I've been thinking and planning for a while now on writing a short blog series entitled "MapQuest for Our Lives." This is the first of five, which will contain some thoughts and insights and encouragements on discovering and walking in God's calling and purposes for our lives.
First, I want to start off with our Inner Compass.
All of us have signs in our lives that point us in the right direction. Some of us more, some of us less of these signs, however all of us can learn to read this inner compass that God has placed inside of us.
One of my pastors (all of them are amazing, Emmanuel Christian Center, Minneapolis, MN), Pastor JJ spoke this past year on this subject of God's plan for our lives, and shared an interesting thought. The truth is we are all over the map on our feelings about God's involvement in our lives. Some of us go about our lives and trust that God will subconsciously help us make the right decisions and career choices. On the opposite end of the spectrum, others can't get out of bed in the morning because we are not sure which way God wants us to roll. Out of good hearted submission, these people want God to dictate every decision of their lives. JJ went on to point to Acts, chapter 1. The story of the eleven Apostles picking a replacement for Judas. They chose several who had "been with them since the beginning." After narrowing it down to two guys, the eleven most spiritually connected people on the planet cast lots (the modern day equivalent of throwing dice)!
The truth is, when it comes to God's plan for our lives, God works with us - alongside of us to direct us into his perfect plans for us. Here's a Scripture on this thought: Acts 15:28 (a life verse) - on discussing the ever important issue of Church doctrine and theological practice, again the eleven most spiritually connected people on the planet, the Apostles state, "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us."
There is an involvement of teamwork and partnership when seeking God's plan for us. When it comes to God's plan for us, God doesn't throw us aside, but instead works with us to direct us - using our inner compass.
With the above in consideration, let's turn to defining our inner compass. One of the greatest illustrations of this inner compass is the story of Moses' calling in Exodus 3 & 4.
1. Signs - Moses saw a bush that didn't burn up & out of curiousity approached it. God spoke to him clearly that day through a piece of foliage. Take a moment to write down some of the times you feel God has directed you, spoke to you, prophecied through someone over your life, or that you've had a "God interuption" in your life and recieved some sort of new direction. This is the most important thing in our calling and inner compass. As God directs, we follow with all our hearts.
2. Staffs - Moses was a shepherd. Before this, he had recieved a royal upbringing and most likely a great education. God used the shepherd staff in his hand and brough miracles from it. Take a moment and write down some of your gifts, strengths, skills and passions. God can use our typical, possibly mundane, everyday skills to his glory if we let him. How can we use our everyday gifts and work in a new way to glorify God?
3. Speech Impediments - Moses didn't think he could speak well, so he didn't want to represent the Israelites to the Pharoah of Egypt. Over and over he said to God (during this miraculous burning bush experience) "send someone else to do it!" Take a moment to write down your inadaquacies, fears and qualms with what you feel God wants you to do or with what you are currently doing. Ask God to help you override your excuses and to give you grace to fulfill your call. The Scripture is clear that God wants to use us in our weakness in order to bring him ultimate glory!
God will use a mix of Signs, Staffs and Speech Impediments as a sort of inner compass to guide us on his paths for our lives.
Pt 2 - "Contentment" next ...