Archives For commitment and surrender

Continuing on with some quotes from Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase:
I am going to use two quotes here this morning.  The first is from Mark as he writes,

“…God seems to be far less concerned with where I am going than with who I’m becoming.  I think some of us want to know the will of God more than we want to know God.”

It is not easy to focus more on the process than it is the destination. Dreams, goals and vision that God gives you are certainly good to have, but God is more concerned with who you are becoming than He is in your achieving anything.  It is not easy for me to write that, because I do want to know what the end result of my journey is gong to be.  I want to know where I will end up, and when I will get there.  And yes, God is interested in that as well, but if I get to the end and have learned nothing about God in the process, what have I really gained?  Nothing!  The journey is where we get to know God.  It is where He works and shows Himself strong.

Mark then quotes Oswald Chambers:

“The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident.  What we call the process, God calls the end.  His purpose is that I depend in Him and on His power now.  It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.”

Wow.  Just read that and let it sink in a bit.  We think that the goal achieved, the desire accomplished, the status attained is what it is all about. Really, it is about how we get there, and how our relationship with God grows in the process.

So, what are you concerned with?  Going… or Becoming?

Here is another quote from Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase that really struck a chord with me, especially with our recent events:

“God is far more concerned about your future than you are. We put so much pressure on ourselves, as if the eternal plans of the almighty God are contingent upon our ability to decipher them.  The truth is, God want to reveal them more than we want to know them… In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

How much do you worry about things?  I have been guilty of asking God if He knew what was going on in my life.  Of course, I already knew the answer, but the fact remained that I did not think God was paying much attention to my situation.  I had taken control, or at least I thought I had, and my control only led to more worry and indecision.  I needed to listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…” Jesus then goes on to explain how God cares for the flowers and the birds, and since I am a little higher up the food chain, He certainly will take care of me.  He also reminds us to “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

I need to stay Kingdom minded and focused.  God will take care of showing me the steps I need to take… of that I am sure!  He works from the future back, and knowing that He has already been where I am going gives me great comfort.

As I was reading this morning, I came to this verse and it smacked me upside the head… again…

2 Peter 1:3 “We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness.”

I had to stop and ask myself, “Do I really believe and live like I have everything that it takes to please God?” Many Christians live in a state of depression and underachievement because they do not believe they can do what God has moved in their heart to do. Have you ever said, “I would do this for God if I had the talent, ability or opportunity to do it.”  That is a cop-out.  If God has laid it on your heart then you can do it! God has given us all we need to please Him!  Did you get that?  God has given us all we need to please Him. Let’s live that way!

Ctlyst

Take-away #3 from Chuck Swindoll

“When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible person and crushes them. Leave room in your life for the crushing”

  • If this is true, then I should welcome the valleys and struggles in my life as opportunities for spiritual growth.
  • It is easy to plan everything so well that we forget to include God and His plan in things. We plan for all kinds of success, but very rarely plan for tough times.  They will come!
  • With this take-away in mind, Chuck also said, “Brokenness and failure are necessary.”  That hurts to hear.  That is not what I want. It is not really what anyone wants.  But we grow more in the hard times than we do the good times.  The good times show us how good we can be.  The times of brokenness allow us to see how good God can be.
  • This also reminds us that God’s way is better than our way.  Our way would be easy, God’s way is never always easy, and often causes great pain.
  • Chuck also said, “It is painful to obey.  You will be giving up your way for the cross.” Man, that is tough to hear, and harder to practice!

Forget about… ME?

Jason Petermann  —  September 17, 2009 — 1 Comment

mirrorIn my reading this morning, I came upon Luke 9:23… again. It is not that I have never seen this verse or heard a message preached on it. I have read it and hear many sermons on it before. But, it slapped me up side the head again this morning. Here is the verse:

Then Jesus said to all the people: If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me.

I hate this part: “you must forget about yourself” Not that I really hate the words that Jesus spoke… but I hate that they tell me to to forget about the person I think about the most. ME! I am selfish. I want what I want, when I want it. If you are honest, you are the same. At the core, we all think about ourselves first because we are selfish beings. You do not think so? Think about this:

  1. When you are driving, why do you pull out in front of someone when you know you should really wait?
  2. When you see someone else with something new, why do we think that we deserve it too?
  3. When you call the pastor up and complain about something, what is the complaint based on? (Usually, our personal preferences!)

See, we all have a built in bias that puts ourselves first. Everything from where we go to eat or deciding to serve somewhere in church is all based on ME and my selfishness. The thing is, Jesus says if we want to follow Him, we have to forget about ourselves. That is hard. It is not natural in our sin nature. But it what we are suppose to do as Christ followers.

So, forget about yourself today. In some small way, deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow hard after Christ!