“She’s working full time, maybe that’s what I should do?” Ever jumped in that boat? Instead of seeking God’s will for your life, you start seeking someone else’s example for your life. But then it worked out better for her then you. She was energized, growing, getting promoted and making a difference in the world, while you were drained, depressed and overwhelmed. In the end, you found out that the ‘thing’ she was doing was great for her, but not for you. God doesn’t have a one size fits all plan. He gives us grace to do what he has asked us to do, and in the places he calls us to. Hes not giving me grace for her work.
When you try to walk in someones else shoes because they look good, you better make sure they fit otherwise you fail to experience God’s grace in your life; you may even end up walking in a curse rather than blessing. God is a tailor not an assembly line worker. He is customizing your life for your purpose in his kingdom. Don’t expect that its going to look like anyone elses and don’t compare. This results in anger and resent towards GOd and the person your emulating. You might think it’s easier to take a path already blazed, but that doesn’t ensure your success on that path. The truth is, you may not be equipped for that path, and it’s not God’s best for you.
If you don’t live a life wearing God’s best for you, you don’t live a life bringing glory and honor to God. God is not leaving any of his kids out, he has a tailored plan for each one.
God is personal. His teaching is all inclusive, but His orders to each individual are exclusive. According to the scriptures, God’s purpose is twofold: Dwelling and glory. 1. to dwell with his people so that 2. They may bring him Glory. Throughout the scriptures, God works to draw people to himself. The nearer they get the more they reflect his image. How he accomplishes his plan is radically distinct in each life. We each have been given a different potential and skill set and experiences to reflect a unique aspect of God’s image, together, we reflect make up the kingdom of heaven, his dwelling place, a holy city.
In the garden, Eve’s sin seemed so innocent, she didn’t kill anyone, she simply picked some fruit. She took because it seemed like a delight to the eyes and good to make one wise. She consumed something that wasn’t made for her. That fruit from that tree was not God’s best for her. She denied his best and embraced a curse. She forfeited what was true and right. In doing so lost dwelling and glory. Look at Noah, he wasn’t instructed about a certain tree. Noah was instructed about a boat. Abraham also had a unique path and instruction because he had a unique purpose in God’s vast plan. about a journey. God has different plans for different children. But the same outcome, intimacy with Himself.
when we obey God’s will for our unique life we will experience closeness with GOd, even if it doesn’t look like success. When we obey our own lusts after someone else’s life we will feel resentment toward God.
What struck me in the gospel of Luke were the variety of instructions Jesus gave to those he healed. In 8:39 he tells the man,
‘go and tell what great things God has done for you.’ but after raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead, Jesus instructs, “Tell no one.”
He instructed one to take up his mat and walk, while telling the woman with the blood issue to just ‘go in peace’. To some he told ‘go your way and sin no more’ others ‘go show the priests and make an offering’. Jesus knows things we don’t. He sees things we can’t. He is able to give us the specific tailored instruction for our life alone.
God is personal. We cannot know what’s right for our life by looking at a sister or brother. We must keep our eyes on God, and tell others to do the same, ‘working out our OWN salvation’. God told Joseph to store up food, while providing bread from heaven for the children of Israel. He instructed Moses to bring a staff to perform miracles, yet he told the disciples bring no staff, but perform miracles using authority. this is not a God of Contradictions this is a personal Father, who knows the needs of each of his children.
Having the gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if Prophecy in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving: the one who teaches, in his teaching: the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8
In Luke 8, Jesus cast out a demon from the man at the tombs, when the man begged to go with Jesus, Jesus said, NO? Jesus’ most effective plan for that guy, was refusing his request. Although Jesus’ work on the cross is for us all, his plans, will and commands are not. He relates personally with each man, woman and child.
It’s important that we don’t condemn and judge one another’s’ choices because they aren’t our choices (unless of course we see them walking in sin and rebellion). Compare them with the scripture not ourselves. We ought not to pressure others to do what God has called us to do. If it’s God we are obeying we don’t need justification or an entourage of agreement from others, just silent surrender. Often times we forget our boundaries’ with people who are closest to us…such as siblings, parents and children. We become like spoiled children, “they have it so I want it too.”
A good example of this is found In the book of numbers. Miriam and Aaron become jealous of their brother Moses. Moses was called by God, set apart to deliver Israel and to lead them. It was He, not they who was chosen to express God’s expectations and orders. At one point in their journey, Miriam questioned Moses, saying: “hey, we are all the same, why do we have to listen to Moses, God speaks to us all.” But God had chosen Moses to carry that weight, not Miriam and not Aaron. When they tried to assume that role, they were struck with leprosy. God was mad. It wasn’t, ‘not God’s best for them’, it wasn’t God’s will for them. The outcome of their assumptions, became a curse. You can’t just assume another man’s position because it looks good on them. That’s Satan’s no. 1 weapon comparison and coveting. King Saul assumed the priestly task of slaughtering the sacrifice before going into war. He assumed, because Samuel, the priest did it, he could also receive God’s blessing if he performed the sacrifice. Not so. God tore the kingdom from Saul that day.
To obey is better than sacrifice.
Several men, in the book of Acts, were beaten badly by demons because they tried to cast out demons, in the name of Paul’s God, the demons said, ‘we know Paul and we know Jesus, but we don’t know you’. They were attempting to utilize authority and gifts that were not theirs to use. We each need to know Jesus for ourselves, we each need to know his voice and instructions for our individual circumstances.
We will never know God’s will by looking at anyone but HIM. God is personal and intimate with us and wants us to be personal and intimate with him.
Don’t get trapped into comparing. It will result in depression or pride. God loves each one of us enough to have an individual plan for our lives. He knows us each by name, he won’t use a stamp or a cookie cutter to form us. He may place us with people who have similar gifts calling and abilities, but he wants us to keep our heart focused on his voice and trust in him, not that guy who has it all together. The Almighty is our commanding officer, only he knows the best route to victory.