How God Has Guided Me (PLUS Building a Backup Message)
- Because God is good, my life has not turned out like I planned.
- I didn’t get what I wanted. I spent the first 18 years of my adult life working and praying to achieve something that would have destroyed me, then was disappointed when I was spared. The Bible calls this grace.
- I have made many idols. Calvin called men “idol factories.” An idol is anything I think I must have to be happy. An idol is anything of which I say, “Jesus Christ alone is not enough to make me happy. I need something else.”
- Making idols is “success sickness” – the disease of always wanting more, and never being happy when I get it. Failure means to not get what I want, but here’s another way to think of it: Failure means to get what I want, only to find out it didn’t matter.
- 3 ways God works on me: First, he withholds things I think I can’t live without. Second, he removes things I think I can’t live without. Third, he gives me so much of what I want that I gag on it. He has taken away, and continues to take away, my desire for idols. This, too, is grace. I would call it the brutality of grace.
- God did not force me to revere him, but he made it impossible for me to be happy until I did. Ecclesiastes 3:14
- Futility is the chief tool by which God has sovereignly drawn me to himself of my own free will. Romans 8:20-21
- I am a spiritual rebel who has been conquered by grace.
- God has sovereignly orchestrated all the seemingly random circumstances of my life, and it has been good.
- In the end, because of futility and grace, I did get what I wanted. It just took a long time to understand what I really wanted – a life saturated with Christ.
- The Bible calls this process “discipleship.” As a disciple of Jesus I have learned, and I am still learning, how to abide in Christ. As a result, his joy abides in me. John 15:4-11
- I do not know where God is taking me. I no longer need to know. It is enough that he is the one I follow. I suspect that is precisely what Jesus meant when he said, “Follow me.” John 10:27-28
BUILD A BACKUP MESSAGE ABOUT HOW GOD HAS GUIDED YOU
Set aside an hour. Jot down the epiphanies you’ve had – those moments of spiritual clarity when the veil was pulled back and you saw “the truth.” Stick them in your wallet or Bible. Then you will always have a “backup” message to give if a speaker doesn’t show, or you are called upon to make some remarks. You can adapt it into a 5 minute devotion or a 30 minute testimony on the spot. You can use it as a testimony, or do a Bible meditation on one of the verses that has impacted you.
Together in the battle for men’s souls,