“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
–1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
When we ask God what His will might be for our lives, I believe we often don’t get answers because we view Him in the wrong light. To see what I mean, take a trip with me to the Heavenly Employment Agency today.
It is a cold morning, so you hurry to your car. Then you start the engine, turn on the heater, and prepare to travel to this agency–and hopefully to a new job in the near future.
It all began yesterday, when you were fired. In desperation, you confided in your friends about your need for a job. “I don’t know what to do anymore,” you told them. “Do you have any suggestions?”
“Yes,” they smile, “go to the Heavenly Employment Agency. It’s located on Gold Street, right through those pearly gates. You can’t miss it. We both went there, and it can’t be beat!”
So now you put the pedal to the metal, hoping your friends are right.
You have other things to do, so you speed all the way. Arriving without a ticket, you sigh in relief.
Impatiently, you wait for your number to be called. You drum your fingers on the arm of the chair for what seems like an eternity, but your turn finally comes. Getting up, you walk to the front desk, grumbling all the way.
There, you see something unexpected. Jesus is looking over your qualifications.
Then, turning to His Father, he asks, “What do you think?”
The Father peers down His nose through thick glasses and responds in a monotone. “Give Me one good reason why I should hire this one, Son. He won’t let Me train him.”
“Okay,” Jesus replies, “Your will, not Mine.”
Of course God is not really like that, but we often aproach the subject of working for Him backwards. We may look at His will as a vocation and make excuses, saying something like, “You don’t understand, God! I don’t have the right qualifications.”
Then, after doing that, we often move ahead of God and take things into our own hands. We tend to look at what we can do for God, instead of allowing Him to equip us for what He wants to do.
God is not looking as much for our action as our availability. This seems strange to us, because in our culture action is all-important, and the idea of letting Christ shape us often takes second place. But if what we do is built upon nothing but the crumbling foundation of activity, it will fall.
Rather than a job, then, we need to look at finding God’s will as a journey. Use your gifts and talents for Him, but move out in an attitude of prayer. In this way, allow Him to direct you as He opens and closes doors in your life.
Finally, remember that no act of service from the heart is too small. All of us can give the proverbial cup of cold water in Christ’s name, as we seek His kingdom.
Let me summarize, then, by using these three S’s. The first S stands for the idea of Sitting at Christ’s feet. The word “disciple” simply means learner, and we all need to sit at His feet, as Martha’s sister Mary did. Therefore, as humble students, each of us must attend Jesus’ classroom–not just once, but periodically–for further instruction.
Christ has a mission for all of us, and He sends us into the world with His good news. Just as a pilot stays in touch with the control tower, we need to Stay in constant communication with Jesus. Be flexible, and allow God to guide you as you stay in His Word.
The last S stands for Surrender. In the daily act of surrender, Jesus asks me to die to self as I put Him first. We live in a dark world, and in order for His light to shine through me, I must say no to things which would impede that light. I pray that each of you, my readers, will learn to do the same as you Sit and Stay in Jesus’ presence.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.