February 27, 2010

Imma be . . .


I must preface this post by saying that this is merely a venting of my confusion, not at all an outpouring of revelation or any insight. I'm just feeling a little lost and I'm going to express that now.

On a side note, I am SO excited about the recent influx of new bloggers (or return thereof) that I am friends with. It makes me want to write more. But, I also feel like I need something profound or insightful before I can post . . . alas, this post is not going to be either, as I mentioned just now. So with a loud sigh, here I go.

So . . . God's will. God's sovereign will, God's moral will, God's individual will (or the theory of).

I'm here to talk about the idea of God's individual will for one's life . . . and how I am stumped.

I am bad at making decisions for my own life. I want God to take the wheel. I want to trust that my loving Father is guiding my course through everyday life, and that takes a lot of pressure off of me having to make decisions. There are little things I'd like to have the freedom to choose, like what kind of caffeinated beverage I'm going to drink in the morning or how long I'm going to go running, but that stuff is so insignificant that I'm cool with that level of decisiveness resting upon me.

I started reading this book called "Decision Making and the Will of God" by Garry Friesen.

J.D. has also spoken on the will of God . . . how it's more of a direction than a center of a target, more of a compass than a charted map.

I understand that I cannot sit at home and wait for the audible voice of my creator to tell me when to go to the gym, what color shoes I need to wear, or what route to take to get to the mall. I also understand that it would be foolish to rely only on my desires, feelings and opinions throughout the course of my existence, without acknowledging how God might want me to live my life.

So this book is challenging the theory of individual will - does God actually have a specific, individual will for each of us? A course that He desires us to take specifically - what job to take, who to marry, where to live, etc?

So far, what I'm getting is "no." What I'm gathering from the book is that God has a moral will for how He desires every believer to live, and basically you have freedom and responsibility when it comes to decision making. So . . . if I was choosing whom to marry, I would evaluate whether it's a wise decision and if it's in the moral will of God, if it's a Biblical decision, and then go from there. I have that freedom.

Well, I don't know that I like that. I want God to pick out who I'm going to marry. Shoot, I don't even know if there is a future hubby out there. I want God to determine those things and set the course for me, dang it!

I'm having a lot of difficulty trying to understand this - let's be honest, the book is really long and I don't want to read it. I am getting frustrated even writing this blog . . . just thinking about it.

I think the biggest issue is that it's making God feel distant. I've always believed that God is very personal - He created the stars in the sky, but He also knows how many hairs are on my head . . . He knew me before I was born (For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. -Psalm 139:13). He has adopted us to be His children (How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! -1 John 3:1) . . . He personally guided Israel through the desert, He spoke and personally guided Moses, Joshua, David, Paul . . . I could go on.

Which leads me to see God's character. Which leads me to believe that He will guide and direct me . . . that He loves me and is watching over me, that He is in loving control and is orchestrating and weaving together the details of my life.

And I have seen it from experience - from my own life and from others. There are specific areas of my life where, without a doubt, I know that it was God who ordained certain circumstances and outcomes. And from friends - I have seen people be specifically called by God to be missionaries, or to do certain things. My dad truly believes that He was supposed to marry my mom. My grandma told me that God audibly told her that He had chosen my grandfather for her to marry.

So . . . what the crap. I'm just confused now. Have I been misinterpreting scripture? Have I been misinterpreting God's hand in my life? Have people been misled or misinterpreting God's sovereignty?

If God just has a general direction for us to follow, and doesn't have specific details like who to marry, where to live, what job to take . . . then He feels distant. Does this mean that God doesn't care about these things? Does it mean that He really isn't guiding me day to day? That He isn't as personal and intimate as I believe?

I think I'm going to bash my head into the wall. I know that this book is written by a man and it's not scripture, but it's leading me to think that I've been misinterpreting scripture all along, which changes everything. I cannot help but see God's character in scripture which shapes my view of Him and how He is working in my life. I cannot help but see His hand and His ordinance and provision evidenced by events in my own life and of those lives around me.

