By Pastor Dave
W3CP2 = The Will of God
The next area is good circumstances. Are they for you at this time and are they a part of the process of God’s will for your life or will they distract you or delay you on your way? What if you are a pastor or you desire to serve in some way in the ministry and you have five good ministries that want you to serve with them? Maybe some are churches, colleges, or mission ministries. How do you decide? They are all good but which one is for you? You may say, “I would be happy with any!” My question is how do you decide? Which college is for you, which church, which field should you chose if out of nowhere these circumstances present themselves? A pastor friend of mine wanted to get his masters degree. He continued working at his church and he had the privilege of choosing between three or four good schools which were all good circumstances.
This may sound silly but a popular college student who worked at our youth camp came to me and said, “I have a problem.” I asked, “What is your problem?” He said, “I have two girls that like me. What should I do?” Again I asked, “What is your problem?” We laughed. He said, “No, seriously. Which one should I like? They are both great girls but so different.” See my point? These were both great opportunities that his circumstances had presented. He then asked me, “What kind of woman I liked?” No one has ever asked me that before. I told him the type of woman I liked, which happened to be my wife, because her qualities best suited me. Everyone is different. I said, “It is like that buffet over there.” We were at a restaurant talking and the smorgasbord principle was born with rules and guidelines rooted in the Bible. It soon became a great tool to help kids look for a mate. The real issue in all of this is making the right decision when all these seemingly good circumstances present themselves to us.
Here are some principles that have guided me in this area when these good circumstances present themselves to me and I need to make a choice.
- All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (I Corinthians 6:12a). Or best. I ask myself this question. It may look like a good circumstance but is it the best one for me? Am I rushing into something? Have I had time to think and pray it through? Am I just settling?
My daughter graduated from college with a counseling degree. She looked for a job in her field. It is hard to get your first job without any experience. One of her main leads was with an organization called Baer Foundation but she could not get an interview. A company called and offered her a job as a secretary at a manufacturing company. It was a good job that would pay the bills. She asked me what she should do. I told her she could take the job but she is not a secretary. Her mother is a good secretary but not her. I knew it cut a little but then she asked, “What do I do then?” I told her, “Your heart is in counseling. Call the Baer Foundation again.” She did and they were impressed with her persistence. She got the interview and the job. Years later when she wanted to quit to start a family, they did not want to let her go. She could have made other choices but she chose the best for her and was very happy in her job. Remember all things are lawful but not all things are expedient or best.
- All things are lawful but I will not be brought in the power of any.
There are circumstances in life that appear to be good and lawful before God. But over a period of time, they bring you under its power and it is not good because only God and his goals for you should have power over you. We have to remember the circumstances of life are a means to an end not the end in itself. In life we are to only be consumed with God himself and if we are not careful, good things that come our way will consume us and distract us from this goal of becoming like Christ which is being consumed with God. Then the good becomes bad and has its power over us. To eliminate this in the ministry there are God’s servants that have built great ministries but lost their families. Remember the key principle on circumstances. The opportunities and difficulties of life we experience everyday. Circumstances allowed and presented by God will always line up with the Word of God.
There are men in the ministry who will be blessed with a large church which is a wonderful blessing of God but never at the expense of losing your family or fall from holiness. It all comes down to the motives behind our response to the circumstances of life. We may start well but it is keeping our circumstances in life under the power of the Word of God. This will help those of us who start well in the will of God to finish well.
I know of a pastor who had a growing ministry with no foreseeable problems. He decided to step away and minister to his family. There were no family problems but he saw that they needed to flourish and the heavy demands of the ministry were affecting his family. He shared his heart with the church and left the church in good hands. He put his will in neutral after much prayer and through some unusual circumstances he followed the ministry philosophy of God first, family second, and ministry third. The church he left is flourishing and his family is flourishing. His wife always wanted to remodel an old house so they are doing that very thing to a 100 year old four floor great mill in another state. The realtor who is a believer and brokered the deal was part of a church that was without a pastor and was searching for God’s will. He now ministers at a smaller church with so much less stress and more time for his family.
The circumstances of God’s will may not always appear logical but they will always play our biblically. I commend my friend for stepping out of a very good and comfortable ministry to listen to God and step into the unknown and let God open the door to something great in his life and his family’s and both of these churches. When I asked my friend if I could include his story as an illustration he added one more thought. The enemy of great is good. We must enjoy the good but never settle for good when God is offering great. God used the circumstances of life to direct us to the great things he has for us. We just have to discern that these circumstances are from him.
To be continued ………………..