27 March 2010

Quote for Today

"It makes no sense to pray about God's will for our future if we are ignoring God's will for our present."
- Thomas Hale, On Being a Missionary, 21

That statement has always resonated with me, has always convicted me. Too often I worry about the future without worrying about the present.* Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, which I take to mean seek to recognize and really live like God is your king; seek the kingship of God before you even seek out clothes and food and shelter.

Paul says it this way: "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will" (Rom. 12:1-2). Knowing God's will comes through us letting go of ourselves as the ones in charge, seeking to remember and live like God is our king, and getting our minds right with the help of the Holy Spirit, moving toward him and away from the way the world does things.

We Christians ought to be subverting American culture: seeking to serve instead of to have authority over; finding peace through contentment, discipline, and devotion, instead of through power, money, and looking out for Number One; loving instead of ignoring or abusing; forgiving instead of "if you get hit, hit back harder," sharing our burdens instead of unionizing our social life ("that's HIS problem; I don't have to do that"), and many other things you can find in that wonderful collection of books called the New Testament.

As for me, I know that seeking God's will for my present isn't always easy. I don't see the point in me working where I work, but I have to trust that, somehow, this will make sense when I finally am working where I want to work. This is preparing me for something later on in life. Following what you believe God wants for you (whether that's some specific, detailed plan for your life or, as I believe, a desire for you to be virtuous and wise as you choose from several good options) does not necessarily mean that you will know what is going to happen. If you did, what room is there for faith, for trust, for appreciation of God's goodness and wisdom?

Moving toward Him in our daily lives is how we learn the will of God for the future.

*"Worry" in the sense of "put emphasis on," not in the sense of "stress about."

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