the future revealed?


 

 

Have you ever asked God to reveal His will to you?  How about your future?  “God, please tell me where I’m supposed to go!  I want to do Your will, but I need to know what that is!”  I have.  I’ve asked God what He wants me to do, with the purest intentions.  I want to know so that I can serve Him best.

But I’ve come to realize that there’s a fine line between knowing the future and knowing God’s will for me.  A lot of the time, we lump them together as one and the same.  My future may be God’s will, yes, but maybe God will tell me one and not the other.  He may reveal to me what my future is supposed to be, or His will, but maybe not both.

When it comes to the future, God does not tell us in advance what His plans are.  He asks that we trust Him regardless.

In his famous devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers said:

Have you been asking God what He is going to do?  He will never tell you.  God does not tell you what He is going to do—He reveals to you who He is.  Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you “go out” in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does?

That is what I mean by “future” and “God’s will.”  By knowing God, we can often get a clearer picture of what His will is.  For example, it might be God’s will for you to grow in your faith a certain way within the next year, but God won’t tell you exactly how He is going to do that (the future).

I began reading the book of Colossians the other night and I was scanning quickly through Paul’s introduction to the Colossians (they seem to be the same in every book).  But I slowed myself down, reminding myself it was the Word of God.  When I reached verses nine and ten, I was a bit confused.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing good fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

(Colossians 1:9 – 10)

It was the second part of verse nine that really caught my attention.  I had just read the devotional that the above excerpt comes from (January 2) and this verse seemed to completely contradict it!  “…filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…”  I realized I must be missing something and asked a few questions and prayed.  Does this mean knowing what God is going to do?  Paul mentioned “the knowledge of his will,” but I also know that God doesn’t just tell us the future.  “…in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…” I also noticed that Paul said “the knowledge,” not, “a knowledge.”  I’m not trying to nit-pick here, but aren’t there many futures?  I finally journaled this conclusion:

I think Paul is saying that it’s more knowing God and being wise and understanding Him.  Not necessarily the future, but His will.  Not what will happen to us, but what God wants in us.  Then we will do His will if we know Him.

Verse ten says:

So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

We can see from this verse that God’s will for us is for us to walk with and in Him, and to bear “good fruit” through good deeds (needed for faith and vice versa). We need to increase in the knowledge of God and, by doing so, we will know His will—maybe not the future, but His will—more and more.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

(Philippians 1:6)

 If you want to know God’s will better, get to know God better.

but to simply wait


I’m sure you’ve heard that God doesn’t work by our time schedule, but by His.  We’ve been told this for years, ever since we can remember by parents, leaders, pastors, friends.  It’s true.  God works by His perfect, infallible timing.  He knows better than we do and He comes through every time.  There are countless testimonies and Bible verses affirming this.

But what about when you’re waiting?  Not when you’re panicking about if something will happen in time, but when God seems to be on hold; when it seems like He’s taking a break.  When the God-to-you line appears disconnected no matter how much praying you do.  What then?  You were so certain you’d see good results, but you don’t.  Actually, any results would be good, but there simply aren’t any.

It’s during these seasons of waiting that God teaches us.  God teaches us and strengthens our faith through trials, yes, but also through those times when nothing seems to be happening.  Will I still put my trust in Him when He seems to be gone?

When we get impatient waiting for God to act, it’s a good reminder to “be still and know that [he is] God.”  Too often we try to fix things ourselves or get impatient and try to speed up the results.  But everything will work perfectly in His timing for our betterment—even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

(Psalm 27:14)

In those times of waiting, we are commanded to simply wait for God.  Our job is to trust Him and He will be faithful.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”?  Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

(Isaiah 40:27 – 31)

God is there, whether we can see Him or not.  He will never leave us or forget about us.  If we trust Him, He will always be with us and will work all things together for us because we love Him.

Will you trust Him now, even as you’re waiting?

enough


All of You is more than enough

For all of me, for every thirst and every need

You satisfy me with Your love and all I have in You

Is more than enough.

(Enough, Chris Tomlin)

 

Have you ever tried to survive by just drinking water?  You can have as much water as you want, but you can only have water.  Nothing else—no food or other drinks.  Just water.  Or have you tried to survive by living off of only one specific food?  Like only bread, or only rice?  Probably not, unless you’re doing a 30-hour famine.  We know that it’s nearly impossible to eat or drink only one thing and be healthy.  The human body needs a variety of nutrients in order to be healthy.

The same is true for our souls.  Have you been trying to live off of only one aspect of God?  Maybe you’ve only accepted the part of God that forgives.  Maybe you only accept God if you forget about the side of Him that says to honor Him in everything you do—not just Sundays and youth group.  Or maybe you are okay with God in everything except loving your enemies.

