Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 4: Tapping into the Power Source

Welcome back to 31 Days of Purpose! For some of you, welcome for the first time. If you haven't heard, I've joined with four other ladies to blog every day of July. So join me here everyday this month, and don't forget to join them throughout the month as well. 

Their blogs can be found at the following addresses:
Monique Zackery - 31 Days of Victory - www.moniquezackery.blogspot.com
Michelle Discavage - 31 Days of Wellness: Mind, Body, Spirit - www.chelled.blogspot.com
Sheryl Griffin - 31 Days of Hope - www.sherylgriffin.blogspot.com
Jennifer Lain - 31 Days of Freedom - www.parentpassion.com


I've spent much of my life wishing I was in the next stage of life. In elementary school, I couldn't wait to get to middle school. In middle school, I couldn't wait to enter high school. In high school, I could hardly wait to go to college. And so on and so on.

The root of my issue didn't go away with childhood. Some days I still find myself thinking, "Man, life will be great when..." Interestingly, the great moment of "when" seldom brings happiness within itself. Each stage of life holds its own set of joys and pains. It's been a rude awakening over the years.

During my childhood, however, much of my wishing my life away had to do with gaining independence and freedom. I couldn't wait to be grown, to make my own decisions, to run my own life. I could hardly wait to be my own boss. I dreamed of the day when -- like Frank Sinatra -- I'd sing "I Did It My Way!"

And everything in North American society thrusts us towards this goal. From childhood, we're encouraged to study hard and get good grades, so one day we can get a good job and become independent. Our parents, along with Bill Cosby on "The Cosby Show," cracked jokes about hoping the children wouldn't return to the "nest" after graduating from college. We are taught to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, hold our own and make our own way in the world. Our main goal in maturing as men and women is independence.

Then we begin to walk closely with Christ. And everything we've been taught gets turned upside down.

The world tells us to be leaders, not followers. And yet we sing, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus."

We're taught to dream big dreams for ourselves. And yet we sing, "Be Thou My Vision."

The media tells us to have it our way. And yet we sing, "It's all about You, Jesus. And all this is for You. For your glory and your fame. It's not about me..."

And when the pastor steps up to the pulpit, He preaches a sermon on John 15:5. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."


Nothing? I can do nothing apart from God? Well, it doesn't take a genius to see that plenty of people are doing plenty of things without God. Multi-millions of dollars are being made without God. Great books are being written without God. Amazing music is being composed and sung without God. Obviously plenty of things can be done without God.

However, I believe John 15 states that we "can do nothing" of true eternal significance without Him. And what has true eternal significance? Those things that point back to Him. Those things that are done for Him. Those things that He empowers us to do.

Now, I'm not saying that you need to quit your job, and become a pastor or missionary. Secular work can glorify God too. Providing for your family honors God. Walking in relationship with your coworkers, so they can observe a Christian up close and personal, glorifies God.

Many people today will never cross the threshold of a church building. So what do we do about that? We, the Church, have to go to them. And the best way to do that is in natural relationship with family members, neighbors and coworkers.

But we cannot impact our family, neighbors and coworkers if we're not connected to God. We must depend on Him for a spiritual power source that only He can give. Through prayer (talking to God) and reading the Word of God (Him speaking back to us) we stay connected. Worship connects us to God too. And not just Sunday morning worship either. Some of my best times of worship happen in the privacy of my car. I'm sure anyone that witnesses these "services" thinks I'm a nut-case!

When I'm connected to the Lord, I can see the world the way He sees it. I begin to dream His dreams, envision His visions. I desire the things He desires -- to see a lost world turn away from its selfish desires and turn to Him and His will. When I'm connected to Him, I can see my role in His plans. When I'm connected to Him, His purposes become my purposes.

I've committed to stay connected to the Vine. How about you?

Purposed For Him,

Carla

6 comments:

  1. Oh, Carla! What a great post. I've decided to follow Jesus!

    P.S. I totally worship in my car. As far as I know, I've already been caught twice by people I know who saw me at a red light raising my hands and singing at the top of my lungs. hahaha. I used to worry that other drivers would think I'm nuts, shouting for joy all by myself. But then I decided that God uses the foolish things... I don't mind being "nuts" for Jesus. haha.

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  2. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. :)

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  3. Thanks Girlfriends! Appreciate you!

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  4. Well said and I could almost see you in the car singing! I love that you said, "However, I believe John 15 states that we "can do nothing" of true eternal significance without Him."
    So true!

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  5. Thanks Sheryl! You may have seen me when I lived in Franklin, and thought who's that crazy woman?!!

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  6. Carla,
    your posts are so encouraging. I missed a couple days and are catching up on them all. I loved this post. I too have wished life away....constantly thinking of the next stage of life and how God will use us there and what we will do once we are there. Just the other day, Dan and I were talking about life and our place in Conway. Ministry has a way of us always looking ahead trying tro figure out what God is doing and what He will do next. But God has really been stirring my heart to stop thinking about the wheres and whens of our next step in life and focus on the now. Not just in ministry, but in other things to (buy a house and start a family, etc.) To live in today...for us preparers that is a hard thing. But, just the last few days I have enjoyed the release it brings. To know, I can relax, God has it planned and I am along with Him for the journey. I am glad you are with you guys too during this road of the journey!
    BTW, when I see you crying out to Jesus in your car...I will be right there with ya doing it too. Car worship time is my favorite! LOL

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