Three days in to this series, and I don’t know about you…but it’s clear that this is exactly where the Lord wanted us to go. Do you know that without Seeking God that I wouldn’t even know what in the world I’m supposed to write about, and furthermore I can’t imagine how horrible a read these messages would be without the Lord’s help.
I know I’m not the greatest writer. I re-read many of my messages to find grammar and spelling errors, wrong words, and there’s so many mistakes…so that’s how you know I’m not a professional writer, but what I am is a man with a heart for God…and I write these messages as best I can…and it’s amazing and encouraging every time someone likes my messages…and it’s even more encouraging when you choose to fan us on Facebook or follow us here on WordPress or Twitter.
It let’s me know that I truly am doing this in accordance to God’s will, I’m writing what He wants me to write, and as a reward He’s drawing people to this ministry. I know I’m not a literary genius, I’m certainly not a world renown theologian (I’ve never even been to Bible College), but what I am is a like I said…a man seeking the heart of God…and doing the best he can to do what he feels God has designed and destined for him to do.
So…let’s get into today’s message and see what more we can learn about Seeking God…
I am thankful that God lead my family and I to a church that has the following Vision Statement: Seeking God, Loving People, and Making Disciples. Part of the reason I’m so thankful for New Life Christian Center is because they were the ones who helped the Holy Ghost (and my wife) give me that gentle Holy Ghost kick in the butt that got me off the sidelines, and into ministry by getting Christlike Ministries NWA off the ground. The other part is because I have come to understand that God joins people together based upon vision and mission. What I mean is…the desire of my heart matches my church’s vision statement.
This is what they say about the “Seeking God” portion of their mission.
Seeking God: Bringing people into a true encounter with God! When you encounter God’s presence and person, your life will be transformed. God has invited us to draw near to Him and we have accepted the invitation. It has become our determined purpose to know Him. New Life Christian Center
“It has become our determined purpose to know Him.”
Every now and again, I believe it’s important for churches and ministries to state what their purpose, vision, and mission is. Here at Christlike Ministries NWA first and foremost, our determined purpose is the same as New Life Christian Center, and the great Apostle Paul. Remember what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:8 (AMP)? In case you forgot here it is…and I’m posting it in the Amplified Version because it helps to describe the determined purpose we ought to have when it comes to knowing God.
Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One), Philippians 3:8 (AMP)
Listen. Paul is regarded as what we like to refer to as a “super” apostle. I mean he wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, he was awarded the opportunity to see Heaven, God gave him the gospel that is to be used to save the nations, God also revealed the mystery to Paul that He hid from Daniel, and Paul was extremely intelligent, but he also had wisdom and common sense along with that intelligence. So…he talks about all that he knew and had revealed to him as RUBBISH compared to his desire to be intimately acquainted with God.
Do you desire to be intimately acquainted with God? Is your determined purpose to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified like Paul’s was? I would like to answer those questions with an emphatic yes myself, but the truth is I allow worldly cares to interrupt my purpose. I allow the cares of the world to choke out that determined purpose, but I can say with all honesty that I really do have a deep, burning desire to be more intimately acquainted with God…and realize that the less of a hold the cares of the world has on me…the more likely I am to be able to have that intimate relationship with God.
Around twelve years ago, Psalm 143 was like a daily medication for me. I was consumed with worry over my health. I became anxious about the possibility of an early death. After several months of feeling defeated and going from bad to worse, God convicted me of my lack of faith and trust in Him.
I never really had much in the way of medical concerns, but I can remember that I had a similar experience while I was unemployed for an extended period of time. I remember in the midst of that time was the first time I saw the movie “Facing the Giants”, and in that movie came what God would use to convict my heart of my lack of faith and trust that He had things under control. The line that caught my heart’s attention was this one: God opens doors that no man can close, and closes doors no man can open.”
What that line did was remind me of not only the sovereignty of God, but that He was in complete control over every door that was opening and closing in my life…and my role in all of this was to trust Him to lead me to the doors He opens and lead me out of and away from the doors He closes. Furthermore, my job is not to complain about the doors He closes…but to rejoice that He’s moving in my life.
