Posted by: John Gilmore | September 10, 2006

The Will of God

Have you ever wondered if the life you were leading was God’s will or your own? There were moments in my life where I would stop and think about my career and the life I was leading and wonder – is this really what God wants me to do? These moments were typically preceded by some problem I was dealing with – maybe a quarter that didn’t meet the expectations of the company I worked for, disappointment over a raise or bonus, a stressful situation, etc. I would begin to think that there must be more to this life than success and wealth and the pursuit of this stuff. They seemed such empty pursuits at these times. Inherently, these thoughts would fade as the problems I was dealing with would bring me back to world. In this post, we’re going to discuss the topic of God’s will for our lives. What is it? Are we required to follow it? How do we know when we’ve found it?

I currently meet Wednesday mornings with a Men’s Bible study group. We’re currently discussing this topic and are reading a book on the subject of God’s will. The author speaks of God’s sovereign will – His unseen work and plan for the world that is always moving forward. The book also mentions His moral will – how we should live our lives according to His Word. This would include the 10 commandments and other instructions throughout the Bible on how we should walk in His ways and avoid temptation and resist the devil and his evil ways.

I don’t think any Christian would debate that God is in control and His plan for the world is always moving forward. The Lord’s will – will be done. The Bible tells us this. The Bible is also clear that we are to follow God’s moral will. We should write the Lord’s laws in our hearts and in our minds. We should always follow His moral laws and reject temptations and sin which will protect us against Satan’s schemes. This also is very clear in the Bible. What sparks much debate, and is the focus of the book we’re reading, is the subject of individual will. Does God have an individual will for each one of us (typically referred to as the Traditional View)? The author of the book we’re reading spends a great deal of time debating many different thoughts on the subject. To me, all of the debate in the book tends to cloud what I feel is clear. It reads like a Doctorate Dissertation – because it is – it was the Author’s dissertation at Seminary. I suppose if you’re writing a dissertation, it’s fine to examine all of the possible ideas on the subject you’re studying, but when you’re personally seeking answers about something as serious as God’s will, I feel it’s always better to get right to the point. It’s much better to search scripture for the answers you’re seeking with a humble heart – and don’t be afraid of the truth. Don’t look for your answer, but seek God’s answer. Many people search scripture looking for anything that could validate their position instead of seeking God’s position. What we are about to see is that the Bible is clear on this subject – if we want to know God and enter the kingdom of heaven, we had better seek and find the Lord and His will for us.

God isn’t going to tell you what to eat for breakfast and constantly tell us which decision to make for all of the decisions we make daily – he gives us freedom to make choices within His moral will. However, I believe that each of us was created by God for a specific reason. God will use the gifts and talents He gave to us to further His kingdom and destroy the works of Satan – if we first seek Him will all of our hearts and His will for us. It doesn’t make sense to me that God would create us, then not give each of us specific guidance. As always, let’s not rely on our own understanding, but see what the Lord’s Word says about this subject.

It would not be hard to write hundreds of pages on this subject, but I believe we can see very clearly what is expected of us if we’re not afraid of the truth. Since we are to model our lives on the life of Jesus, let’s start by going straight to the words of Jesus and see what He has to say to us about this subject.

“Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.” (John 5:19-20)

So, we see that Jesus does what He sees His Father doing. He is following His Father’s will for Him. Don’t miss the last sentence of verse 20. God loves His Son and shows Him all that He does. I believe this is a clear message for us. If you become a born again child of God, He will show you what He is doing in the world. You will be able to ‘see’ in the spiritual and understand what is going on in the world from a Biblical perspective – God’s perspective. Let’s look at another episode in Jesus’ life that relates to God’s will.

“Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19:5-11)

