What is your “Why”?

Why do you do what you do?

Seriously, whether it’s your work, your school, your exercise, your diet, your bill-paying, your church attendance…WHY do you do what you do?

We all have ‘Why’s‘ that we operate under, although we often don’t think about them.

Sometimes our ‘why‘ is very superficial–‘I go to work because I need a paycheck’ or ‘I go to school because I’m required to’.

Here’s the problem though: If you only do these things because you’re told to, or for a short term gain, then the motivation is very superficial and very short-lived..and often very self-centered.

When it comes to longer-term things, though that won’t really work.

WHY do you stay true to your mate? Why do you invest in your kids’ lives?

These need bigger answers–these need to be deeper motives, more sweeping goals.

I stay true to my wife because I love her, and I’ve committed myself to her. She is my prize and I want her to know it!

When it comes to God, this contrast shows up most starkly.

If the only reason I go to church, for example, is that ‘I have to–my parents make me’, or ‘If I don’t, I feel guilty.’, then you’ve got an eternally-significant thing–your relationship with God–being paired up with an extremely superficial, self-centered reason.

That’s not a good mix.

So…WHY do you attend church? WHY do you pray? WHY do you worship? WHY do you obey God?

I’m not asking why these things ‘should be done’, I’m asking you to think about WHY You, specifically, do them.

For example, Paul tells us to “give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable.” (Romans 12:1a) this it a ‘command’ or ‘exhortation’.

WHY should we? Because “This is truly the way to worship him.” (Romans 12:1b)--because He deserves our worship. As the One True God, He is deserving of our sacrifice and service. As the God who has rescued us and given us eternal life, He certainly deserves our lives!

Paul goes on with another exhortation. He says “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”.  (Romans 12:2a) This is the ‘What’–the command.

WHY should we do it?

Paul answers, “Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2b)

Paul says that the REASON–the “Why” of our worship and obedience is because 1) As God, He deserves it, and 2) It is Only Then–when we’ve let Him transform us–that we’ll be able to to “Learn God’s will for you–which is good, pleasing and perfect”.

Many of us want ‘the good stuff‘ from God, and we assume that ‘If I do __, then He will do __’. If I comply, He blesses–but that is missing the point.

It’s about worship and transformation. It’s about giving myself completely to Him–which is reasonable, given that He is God and I am not!

As I do that, He works within me, drawing me closer and transforming my life…and THAT’S when it happens…that’s when I start to know and see God’s will. That’s when I start to realize how “good, pleasing and perfect” it is!

WHY should we obey God?

Not because ‘my parents make me’ or because ‘I feel guilty’, but because 1) He deserves it, and 2) because in so doing, we open up the floodgates of the Lord’s blessing–and we see in our lives the proof that His Ways are Perfect!

WHY are you doing what you do, especially re: your relationship with God?

Have the courage to ask that, to pray on that, and to let God change that today!

 

 

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Light in the Darkness

 

Where do you turn when the way seems mysterious?

When the road seems clouded in shadow, and you can’t make out the path?

How do you know the next step to take, without falling into a hole, or off a cliff?

 

As harsh as it sounds, sometimes you don’t!

Sometimes, the way is not all that clear, and you don’t know exactly how it’s going to turn out.

 

In those times, if you’re trusting in yourself, or in the government, or another person, they will fail.

If you’re trusting in religion, the ‘cracks’ in your belief system will be exposed in those circumstances.

However, if you’re trusting in the LORD, that’s when you will get stronger!

It is an ironic truth that when we are weak, then His strength is able to come through.

the Apostle Paul wrote, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

King David knew this first hand, when he wrote, “The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble.” (Psalm 37:39)

These men knew something that many of us don’t know…that God’s strength is the ONLY thing we can depend on when we’re following Him…yet, that’s precisely where we need to go in times of trouble–to God!

If we can learn to trust in Him, even when we can’t see, we will learn that He will not let us fall. He wants to encourage our faith! He wants us to learn to step out into His hands, even when we cannot see.

Therefore, if you are being led by the Lord and He is leading you to step into the unknown, keep close to Him, but do not fear!

If you’ve ever been in a building when the power goes out, you know that ‘the dark’ can be very scary! If you’re in an unfamiliar place and suddenly the lights go out, you may think you’re in a horror movie! It can be very intimidating!

How different would it be, however, if you were holding the hands of a Navy Seal or Army Ranger, who had night vision goggles?

Your confidence would be much greater!

Certainly walking with God is much better than walking with a Special Forces member…God sees and knows all, perfectly!

We can trust Him at all times!

 

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Honestly, Lori and I are going through a bit of an ‘adventure’ like this right now. We are seeking the Lord’s direction for her teaching career and right now are without her income and now having to switch insurance. There have been a couple of offers for other jobs–which would have alleviated these challenges. However, as we’ve prayed about them, we’ve sensed very clear direction from the Lord, saying, ‘No, don’t take that. I am teaching you. I am leading you. Trust me’. That has been difficult, in spite of the fact that we KNOW that He is faithful, He is loving and He is wise. Maybe it shouldn’t be hard…but it is.

When we struggle, however, the one thing we do is go back to Him. We go back and declare our intention to trust in Him, let Him lead, and faithfully follow.

When we do, we really do sense ‘the peace that passes understanding’ (Philippians 4:6-8)

His Word reminds us,

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:5-8)

Are you ‘stepping out’ and following God’s leading, by faith?

If so, GREAT!

…but don’t expect it to be easy.

The journey of faith can be overwhelming…but it is worth it, and will result in our maturity and His glory;

His Kingdom being advanced and others learning to live by faith;

Overcoming faith, and Rock solid Peace–because you rest in HIS hands, by HIS power!

 

…and that’s a great place to be!