Yet . . . still insanely frustrated and unresolved over this.

February 14, 2010


Grace is a funny thing. I've always had issues with it. I'm sure that I've already blogged about it, even.

I read 2 Samuel 7 the other day, when God makes a covenant with David . . . He begins by reminding David of all the things He has done for him - then He promises to provide for Israel, and finishes by telling him that the Messiah will be born through David's lineage. (read 2 Samuel 7:8-16 for the details - I tried to sum it up)

What is David's response to this? Remember that David was just this random sheperd kid when God first called him . . .

"Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign Lord?

What more can David say to you?
For you know your servant, O Sovereign Lord. For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant . . . Do as you promised so that your name will be great forever. Then men will say, 'The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!'"
[2 Samuel 7:18-20,25-26]

David confesses that he is speechless at one point. Then he moves on to point out how all of this will be used to glorify God and make His name famous.

I can't help but wonder . . . how often do we meditate on God's grace, and have a loss for words in response?

How often do we truly realize and meditate on the truth, that we had nothing to do with our salvation? It's not a result of our works or anything on our part. Our salvation is purely a result of God's grace, God's unconditional love for a sinful, broken, adulterous world.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressionsit is by grace you have been saved. . . 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 2:4-5,8-9]

I want to be at a point where I am speechless as I marvel over what God has done for me . . . and then overflow with praise. I want to be able to fully grasp His grace . . . it's hard for my human brain to do so. It's easier for me to not digest it, or only think about it on a surface level, or as if it was thing of the past.

February 8, 2010


Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
-Matthew 5:15-16

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world . . .
-Philippians 2:14-15

as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone . . .
-Exodus 34:29-30

I was reading The Irresistible Revolution last night (which is an awesome book, by the way - thanks Lori!) and the author tells the story of a woman he meets on the streets, how she perceives him and his friends when they show her hospitality by bringing her into their house:

"As soon as we entered the house, she started weeping hysterically. Michelle held her as she wept. When she had gained her composure, she said, 'You are all Christians, aren't you?' Michelle and I looked at each other, startled. We had said nothing about God or Jesus, and our house doesn't have a cross in the window, a neon 'Jesus Saves' sign, or even a little Christian fish on the wall. She said, 'I know that you are Christians because you shine. I used to be in love with Jesus like that, and when I was, I shined like diamonds in the sky, like the stars. But it's a cold dark world, and I lost my shine a little while back. I lost my shine on those streets.'"

I had to stop reading and take it in. I must ask - do we look different to the world? Among the darkness, do we truly shine? I hope the answer is yes. I want to shine the way Moses' face did after He talked to the Lord . . . I want to shine the way Paul is telling us to in Philippians, the way Jesus instructs in Matthew.

I have seen my friends shine . . . and it is a beautiful privilege to witness it.

About 3 1/2 years ago, I was at my friend (and awesome mentor) Emma's wedding. The focus of the ceremony wasn't so much on her and her husband, it was on God. It might be the most memorable wedding I've been to, honestly.

The ceremony was so worshipful, from the praise songs throughout our time there, to Pastor Kelly's message. We sang "Angus Dei" (one of my favorite worship songs), and I couldn't help but marvel at Emma as she freely, passionately, without abandon, worshiped her King. She radiated. I thought to myself, I wish I was in love with Jesus like that. I was actually jealous of her passion for the Lord.

A year later, I was running from Christ, pursuing counterfeit gods and seeking my own agenda instead of God's. I was watching Fuse and the music video for "All Around Me" by Flyleaf came on.

That same, passionate, undeniable worship. I watched Lacy in the video and that same jealousy came back. Again, I thought - I wish that I loved Jesus like she does . . . I wish I had that kind of passion, I wish I was that close to God.

Do our lives cry out with passion and worship to God? When people look at us, do they see hearts that overflow with praise and adoration? I want my life to be a gigantic arrow pointing to Christ . . . I want to shine like diamonds . . . inviting the world to fall in un-abandoned, reckless love with their Savior.
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