What are we told here? Pilate tells Jesus that he has the power to kill or save Him. How does Jesus respond? Jesus tells Pilate that he has this power not because of who Pilate is or because of his title, but because God the Father gave it to him. Jesus is following the will of God and this is where it leads. Not being able to discern anything spiritual, Pilate looks at the situation from a worldly view. To him, Jesus is only a man who is being wrongly accused and is in danger of losing His life. Pilate is probably accustomed to people pleading for their lives. He sees none of this here. No pleading, no begging. Jesus knows this is His Father’s plan for Him. Why should He be afraid? I imagine Jesus calmly staring into his eyes as he says this. Jesus’ words should have given him pause……in the same way that David’s words should have given Goliath pause. What Jesus said to Pilate is not normal under those circumstances. Since Pilate does not know the Lord and is unable to spiritually ‘see’ the situation, he has no idea what is really happening here. He cannot see that God Himself has brought Jesus to him in this place, in this condition….but Jesus knows. Always remember, each of us will go through tribulation and trials in this life. If you’re following the Lord’s will, you should expect it. These trials strengthen your faith. These trials ‘refine’ you and strengthen your character. Many ‘teachers’ today preach how God wants to bless you and how you can make this happen by being ‘positive’….very similar to what you would find in secular ‘self-help’ books. They never mention what God requires of us for salvation (we’ll discuss in more detail later) and what God considers blessing. Yes, God will bless and watch over those that love him because they believe in Him and His Son and are walking in His ways – following Jesus. But every true Christian knows that in this world, there are no guarantees of worldly success. God may also bless you by taking away your worldly wealth to strip away all of the things hindering your spiritual maturity – and then give it back when you are ready to do greater things for Him. Or you may find yourself in a situation like Job – not understanding why you are in a particular situation. Remember, this is about Him, not you. True believers do whatever the Lord asks, regardless of what it costs them. Why? Their focus is not here, but on their true home in heaven. This world and its ruler offer us nothing of real value. Our treasure and reward awaits us in heaven.

There may be those that say Jesus and the Lord’s prophets were ‘special’ circumstances and that God doesn’t necessarily have a plan for you and me. What does Jesus say about this?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Mathew 7:21-23)

To me, this is one of the clearest warnings in the Bible. What do these verses tell us? You must do the will of God to enter heaven. It can’t get any clearer than this. Jesus is telling us that any true child of God will be able to spiritually discern what the Lord asks them to do…..and then they will do what He asks. Some will say that this is only referring to God’s moral will. Do we ‘do’ God’s moral will or do we obey His moral will? We obey His moral will. We ‘do’ what the Lord asks us to do in this world. Do angels just obey God’s moral will or do they do what he asks them to do? Angels always do what God asks them to do – which is why angels and true children of God in this world are referred to as servants of the Lord.

What else do these verses tell us? They tell us that many in the world will proclaim to be Christian. They will claim allegiance to Jesus. They will tell everyone that they are Christian and do good things for God. What does Jesus tell them on the day of judgment? ‘I never knew you.’ Imagine thinking that you were entering through the narrow gate your whole life, but when you stood before the Lord, He made it clear to you that you never listened to Him, never followed Him, never heeded His warnings and humbled yourself and as a result, you will face eternal punishment. These verses should wake all of us up! Take a look at many churches today – many attend church on Sundays, but they lead secular, worldly lives. I know because I led my life this way. I never asked God for His will for my life, or even knew Him, because I was too busy trying to make money, have a successful career, etc. I thought I was living a Christian life. I thought this because I never read the Bible on my own. I never read the warnings from the Lord. I know now. It’s time for each of us to examine our lives and truly humble ourselves, read the Bible and pray to the Lord so that we all know the Lord and allow Him to do His work in us. Instead of hearing ‘I never knew you’ on that day, you will instead hear ‘Welcome home my good and faithful servant’ as the Lord welcomes you into heaven. So, the very difficult question you must ask yourself is this – do I know the Lord? Can I discern His will for me? Don’t miss the very important message in verse 23. Jesus refers to these people who do not do God’s will as ‘evildoers’. They chose not to do the will of God, but followed their own worldly ways.

So, I believe that Jesus’ message is clear to us – we must do the will of God. Let’s look at other verses:

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mathew 10:39)

This is one of those verses that you don’t hear quoted very often, but one that gives us clear guidance and a warning. At first glance, it seems confusing and difficult to understand. How can I find my life and then lose it? How can losing my life for Jesus allow me to find it? The key is determining what ‘it’ is. ‘It’ is eternal life. So, if you are focused on your life in this world, essentially focused on the world, then you will lose eternal life. If you ‘lose’ your worldly life (overcome the world and its temptations, pleasures, deceptions, etc.) for Jesus, then you will find eternal life through Him. If you lose your worldly life, follow Jesus and are born again, you will start walking down the Lord’s path for you. You will begin to hear His voice and do what He asks you to do.

