Thursday, April 19, 2012

Forgotten God

Okay, so since my last 2 posts have been sort of downers, I'm moving on. No more pity parties - I promise! No more "woe is me" type posts - I do solemnly swear. For a while anyway.... ;)

We've had FCAT testing the last 3 days and let's face it, it is hard to sit and do nothing for over 2 hours. So, as I so attentively walk around the room to make sure that my students are bubbling in answers correctly and not working in any other session and not pulling out cell phones that should have been collected (do you sense the sarcasm?), I have been finishing up the book "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan. And I finished it yesterday in the middle of Session 1 of math. Don't worry - I read and walked and looked up every few sentences to make sure my students were working hard.

Francis Chan is one of those authors that makes you take a good long hard look at yourself and confess that you really are scum. He writes truth - hard truth. The whole book is about how we, as the church, have forgotten about the Holy Spirit - a very real and very vital part of the Christian life. He is the third part in the holy trinity, the Helper, the One that convicts us of our sin. And yet, we don't operate in the power of the Spirit like the bible talks about.

Operating and living in the Holy Spirit, being continually filled with the Spirit, means talking, acting, looking, and living differently than the rest of the world. And so many times, we don't. I know I don't. I talk about people, I complain, I get caught up in negative attitudes, I have selfish moments, I become lazy, complacent, or apathetic. This would not be if I lived in and operated under the power of the Holy Spirit.

One of the things that really hit me in the middle of the forehead was when Chan talks about "forgetting about God's will for your life." Sounds strange, right? But, stay with me here. So many times we get caught up in questioning what God's will is for our lives rather than what He would have us do in that very moment. Let's face it: how many times did God tell His people in the Bible EXACTLY where He was leading them or what was going to happen? Abraham? Moses? Noah? Elijah? Daniel? They were told what to do - but did they know the outcome? Abraham was just told to leave his family and go - not where to go. Moses was told to help free the Israelites - but he didn't know exactly what that would look like. Noah was told to build an ark - not what the exact outcome would be. Elijah called fire from Heaven - not knowing if fire would actually come. Daniel wouldn't bow to King Jarius and was thrown into a lion's den - not knowing if he would become the next meal. But in all these situations, these individuals trusted God - not for knowing His will 10 years down the road, but for His provision in that moment, knowing that He would come through. When we put too much focus on what God's will is for our lives, we end up using it as an excuse to not follow Him NOW. Like Chan says, "It's easier to talk about following God later, than it is to actually follow Him now." We're worried about what He might call us to right this moment so we put more emphasis on the later.

I don't know about you but I don't want to be paralyzed by fear and miss the amazing opportunities that God has for me right now. I want to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, recognizing His voice, moving when He says to move, going where He says to go, living how He says to live. That's going to look different for everyone but I know I don't want to miss it. I want to stop worrying about my calling 10 years from now and focus on TODAY - what God has for me TODAY.

What about you? Do you want to continue living in a sort of limbo, continually asking what God's will for your LIFE is, or do you want to start focusing on the now and what God's will is for you TODAY?