trust and we know has our best interest in mind when we approach them with a concern or need for prayer.
Is what I want to do consistent with what GOD shaped me to be?
I think we all read number 4, and immediately think about the poor souls that have tried out for TV shows such as American Idol. They seem certain of their destiny with greatness. Only to discover they are tone death, and delusional in regards to their pending pop-star fame. Rick put it bluntly, but honestly this way. “You can not be anything you want to be.” He said contrary to what all the self-help, motivational speakers of the world may say, some of us were not designed to be pop-stars.
So, again, is what you are considering, consistent with the talent, the ability, the skill, and the heart GOD has put in you?
Does it concern my responsibility?
Is what you are considering even something you are responsible for? Or, are you inserting yourself into something that is none of your business at all!
Is it convicting or condemning?
Is what you are considering based upon a deep conviction, or is it something you are being driven to do because you feel guilty about not doing it?
Do you sense GOD’s peace in regards to the decision?
This is my favorite because the verse of reference used in this part of the lesson is my verse!
A verse that I have clung to for the last decade. A verse that has inspired me, comforted me, and guided me.
When it is all said and done, do you truly feel at peace with what you are about to do?
For me, as I finished the study, then went through it again, and again, the answer was always the same.
I was able to check off every step with confirmation, and conviction that what I am about to do is indeed what GOD would have me do.
So, what’s next?
For me? I will let you know when the time is right.
The journey begins.
Start with prayer.
Spend some time ‘Being Still’.
And get ready to ‘Know’ what GOD’s Will, HIS Direction, HIS Purpose for you will be.
December 3, 2017