Say this with me
Every family is different.
Seriously, say it again if you have to.
I know I need to remind myself this all.the.time.
While visiting Florida I was affirmed countless times with our choice to move our family and have a little piece of country life. I had a couple people say in humor “we wish we were you!” I know this is a way to express approval and I am thankful for the encouragement and affirmation. At the same time many a truth is spoken in jest. I want to assure whoever may need it that God is sovereign with wherever your life has you. That just because, say, our life looks different and maybe even desirable to some, it doesn’t mean that your life should necessarily resemble it. God has allowed things in all our lives to happen, he has mercifully used our faithfulness and unfaithfulness, our sins and our obedience, to bring us to exactly where we are now. Our chief purpose is to glorify God, not to pursue earthly comforts or self centered desires. He wants us to acknowledge him in this very moment, seeking ways to glorify him where he has graciously placed us. This may mean remaining where we are, this may mean changing behaviors, this may mean moving, and it definitely looks different in every individual and family. What I can say for certain whether we change, go or stay, it will mean nothing if it’s not in obedience to the Spirit of God.
Ya know, every time I return home to Florida there is a deep ache that longs to be with my family, close friends and the church body of Lutz. Sometimes my mind wonders “why are we away from our family?” But it is, without doubt, obvious to Jason and I that God has intentionally directed our steps to Georgia. On the outside it may look like a breeze, that we are just living it up here on the farm. Truthfully, most of the time it is but it’s not with out sacrifice however small or big it seems to onlookers.
And here in lies the problem. Here is where satan has stepped in.
I believe there is a pervasive insecurity creeping into our hearts and minds about where God has each of our families. Sometimes we think we know it all, that “this fill in blank is Gods will” as if one thing applies to everyone. Sometimes we observe other families and think “maybe we should do that.” There are days that satan tries to plant seeds of guilt in my heart about how I spend my time staying home. Should I homeschool? Should I be feeding the homeless or volunteering somewhere? Should I be taking meals to people? Holy conviction from the Spirit, bring it on. And it may lead to a sacrificial act of service like the examples above. But I have a tendency to get sucked into this vortex of lies that I have to prove myself to man that my time is spent wisely. That I have to show and do things that say “see, I’m not just staying at home doing nothing all day.” I won’t fall for it satan. I will seek Gods approval. Mans approval becomes about me. About my good deeds that everyone sees. Gods approval, is about God. About how I honor him, with out it needing to be known to anyone but him. And that’s not a cop out. God does convict and reveal about how we should invest His time. And it’s not up to man to decide if we think it’s appropriate usage of time. That’s between individuals/families and God.
We are so used to having a glimpse into peoples lives that it’s given us a misconception that we think we know what’s going on. Those glimpses are just that, glimpses. Smidgens of information that doesn’t give complete accuracy.
So for those of you following this blog, don’t let satan produce feelings of inadequacy where God has you. Yes, sometimes God does require us to move and change and yes he does use his people often times to stir our hearts for a new approach or a different way. (I am SO grateful for a body of believers to encourage me, challenge me and hold me accountable.) I promise you though, guilt and criticism will not be tied to the stirring of the Spirit. If you are genuinely pursuing relationship with Christ, reading the Word, learning Who God is, how to glorify him, talking with him in prayer, and acting in obedience to what he reveals to you, he will provide the direction, confidence, and approval you need. It
may be definitely begins right in your home, and it may extend to your city, on a farm, in your neighborhood, across the ocean or your office.
I pulled this quote from one of his daily devotionals, he nails it.
Making God’s Word the authority of your life is a stress reliever, because if you don’t have an authority in your life, you’re going to listen to all kinds of conflicting opinions. One day you’ll decide this, another day you’ll decide that, and then one day you can’t decide, and indecision causes stress. But if you decide that God’s Word is going to be the authority of your life, it simplifies your decision-making. -Rick Warren
Seek Him. Be obedient, be bold, be confident. And not for yourself or your happiness 😉 for God alone, the Creator, our Savior, Who is so completely worthy of EVERYTHING we can give.
Is it coincidence that as I finish this up one of my favorite Hillsong United songs came on? With Everything 🙂 youtube my friends, go for it!