I had the opportunity last week to share a bit about my life with a community group at our church. Fortunately I had just completed an introspective journey as a part of a pastoral internship I’m taking part in. I made a time-line of my life, marking highlights, low-lights and major themes. Then, I responded to several questions regarding lessons learned, influential moments and people, etc. This all lead up to selecting six “Life Values”. These are values that are a combination of your personal convictions, your spiritual gifts, and the way God has worked in your life to this point. Here are mine:
– Being before doing: Living in the center of God’s will. Experiencing God for myself. Living an “out there” life of vulnerability with God.
– Family First: Letting the emotional & spiritual state of my wife(then children) be the barometer for my success as a family man.
– People Person: Living life in such a way as to “be the change”. A lifestyle of influence. Putting myself in situations that interact with people one on one.
– Spiritual Family: Being fathered, working alongside spiritual peers, fathering.
– Availability: Living a life that has time for spontaneous obedience.
– Faithfulness: Putting to good use the time, talents, treasure I have been given.
So those things seem to be the way God has directed me to this point. In thinking through these, I have also been given a fresh perspective on God’s general hand on each believer’s life. Allow me to expound by use of a few directing verses:
– “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Ephesians 1:4-5
– “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
– “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4
For me, I know that whatever periphery goals, gifts, or dreams I may have, God has a plan that He’s working on in my life. It started before the creation of the world, it’s at work now, and will end with me and Him together in glory forever. He is changing me into the image of Christ… that is it. I can pull in as many ways as I want, but if I’m not pulling in that direction, God will be pulling against me. His hand of discipline, His hand of grace, all are leading toward Christ. That’s the deal I signed up for when I gave my life over to Him. All the other things have varying degrees of importance, but their real significance is how do they line up with an obedient, yielded heart to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit’s work in me.