What Will You Have of Me, Oh Lord?
Over time, people have approached me and shared that they have waited for God to give them direction. I have heard others pray for God to help them find their purpose. My heart goes out to them because of my own experiences.
Yet, when I reflect on what I’m doing now, I realize that my endeavors were thoughts over the years now past. God had already enlightened me, but I ran from my destiny—what He predestined for me. One of my favorite Bible Study teachers once said that losing her job at a Fortune 100 Company forced her to realize that she could no longer run from ministry. She is also a pastor now.
I’m writing to you today with the thought in mind, some of you are not paying attention or listening to God’s voice. Your disposition could be a consequence of one or any combination of several reasons: 1) you don’t recognize His voice; 2) you’re unfamiliar with His character; and/or 3) you choose to go your own way. Nevertheless, there are outcomes of being outside of God’s will for our lives. He deals with us regarding the matter.
The Scripture explains that God has already made specific plans for us (Jeremiah 1:5, 29:11; Psalm 32:8,139:16; Isaiah 65:24). To fulfill those plans, He gave each of us, natural-born talents and abilities. It is for this reason that many people are able to cook, bake, sing, dance, act, paint, draw, teach, or write on a professional level without formal training and development. Through strategic employment of these talents, we reap the rewards of our efforts. But that’s not all.
In the course of exercising our talents, the children of God are also expected to advance His Ministry. Trust that God’s plans are not just for your personal benefit, but also for others. You thought it was all about you? Not in the Kingdom of God. Our world is populated with people—men, women and children, who are oppressed, impoverished and destitute, misguided and despondent, and suffering from the effects thereof. Jesus spent time on earth preaching, teaching, giving, and healing. His disciples followed His example by carrying out His commandment to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19-20) in the capacity they were called.
Yet, dwelling within the hearts of many is hatred, selfishness, greed, corruption, defiance, fear, or complacency. These issues must be corrected, if the children of God are to make positive impact and progress in this world.
Obedience and Faith
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23).
God speaks regularly. The question is, are you listening to His instructions? Do you understand His character? Regarding the second question, reading and studying the Bible helps us to better understand the character of God.
God’s Will does not always align with our personal desires. In the Book of Genesis, God instructs Abraham to move from his homeland and venture to a new place, which he never lived (12:1). Abraham obeyed God and moved to the new land along with his family (Genesis 12:4).
God instructs Jonah to prophesy to the Nineveh (Jonah 1:1). Jonah disobeys by going to another city and boards a ship in an attempt to escape (Jonah 1:3). In reading chapters 1 and 2 in the same book, we learn how God responded to Jonah’s disobedience.
Because God is Who He Is, we do not get the opportunity to pass Go and collect $200. If you have played the board game, Monopoly, you will understand the reference. Jonah learned a serious lesson in disobeying God. Similarly, we experience the consequences of disobeying God and falling into sin. It is God’s grace and mercy that makes the difference, as Jonah experienced in Chapter 2.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is trusting God even though you are unable to see the road ahead. Faith is also demonstrated when we remain obedient to God’s Will when encountering obstacles and experiencing hardship.
When God instructs you to either wait, endure, move forward, relocate there, or don’t venture down a certain path, will you obey His command?
Some people have mistakenly assumed that because God did not give complete instructions or a full picture of a situation, or total view of His promise, that He has not spoken. That is not the case all the time. For those individuals, having full knowledge may very well motivate them to balk at God’s instruction.
The challenges that accompany our assignment often discourages many from answering the call. But where in Scripture does it state that work in the Christian ministry is easy or won’t be met with obstacles? Where in Scripture does God promise His children that the journey in ministry will course through smooth terrain? Read the various stories of the prophets and disciples—the many challenges they faced.
To the believers, God has already called you to assignment. Gather your faith and courage. God’s Will never changes, but yours will, if you’re in Him.
Commitment to Service
In the Kingdom of God, people are called to serve whether they are at the top or bottom. As Jesus told the disciples “…who desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26, NKJV). Whether one is rich or poor, weak or strong, the children of God are called to service in the capacity that He has assigned. In fact, the children of God are obligated to help the less fortunate (Psalm 41:1; Romans 15:1; Isaiah 35:3; Acts 20:35; Hebrews 12:2). We are capable of accomplishing the tasks by using our talents and abilities. Through application, we minister.
It is foolish for a person to complain about bad conditions in the world when he or she refuses to help improve the situation(s). The children of God are called to service. Period!!!
When we find ourselves in stagnant situations, sometimes, it may be necessary to introspect and see where we are in God. For a time, He permits us to go our own way. Then He comes knocking and we had better answer.
For those who would be honest and testify, disobedience seems to shut many things down. Suddenly, all the formal education, qualifications, connections, and money seem to be worthless when our goals are unattainable. We experience one difficulty after another until we come full circle with God and declare our availability.
As we enter a new year, journalize your talents and abilities. Pray and meditate on all that God has shown you and spoken through others, who confirm. I don’t think I need to remind you of the conversation that Mary had with her cousin, Elizabeth—how she confirmed what the angel told Mary (Luke 1:39-45).
About two years before I became an official author, at least four people told me that writing is what I should be doing. Writing comes naturally to me and they recognized my talent. Two of the people are college professors, who knew very little of my personal aspirations. The other two individuals are members of the Christian body.
I think it is worth noting that I wrote my first unofficial book in 1988 for a class assignment. I was in second grade at the time. The teacher told my grandparents that my imagination was strange and uncommon for my age. For twenty-nine years, I ran from my purpose because I was unwilling to commit to this undertaking.
Nothing seemed to turn out right for me at the time. With two graduate degrees, I was either over- or unqualified for the jobs I applied. The rejections made me realize that I was trying to be someone God did not intend for me to become. I was trying to someone else’s path. So many people have made similar mistakes.
I received those confirmations of my calling in my heart and mind. Now, committed to the assignment God has for me, opportunities come that I don’t always expect. While some have proven challenging, every task has yielded its’ own rewards. Take care of God’s Kingdom and He will take care of you.
To the believers, God has already called you to assignment. Gather your faith and courage. His Will never changes, but yours will, if you’re in Him.