Set The World On Fire

Lyrics to an awesome Britt Nicole song, Set The World On Fire. Dare to dream. 🙂

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God’s Direction and the Rocky Road To Our Callings

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

This seems to be a lesson that God is trying to teach me right now, as the concept behind this verse appeared in a Christian nonfiction book that I was reading last night, as well as the sermon that I listened to in church today. Both places emphasized something that I tend to have a bit of a rough time doing.

Trusting God even when He’s calling you to do something that doesn’t make sense in the flesh. 

Sometimes, God calls us to things that we may have never pictured, prompting us to lead in a way that we feel less than equipped to do. By this, I don’t mean things that we would hate doing. I believe that along with a particular calling, God will also place in us a desire to fulfill that calling. Nonetheless, we may sometimes doubt if we can really succeed at the task that we feel God has given us. When God stretches us beyond what we feel we can handle, it’s easy to start making excuses and questioning it in our minds

I’m not qualified. I’m too young. What if I fail?”

Lately I’ve been battling these types of thoughts in my own life as I feel led to take a leap of faith in the way that I believe God is calling me. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably battled similar thoughts of incompetency in your own life. Nonetheless, we’re not alone and we’re certainly not the first to question God’s calling for our lives. Moses felt inadequate in speech and eloquence when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Jonah obviously felt afraid when God called him to go to Nineveh and preach, as his first instinct was to run. It seems that God often uses people who feel unqualified or incapable. “Why is that?” you may ask. After all, God could call anyone. Why would He choose the unlikely?

Perhaps He does so on purpose. Maybe He calls the unlikely so that we rely on Him, and so that His power is made evident through us. Maybe He wants us to be in a place where we’re humble enough to rely on His wisdom and not our own. Maybe His power is made the most clear when our callings seem illogical according to human reasoning.

You may feel inadequate by your own power, but as Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” I believe that whatever God is calling you to do, He’ll walk with you every step of the way.

If you feel unqualified about God’s calling, know that you’re not alone. We all have moments when we wonder if we have the strength to follow through with the way that God is leading us. Nonetheless, I believe that if we trust God and follow His will, He’ll lead us on the right paths in our lives and make a way when it seems there isn’t one.

In the words of the Christian band Anthem Lights, we just have to keep following God’s heart, allowing Him lead us, guide, us, and direct our path.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Good news, I got my permit today after many failed attempts! If you’re struggling to achieve something, keep working at it! Hard work and perseverance does pay off. To celebrate passing my permit test, I’m going to post a song that I feel fits the occasion nicely.

Good old Rascal Flatts. 🙂 It’s hard to believe that this movie came out nine years ago. I officially feel old.

Be Strong and Courageous

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

It is sometimes hard to put my jumbled up random thoughts and musings into words. There are a lot of things that I think about over the course of the day, and blogging has given me an outlet to try to organize these thoughts and put them into words. Recently, I have been thinking along the lines of sorting though life’s issues through the lens of a Christian perspective, and what that means for each of us. For some reason, I have a tendency to speculate over some of the most complex questions going on in society. A good recent example of that is the topic of transgenderism. I do not feel equipped yet to speak in depth about this issue, but I’ve spent hours watching videos and reading articles relating to this topic. I’ve even begun keeping up with the TV reality show, Becoming Us, which is a TV show about a transgendered dad. Some people may find it odd that I spend so much time on topics that don’t immediately relate to me. “Why do I do this?” You may ask. I suppose my reply, is why not? Why not go about understanding current issues in the society we live in the through the eyes of Jesus? I believe that part of living in the world while not being of the world, involves trying to understand people and walking alongside them in unique quests to lead them to God. Doing so involves what I’ve decided to label the three C’s. Courage, Conviction, and Compassion. I’d like to elaborate on each one and give my thoughts on what they should mean for us, as Christians

Courage. Let’s be honest. Being a Christian in today’s world takes courage. It takes courage to hold views that may not be mainstream. It takes courage to explain your thoughts and opinions to those that may disagree. It takes courage to try to find answers where there seem to be none. I think we all need to understand what we believe, why we believe it, and how we can apply this knowledge to real life. At times, we may even need to have courage amongst other Christians. Courage to look at an issue that brings knee-jerk reactions to many of your fellow believers. This is a courage that we can only obtain from God, who gives us the wisdom to muddle through life’s big questions. Which brings me to C #2.

Conviction. As Christians, our one source of truth is the Bible. When looking at new information from psychology websites and news articles, it’s important that we make sure it lines up with the Bible. I don’t think we should fear scientific studies and psychological research, as truth in life will always point back to God. In modern society, the Bible has gotten somewhat of a bad name. People say that it’s outdated, but I’ve come to find the exact opposite. Many things in the Bible speak into current issues in society. And I believe that even the most complex problems can be solved with the wisdom of God’s Word. Nonetheless, we can’t be effective witnesses with just the first two C’s. We also need the third C, one commonly demonstrated by Jesus during his time on earth.

Compassion. Anyone can preach words out of the Bible. Nonetheless, it will mean nothing if we don’t have compassion and love for hurting people. 1 Corinthians 13:2 says “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” This verse is along the same lines as a popular For King & Country song, likely based after this passage, called The Proof of Your Love. To have compassion is more than just giving your view on an ethical issue. This is walking with people living that issue. Christians can preach all day long on things like homosexuality and abortion but until we’re willing to walk alongside people in those situations, no one will see what Christianity and God’s love truly looks like.

Here’s a song by Christian singer, Josh Wilson that beautifully illustrates the point of this blog post. It’s called I Refuse.

Beautiful Article By Wesley Hill

In the wake of increasing discussion following the LGBT topic, I’ve stumbled across a powerful article by Wesley Hill, a prominent Christian speaker on this subject. I found it so good, that I felt compelled to share it with all of you, and I urge you to try to understand and be a friend to those whose struggle looks different than yours. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Hill and others like him, and hope that their philosophies, solutions, and musings, are continued in decades to come.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/07/15/yes-many-christian-communities-are-toxic-for-my-lbgt-friends-but-theres-more/