Friday, November 21, 2008

Practical lesson

We serve a very interesting God. Powerful, and a great teacher. Even in Isaiah it is written (chapter 11 I think), that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

Yes, I've been learning a lot more about God daily. Started with about the time I went for the Pri 6 study camp. Read Man In The Mirror, Welcome Holy Spirit, Bondage Breaker and now I'm into Victory over Darkness. The last 2 books are by Neil Anderson. Fantastic writer.

And one most interesting lesson is this (I'll have to make this a little ambiguous cuz info is restricted), this last week, my plans for the first 2 weeks of December have been badly threatened. This is a period of time which I have been looking forward to for quite long. A few important events. Namely, childrens' camp, the marathon, youth camp. All precious to me.

Things are clearly not under my control. Anything I can do righteously has already been done. I am struggling with anxiety and anger (since I am, how should I put it, suffering from unjust, clearly unethical decisions). I don't have things going my way. And that being said, I am rather sure my motives are quite correct. I want to serve God, I want to experience the power of the Holy Spirit moving, I want to be with the children, I want to get to know the youth better, I want to run to keep my body fit even after I return to civilian life.

And then, as I started to struggle with all these, I continued to pray and seek God, in the midst of anxiety and confusion. And out of the book I am reading came things such as this

"What if a pastor's goal is to reach his community for Christ? Good goal? It is a wonderful desire, but if his sense of worth and success as a pastor is dependent on that happening, he will experience tremendous emotional turmoil. Every person in the community can block his goal.
If our goals can be blocked or uncertain, how do we respond to someone or something that threatens our success? We may attempt to control or manipulate people or circumstances who stand between us and the achievement of our goal."

And then it goes on to explain the difference between godly desires and godly goals. Goals (whether you agree with the semantics or not is another matter) are things that we head towards, that we base our feelings of success and significance on. If we don't get our goals, we become angry, anxious or depressed. If the goals are godly, they should be reach-able. I.e. things we can influence and control with God's help. E.g. I want to be a caring Sunday School teacher who serves God and am humble and responsible to nourish my children with God's word as best as I can.

Desires would be things we want, just as it is written that the Father desires that all men repent of their sins, and that no one should be lost to the fires of hell. But yet, even as the Father desires, these things do not necessarily happen. We too have godly desires, godly wants. E.g. I want to go to Christian camps, I want my kids in church to grow up to become godly men and women. And these may be borne out of very honourable, biblical motives. But if they become our goals, what we live for, then we are going to be sorely disappointed if they do not come to pass. The issue is that these desires are out of our control.

Have godly goals. And make sure that these goals are biblically sound and right with God. Nothing can stand in God's way. We will, as long as we walk in the light of God, achieve these goals. Our God will see to that.

Have godly desires. Chase right dreams. But do not base your measure of self-worth, your countenance and your sense of success on these. They are for you to care about, but not for you to grow angry, anxious or if they do not reach fruition, sore or bitter about.

I hope that you learn 2 lessons from this. First, the one above, and second, that God is most amazing.

Amazing since He chose to give me a practical lesson out of the theology and biblical truth taught in a book. It's almost as if my school teacher went like "Class, close your books, I'm going to show you how this scientific law works at the lab. You'll understand much better when we get there. You will be able to see and feel for yourself what you have just read."

Humorous God too. I found it kinda funny that God chose to teach me a lesson in such a way. Sorta like, c'mon Lord, you gotta be kidding, you're teaching me this lesson this way? I suppose this is your idea of a joke? ...Okay, it's funny, yes. You win.

Well, I know not what's gonna happen. Life sure is unpredictable where I am. But I just know God has His purposes. And I can see some growth, I can see reason and God's hand in the things that are happening.

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