24 September 2010

Asking Questions - Finding Answers

Why was I created?
Why were you created?
The answer is simple: To please God.
Not for His “amusement” but because it pleased Him to do so and He wants to be pleased by us.

So, how do we please God?
Again, I think the answer is simple: By doing His will.
While the answer is simple, actually doing His will seems very difficult at times.

See, before we can do His will, we have to know what it is.
What is God’s will?
Well now…

Someone asked Jesus once what the greatest commandment was.
The unstated but full question was, “What is the most important thing God wants us to do?”
Or, “What is God’s will?”
Jesus answered by saying, in a nutshell – Love God and Love your Fellow Human.

If we truly believe something (and love is a “belief”) then our actions will follow.
If we truly love God – we will express it; we will show it; we will live it.
If we truly love our fellow human our actions should demonstrate this.
No, this is not a “works based theology”. The thoughts, the feeling, the heart must come first – then we will honestly desire to act on those things.

So that is God’s general will for us – Love Him, Love each other.
But what about God’s will for MY life as opposed to…say, oh….YOUR life?
Do you believe God created you for a specific and distinct purpose (or perhaps a few possible purposes) or just as a general plug-n-play human?
I think He created us as individuals and we all have opportunities to please Him in different ways.

I may please Him by going to the Amazon and preaching the gospel to natives while you may please Him by running a multi-million dollar company and influencing those with whom you come in contact.

I have heard good arguments for not waiting around to determine what God’s will is in one’s life. Just get moving and let Him direct you. I agree with that to an extent. But it just puts off the inevitable – “letting Him direct you”. How do we do that? How do we know if he wants us to take the left fork or the right fork? Should I stay here or move to Seattle? Does it matter?

God can obviously use us anywhere – if we are in His will. So the question remains – how do we know if we are in His will?

Well, we can study the Word to understand His character and His ways.
God would not want me to cheat on my wife or to kill an innocent – that’s easy to understand those are in the “10 Commandments”. But what about tougher questions: Should I personally sell all I own and go forth preaching His Word? Or should I make sure my kids get through college?
Should I use these skills and gifts God has provided me or those skills? What direction, Lord – what direction?

I think the answers to those questions require more than study.
I think they require more than contemplation.
I think they require listening.

Listening for God
Hearing what He has to say to us as individuals
Then listening TO God – obeying.

The first one can be very difficult to do – listening for God.
We are surrounded by noise: coworkers, schedules, deadlines, other folks talking, radios.
We surround ourselves with noise also: Movies, Internet, magazines, hobbies, chores.
Americans are culturally a busy people – go, go, go, do, do, do – accomplish, create, PRODUCE.

I think we could all benefit by taking some time out.
Taking some time out for God.
Go ahead and fence off some time for God (how terrible that sounds – doesn’t it?)
Go someplace quiet.
Physically quiet, emotionally quiet, mentally quiet.
Pray if you must.
Read the Bible if you must.

But then stop.
Stop talking. Stop reading. Just stop.

Be still and just listen.
Be still
Listen for that still, small voice.

I’ll warn you though – you may not like what you hear.
Because once you do hear it’s time to obey.
Once you listen for your Father and hear Him – it’s time to listen to your Father and obey Him.

But what if He tells me to…?
Scary, huh?

God loves you.
He has a perfect plan for you.
Do you know what it is?

A work in progress…