You are beginning to see how the gospel according to Jesus differs from what many Christian churches are teaching today. You will probably hear lots of positive, uplifting messages in many churches, but will you hear what’s most important? Will you hear the things that convict us of our sins and straighten our paths – those things that are difficult to hear, but offer us the truth? You will never hear Jesus say that you only need to ‘accept’ Him. What you do hear Him say is that He must be Lord of your life, not just your Savior. You must overcome the world and follow Him – and He wasn’t just talking to the Apostles. He never says that it’s A-OK to focus on our careers, wealth and the world while giving Him a fraction of our lives. Jesus tells us just the opposite. You must weigh this decision carefully because the truth of Jesus’ words tells us that following Him could cost you everything in this life – your relationships with family and friends, your wealth and even your life. Contrary to what many churches seem to be teaching – Jesus did not come to bring peace to the world. The good news is that you will inherit eternal life if you truly follow Him. We’ll explore this further in another post.

Let’s continue with our discussion of God’s will. I’m sure there are many who will say that I give money to charities and do good works – isn’t this enough? Isn’t this God’s will for me? You may consider things that you do righteous acts. What does God say about the plans of human beings – whether or not we consider them good?

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

I believe this verse makes it clear – you’re not doing God’s will simply because you consider something good or righteous. If you’re only doing what you want to do, God make it clear what he thinks of this.

How can we determine God’s will?

“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:6-14)

We can discern God’s words and truths by maturing spiritually. If we humble ourselves, read the Bible, believe Jesus died for us, are born again by God and pray for wisdom and knowledge, we will begin to walk down the Lord’s path for us to spiritual maturity. Once mature, we hear and accept the things of God. What does the man without God’s Spirit think about the things of God? They are foolishness. Throughout human history, people have rejected God’s truths and rejected His prophets and even rejected His Son. Why? They were worldly people, not spiritually mature and could not understand. God tells us that the world’s wisdom is foolishness and the world tells us the things of God are foolishness. Who are you going to believe?

Does the Lord tell us He has plans for us? I believe the answer is yes. The following verses were written for the nation of Israel, but I believe they are for all of us.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

These words are comforting to me. The God we serve, the Sovereign Lord over all of creation, listens to us – weak, broken human beings living in a fallen world. Even though we have sinned against Him, He has never given up on us. Instead of leaving us here to perish in our sin, He has provided us a way back to Him. If each of us would just put down our Blackberries, cell phones, iPhones and forget all of the worldly distractions around us for just a few hours and read the Bible and pray, the truth would begin to be revealed to each of us. The truth would begin to replace the lies, love would begin to replace hate, the joy of knowing our Creator would replace feelings of loneliness, hope would replace hopelessness, courage would replace fear. Unfortunately, the world and its ruler will do everything they can to prevent you from doing this. Why? Satan wants to destroy you completely. What does he tell you through the world and the stuff in it – don’t read the Bible, don’t seek the Lord, don’t listen to Jesus, don’t do the Lord’s will. There’s another reason why children of God experience spiritual warfare – the devil would prefer that you didn’t tear down his strongholds and destroy his works. He would prefer that you not know the truth, and failing to stop you from learning the truth, he will try to stop you from telling others the truth. It’s as simple as that. Because if you are spiritually mature and listen and follow Jesus, that’s what you’re going to do – spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and destroy Satan’s works. If we truly follow God’s will, then we will fight Satan and demons, just as the Lord’s angels do. The Lord will destroy the devil’s works through you. If you think you are insignificant and could not possibly do these things, you would be correct to think this if you stay in your present spiritual condition. I would have told you the same thing two years ago. By following the Lord and where He led me, by walking in His ways and learning from Him, I am no longer afraid. If I would have seen the end of my life and the things required of me from the standpoint of my spiritual condition two years ago, I would have probably taken my family and ran away from all of this. The question becomes – do I truly believe? Do I truly trust the Lord? Do I really believe He will deliver me? If you allow Him to transform you, the answers will all be yes.

Let’s get back to our discussion on the Lord’s will.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Mathew 7:13-14)

“He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’” (Luke 13:23-25)

