Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Will of God

The will of God...

We all want it for our life. Cause God expects us to right? I mean God says He will give us the desires of our hearts right?

I'de like to look at this Biblically. I want us to look at Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. But in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path" 

The first part says we need to trust God with our whole heart. Obviously we say we trust God with whole heart... but do we really? Why should someone we don't trust lead us? We follow someone BECAUSE we trust them. We trust that they know what is best for our life. God, the God of the universe, knows and wants to guide us in following His will.

I always thought I had the second part of this down... "Lean not on your own understanding." Ok yeah don't trust yourself, got it.  Leaning means resting on something. We like to rest on something comfortable am I right? Aka a bed :) Our own understanding is what makes sense in our heads or what we are most comfortable with. God expects just the opposite. God doesn't make sense a lot of the time. He isn't so concerned with the destination, than the journey there. He grows us through the agonizing journey to get to the final destination. I don't see being in the center of God's will as being comfortable. Yes, His will is perfect though.

I love how this passage builds on each part. "But in all your ways acknowledge Him." Ok so this means in whatever we do acknowledge He is God? Well yes. But I believe this also means that we are to seek after Him, realizing that we are finite creatures who are in need His help as we go our way. So both are very much true in this sense. 

This leads me into the last part of this "And He will direct your ways." When we put these three truths together, then God promises to direct our paths. Like I said before, this passage builds on each section. God obviously finds all three parts necessary. What a comforting thought that the God who made the universe and died for everyone's sins, wants to guide and direct their paths. He promises that to us right here in this passage. 

Finding the will of God. Or should I say: actively pursuing to be in the will of God.

Prayer I believe is setting the heart on the will of God. It's not telling God what your will is and asking Him to fulfill that desire. But rather telling God something like this: "God, Your will is perfect. I ask You to align my will with Yours. I trust that You know what is best for my life. Whatever You have for me Father. I want as well." Its one humbling themselves of their pride and submitting to whatever God has for them. Getting one's heart set on things of God. When our hearts are taken over by God what we want will be what God wants.

That is finding the will of God. That is God giving us the desires of our hearts. That is God's love.

Fall...and Rise Up Again

Fall, fall, fall... It's all I seem to do sometimes. And I'm afraid it's the thing I focus on too much of the time. I seem to only be able to focus on the fact that I've sinned yet again against my Savior. But God tells us in His Word (Proverbs 24:16) that a righteous man falls seven times and rises up again. Seven times he falls. And yet he chooses to rise up again. Most of the time I feel like throwing in the towel and giving up. But God says that the one who rises up again, no matter how often he falls, is righteous! I fall many times. Many times. But as a child of God, I hate living in that sin. Thats a mark of being a true believer. That really hadn't been explained to me. I would always hear speakers say things that would make me think I wasn't a believer because I couldn't break a certain sin and continued to fall into it. Even though I hated it when I fell. Now if you're living in sin and loving it.. we have a different story. But a true believer, when he sins, will hate it, make it right, and will choose to rise up again and seek the Savior. 


Salvation: 1. a saving or being saved 2. a person or thing that saves 3. spiritual rescue from sin and death; redemption. 

I recently have been tempted to believe that I am not good enough to be a child of God. Let's face it: I fall often. Constantly I am thinking about my future and how God has called me into the ministry. Therefore I have been struggling with great guilt and shame when I sin. I feel that I am not living up to the standard when I fall in my temptation. The reality of that thinking is frightening. Because it means that I am relying solely on what I have done (or my works) for salvation.  What does the Bible say about this? Titus 3:5 - "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." It's not by works. It is all about God's mercy. 

I say that I trust in Jesus alone, but my thinking is different. But in the past few days, the Gospel has become very real to me. The fact that Jesus came to this earth, was tempted by everything imaginable, lived a perfect life, was beaten and cursed, drank the Father's wrath for the sins of the world, and rose again conquering death and sin is enough for a lifetime of praise.

