God's will

What do you want from me?

whatdoyouwant How often I've asked and heard this question asked? In its various forms, the question is our heart's scream to know what or what more God wants from us?

More and more, I believe the answer comes down to one thing.

Jesus replies, "Love the LORD your God with all of your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)

As I am daily ambushed by God's outrageous love for me, I am more and more convinced that seeking God's will for my life is the wrong search. But I should search for His will in my life, and His will is the same as it has always been.

He wants you to love Him with all that you are. Your experiencing God depends on you having a sincere and real relationship of love. I am more and more convinced that this is more important than any.thing.else in your life.

Every decision, big or small, everything in your Christian life, everything about knowing God and knowing His will is fully dependent on the intimacy of your love relationship with God.

If this lynchpin is not in place, nothing...nothing in your life will be right.

When we and my daughters are in the way

helps I was installing floating shelves in the bathroom the sight of daddy's tools draws my daughter "I want to help, Dadda!" By this, she means, "I want to see what you are doing, and be where you are." She began to take tools away from my work space She picked up necessary screws and hardware

She is not helping. She was in my way. But my love would not turn her away

Jesus said, "My Father is always at work...the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do ONLY what he sees His Father doing...For the Father loves the Son and shows him all He does." (John 15:17, 19-20)

My God, I know you are at work around me all the time. While I realize I am only going to slow you down and get in your way I trust that you love me and purposely show me what you are doing. I want to join you. I want to be a part of what you are doing and be where you are.

The Life of Pc

I once read Life of Pi; a book about a guy whose family is lost on a giant sinking cargo ship that was taking he and his family from India to Canada in order to begin a new life.  The author brings you along with Pi (short for Piscine) on the lifeboat he was lucky to get to after the ship sank.  As if that were not terror enough, also seeking refuge on the lifeboat are a slowly dying zebra, a hyena, an orang-utan, and a giant tiger all left from the zoo Pi's father owned in India.  His father was bartering the remaining animals so the family had a decent start in Canada.

At one point in my reading, Pi had been in the open Pacific Ocean on the lifeboat for almost 4 or 5 days now.  The hyena had eaten the zebra and attacked to kill the orang-utan.  The tiger had just killed the hyena, and Pi fears every moment whether he will be next.  Will he die of some other means?  Will the sharks get him first?  What would he do IF the tiger did attack him?

I went to bed that night!

I wonder what will happen to Pi?  Furthermore, what if all the novels we read are actually some distant reality actually happening and solely dependant on my finishing the story?  What if somewhere somehow Pi really is just sitting on a lifeboat in outrageous fear, and if I had put the book down never to finish after Monday night he never would have found the canned drinking water, ration, and a checklist like you would find on one of those team-building exercises your boss brings to board meetings?  "You and 3 of your co-workers are stuck on a desert island, and you only have a box of matches, a can of water, a pencil..."

What if Pi were really awaiting my finishing the book?  I mean Yann Martel (author) wrote the entire book; it has an ending.  But what if somewhere Pi was really stuck on a lifeboat with a giant tiger and he did not know there was an ending?

Moreover, what if Pi knew there was an ending, but my reading to it is the only way to reach the ending?  I think Pi would be pretty pissed at me for going to bed last night.  He's probably pissed at me right now while I'm writing this while I COULD be drinking my coffee and reading the darn book.

I say to Pi, "You know what!  There's an ending written for you, and we will get to it in good time.  Just wait!"

"PC, shut up!  Just shut up!  I am the one stuck on the lifeboat with a ravenous tiger looking for human dessert."

"Pi," I say with agitation, "there's still plenty of book left, and the book is entitled, 'LIFE of Pi.'  I am sure you get out of this.  Just be patient.  I am a working man.  I cannot read all day.  I will read tonight.  Just wait!  It will be fine."

Then I come out of my distant land of Pi and into the reality of PC.

God says, "PC, you know what!  There's an ending written for you.  I wrote it, and we will get to it in good time.  Just wait!"

"God, shut up!  Just shut up!  I am the one down here with bills, a job, a marriage, a family, school, a ministry and Satan waiting behind every corner for PC dessert."

"PC," God says with tender agitation, "there's still plenty of LIFE left, and I have titled it 'LIFE of PC.'  I am sure you get out of these things.  Just be patient!  I am a sovereign God, and the author of your life.  I will get you through your life as I have written in.  It will be fine."

Improv(ing) God's will

Many of my favorite moments took place in any given improv class I took or as part of the traveling improv comedy and drama team I was part of for several years. While there is technique to improv, it is a lot of creating details around and within a framework of smaller prompts. Many of our classes took place outside where we could receive these prompts from passers-by...or from the audience at shows.

You may only know where your character is (setting) or a problem to overcome (conflict). You may only know a character trait. The rest of the plot you fill in with improv. You learn how to best interact with fellow actors in order to make your character stronger and help the scene stay alive. You follow improv rules and technique to help give to the scene and your fellow actors.

When many of us wait to hear God's voice in our lives, we are thinking we get to be character actors like Moses with God's cosmic voice speaking the script in perfect English (or at least in KJV Old English). When he does not do this for us, we start to doubt and assume he no longer speaks.

Today, God gives you a setting and a scene. He gives you a conflict to overcome. The rest is improv.

The rest is opportunity for your character to grow. To learn. The rest is opportunity for you to learn his rules and contribute to the scene, to give to your fellow actors.

Some scenes will fall drastically flat and fail miserably, but that is improv. It's life! Tomorrow God will give you another scene with new prompts to interact with.

Seeking God's will is a waste of time

There is no desire within me to seek God's will in my life. You will very rarely find me looking or asking, "What is God's will in this situation?" Even in the hardest decisions, I will rarely ever ask God for His will to be revealed to me. Seeking God's will is a waste of time!

To seek God's will is a focus on the wrong thing. It is a preoccupation with the wrong element of the equation. It all comes back to the passage which tells us:

"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

"So PC, are you saying you don't seek God's will and instead you just ask God for stuff and He gives it to you...whatever you desire?"

Kind of....but not at all...

This passage tells me this:

Don't seek God's will; seek God, and His will will happen.

This passage tells me that if I quit worrying about seeking God's will and start seeking GOD in personal intimate relationship, His will will happen. This passage tells me, first, to delight myself in the Lord. SO I need to be with God and enjoy my time with him. I have to spend time at the heart of God...relating to Him intimately.

Then this passage tells me if I fulfill the first part, He will give me the desires of my heart. God will give us desire. We do not create our own desire. Our desire will not be our own...IF...we maintain the first part of the passage. If we can say we have followed the first part of delighting ourselves in the heart of relating to God intimately, God will instill desire within us. This means if we maintain intimacy with the heart of God, whatever desire we have can be followed.

Ozzie Chambers writes, "To be so much in contact with God that you never need to ask Him to show you His will, is to be nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of FAITH. When you are rightly related to God, it is a life of freedom and liberty and delight...and all your common-sense decisions are His will for you..."

When I tell my students not to listen to their parents

As a college pastor, there are a few very common conversations I have always had with several students like it was the first time. One of those conversations walks students through following God's intent for their lives to the chagrin and often in the face of their parents' intent for them.

Acts 21:10-14 shows Paul being clear of God's intent for his life in the face of people who love him. They are people who deeply care for Paul, and he knows that is the reason it breaks his heart so much when he sees their advice and strong intent going against what he KNOWS God has told him to do.

This stress of the tension between disappointing those who care for you in order to follow God's intent for you is one I hear all the time.

There has to be a challenge here for all of us to answer God's call while realizing it is not what our loved ones will aways want for us.