Once again, in Mathew verse 14, ‘life’ is referring to eternal life. What is the narrow road that leads to eternal life? The narrow gate is for those who trust in Jesus and overcome the world to follow Him – whatever the cost. The people who enter through the narrow gate are true believers – Christ’s true church. What is the broad road that leads to eternal destruction? This is the worldly path. This is the path that tells you it’s ok to focus on wealth, power, fame, etc. in this world. This path is for those that reject the Lord’s offer of salvation and focus on the world, instead of Him. Don’t miss a very important message here. Do many enter through the narrow gate or the wide gate? Many enter through the wide gate. Many follow the path to eternal destruction. When God says many, He means many. We are talking about the vast majority of the human race. Few enter through the narrow gate and follow the narrow path that leads to life. How did these ‘few’ end up on the narrow path? By chance? No. Jesus makes it clear – they ‘found’ it. What did they find? They found Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven. How do you find something? You look for it or, in other words, you seek it. So, we are told that those who truly seek the Lord, find Him and His path for them. If we seek God, does the Bible tell us we will find Him? Absolutely. We have already read Jeremiah 29:11 above in the Old Testament, here are the same words told to us by Jesus in the New Testament. The message here is that those few who truly seek God throughout human history – find him.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Mathew 7:7-8)

Seek God and His ways with all of your heart and you will find Him. He will reveal Himself to you in a way that you probably could not have imagined, but it will be a way that makes it clear to you that you have found Him. Once this happens, you and how you view the world will change forever.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:20-21)

As I mentioned earlier, we could spend a lot of time on this subject because there are many verses in the Bible that tell us exactly what we must do to inherit eternal life. The reason so many people follow the broad road is that they ignore what the Lord tells us. Many never overcome the world because they love the world and choose its path. They choose not to read the Lord’s Word and pray to Him, and by doing so, choose not to find Him. He even knocks and asks to be let in, but they refuse – to their own destruction.

“This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” (1 John 5:2-4)

How do we show our love for God? By obeying His commands. There is another important message here. We are told that God’s commands are not burdensome. The implication here is that God’s commands will contradict the world. I believe this is a message for those who are maturing spiritually. God may ask us to do things that are the complete opposite of what we expect. The reason we think this way is that we have all grown up in the world and have conformed to worldly thinking and logic. We have been told to live by sight – only those things that we can see and feel. The Bible tells us something different. God tells us that the righteous live by faith – we trust in the One who is not seen. Once you have overcome the world, you no longer try to understand everything that is asked of you, you will simply trust the Lord.

We’ll finish this post with a final, very important lesson given to us by Jesus. Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane the night before He is to be crucified for us.

“He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:35-36)

Jesus knew what He faced. I can only imagine the stress and warfare He was dealing with. Even though He knew how difficult His path was, He prayed that God’s will be done. Not His will, but His Father’s will. If His Father’s will took Him to be tortured and crucified on the cross, then this is what He desired – His Father’s will being accomplished, regardless of what it cost Him. Where has He received His reward? In heaven – where He sits with all power and authority over heaven and earth – which is where the Bible tells us to store up our treasure. When things get difficult for us, should we give up? Should we give in to the world? No. We must endure and pray that the Lord’s will be done, regardless of the cost to us.
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Today is February 6, 2009. I wrote the post above sometime in 2006. I recently attended a seminar by Bruce Wilkinson at Stonemill Church in Atlanta entitled ‘You were born for this’. Since the topic of the seminar obviously relates to the post above – I thought it would be a good idea to share some of Bruce’s teaching with you. I’m going to keep this short and focus on the Scripture that Bruce used to confirm his message that you were born for a reason. How do we know this? Let’s find out.

If you listen carefully, you will hear many people in the world tell us that God created us to worship Him or praise Him – from teachers, musicians, etc. While we should worship and praise our Creator – is this why we were created? No. The Bible is actually quite clear on why we were created. We were created to do good works during our time on Earth.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

So – God created us to do good works. We’re also told that God prepared these works in advance – meaning that He prepared works for us to do before we were born. That’s a very big statement in a little verse. This eye-opening verse answers one of life’s great questions – we were created for a reason. You and I are not cosmic accidents, we are not a result of some random ‘big bang’ event nor did our ‘ancestors’ climb out of some primordial soup. The Bible makes is clear – once you repent and ask God for forgiveness – once you overcome the world and begin following your Creator – you will be given works to do for Him.

Since there is so much confusion within the world today concerning this topic – let’s be sure we’re all clear. We are not saved by works – we are saved from eternal judgment by faith that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our sins.

The previous two verses in Ephesians make this clear:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Nothing you can do will ‘earn’ you salvation. It is a gift from God Himself. Once we overcome the world, ask for forgiveness for our sins and believe in God and His plan – the Lord will regenerate you spiritually. Once you are born again by the Spirit of God – you are saved from judgment and you will be given God’s individual plan for you through His Spirit.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

We’re also shown what the Lord thinks about evil people throughout the world who focus on themselves and their evil plans – and not Him.

