Monday, May 4, 2009

A New Lease on Life

It has been a long time since my last actual blog. It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything clear to blog about. Many things have transpired, many inspirational, many situational. Most have occupied my time and have prevented me from sitting and jotting down whatever thoughts or inspirations I may have had.

In particular, my new job has had me wondering and vacillating whether or not I am in the right place. But right places don’t always FEEL right, and if they did, we wouldn’t have to walk by faith. And to belabor the point, without faith, we know it’s impossible to please God, and this job forces me to please Him by a constant reliance, by faith, in who He is and where He put me and where He is leading.

And in the process of where I’ve been and the path I’ve been on during the past few months, I’ve learned some things, and I’ve taken on a new lease on my life.

Probably the most important thing I’ve learned, and it will be a thread in most of what follows, is as Oswald Chambers puts it, “I have learnt that I am me, that I can do the things that, as one might put it, me can do, but I cannot do the things that me would like to do.” Therefore, I am the only one accountable for me and for what I do. I must walk the walk that I believe God is leading me on. If I walk otherwise for any reason, I am a hindrance to the Kingdom of God as the plan and purpose God has for my life is deterred by my error or disobedience.

Therefore, no one should be able to talk me out of or dissuade me from the vision God has placed in my heart. If someone vehemently disagrees or adamantly attempts to discourage the desires of my heart, then we have come to a crossroads and a decision must be made regarding the furtherance or dissolving of our relationship. A good, godly connection will encourage and cultivate a gift, talent, or vision in a friend. Apart from this, the health of the relationship must be brought into question.

I cannot be accountable for the opinions of others. If where I am going, another cannot go, I must continue onward toward the goal of the vision, and leave my friend behind. To hinder the call of God on my life because another refuses to walk beside becomes my accountability entirely. To leave a friend is a painful thing. But the path toward a God-given vision is often too narrow to walk with another, and in order to reach that goal, one must endure times of solitude and loneliness. This is a good thing because it is in these times and places we fully realize that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother-One who never leaves nor forsakes those who love Him. The Father loves these places in our lives. We must shed all things frivolous and rely only on Him. It is here where His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses, and only here where we will fully realize His plan for us, and here where He can hone the vision in our hearts until it looks like His vision for us.

I can’t be accountable for the behavior or choices of others. I don’t know or understand what’s in someone else’s heart, where they’ve been, where they are, or why they do what they do. I must suppose that the intentions of my brothers and sisters are good, regardless of my opinions or feelings. Only God knows the hearts of men, and until proven otherwise, I must see only the positive in others.

If I desire the respect of my brothers and sisters and the courtesy from them to stand with me as I follow my dreams, visions and goals, then I must also give them the same courtesy. I may not understand the direction someone else chooses to follow, but it is not for me to understand. As long as their heart and direction is to follow the Lord, then I can and must be an encouragement to my friend.

Because the Lord has given me the heart of a cultivator, it is my deepest desire to see others grow into and function in God’s plan and purpose for their lives. I believe that other than sharing the Gospel with the lost, encouraging, promoting, and cultivating gifts in the body of Christ is the single most important thing we can do to see the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven. Think about it! If each of us nurtured, grew and harvested the actual God-given plan prepared for ourselves and one another, the earth would truly be filled with God’s glory, and many would see and know that God is the Lord!

I must move forward, past my own past, past the naysayers, past the spirit of laziness, procrastination, and fear, past all hindrances and deterrents, and fight for what’s in my heart. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord!” Zech. 4:6 Through the Greater One who dwells in me, I can do all things!

Living the life of faith is a daily battle. But the battle is the Lord’s! I’ll keep my eyes on Him and I will see His deliverance. I will run the race to win the prize and see His Kingdom come in my life, and through my life. I can no longer sit and simply promote the vision of others while my own dreams and visions lie dormant and die within me. If I do, again, I am the one accountable, at fault, and guilty of disobedience. One day, I will stand before the Lord to account directly for what I’ve done with what He’s given me to do. No excuses will accepted on that day!

Time is too short and there isn’t a moment to waste. It is time for each of us to put our hands to the plow—the harvest is white and will not wait! And for each of us, our accountability to do what’s been given is not to men, but to GOD.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Phil. 3:13-15