Lately I have been reading a lot of material on how to make big life decisions, to get some wisdom about the kinds of things I should be thinking about. Typically, the stuff I find most compelling is about relationships, particularly the marriage relationship. I love hearing people’s marriage stories: how they met; the proposal; marriage life. I love Boundless.org for their amazing engagement stories, check them out here. It is fascinating to see how little events/decisions/conversations, that seem unrelated at the time, connect to make story that makes sense in “the bigger picture”. Do read!
But I do not want to talk primarily about relationships today. This post is about the journey God’s been taking me on regarding how to hear his voice and how to know what to do. For the last while I feel like the biggest questions in my heart and mind have been:
How do I hear God?
How do I know if it is really God?
What if He asks me to something I do not want to do?
At this point in my journey the last question is the loudest and most urgent. I believe that I hear from God, I am confident that I can usually tell the difference between His voice and other voices but I am terrified that He will ask me to do something I really do not want to do! I mean this in the ultimate sense. Like He might ask me to devote my life to serving the elderly in a retired home. Adventure, wherefore art thou?!
For me, it is not about the thing He would ask me to do, it is that I am afraid that He would ask me to do something that I am not passionate about, that He would ask me to go to a place where my heart does not want to follow… To use a relationship example, I have harbored a fear that God will make me marry an ogre of man (all ‘for His glory’, you know!) and I marvel at the spiritual maturity of beautiful women who have ‘overcome their flesh’ to marry and have children with certain men (hayi ke, not me God, please!).
At the end of our lives, we all want to have that feeling of satisfaction that says that we did what we truly believed and what we were passionate about, that we truly lived. I have wrestled with the question of my desires versus God’s desires. This question touches on the issue of commitment and I have felt challenged about what commitment to Jesus Christ really means.
Here are my thoughts:
1. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever!” Romans 11:36
Before this verse is a whole thing where Paul pretty much makes the point that God is God and we are not. I need some reminding of that sometimes. I am so grateful that God is a good, humble and merciful God and that He does not choose to squash me like a little bug. He is GOD and I am man. I am little and He is BIG. He is strong and I am weak. He knows all things and my brain can only hold so much.
He is Lord and everything finds its center, significance, purpose and existence in Him. Our commitment to God is therefore quite different to any other relationship because it entails a life lived completely for Him, with Him setting the agenda always and us following His every move. Why? Because He is God and He deserves it.
2. “…therefore choose life.” Deuteronomy 30:19
Am I the only person that thinks that it is profound that the Lord of all the universe uses words like “choose” when talking to people that He Himself created? It really is a mystery to me. I am very strong-willed and a part of me has always hoped that I will one day reach a point where my passion for God makes me want to do what He says ‘naturally’: like instead of being grumpy at having to be up at 6AM to lead worship, my passion for it would overtake me so that I don’t feel a thing!
I’ve always thought that passion must come before one commits to anything and subscribed to the ‘follow your heart’ way of thinking. But if God has given us the ability to choose, could it be possible that one can choose to be passionate about something?
Could it be that commitment (regardless of one’s feelings at the time) is the vehicle through which God teaches us to channel our passions into what He has planned: all that is good and pleasing and perfect?
More on this in the next post!