I've been listening to a lot of archived broadcasts from "Living on the Edge" online lately, & today I was listening to a message: "Trusting God when He doesn't make sense", & Chip Ingram said something that meant a lot to me... Just like Lazarus had to die so Jesus could raise him from the dead, I had to die to my own agenda before Jesus could be the "resurrection" for my life. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior as a little boy, I died to my sin nature because Christ died in my place & was my resurrection for a new life. I still sin as a Christian & have to confess my sin & ask forgiveness (1 John 1:9)-- the sin nature is still there-- but I am no longer controlled by that sin nature. If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, that's what the history of what happened with Lazarus (see John 11) means for you-- that you need to believe & accept that Jesus died in your place for your sin; & in accepting this you have died with Christ & are dead to sin; & as the "Resurrection & the Life", Christ will be a new life for you.
I have been a Christian for over 20 years, but I have realized that there is another application for me now. I am a person who likes to make plans & see them happen, & I had an agenda in mind that I was going into vocational ministry someday. I always felt like I was open to whatever God had for me to do, but I have since realized that I wasn't really as open as I thought I was or needed to be. After settling in Columbus, I always would say that Angie & I were in a period of "transition", & that we were open to whatever God had for us for now; but someday we were going to an unreached place to serve in a church plant. That's all well & good, but it could well be that's not what God wants us to do. I had to die to my own agenda & accept wherever God places us-- & now it looks like God is making things happen. God has a plan for me, & I just have to let my own plans die & wait & see what He will do!
In posting my thoughts on a blog, I hope that people will read this & God will use it to help others to grow; but even if nobody reads it, it's still helpful to me, because writing & sharing is how I think & learn (that's why my posts are so long!)