Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Testing... One, Two, Three

...is this thing on? Oh good, it still works. Yes, yes, I know I didn't blog last week, so this blog post will be partially in response to the clamoring that I heard about getting another post up... all the e-mails (none), phone calls (zero), and trips down to Virginia, demanding that I write a blog post (zip) can now be put to rest!

I just didn't really know what to write about last week, and if you do bother to take the time to read this, I might as well have something useful to say. The past two weeks have been rather enlightening for me. I wrapped up the Fruit of the Spirit sermon series at First Christian Church with a sermon called Fruit Salad. If you missed any of the sermons, they can all be found at www.firstchristianculpeper.com but if you don't want to listen to EVERY one of them, Fruit Salad does (in my opinion) a pretty nice job of wrapping everything up and providing the main gist of what I was going for.

Next, we moved onto the Essentials of what First Christian Church believes. Now, I'm not in the business of telling everyone to believe what I believe, I'm in the business of telling everyone to believe what the Bible says... I just try to do my best to figure out what the Bible says and live that out. Hopefully, someday I'll do a good enough job that people who are looking for a Godly example, they can look to me, but it's always an uphill battle.

One of the things that I've been particularly interested in both in the last two weeks and while fighting that uphill battle is trying to figure out what God wants from me. I want to know what he wants from me in the next 5 days, weeks, months, years, though more and more I feel like I should be focusing more on the next 5 minutes.


As it stands, I've been trying to figure out my entire future. Am I always going to live in Culpeper? Doesn't God want me to be able to find friends? Who am I going to marry? All of these questions come up a lot more than they should. In fact, they tend to distract me from things that are going on in my life right now.

I've developed a system of testing. I'm not necessarily testing God-- rather, I'm resorting to what Gideon did in Judges 6:36-40. All throughout the New Testament, we're told to test things by the Spirit so we can discern God's will. I don't really ask God for signs, I just ask for opportunities. I say things like, "God, this is what I think I'd be good at, could you show me a way where I could serve you through this?" or "God, I think you're leading me to talk to that person over there. Could you provide me an opportunity to make it feel less awkward?" As I continue to find things, I can start to feel God tugging me gently one way or another. I've learned to stop doubting myself, and start trusting God. Ultimately, I aim to please Him... not myself or others.

God is clear in what He wants us to do. He wants us to seek the lost and expose them to His eternal glory. If we make that a desire of our hearts, and draw close to God, we'll begin to experience what He truly can do through our lives.

I'll leave you with a few Bible verses:

1Th 2:4 - On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.

2Cr 13:5,6 - Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.