The latest series of sermons by Joel has been a great one. Now that my work schedule has cleared up ever so slightly, I might even have some time to explore it in a bit more depth. After soaking in the Saturday service and watching the Sunday webcast, however, a few quick thoughts are in order from the latest sermon.
The overall series has been along the lines of letting God be God in our lives … realizing how God wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. This weekend, it focused a bit more on how we listen to God when it comes to making major decisions in our lives. The central scripture for this message comes from the Psalms:
Psalm 32:8 (New Living Translation)
Another one included weaves nicely into the current reading of John Eldredge’s “The Way of the Wild Heart”
Psalm 37:4 (New International Version)
Actually, a previous book of Eldredge’s (“The Journey of Desire”) spoke wonderfully to how our desires weren’t meant to be buried, yet so many of us assume that all of our desires should be buried once we’re born again. As if all we’re waiting for is the rapture.
But the point is not that any desire comes true if we just walk right, talk right, and think right. God gives us the desires of our heart. Sometimes we can let a dream become an idol, we’re reminded – pursuing the dream regardless of whether it fits within God’s plan for our lives. Many of us chase professional goals, relationships, or other dreams or desires that seem to make us happy. At the right time, God gives us our desires. Listening to that guidance, realizing God’s path instead of our own isn’t always easy. You’ll know it by the peace you have with the decision … but you’ll be tested along the way.
As Joel adds – stay in God’s best plan for our lives. Are we paying attention to the still small voice or are we letting our desires consume us? God will give us the grace to do what He has called us to do. He will not necessarily give us the grace to do what we’ve begun in our own strength.
I’ve been in a few professional roles where I can look back now and see how I was uncomfortable with the choice, but went with it because it was there. As I type, I’ve been on a rather fun, exciting journey of flying solo and now landed in a spot where I can more easily see the difference between the fit I have now and the misfit that was before. Not that there aren’t tests still on the plan I’m in right now. There are. But the peace I have knowing where I need to be, knowing that I am where I belong, and enjoying what I do – challenges and all – is telling enough.
Anyways, that’s about all I can crank out for now. As time frees up even more, I might revisit this sermon and go back in the series for a few more thoughts to throw in. We’ve had a few fun weeks of music and entertainment. Worked out nicely since I was swamped at work. But now I’m feeling like getting back into more of a textual mode. After about a month or so of having a hard time focusing enough to read a book, I’m already knee-deep in the latest Eldredge book. So look for a few belated book reviews as well. Oh, and fear not – Mondays and Tuesdays are still time for video and music.