Jesus came taking us as we were. There is nothing that we did to look any better in His eyes. We were covered in sin. Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." All have sinned, there is none righteous no not one. We don't have to clean up our act to come to Jesus. Because when He saves a soul, He does the changing from the inside out. When we feel we must live decent lives along with Jesus' saving to get to heaven, we are following a false gospel. That's not to say we're free to live however because we have Jesus. No the Bible tells in Matthew 7:17-18 - "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit." 

So today we can rest assured that Jesus completely paid for our sins on the cross. There's nothing we do, but believe in Him. Why, you ask, is it so simple? Because it brings the One (Jesus) who does the saving and changing glory. If we played a part in it, we would feel we deserve some glory or credit. But, praise the Lord, it's Jesus who saves! 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Burden for California

This will be short. Just going to share where my heart and burden lies. I'm starting to realize that my love for and desire to live in California is a God given desire. Really feeling that God wants me to plant a church there. Freaks me out.. But at the same time excites me like crazy. There is a huge need for churches out there. Ok ok I know you can pull the whole "They need churches everywhere Cam." Yeah but my passion and burden is for Cali and if that's where God has me then it's a sin to not go there. Straight up. Maybe He doesn't have that for me. But I know one thing that if I am not in His will then I will be miserable. Seems to be God's tool for getting people back onto His purpose and plans. But the reason I feel God may have me start a church out there is that I started a Bible study at the school I go to. It's been incredible to see how God has grown it over the year. Phenomenal stuff happens when you let God take the drivers seat. But anyways I'm not all about numbers but God has saw fit to have 45 people come. I tell you that to show you what He has done! But it's almost like I planted a little church here. Hear me out. Not trying to take the place a local church, but figuratively speaking its a mini-church (get it? mini-church...like the opposite of a mega-church..ok that was stupid) But yeah God has had us go through many difficulties and has taught me a ton about leading His sheep. Biggest thing is that I can't do it alone. Cause I tried. Probably out of selfish ambition, which always leads to a fall. Thats somewhere in Proverbs (Too tired to look it up..transparency time!) But God in His grace has used this Bible study to allow His sheep to learn more about Him and get somewhat in perspective how small we are in comparison to Him. To bring this back to my burden of Cali; I would ask you to pray for our Bible study. And that God would continue to teach me and the others how to better followers of Him, therefore becoming the leader He wants me to be. And that my heart would be open to what He has for me in the future and that I would pursue it wholeheartedly. So much for being short....

Much love,

Carry the Name of Jesus

Sitting here really burdened about the many lost souls dying without Jesus even at this very moment. Whether they know of Him or not, they are lost. We have the answer living inside us. We know the Way. And the way is Jesus! I mean He tells us this in John 14:6. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

Heard a great quote: "Live it out [living your faith out] and others will see it; and they'll want it; and cause God isn't gonna hold that back He'll give it to them; and then they'll live it out." And the cycle goes on. Thats what it comes down to: people passionately carrying the name of Jesus by their words and deeds. Col 3:17 "Whatever you do in in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus Christ, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." In all that you do, do it in the name of Jesus.

Think of big name people like say Tom Brady, Justin Bieber, Kesha. Those are all names of people that are pretty famous. But we know the Name above all other names, the Name that can save people from their sin. And yet we are too scared to share it to others? And we know the certain stats of a professional ball player or we know every song by a pop artist? I'm not saying those things are wrong but is Jesus at the base/foundation of your joy?

Jesus ultimately brings satisfaction in one's life. Sin and the pleasures of this world bring temporary satisfaction but only Jesus brings full satisfaction. So are you carrying the name of Jesus everywhere you go? It really doesn't matter where you go (i.e mission field, next door) if you aren't carrying the right thing: Jesus. Carrying the name of Jesus involves living out His love. Christianity doesn't mean Jesus to our culture. We carry the name of Jesus, not Christianity. So let's let our lives show that! In every aspect of your life strive to carry the name of Jesus and declare His fame to the world.

Much love,