This past Sunday Jamie gave the last message in a series he began three weeks ago. The first message in the series dealt with the favor of God in your life. The second talked about the importance of God’s timing and this past Sunday’s was about knowing God’s will for your life. We all say we want that, right? How many times have we heard someone say, or said ourselves, “All I want is God’s will for my life.” I know I have said it, but do I really mean it? Last week marks the one year anniversary of when we took the leap of faith into what we really felt that God was calling us to do. We stepped out, with God’s leading, and started a church plant in downtown Johnson City. We didn’t just up and decide to make that major move on a whim, it was almost a year in the making. Taking time to seek the Lord, asking for confirmation and then asking again! After God confirming this was what we were to do and when to do it (God’s Timing!) we went for it and He has blessed our calling so much (Favor!). This year has taught me more than I can say and it has also challenged me in ways I never imagined. Much of that challenge has been around accepting God’s will for my life. This is why the message the Lord gave Jamie Sunday resounds loudly in my head.
I have a “me” problem. I admit it. This past year has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination. In the past we have always had a Senior Pastor to lean on (or to send problems to ). But now it all stops with us. That can be pretty heavy. There have been many times in the last year that in my head I have started whining to God. “Lord, this is too much!”, “Lord, my child is being put on the back burner and it is not fair!”, “Lord, no one else cares, why should I?”, “Lord, I never have any “me” time!”, “Lord, I have to take second place in my husband’s life because of this!” Notice a pattern here? Me, Me, ME, I, I, I! Wow! I have come to realize, and very much so in the last couple months, that this “me” problem is what is hindering my relationship with God. A few weeks ago, I was listening to “Fix My Eyes” by For King and Country and the chorus hit me like a ton of bricks. On YouTube they have a video explaining what inspired the song so I checked it out. Basically, in my own words, they said that they got together as a band and discussed what, at the end of it all, was most important that they do or accomplish in this life. Here is what they came up with:
Love like I’m not scared
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak up for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall, but above it all
Fix my eyes on YOU
Really read that close and take time to think through each of those. Those words impacted me so much that they are sitting on my desk at work. So when I start the whining to God I look over and see them and I shut it off. So, now to get back to what Jamie talked about this past Sunday. If you remember, I said he talked about God’s will. Here are a couple highlights from his sermon:
1) If you truly want God’s Will for your life, the first thing that must go is your will
Jesus set the ultimate example of this for us. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39. Then again in Matthew 26:42, He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Jesus completely submitted his will to the Father’s. He did not want to drink from the cup that was handed to him but he knew that he had to do the Father’s will.
2)How will I know that this is God’s will for my life?
Jamie answered this question with another question: “What does it determine to serve, you or your brother?”
Jamie said that a clear indication that you are in God’s will is that what you are doing is serving your brother not yourself. Luke 10:27 says – He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Also, John 15:13 says Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Are your pursuits in this life God’s will? Look in the mirror, what do you see? You or your brother?
The whole time Jamie was talking I could hear the chorus of that For King and Country song in my head. The battle against “me” is not going to be won in a day, month, year and probably not even a lifetime. I constantly have to remind myself that if I truly want God’s will in my life I have to submit to Him my will. I feel like, before we were even made into existence, God had a goal set for us to achieve during our lifetime. I want to daily strive to meet that mark and to not fall short. The only way I can achieve this is to not do it myself at all, but to submit myself to Him and His will. If I fix my eyes on Him, he will show me His will for my life in His Timing and I will walk in His Favor. I pray that I can reach that high mark He has set for me.
12 I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. 13 Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. 14 I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed. – Philippians 3:12-14 (The Voice)