Distracted, Deceived, or Redirected?

directionally challengedI had two thoughts this morning, which combined into one Facebook post: “All glory, honor, power are Yours [O God]” and “may this Monday be to me as you would have it.” The first part comes from a song we sang in church yesterday. The second is a prayer adapted from the words of Mary as the angel of the Lord tells her she is to bear the Messiah as her child.

The two pieces are indicative of how it is with my soul this day. I have a deep desire to honor God with my life – even as I realize how much I fail at that. I long to be the work of art God created me to be, and for people to see my life and admire the one who brought it into being. And that desire is constantly in tension with my self-centered pride of wanting others to acknowledge how good I am for even trying.

But, even in that tension I have decided to pray that my day will be as God would want it to be. I long to honor God by following the lead of God found in Jesus Christ. I don’t want to simply do the things I think need to be done unless they are the things that promote God’s vision for bringing His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

And all of that is just the tip of the iceberg as I seek to live my life as a worker in God’s plan to bring life and salvation to the world.

What I find is that I am constantly reviewing where I am and what I’m doing for God. I feel pulled toward other work and other places to serve and bring to fruition the glory of God in the lives of people. And that causes me to wonder – am I being distracted from the work there is to be done? Am I being deceived by the adversary who would test my resolve to stay the course and trust God? Or, am I being redirected by the Spirit of God into the next steps of ministry?

And then I figure that if this is true for me it might also be true for you. Am I right? Do you struggle to find the path that you know is God’s path? Do you wonder if maybe you are called to go another direction, and if so, is it your own thinking or is it God’s spirit?

I believe this is a common dilemma. This is what I believe is understood as “living by faith.” To have faith is to not always know the answer. To live by faith means stepping into the day and into the work while listening for what God would say, but realizing you may not hear a clear word. To live by faith is to seek to honor and glorify God in what you do even as you wonder if this is what God wants you to do.

This idea came home to me once again this past week. I was reminded that a moving vehicle is easier to turn. For me that means I continue to move in the direction I have been given and then pay attention for the moment when God may say, “veer to the right” or “turn to the left.” It means that the posture of my heart and my willingness to love is more important to God than the proper direction of my work. Sure, God doesn’t want me acting in unholy, ungodly ways, but there are many things I can do while loving others and doing good.

So, the issue of being distracted, deceived, or redirected becomes less relevant. Being holy and living righteously in the moment, while also listening carefully, becomes the priority. Living by faith means I may not ever be certain that God is calling me to do exactly what I am doing at the moment, yet trusting that God will take the work I offer to His glory and honor and use it for the good of others.

I believe our task for each day is to let our work be holy by seeking to act in love for God and others. May this day be for you what God would have it be, and may you believe that God is at work whether you get it all right or not.

Holy high-five to you,
Mike

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One response to “Distracted, Deceived, or Redirected?

  1. John Wesley said something along the lines that if you are truly desiring to follow Christ you can assume that the Holy Spirit is part of any decisions you make. But I fully understand your questioning. I have been going through a time of discenrment and questioning and I learned to start “listeneing to myself” as I talked to others about decisions I was considering–I uncovered many a wrong motivation that way–when I would vocalize it, it “felt wrong”.

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