But the truth is that we need all of God to be spiritually healthy.  True, some things about God don’t look appealing at first glance; such as we need to actively serve Him otherwise we aren’t truly following Him.  Or that we need to have faith when everything is falling apart and God seems to be nowhere close because He is faithful even when we can’t see Him.  Or those who are “good people” but haven’t accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour won’t receive the eternal reward.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

(2 Corinthians 12:9a)

God says that His grace is sufficient for us.  It’s enough for us to live our spiritual lives off of.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

(Romans 3:23 – 24)

We are all justified by the grace of God.  We are made whole through Him.  If we accept all of God, He will accept all of us, just as we are.  It’s not enough to just accept a part of God.  It’s all or nothing:

 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

(Revelation 3:15 – 16)

God requires the whole of us and He requires that we put our faith in all of Him, not just the areas that suit our needs.  He is enough for us.  Is that true in your life?

modesty matters


As Christian teen girls in today’s society, it is extremely difficult to be modest yet dress attractively. It doesn’t help that all of our non-Christian friends give no regard to modesty or that media all around us is telling us that it doesn’t matter. Top that off with your pastor telling you one thing, your parents telling you another, and then all the different resources out there giving you specific guidelines when it comes to what exactly is modest, and you’re downright confused. It’s easier to say to just forget the whole thing and do whatever you want — all the different Christian influences in your life can’t agree anyway on what exactly is considered modest and what isn’t, so why bother?

Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s a great “resource” out there for you! It’s actually a survey filled out by 1 500 Christian guys ages 12+ that allows you to make modesty decisions based on what you know of a guy’s perspective.

In case you haven’t heard of the Rebelution Blog, it’s a blog by Alex and Brett Harris that they released to start a revolution encouraging teens to “Do Hard Things.”

One of the “hard things” they helped a teen girl do was to put out a modesty survey for Christian guys to take and to help girls know what guys are thinking when it comes to the decisions girls make about modesty. As I mentioned, 1 500 Christian guys of all ages were surveyed (mostly teen guys) and were asked very specifically what types of clothing they thought were modest — everything from bathing suits to jeans to jewelry to shoes.

This may be a little hard to see, but this is an example of how a survey result would look. You can select a statement and see how many guys strongly disagree, strongly agree, etc. This result states, “Guys notice whether a girl dresses modestly or not.” As you can see, 66.9% of all the guys who did this survey strongly agree, and 29.4% agree (together that’s 96.3% of all guys agreed who did the survey!).

Here’s another one…

Modesty is an important quality for your future wife to have.” Altogether, 95.4% of the guys who took this survey agreed.

As you may (or may not) be able to see in these pictures, you can also select a filter and put the results through that. So say you only want the guys’ opinions who are 17 years old. Just select that on the sidebar of the survey and you’re good to go. : )

I hope you’ll put this great resource to use, as it can help you define what is modest and immodest. At the very least it gives you a true guys’ perspective and allows you to make your decisions on that.

However, I can’t talk about modesty in dressing without mentioning having a modest spirit. Guys notice this too!

A modestly dressed girl can still be a stumbling block because of her attitude and behavior.” How many guys agreed (strongly or otherwise) with this? 93.8%.

Character, intelligence, and personality are more important than physical beauty.” Remember, this is from the guys themselves! 91.1% of all the guys agreed with this statement.

This reaffirmed for me that character really does matter. Why? Because it lasts, and it’s what truly satisfies. Remember that and seek God first.

Blessings!

Emily

Jesus swagger


Recently, I’ve discovered (via facebook) this website by Jarrid Wilson: jesusswagger.com. It’s awesome pictures of awesome stuff…you should just check it out. : ) It’s all facebook-postable, twitter-tweetable, pinterest-pinnable, and email-mailable. Each quote has a corresponding Bible verse or explanation too. Here’s a taste of what you’ll see when you visit the website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!! (Canada!)

Blessings!

abortion: how should Christians react?


Abortion is a huge issue in our Canadian society today. It’s easy to get an abortion. Of course, as Christians, we believe taking the life of an unborn child is wrong in God’s (and our) eyes. As Christians, how should we react?

Recently, MP Stephen Woodworth brought forth a motion before the House of Commons asking that Parliament take another look at when an unborn child is declared a human. An article was written referring to this and the issue of abortion and how Christians should respond to it.

Go here to read it. It’s written by a young Christian adult, and you should read it. 🙂

…and if you have time (33:03 minutes, to be exact), check out this video of people changing their minds about abortion in minutes! (please be aware of the fact that it may not be appropriate for younger viewers.)

because you are young [purity]


Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

(1 Timothy 4:12)

Purify: “to rid of impurities . . . to free from guilt, sin, etc.” – dictionary

How can we be examples for others in purity?

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

(1 Peter 3:2)

I included this verse because it speaks to purity setting an example to others; it’s not only for wives, but everyone.

 He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.

(Acts 15:9)

So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

(Luke 11:9)

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

(James 1:5)

God will purify our hearts if we ask and if we have faith. These people had faith, so God purified their hearts.

 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

(2 Corinthians 7:1)

We must purify ourselves when it comes to who and what we surround ourselves with, as well as resisting temptation. This means getting rid of anything that isn’t God-honouring in our lives. Although not listening to certain music (which might be “okay” but still not giving glory to God) or reading certain books or watching certain TV shows may seem a bit extreme, it will not go unnoticed by our Heavenly Father.

 It teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

(Titus 2:12 – 14)

God wants to purify us for His purpose.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

(1 John 1:9)

God will purify us if we repent and ask.

No matter how hard we try, we alone cannot purify ourselves. God must purify us because only He can truly forgive sins and change our hearts. We may try to physically change our hearts by trying to think good thoughts, etc., but it will never be enough because we do not have the power to make ourselves good enough for God. Only He can make us truly pure.

Today, I challenge you to rid your life of all things that are not honouring to God. Allow God to purify your heart for His great and wonderful purpose. God can change your heart if you let Him.