I began to recite and meditate on verse eight in this psalm. I chose to believe God’s Word and overcame my fear with the truth that nothing could separate me from God’s love not even death! I now live free of fear. God’s truth has set me free!
I don’t remember if I recited any Bible verses, but I do remember during this time just constantly confessing that I didn’t know what God was doing, but that I was trusting Him to lead me where He wanted me to go.
I also failed to mention that while I was unemployed it allowed me to get Christlike Ministries NWA established, and I began writing these messages while the doors to employment were closed. Once I got this ministry well established…don’t you know doors started opening, and it wasn’t long before I found myself sitting in front of a Christian man as he interviewed me to become a part of the Krispy Kreme family.
Friends…God is sovereign and always in control. He knows exactly what we need, and how to bring about what we need in our lives. He knew that if I was working I would be way too distracted to start-up this ministry, and that He wouldn’t have my full, undivided attention. So…until I learned to hear His voice while writing…He had to keep the doors to any job closed…otherwise…I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have known what kind of job I was looking for.
Eventually, I began to figure out that I wanted a job that would allow me to be able to work, and help provide for my family…but also have hours that would allow me to write and continue to establish the ministry He called me to. What God gave me was the exact job I asked Him for. It’s a blessing to be able to work for Krispy Kreme as a route driver. I may not always see it that way, but when I take a step back…like I am now I realize that this is exactly where I need to be.
It allows me to make a little bit of money to help provide for my family. I work in a van that allows me to listen to awesome Bible teaching, and plug-in my phone to listen to some of my favorite worship songs. I spend 5 – 7 hours a day listening to Bible teaching, and sincere worship music. Then I come home to take a nap, and then when I get up I write my messages. There’s no one here during the day other than my dog to distract me from writing. So, it’s quiet and I’m able to hear from the Lord. Some times I’ll listen to worship music…others I’ll just sit here and write.
I’m here when my son gets home from school, and I’m able to be here waiting on my wife to get home from work. Some times I’m able to make dinner, and then we relax, watch television, and then before you know it…it’s time for bed. I need to go back to getting up a little earlier so I can start my day with the Lord, and then I head to work…and before you know it…I’m in my van listening to more Bible teaching or worship music.
God gave me the exact job I asked for…and now the challenge is remembering to look at it that way…and not see it for being mundane, and some times not yielding the profit financially I’d like. I need to see it as what I just described, and learn to be a better steward of that job…and become a better Christ-like example to those I work with.
Is your heart anxious? Are you worried and burdened with the ‘what ifs’?
The title of this Psalm is: “An Earnest Appeal for Guidance and Deliverance”. Where do you have an earnest need for God’s guidance or deliverance? Let me assure you that if you’ll get a sincere desire in your heart to seek God for His guidance…remember Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
You, too, can be free of your fears! Take all your burdens to God in prayer. Give them to God and realize that He is completely able to care for you. Choose to fully trust Him in everything.
Be A Doer…Not Just A Reader:
Memorize a favorite verse from Psalm 143 today. Write the verse out, read it aloud Repeat these steps until you know it., and meditate on it continually.
It can be any verse actually, but for the purpose of today’s message…try to find one in Psalm 143 that encourages or stands out to you…maybe write that verse on a sticky note…and put it on your bathroom mirror. Maybe write it on a couple of them, and stick them in places you’ll see it…and read it all the time…and get to a place where you declare it out loud…get it deep down into your heart…and as you speak it out…faith will arise…and you’ll receive that guidance you need…Amen!?!
Well…good grief. I thought I already posted this message, but God’s timing is always perfect. I needed to write what I did about my job to remind me that I’m exactly where I am supposed to be…and why I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I told you that many times I am ministered to by my own messages…and today…I needed the Lord to say just what He said…that I need to bloom where I’m planted because He’s still got purpose for me where I am.
See…guidance comes when you seek God’s face. I was honestly praying about my job lately asking Him to reassure me that I’m where He wants me to be…and I got that assurance as I was finishing up this message.
Seeking God’s face on a matter is always better than doing it your own way…Amen!?!