Category: Spirituality

Thoughts on living out of a spiritual center while trying to minister to others and lead them to walk the Jesus path with us.

In Dan Allender’s must-read book, To be Told, he mentions a situation with a friend who had to make a decision about a big career move. With a few options mentioned, the friend asks him,” So which one should I choose?”

Dan responded, “Well, which one fits your story? Which one allows your character to fulfill its purpose better?”

Normally we think about what makes us more money and provides job security, right? That would be the realistic thing to do—it just makes sense. These questions confused Dan’s friend and if they were proposed to us, I bet we would be thrown off as well.

Is it possible that the life you’re living right now is actually a story that was written long ago? This was how Jesus saw His life. He had a solid conviction that the big picture of his life events had been written by the Father for Jesus to follow and live out. Christ trusted the Father’s character so he cooperated 100% with the plan.

John the Baptist also had no trouble knowing what to do with his life. His role was written for him and handed to his parents by an angel before he was even conceived. John was to be “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord!”

Likewise for David. The prophet Samuel visited his father’s home, poured oil on his head and revealed, “God is going to make you the next king of Israel.”   Why did David need to know this? So he could prepare himself mentally to fill this role.

If my life is a story whose big events are largely written and beyond my control,  then the question I need to ask is simply, “What is my role in the story? What opportunities would allow me to fulfill this role and purpose better?”

Who we are is more important than what we do.  Actually, we do what we are.

Some people spend most of their life energy trying to decide what to major on in college or what kind of job is a perfect fit for them. It takes a lot of pressure off when we realize that, Yes! God is writing an amazing life story, but it’s about Jesus, not us.  We have been given an important part in the overall story if we will accept it, but the story of our life is not about us.

In God’s Kingdom everything is always different.

According to the Bible , there are two dynamic poles holding our life experience in tension: sovereign destiny and the gift of free will. In God’s soveriegnty, the crucial events in my life have been planned. We can trust God that the major moments in our life are important, defining moments. Not chance. Not luck. Not misfortune. God is sovereign over our lives.

There are parts in our story that are clearly written and out of our control like our place of origin, family, and race. Then, there are those  other parts that are determined by our free will, our hobbies, careers and most of all, our choices in the moments of decision.

Ours real choice is simply whether to cooperate with the story God has already written about us or to rebel against His story and try to create one of our own so we can sing, “I did it my way!”

The only way to cooperate with God’s story is to fully trust in God. Once we choose to trust God’s good sovereign choices there will never be a reason to be afraid about our future.  We need not fear giving up anything He asks us to give.  All these things will work together for God’s greater story. It is only when we completely yield to Christ that our real story can finally start.

So what do you think your role might be in the big Story of God?  We would love to hear you comments below.

I am so proud of Josie Carreon, our newest staff member, for her work on this video which highlights the success and the struggles of Joann Lovino’s Sidewalk Ministries which takes the presence of Jesus to some of the toughest barrios in Manila.  Joann and her team of nearly 100 volunteers (most of whom were reached themselves through Sidewalk Ministries in years past) go weekly and minister to 9,000 children across South Manila. Watch this video and be inspired.  Great job Josie!!!

 

Sidewalk Ministries from Emerge Missions on Vimeo.

 

Reading the law this morning and  I just love that God thinks like this: “You shall not curse the deaf…Fear your God. I am the Lord.”  I mean, they would never know they were being mocked but God sees it and it bugs him and this shows me His heart which is so beautiful to me. (Leviticus 19:14 if you want to look it up)

Have you ever wondered, “What if we are all wrong about God?” I think everyone should question this and ponder the answer very honestly. What if all this time we have simply formulated ideas about God and created a whole fiction about what He/She/It is like and worshipped it because it endorses all the things we and our particular culture believe already? (Sort of like cautionary tales told to children to drive home some lesson we want them to get). We can’t ALL be right about God. There are just too many versions in the world and in each world religion (including atheism).

Even within Christianity there are about a dozen different versions of who God is and is not and who He is for and against and if God is trinity or modal, etc. Isn’t it easier to just believe what we believe with staunch certainty than to risk the agonizing potential cost that might come to us if our exploration leads us to know we have been wrong? What if, in our laziness, we miss the truth about the real God that was always there to be found if we had truly searched for Him ‘with all our hearts’? What if one day we all come face to face with a God so unlike what we have so confidently always claimed Him to be? Ever pondered that we may have made up most of what we believe or have just followed what those around us told us was the truth without really doing much searching on our own?

Sometimes a little less certainty pays off in the end.
(What if we are wrong about God? Part one)

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