“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the LORD, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin” (Isaiah 30:1)

“This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’ But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ “(Jeremiah 18:11-12)

Many churches and religions throughout the world today teach that works will actually ‘save’ you. They tell you that you must do certain things, perform certain rituals, eat certain foods, say certain prayers, ‘confess’ your sins to people, pray in a certain manner, etc. Once again, the world tries to confuse what God has made clear. It is by grace that you have the opportunity to escape eternal judgment. God made the choice to give us a chance to be with Him in eternity. God gave us a redemptive plan because He loves us and wants us to overcome our fallen state.

As we’ve done with other subjects, let’s go straight to what Jesus tells us concerning our works on Earth. Jesus made it clear that His focus was on His Father’s will during His time on earth.

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. (John 4:34).

“For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:36)

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me.” (John 9:4)

Crystal clear – God gives His children work to do and He expects them to do it. If there is any doubt remaining regarding whether God gives us work to do – we see Jesus commenting on His church’s works in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. They have been given work to do – and Jesus then comments on their efforts.

“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil.” (Revelation 2:2)

“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. (Revelation 2:19)

‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. (Revelation 3:1)

“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” (Revelation 3:8)

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.” (Revelation 3:15)

If there is still any doubt about whether God gives his children work to do in this world, I believe the following verse is the final message to alleviate any doubt you may have.

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations” (Revelation 2:26)

We must continue to do the will of God until the end of our lives. Crystal Clear. The truth is that you are alive today – at this time, in this place, surrounded by these people – because God has a plan for you. The world will tell you to ignore God and His plans because our enemy does not want you to follow your Creator – plain and simple.

The question you must ask yourself – whether or not you consider yourself a Christian – is this – do I know what God is asking me to do? What is God giving me to do to build His kingdom and fight the enemy? If you honestly don’t know – then there are two possible reasons. You are truly born again, but are wandering. You have somehow allowed the world to pull you away from God and His plan for you. You have been justified by faith, but you are missing out on much of what God has planned for you. As we’re told in James – your faith is dying because you are not putting your faith to work. If this describes you, it’s time for you to get serious and repent – and get moving spiritually so that God can use you.

The second possibility is the obvious one – you don’t know God. For whatever reason, you have chosen to go your own way. You have been solely focused on the world – and have ignored your Father’s calling. It’s time for you to seriously contemplate where you are and where you’re going. Tired of listening to the world and its lies? Tired of fighting to stay afloat in a world that is sinking? Tired of having no hope and no real purpose? Tired of having so many questions – but so few answers? It’s time for you to ask for forgiveness for your sins. It’s time to get off the sidelines of life and get in the grand game. It’s time to come home.

Until May of 2005, I chased after the world. I thought that I was doing A-OK. I would tell you I was a Christian – but the truth was that I didn’t even know what that really meant. To me, being a Christian meant going to church most Sundays, occasionally helping people – and then doing whatever I wanted. I look back on my life until that point and now I realize how empty I was. I had not overcome the world, I had not been regenerated by God and I was certainly not following God’s will for me. I focused on my career and the pursuit of money because I was – bored. (If I had to name one thing that poses a great spiritual danger to men in this world – it would be boredom) I had a wonderful family and friends, but being a man – I needed something that was missing. I needed a battle to fight (ever wonder why men love to watch Braveheart, 300, The Matrix, etc?). Since I didn’t have a battle to fight or a real purpose – I created my own battles in my mind. I set worldly goals for myself – and then focused on achieving those goals. As I achieved each goal – I didn’t feel as good as I thought I would – and I would become bored again and strive for my next objective. I had unknowingly placed myself on a worldly treadmill where it didn’t matter how fast I achieved my goals or how quickly I excelled – the treadmill just kept speeding up. I could never quite reach that carrot that was dangling in front of me – more money, more power, more glory, more stuff, etc. etc. I can see now how Satan was pulling me away from the Light. He was very deceptively leading me into the darkness of the world.

Since I had chosen to stay on the sidelines of God’s battle against our enemy – I needed something else to focus on. Instead of following God’s plan – I was creating my own. Once I realized the error of my ways, asked God to forgive me and promised Him that I would do whatever He asked – everything changed. I have spent the past 3 ½ years doing the works I have been given to do. I have been set free and the treadmill is gone. Where is the Lord leading me? I have an idea – but for now – I will simply continue to do what is given to me. I will run the race placed before me – one step at a time. If you now understand what I’m saying – it’s time for you to do the same.

jg

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