This is an amazing thing, we can look at our lives at any given point and ask, "Why am I a failure?" or "Why am I a success?" Even our understanding of failure and success is relative to our own experience. Society looks at a person and says, "Had their circumstances (family situation, economic, education, culture, etc,) been different, then they would have or would not have _____" You fill in the blank.
We must admit these factors do influence our lives, but if you are a Christian you must understand God is not limited by these factors or deterred by our personal life plans or lack thereof. His purpose will stand and all these factors in our lives both good and bad are known of Him from the foundation of the world.
Julie and I once watched a movie with a re-occurring line where the main character would frequently say, "It could have been different, but it wasn't". Our lives are what they are and we can't go back and change them, nor should we desire too. We are to take what God has given us, turn our face to Him, cry out for His Grace and look for His Purpose in all we have experienced.
What he did and the reason he is know of us never entered into his mind until all his plans fell to the ground. It is said that his impact upon missions cannot be calculated, yet he never intended to be a missionary. Again, we must know, God's plans and purpose are not limited by our circumstances or personal plans, God's purposes will stand, and our seeming disappointments and failures are but tools in His hands to do with us what He pleases to the Glory of His name and the good of those that love Him. God is at work for the Glory of His name and the good of His church even when the good intentions of His servants fail, even when that failing is owing to sin or carelessness. So if your life is not what you planned it to be, if you are disappointed in how your life has turned out, then turn your face to God, thank Him for what He has given you in experience, cry out for His wonderful Grace to fulfill His purpose in you to the Glory of His name. Then you will find purpose in all things, joy of life in Him, and amazement in His love.
We will look more at the events in David Brainerd's life perhaps in the next post, but let me close this week with a few words from the man that loved God.
"If you hope for happiness in the world, hope for it from God, and not from the world."
- David Brainerd
"I have a secret thought from some things I have observed, that God may perhaps design you for some singular service in the world." - David Brainerd
"Of late God has been pleased to keep my soul hungry almost continually, so that I have been filled with a kind of pleasing pain. When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable and my thirstings after holiness more unquenchable." - David Brainerd
"We should always look upon ourselves as God's servants, placed in God's world, to do his work; and accordingly labor faithfully for him; not with a design to grow rich and great, but to glorify God, and do all the good we possibly can." - David Brainerd
"I love to live on the brink of eternity." - David Brainerd
"No amount of scholastic attainment, of able and profound exposition of brilliant and stirring eloquence can atone for the absence of a deep impassioned sympathetic love for human souls." - David Brainerd
"In the silences I make in the midst of the turmoil of life I have appointments with God. From these silences I come forth with spirit refreshed, and with a renewed sense of power. I hear a voice in the silences, and become increasingly aware that it is the voice of God." - David Brainerd
"God was so precious to my soul that the world with all its enjoyments appeared vile. I had no more value for the favor of men than for pebbles." - David Brainerd
"I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure so that I may save souls. When I sleep I dream of them; when I awake they are first in my thoughts." - David Brainerd
May the Grace of God be upon each of you,
My dear precious wife is a bit under the weather this weekend, so here is a post she made on Saturday, December 03, 2011.
What Have You "Purposed" in Your Heart?
This question was prompted in me from a study of the 1st chapter in the book of Daniel. If you're familiar with the account, you know that Daniel (and the other three children of Judah) were among the well favored children, skillful, full of wisdom, cunning knowledge, and without blemish. Sounds like a promising background, don't you think? In other words, the elite, or best of the best was to be trained for the king.
Well, as provision for feeding these fellows would go, the king would have them eat his cuisine (again, the best of the best). However, it seems Daniel had another dietary plan to stick with.
You see, I'm getting to the heart of the matter now. Daniel had purposed in his heart that regardless of what place in this earthly kingdom he would hold, he would not defile himself with the "king's meat." The issue here of course, is that the foods on the king's menu did not hold with the Mosaic Laws for eating. Daniel would not dishonor his covenant with his God.
Bring these thoughts home today. Just as Daniel "purposed in his heart" to obey the Law of God, how "purposed" are we today in our walk in Christ? Can we be bought with the dainties of this world? Is there an appeal holding us in fasination as pertaining to the lusts of this life? Is there a promise of recognition in some way that tends to turn our heads from the purpose?
It seems the Bible would teach us that in order to stay "purposed in heart" we must daily crucify the flesh and its affections. Trusting God to provide His Spirit as a Comfort and Guide through this life will empower us to live in victory just as Daniel, and his three friends, did in this instance.
We know the account of how Daniel and the others "proved" the faithfulness of God by eating what God said they should eat. These young men were given such favor as none other. Their wisdom, skill and knowledge surpassed any among them. Oh, to have the favor of an Almighty God!
What is the "purpose of your heart" today? Find the Truth in His Word for you and follow it. His "blessing addeth no sorrow" with it. He's faithful to reward obedience. In the words of a great song, "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. Just to take Him at His Word." There's a stanza in this song about ...."how I've proved Him oer and oer." Is this your testimony today?
Purpose to always honor Him.
Have a blessed week,