What Would You Like to Do?

 

Lupines on Roger's Peak in Death Valley National Park, California

Lupines on Roger’s Peak in Death Valley National Park, California

Last week I talked about there being peace in the place where God called us.  But there is another dimension to calling.  There comes a time in, I believe, every Christian’s life where they ask for God’s guidance and He says, “What would you like to do?”

Wildflowers near Glass Beach, California

Wildflowers near Glass Beach, California

It took me by surprise the first time it happened to me.  I sat there thinking, I thought God knew best and that He always directed the steps of His people.  Why does He want to know what I want to do?

Walking the Big Crack of Lava Beds National Monument, California

Walking the Big Crack of Lava Beds National Monument, California

The problem is that we have been taught that there is an omnipotent God and that we are so completely dust and flawed that we can’t do anything without Him.  Both statements are true – God is omnipotent, and without Him, we are completely lost.  But the problem comes when we continue to live in the reality of being nothing without Christ even after we have become the fullness of Christ through accepting Him, believing Him, and joining Him in His death and resurrection (see John 1:12; Romans 6).  Everything changes with salvation and continuing to grow in God.  Instead of being completely nothing, we grow in the fullness of everything that God is.

Lupines near Elk Meadows, Oregon

Lupines near Elk Meadows, Oregon

So when God comes and asks what we would like to do, it’s actually a sign of maturity; that we have grown in Christ to the extent that our hearts are aligned with God’s heart to an extent that He can trust us to make choices.

Beginning the climb up the Cinder Cone in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Beginning the climb up the Cinder Cone in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

It’s not that God has suddenly left us to sink or swim.  When He leads us to make our own choice – with plenty of prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit – He’s there to back up whatever decision we make.  And in that place, we will find the peace that we also found when God told us, specifically, what to do.

Spanish Moss in the Hoh Rain Forest, Washington

Spanish Moss in the Hoh Rain Forest, Washington

God has led me to go to certain places.  At times it has been the desire of my heart to visit that specific place.  Once it was a place that, while I had been there before, wasn’t even on my long list of places to revisit.  Another time, in the same breath, I was saying “Yes, Lord!” and “Is there anything to do there except that one really awful place we don’t want to revisit and that other place that’s so dangerous we wouldn’t get near it?”  (And we thoroughly enjoyed all three trips and found plenty to do and plenty to come back and do another time!)

Clear Creek Canyon in the Wind Rivers of Wyoming

Clear Creek Canyon in the Wind Rivers of Wyoming

This past trip, He led us, but it was much more hands-off.  One of my group members wanted to visit the Grand Canyon; she even heard God about it.  I felt I could take her word for it.  And I had slight leadings: to northern New Mexico, to stay north and not visit the desert of Utah.  But in general, I had the dubious pleasure of choosing what we did and where we went with very little Heavenly direction.

Fireweed on Mt. Hood, Oregon

Fireweed on Mt. Hood, Oregon

But God was there; He backed us up in every single situation.  Even when we ate some canned ham that apparently was quite unfit to eat, He got us up the highest point in New Mexico.  Even when it was terribly hot, He got us back to the van.  When we were in completely the wrong place to do anything other than our plans, and our plans weren’t working per the internet, He still said “Go”.  And we went and had a wonderful time.

Wheeler Peak from Mt. Walker in Carson National Forest, New Mexico

Wheeler Peak from Mt. Walker in Carson National Forest, New Mexico

The point is this: There are times in our Christian life when God is telling us specifically, even step by step, what we are to do.  There are other times when God is waiting for you to take a step so He can back up what you are doing.  The challenge for us is to discern which is which and act according to God’s direction in every situation.

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