“Worship is far more than praising, singing, and praying to God.
Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving him, and giving ourselves to be used for his purposes.
When e use your life for God’s glory, everything you do can become an act of worship.”~ Rick Warren
“Often, it’s not one great, dramatic thing that God asks us to do, but hundreds of little everyday things.
If we want to be used by Him, if we’re ready to be used and aren’t all tangled up with your own plans and projects, then He’ll show us the work He has for us.”
~ Lynn Austin
I’ve asked God that question a lot lately.
I’ve asked God that question a lot lately.
A little over 2 months ago, I was sitting in my cubicle at work, going about my daily work routine, when I got called to HR and was informed that I had been laid off along with several others, due to budget cuts within the company.
It stung me…not because I hold any grudge towards the company or anything, but because I had taken pride in the work I was doing there. I was good at my job. Along with that, I felt a sense of fulfillment knowing that I was making pretty good money there, helping to provide for my wife and two daughters.
It hurt me to know that all of that had been taken away from me through no fault of my own. What’s worse is that this wasn’t a unique occurrence…in fact, it seems to have become a recurring theme over the past few years.
My wife, who is incredibly supportive, held my hand, kissed my face, and gave me some advice that really threw me for a loop.
She suggested that I not rush back to work.
After my initial shock and confusion, I got over myself and took the time to listen to her…which is ALWAYS a smart move.
She pointed out that she had also noticed the layoff trend, and that rather than viewing it as a string of “bad luck”, it would be best to see if perhaps God was trying to tell me something.
Soooooooo…I’m all ears, Lord.
At least, that’s what I told myself. But the truth is, I spent the first few weeks doing more talking than listening. I bombarded Him with questions:
Why does this keep happening to me?
Don’t you care any about our financial situation?
Am I doing something wrong?
Are you punishing me for something I’ve done?
Lord, why am I here…AGAIN?
And God, being the loving and understanding Father that He is, didn’t answer ANY of those questions…at least to my satisfaction. And it wasn’t until I stopped running my mouth that I began to understand why.
I had made the mistake of thinking that me being in this situation was a mistake itself…as if I had suddenly taken a wrong exit off the interstate and wound up in the boondocks somewhere…as if I simply wasn’t supposed to be here.
And yet…God knew I would wind up here. He could have prevented it somehow if He wanted to, right? So, the logical conclusion is that…
…He wanted me here.
When I finally swallowed that difficult pill, I actually began to get some answers…one of which is that I should no longer view my job as my vocation. I’m beginning to see that the series of layoffs were simply God’s way of shifting my focus. Writing is eventually going to become the way I make my living…I sincerely believe that.
But, I believe the most valuable answer…or rather lesson learned…is that difficult situations in my life aren’t a slip-up on God’s part. He’s intentional about how He handles every aspect of my life…even the most trying times. The same God that leads me beside still waters will also lead me through the wilderness every once in a while.
Sometimes, God just wants me to be there.
And, now that I know better…so do I.
“When we think of someone pursuing a calling, we often picture a person who has it all together, someone who knows from the beginning what they were born to do.
They have a plan.
A person hears from God and becomes a priest. A professional athlete who grew up kicking a ball around the yard becomes a world-class soccer player. We picture someone who just knew what they were supposed to do with their lives and, at the right time, did it.
But a calling doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes, perhaps often, it is messy.”
~ Jeff Goins
“Jesus’ invitation to deny oneself is less about depriving the self, and more about disowning, or renouncing a relationship with the part of ourself that is not what God created us to be.”
~ Enneagram Types
“Did you know that, on average, each of us speaks about twenty-five thousand words daily? My last book didn’t have that many words.
A lot of language is flowing out of our mouths every day and having an impact on those around us. But how much of that flow is fulfilling God’s intended purpose for our speech?
How much of it reflects pride, rather than a gospel-motivated humility?”
~ C.J. Mahaney
“One of the ways we can beat the feeling of purposelessness is to stop trying to make ourselves happy.
But doesn’t everyone want to be happy? Maybe not.
Life is too short to do what doesn’t matter, to waste your time on things that don’t amount to much. What we all want is to know our time on earth has meant something. We can distract ourselves with pleasure for only so long before beginning to wonder what the point is.
This means if we want true satisfaction, we have to rise above the pettiness of our own desires and do what is required of us.”
~ Jeff Goins
“The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel, but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet…
…that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God.”
~ Oswald Chambers
2 Chronicles 1:7
“In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, ‘Ask what I shall give thee.’ ” (KJV)