Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A turn toward glory

As Christians, totally devoted to our Lord and Savior, seeking to live a life that satisfies and obeys him, we are often looking for discernment in decision making. The question of what to do next, what answer to give, or what direction to take is not ours to make, but God's. We want him to direct our paths.
That all sounds so simple and straightforward: allow God to guide you. But how does one go about doing that? How do you know what God would want you to do? He rarely comes in a burning bush. Don't get me wrong, he could come in any form he'd like. He could literally send down a map with step-by-step directions, fully equipped with flashing lights and colorful road signs. But this would be a highly unusually way in which God would reveal himself. Ask most Christians and they'll tell you they haven't received such a map from God. They would also probably tell you that God has been far from absent in their decision making. He can still lead, guide and direct without having to intervene in our physical day-to-day world.
How can he do this? How can we tap into his direction and make the right choices and follow "his will"? How in the world are we supposed to know what that will is?
Christians are constantly praying for answers. Do I take this job or that job? Do I live in this house or that house? And the Christian girl's most fervent cry, is this the person I should marry?
All of these questions make our heads spin. We look for a sign in the clouds, an answer washed upon the shore and written in the sand. We are seeking his will, can't God just give us a simple answer?
Then there comes another question that throws us for another loop...is there only one "right" answer? If I pick poorly and take the job in Minnesota instead of the job in Maine will I be falling off of God's path, doomed to destruction and a life of wandering aimlessly? If I buy the house with a pool instead of the one without a pool am I putting material possessions over God, making him an after thought and not my top priority?
And what about marriage? Is there only one, single, solitude person out there that I am supposed to end up with? What if this one person isn't "that" one person? He looks good, fits the criteria, is spiritually mature, equally yoked, but what if he's not the "one"? Am I looking for a specific one, anyways? Or am I looking for a man of God who will be the spiritual leader, picture of Christ in the household and provider for the family? Maybe there are many "ones"?

All of these questions can become overwhelming. They can drag down our spirits and make us utterly confused. Confusion is not of God. It is a trick and trap of satan. He loves to use it to pull us off course, make us question our faith and, ultimately, make us question the relevance and reality of God in our lives. Is he active and truly alive today? Satan wants to raise doubts.
God is surely alive and more active then we even know. He isn't sending out flares for directional guidance but that doesn't mean he has grown silent or unconcerned.
The truth is he has already given us all the direction we need. He has given us his WORD. In it is the secret to decision making. Okay, so it really isn't a secret. It is right there in plain black and white. Our lives are to glorify and honor God. That is the direction. Glorification of God is our path.
When faced with a decision one choice may not look any worse than another. "Danger" signs might be no where to be seen. That does not mean there isn't a better path to take. We must ask ourselves, "What will bring the utmost glory to God in this situation?" With each yes or not, right or left, there is always a way to honor God more fully and purely than another. The decision won't be hard when we are truly honest with ourselves, rooting out the selfishness of our hearts and the lustful desires that we have kept hidden from the world, and look to what would be most honoring to God. What would bring the most glory to his kingdom? What would bring the biggest smile to his face?
The scriptures aren't silent about the purpose of our lives. Within their words comes the ultimate guide to making decisions. Instead of trying to answer each individual little question that will come up in the course of our lives, the Bible seeks to give us a basis for making any and all decisions. We can never be faced with something that we don't have an answer to. In the scripture, there is an answer for everything: honor God, first and foremost.

Romans 14:17-19 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (NIV)

Isaiah 43:7
“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (KJV)

1 Corinthians 6:20 
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (KJV)

Colossians 3:23
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (NIV)

Psalms 35:27 “Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (NKJV)

Psalm 115:1 "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!"

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