Thursday, January 11, 2007

I think I'm backwards!

I've been thinking lately about how the Lord has been working in my life, what He's been teaching me, & what I've been learning-- how things have changed. You know, as a Christian, one of the most important things you need to do is say to God, "Do whatever You need to do to teach me what you want me to learn; to get me doing what you want me to do." If Jesus is your Savior, you need to acknowledge Him as your Lord & live your life His way. "Salvation" & "Lordship" are not the same thing, & they don't happen at the same time, but a godly life is the result of being indwelt by the Spirit, which starts the moment you accept Jesus as your Savior.
I digress (but it's an important digression-- read through the book of Romans & think deeply about it to better understand where I'm coming from). When you ask God to do this, you don't know what He's actually going to do. God's plan is often different from what we expect.
I hear so many testimonies from people who were set in good jobs; & it was a big deal for them to drop them & go into the ministry-- & praise the Lord that He works that way in them! For me, however, it was the opposite. I remember when I first told the Lord that I was willing to do whatever He wanted me to do with my life-- I was 15, & a trainee at Summer Missionary Training School with Child Evangelism Fellowship. The Lord gave me so many opportunities to serve over the years, & He used me & I grew in Him; but I may have also gotten a wrong message because of my own pride & a narrow mind. I was so set on going into vocational ministry, that establishing a career never was on my mind. It wasn't until after I got married that I realized that life is expensive! I was always fine with other people working to make money & being the ones who support missionaries, but I was sure that Angie & I were supposed to be the missionaries whom the "business people" support. I would always tell people, "We're in transition, & we don't know what the Lord wants us to do yet"; but what I was really thinking was, "Our life hasn't started & we aren't doing anything valuable until we are on the mission field." I would tell other people, "Where you work is a mission field, & church plants need lay people to serve there"; but I never thought I was supposed to be one of the "lay people". But now I'm starting to understand that my family comes first over "ministry" (& that "ministry" is not always equivalent to an obedient relationship with God, which comes first over family), & that having a job for the purpose of supporting my family, along with showing hospitality to others, is valuable. This has given me peace that for now I am working for the state of Ohio in a Legal Office, & my first priority is to provide for & develop my family; & God can use me here in my local church for as long as He wants me here. I know a lot about what the Bible says & what the principles mean, but I need to learn about real life to know how the Bible teaching can be applied. My pastor called this process "seasoning", & that's what I need to be more effective wherever God places me.

2 comments:

M said...

Thanks for sharing these things. They are very valuable and encouraging!

JP said...

dunk,

Good to hear your thoughts, Your'e right on. Good to hear that you still pursuing Gods best for you and your family

JP