Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Are you ready?

Often I find myself asking God questions and telling Him that I want to know His plans for me. What am I going to do for my career? Who am I going to marry? Where am I going to live? Am I going to be a missionary? I hate not knowing... Sometimes I get so impatient.

I sometimes tell myself if I could just know exactly what was going to happen, then my life would be simpler. But then I realize that if I knew what my future would bring I would probably be scared to death. And what if I wasn't ready to know or to do this career yet, to meet this man yet, to live in this place with this certain responsibility yet? And what if it didn't matter so much about what I want and what my dreams are, so much as what God wants and how I can follow Him.

Already I have seen God's fingerprints in my life in such crazy ways. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that God is real or that it has been Him who has his hand on me. He has taken me to places I only dreamed of doing and transformed my character literally into a different person with different values and a different college major. Yet the more I know God, the more I realize I am so far away from Him. The more I know, the more selfish and rebellious I realize that I am. And each day as God increases awareness in me, I must arise to choose to follow God to this new thing.

Something I learned in a sermon the other day is that God wants three things in order to reveal His will to you. Now I don't believe that God goes through the checklist and I think sometimes He just shows you because God is God and does as He thinks and knows best. But it makes sense that God desires these three things from us:

*Purity of Heart
*Desire to follow God and do what He shows

The first of these is obedience. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to Christ. We are not our own we will always have a master. The difference is that one master chooses to love us and adopt us as children while the other chooses to manipulate and use us for his own good all the while destroying us.

Do we obey God in the things He has already revealed to us? Are we following the truths that He has shown us? The little things matter (the music and movies have been a big temptation area to me lately). God is not going to continue to reveal more truth to us if we cannot show Him we are willing to obey.

The second of these is purity of heart. What are our motives? Why do we really want these things? What are the desires or thoughts behind them? If we are seeking selfish gain, worldly possessions, or side idols we are not purely seeking Christ and His direction for our life? If we are saying "Now, now, now" then maybe we are lustfully or selfishly following emotions or fads. For impulses are often not of Christ but the things of God are patient, clean, purified by time of trial.

In Ezekiel 20 the Lord God says "Have you come to inquire of me? As you live, I will not be inquired of you." He tells Israel that He will not answer any more questions for them- that He will not reveal anything else to them. It continues to talk in Ezekiel about the reason for this and it is because the Israelites have been rebellious, they have not obeyed what God has already asked them and they are not ready to obey something else.

Finally, if we want God to reveal His will. He must ask us "Are you ready for my answer? Are you ready to listen and obey?" If we are not to that point yet, then asking God will do no good for I think often He wants to bless us or teach us yet we are not ready to listen.

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