I have been trying to learn this lately . . .
Sometimes I really wonder about what God wants me to do in life, and what dreams I should be pursuing. I sometimes question whether its wrong for me to want to be a part of something big, or whether that is what in fact God is wanting from me. I don’t have a script, and I don’t have a lesson plan. So, that leaves walking by faith. God has been teaching me a lot about that the last few years, and I am so grateful. But, I came back to the question this morning “What dreams should I be actively pursuing right now?” I wanted Bible answers, so I thought immediately of Proverbs 3:5-6. It reads,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
I’ve always loved this passage the comfort that it offers. However, today I decided to read the entire chapter and get a feel for what Solomon might have been trying to communicate in this passage. What I found was a great model for success in my life. The chapter is structured with a series of commands each followed by a reward. Let me share it with you.
1. Don’t forget previous biblical teaching, but keep the commandments that you’ve heard.
–>This will add years to your life and give you peace.
2. Keep mercy, steadfast love, and faithfulness close to you.
–>This will bring you favor and good success on earth and in heaven.
3. Trust God, not your own knowledge.
4. Realize God in everything.
–>God will set the path of your journey.
5. Don’t think much of yourself or your wisdom.
–>This will be healing and refreshment for your body.
6. Give God the first and best.
–>Your wealth will increase all the more.
7. Don’t despise discipline.
–>God only disciplines his sons and daughters in love.
This only takes you through verse 12 of the chapter, but there are many more guidelines for how to live a successful life throughout the rest of the chapter. Solomon talks through how and why to go hard after godly wisdom. He talks about practical relationship issues that are important to deal with if you are going to be successful with men on earth.
Now, I would like to mention that I am not here promoting the philosophy that Christians have everything great going for them and that they will never suffer, and if they follow all of the rules, then God is always going to bless them. God will bless for obedience. However, there is also the very poignant reality of sin in this world. Just because we follow a list of dos or don’ts does not mean that life is going to be perfect. I could try my best to follow every single item in this list perfectly and God may still not grant me the success I want, but He will grant success in His own way. The other huge factor in the pursuit of success in this life is trust, realizing that God’s version of success and your version might not be the same. If you are unwilling to accept that, then none of these will matter.
Prayerfully consider what God wants you to do in this life, see Him in every part of it, go hard after it, and be willing to let Him determine the outcome.
So . . . a combination of thoughts are coming together here tonight. I am currently reading a really good book (well, 3 actually, but one that is contributing to this post.) about learning to be content. I’m not going to expound on the matter, because I’ve not yet learned it. But I am encouraged. I’m encouraged to know that the reason I can be content with what I have and where I am right now is because I have a God that is in control of my life, who has already counted out my portion and is making my way secure. I can be content with who I am, because I have a sovereign Creator who made me like this. There is no reason to be angry or cantankerous over the circumstances I find myself in, or the little imperfections I’m unhappy with – because who really is putting all of that on my shoulders to be responsible for? Rather, I am simply a reflection of a much bigger, better, awesomer God. Every thing that is imperfect in me, He loves me in spite of. Every difficult thing that I find myself facing, He knows a way to handle. It’s all about Him, and it’s not about me.
This quote was in the book I’m reading today:
Two women looked through prison bars,
One saw mud, the other saw stars.
And I came across this clip tonight while tumbling around on youtube and tumblr. This video is not going to share the ultimate source and meaning of joy as I believe it to be, but at the same time, you cannot watch it without being grateful for all that you do have, and realizing that there is so much more to life that the things you own and the way you look.