Saturday, June 11, 2016

Allowing God to Direct Our Lives

Whether we are mentoring another person or making simple decisions in life, we should always summit to the will of God and allow God to direct our lives. If we communicate with God through prayer and listening for the Holy Spirit’s direction, our lives will run more smoothly and we can accomplish great things for the Lord.

God has been talking to my husband and me about moving from our residence at the Lake of the Ozarks and moving to Springfield, Mo. We spent about a year looking at the pros and cons, but when God wants you to move, things happen quickly if you are willing to submit to His will. We put our home on the market at the end of May and within six days it was sold. We are now in the process of finding a new home and are excited to see where God will put us and how we will be able to work for him in the new location. But, because things are moving so fast, I may not be able to post the type of blog that I have been posting for you for a few more weeks. In the meantime, though, I will try to keep you all up to date on what is going on.

Because of the move, this week I am going to deviate from talking about the characteristics of our Powerful and Awesome God to talking about allowing God to direct our lives. Actually, this blog is more about submission to God’s desire for our lives and our not trying to always be in control. You see, God always wants what is best for us, and He can use us no matter how we act or what we do. Of course God wants us to act like the loving people He created us to be. Furthermore, with the grace and mercy of God’s offer of Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, God expects all Christians to live for Christ and act appropriately. Unfortunately, because we are tempted just as non-Christians, we can succumb to the world’s ways if we are not very careful. For, if we do not keep our focus on Christ and living for him, we may not always be the good and caring Christians that we should be. Obviously, in such cases, God will not like our behavior, but He knows our hearts, and He can use us even during the worst of times in our lives. That is because God uses each of us for His glory even when we think that we are worthless, for we all have been given a purpose in life. Remember, that God used the agony of His Son on the Cross and the evil that inspired Christ’s crucifixion to give us the eternal glory of His love and a way to spend eternity with God forever. All we have to do is believe on Christ, the risen Son and Savior.

Even Christ submitted to the will of His Father.

“… and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He (Jesus) said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.’” – (John 17: 1-5. NASB).

Submitting to the will of God and trusting in our purpose.

My husband and I are firm believers in praying and trusting God in all areas of our lives. There have been times when we could not see our purpose even when we knew that we had one and even when we did what we believed that God had asked us to do. Certainly, with our sudden move to Indianapolis back in 2008 and then only being there for seven months, we had a hard time seeing God’s purpose for the move. However, in looking back at the move, we can see some of the reasons why we went through such a quick turnaround, although we may not know fully until we are in heaven why God sent us so far from our family and friends for such a short period of time.

In looking back at our time in Indianapolis, one of the purposes for our moving to Indianapolis was that both of us became totally dependent upon God for everything in our lives including becoming totally dependent upon Him for the money that wasn’t there, the food that we needed, and ultimately the sale of our home. We both grew ever closer to God as we relied on Him for strength. Then, we saw first-hand God’s generous love and protection as we somehow always had the money that we needed for food and money for the payments that needed to be made even though my husband no longer had a job. My husband didn't have a job because shortly after our move, the company that my husband worked for started having financial problems and my husband was let go. But, God used this time without any worldly financial provision to show us that we could always trust in Him for our needs.

Another reason that we were sent to Indianapolis was for the lives that we touched while we were there. One person was the Vietnamese Nail tech who did my nails. He was a Buddhist, but he was curious about Christianity, and he loved to read. So, I gave him The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith to read. We made friends while we were there and touched many other people as well. Then, when God was ready, we ended up at the Lake of the Ozarks where we have been for the last eight years.

Here at the lake, we have continued to grow even closer to God and have each become spiritually more mature. We have become involved in our church, and even at his job of eight years, my husband has been able to touch the lives of many people who were down and out and needed help. Along the way, I have held Bible studies and have made some good friends. I even finished a book on Active Relational Christian Mentoring that God placed on my heart to write. This book is now being published and should be out shortly.

Stages in our Lives

As you can see there are stages to our lives. We move from one stage to another sometimes seamlessly at other times unexpectedly. Generally speaking, after adolescents we find a mate and get married. Then children come along and so the next few years are spent raising our children and working hard to make a living and provide for them. Finally, the children are all out of the nest or off to college. At that time, mom and dad become empty nesters, but they may still give emotional and some financial support as well as encourage their children until the young adults get a job of their own. Eventually, mom and dad will have no responsibility for their children, but they are always be loving parents who are there for those unexpected emergencies that their children may have; giving them emotional support and in some rare cases helping financially when there is an unexpected situation that arises. However, those parents who have truly relied on God and taught their children to do so as well, will not have to be financial advisors or constantly worrying about what their young adults are doing.

The next stage of life comes when it is time for one or both of the parents to quit work. That big elusive word called “Retirement” begins to draw closer and become more real and reachable. It isn’t that we don’t want to do anything, but we know that our bodies were created to begin winding down. This means that we just can’t do the strenuous things that we once able to do such as putting in long hours at work. So, if we have followed God’s plan in using our money wisely and not trying to keep up with the Jones’ we should have some money set aside for retirement. We then begin to anticipate the time that we can use for ourselves and hopefully for God as well. Retirement does not mean becoming selfish with our time and acting like we are finished doing for others. It is actually a time in which we can reach out and mentor or do things to help others, because God has given us the extra time to do so.

Trusting in the Lord for the Next Stage of our Lives
My husband and I are nearly in the Retirement stage. In looking at this stage of our lives and where we would like to be for family, we also have to listen for the Lord's will. That is why we have decided to move from the Lake of the Ozarks to Springfield, Missouri so that we can be closer to my mother and stepfather and closer to our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. This will be a big step for us. However, we are again, trusting in God to help us and to direct us to the best area in which to move. We know that it will be a big change from looking at the water every day to living in town again, However, we trust that God has a plan for our lives that our lives will give Him even more glory. We have prayed about it. We are relying on God for new friends and new relationships. But, we do not want to forget the relationships that we have made over the last eight years. We will keep in touch with the friends that we have made in the last eight years, and I will continue to mentor those who need mentoring via telephone and the technology of today.

I know that God will have mentoring relationships available in Springfield. I just have to be observant and discerning and then be willing to reach out to mentor others for the Lord. Who knows, maybe I will even hold another Bible study in our home. But, whatever God has in store for us, I know that if we continue live for Him and do His will in our lives that we will be blessed indeed.

I am telling you all this to let you know that my blog may be a little sporadic for a few weeks until we get out of our home and into our next home. I will try to keep you posted on what is occurring even if it is just a few lines until I can get back to my writing again. In the meantime, I encourage each of you who are Christians to reach out and mentor someone for the Lord. You Can do it! You can share the Gospel! You can be that friend, that supporter, that helper, that encourager, etc. that another woman desperately needs. Just think about what God would have you do and then just do it! 

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