Tuesday, March 13, 2012

God is on Our Side

I have not blogged in recent weeks. To be honest with you, I still have a lot of ups and downs in my journey and sometimes I simply do not feel like writing. Usually it is because I am struggling with something God is teaching me.  I have been processing a lot in recent weeks and asking God to clarify my next steps. I am not sure I have an answer but I was reminded this past week that God is in absolute control and I can trust Him.

The tone and content of most of my blogs reflects my life experience. I teach and write in a way that reflects what God is doing in my heart. Oftentimes that means that what I write or say is raw and authentic. I believe that's how most people want it - raw and real.  Anything else just seems too contrived and ideal.

I want to encourage some of you today who are struggling with God's direction for your life. For the first time in my life, I am really unsure of God's next step for me. There are a lot of people in my life who have personal opinions on what my next steps should or should NOT be. But it really comes down to what God wants for me. 

I think a lot of people struggle with their role in God's plan. We tend to disqualify ourselves based on our perspective and not His.  I wrestle constantly with this tension. I am my harshest critic.

This past week I was interviewed by a pastor that I respect regarding my recent life experiences. The conversation was candid, eyeopening, and healing. This pastor is developing a work on young "successful" pastors who have taken a fall of some sort (moral, emotional, etc). He is studying both the commonalities among these pastors and the restorative process (or lack thereof) that most groups employ after young pastors have fallen.  During the course of our lengthy conversation, he reminded me that God has gifted me in a unique way. My sin does not annul my gifts. Sin may redefine the role you perform within God's work but it does not revoke who you are as a person uniquely gifted by God.

During the course of this conversation, this older and wiser pastor reminded me that God called me into the "life change business" and that no matter what "job" I work or for how long I perform it that God's call on my life doesn't change.  God used what he said to speak into my life in a deep way.

Later that night, I had to drive a couple of hours to Nashville for an event and I was talking to God, reflecting on my earlier conversation, and listening to Hillsong's God is Able. The lyrics of that song remind me of God's ability to use us beyond our own beliefs and doubts. There is a simple yet profound phrase in that song that has stuck with me the last few days: "God is with us - God is on our side."

I'm not sure I always believe that God is on my side. I would probably say that I do but I am not sure I live like I believe it. Do I truly believe that the God of the universe who created the world with a spoken word, raised Jesus back to life, and handcrafted me for His glory is really on my side? Better yet, do I live like He is on my side?

If I believe and live like God is on my side, what does that mean for my sin? for my doubts? for my insecurities? for my fears? for my excuses? for my timidity? for my anxieties? for my uncertainties? for my struggles? for my past?

Living like God is on my side is a game-changer!

What are you facing today? What sin? What doubt? What insecurity? What struggle? What temptation? What past? Remember: God is on your side!

I am not sure what my future holds. I am not sure what your future holds. But I am sure that God is able. I am sure He is on my side. I am sure He is far above all I know or can see or think.

Be encouraged - regardless of what your past, present, or future looks like - God is on your side!