Let Jesus be your supreme example in all that you do.
Open Question: Who has just finished learning to drive a car? What was your experience like?
When you first learn to drive a car, you quickly learn that the only way the car will turn is when it's in motion. If we sit in a car and turn the wheel while the car is in park, all we will get is an arm ache! God cannot direct our path without our getting ourselves in gear. God cannot use us unless we are growing in faith and practice (that is moving for Him)! The confirmation comes out of obedience along with patience and faith!
Read Matthew 9: 9-13
Matthew responded to Jesus' radical command to leave all and follow Him. He could never return to his job, as he would be viewed as a traitor. For us as well as for them, it required steadfast faithfulness, obedience, and trust to undertake His path. Matthew actually got up and followed! This man, with so much to lose by the world's standards, left it all. Yet, he gained so much more. Matthew showed great faith by being willing to leave his prosperous position and follow Jesus to a life-from his perspective-of the unsecured and unknown. In reality, there is nothing more secure than following Jesus!
Life seems like putting together a puzzle without looking at the picture on the box. We pray and hope we are doing it right, but sometimes it is like working in the dark. God's will is a mystery; there is no doubt about it. Mainly because we are not mature enough to handle the truth of what is ahead. If we do know, then we are likely to be cowards and flee! So, God reveals his plan to us slowly, just as you start feeding a toddler. You start slowly and gradually increase in the amount and types of food. Only God knows for sure what our finished life will be like; there is no final picture, only a template of trust and obedience. God does offer us the plans and instructions that we walk in His Grace by faith (see Hebrews 11). "Without Faith it is impossible to please God." So, the basic idea is for us to focus our minds on FAITH, not on worrying about the future!
The great news of life, whether it seems to be a puzzle or not, is that we have a great God who cares! He seeks us out, and we sinners become His friends as He offers us fellowship and the transformation of our sickly selves to healthy, robed in His righteousness.
As Christians, we are powered by the Spirit. He will change us to the core person that we can be by our response of faith. Matthew made such a response; he showed great faith to permanently leave his prestigious job, and with overwhelming gratitude, throw a big feast in Jesus' honor so his friends could see for themselves this most incredible God-Man.
1. How important is it to make good decisions while you are driving?
2. Does life seem like a puzzle to you? If so, how so? How would following Christ help you?
3. What are some of the advantages of not knowing what lies ahead in life?
4. Do you really believe, with confidence, that there is nothing more secure than following Jesus? What does secure mean to you, considering eternity versus the materialistic?
5. What is the difference to you between moving and not moving?
6. What is the difference between waiting on the Lord and moving?
7. What part does faith have in the confirmation process?
8. What is it about Jesus' words, "Follow me," that causes some to respond with passion, and others to flee in anger?
9. Follow me are two very powerful words, yet are so easily blocked when we are too puffed up with ourselves. How can you make a commitment so this will not happen to your faith?
Things we can do to make better decisions:
1 Surrender your will to God before anything else.
2 Cultivate a consistent quiet time with devotions, prayer, and Bible reading.
3 Read the Word of God and let it transform your life.
4 Never forsake your responsibilities as a follower of Christ, as a family member, or in your job.
5 Discover your natural talents and spiritual gifts, then find people who are mature and have the same gifts to disciple you.
6 Discover your unique calling in life, which is usually found in your natural gifts and abilities.
7 Remain open to God's instruction and His interruptions that change your attitudes and ways of thinking.
With most things in life, attitude will make the difference on how we live and respond, not only to God but also to those around us. Part of our attitude involves having the heart of a servant.
Spend time in PRAYER
Action points to take home and work it out:
1 Are you in prayer so you can discern what road signs you are observing? Psalm 34:19
2 The Bible shows us the way. Romans 8:27
3 The Holy Spirit will guide us. John 16:13
4 God will draw us into His will. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:1-2, 2 Timothy 1:1
5 God will use others to help direct our path. Proverbs 25; 27:17-19; Romans 15:14; Titus 2:3-5, Colossians 3:16
Deeper thought: Follow me are two very powerful words, yet are so easily blocked when we are too puffed up with ourselves. If you think you do not need a doctor, you are very mistaken, for you would be the sickest of all. Jesus did not come for the righteous because there are no righteous people. There are only those who think they are. Their invitation to join His Kingdom will never be opened and read, because there is too much of them in the way; the words cannot be seen. The faith to respond will never grow in the shallow soil of pride.
More ideas and help available at www.intothyword.org on the God's Will Channel
© R. J. Krejcir 1994,2001 www.intothyword.com