Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hitting a Wall for Christmas

UC Berkeley
 Christmas can be an odd time for a college student.  Finals are usually completed, grades are in, and you are back at home with your family.  This can be difficult because for the past few months, you have had almost total control of your schedule and now you must fit in with the ebb and flow of family life.  For those of you living at home there can be a similar letdown as there is no longer an excuse (studying) for not going along with every family outing.  It can be unsettling to see how things seem to revert to feeling like the high school years and you can get to the point of wondering if anything has actually changed.  But that is not what is on my heart right now...

If you have been led by God, is it possible to fail?  

Another powerful emotion you may be battling is doubt.  If your grades were less than stellar or your interest in your major has waned, powerful doubts can arise.  Throw in a little parental pressure and it can get very stressful.

 God sometimes allows failure to prepare us for something later.  Moses got ahead of God’s timing and it forced him to run for his life (Exodus 2:11-15).  The above passage and Hebrews 11:24-27 seems to suggest that Moses discerned his purpose long before the burning bush. 

After a long time in the desert, he was ready to be used by God to lead Israel out of Egypt.   Moses learned to rely on God's power over his own.

Failures and the resulting lessons give us wisdom for something down the line.  When something goes wrong, then prayerfully examine what happened. Some questions have an answer that can only be comprehended by God Himself, so don’t be discouraged if you never figure it out.  You will always have some unanswered questions because God is infinite in His thinking and we are not (Isaiah 55:8-9) (1 Corinthians 13:9-12).

This is the hard part in chasing a dream.  Sometimes the chase is the dream (2 Cor 4:17).   The process of following God and knowing God are of more value than anything you will accomplish (Matthew 7:21-23). 

What happens when you hit a wall?  If you are going to be a doctor and you cannot pass your pre-med courses, there is a problem. Only a select few pre-med students are admitted to medical schools.   You may need to switch plans.  You are going to need stellar grades to be admitted to graduate school. If you are doing poorly in college, a self-analysis is needed. 
You may get called by God to do something really big. If you are submitted to the purpose of bringing glory to God these calls will come your way, so be ready.   Some of the most powerful ministries were mocked by outsiders, but they believed in the vision that was given to them by God.  They believed that if God commanded them to do it, He would provide all that was necessary for it to be accomplished (Philippians 4:19).  

 The difficulty is that only when a person is fully submitted to a close relationship with God and a heart to obey at all costs, will the vision be given (John 14:15-17).   God allows many mysteries to come into your life, so be ready to be flummoxed (Isaiah 55:9).  When God tells us to do something and we do it, we expect success, but God just wants us to do it and leave the results to Him.  You may be a small part in a long chain of events the leads to God being glorified.  You don’t always get to see the results of your effort, so you need to garner satisfaction from being faithful rather than seeing results (Hebrews 11:39-40).  

 When you are with God in Heaven, all will make sense and you will see the fruits of your obedience.  In fact you should desire that your acts of faith are noticed only by God, otherwise you are robbed of your true reward for that action (Matthew 6:2-4). This will be your crown.  If some things are beyond your ability for comprehension, force yourself to rest in the fact that He is in control and it all will make sense later.

             Until you are struck with a clear goal it is wise to walk the road God has you on now because He probably put you there (1 Corinthians 7:17)God has something in store for you and it usually involves serving others in some capacity.  The word of God, Your gifts, abilities, experiences, personality and godly people who speak into your life all combine to show you where you should go.  You will need to show determination in the face of opposition once you have your marching orders. When sources outside the above mentioned are saying what you can and can’t do, you must ignore them (Psalm 1:1). 

 Following God is both exciting and scary, because you have given up the right to direct your steps as you see fit. Trusting Him with your life's direction is very scary, but when you focus on the object of your trust (Jesus) it becomes natural. (Proverbs 3:5-6)