Imitation is not salvation. But salvation brings imitation. - John Piper
  1. Romans 8:28 and God’s faithfulness…

    God has been blowing me away daily this week! Each day, I learn something new, or He is continuing to go deeper in areas I already know a little about. There has been so much growth in this past week, it’s crazy! Because of that, there’s so much on my heart that I want to share, and I wasn’t sure where to start. Today will be more of a testimony, and at the end of this post, I’ll give you a sneak peek as to what is coming up on the blog.

    Those who know me well know that God has wired me to be intellectually stimulated and oriented. God has created me to love knowledge and learn through thinking and wrestling through concepts. My desire to know and understand things gets me in trouble when it comes to walking in faith. When God speaks to me about my future or reveals to me an aspect of my calling, my instinct is to map everything out and answer the who? what? where? when? and mostly, how? It would be easy for me to say this is because I don’t trust God and I feel the need to make things happen on my own, but it’s not. This comes from a lack of submitting and consecrating my God-given hunger for knowledge and understanding. God will give me a revelation, and before I know it, I’m over thinking about what He just spoke.

    This has been a big struggle in my life because since I have been saved, the Lord has been revealing snippets of my future and my calling. Right away He gave me a passion for seeing my generation and the one below me starting a revolution and revival for His glory. He almost a year developing my heart for the youth before He revealed to me my vocation and calling in life: missions. I was so confused because I had this huge desire to work with young people, therefore I naturally figured I’d go into youth ministry. But no. Missions. God told me that He has called me to missions, but gave me a heart for youth, and that He would bring those two things together. Miss I-need-to-figure-everything-out-and-have-everything-crystal-clear started coming up with a brilliant plan for doing missions work while preaching and reaching young people. I impressed myself with the grandness of my dream, rationalizing that it must be from God because there’s no way I could do this on my own.

    As time went by [it’s been 3 years since then], God started giving me more insight, like the fact that I am going to be involved in missions in persecuted nations, specifically in the middle East. He has reminded me of literal dreams He had given me as a child, and given me understanding of them. I’ve had visions of myself on the missions field. God kept revealing more and more, but none of them seemed to quite fit together in a linear, logical sequence. Also, I kept thinking, how does my dream of developing an organization to incorporate missions and youth fit into this? 

    Isaiah 55:9 was not very comforting. God, I know your ways are higher than my ways, BUT I JUST WANT TO KNOW YOUR WAYS.

    This past Tuesday night, God’s faithfulness completely overwhelmed me. I had just met with two of my best friends whom had just gotten back from a Discipleship Training school with YWAM NSI. They are going to be directing a DTS here in Maine in partnership with our local church. They told me all about their experience in Texas at the DTS, and got to share their hearts and vision for the school they will be directing here. I, on the other side of the conversation, got to tell them about applying for the upcoming DTS in Victoria, TX in the fall, at which the will be staff members. To summarize a two hour conversation, after going through the training school, I will be eligible to go on staff at any YWAM base in the world. God has revealed to me years ago, through my mom, that our church would be opening some sort of school and that I would be involved from the very beginning. In hearing about my plans to do DTS this year, my friends asked if I would be interested in going on staff under them here in Maine next fall. We got to talk about their vision for their staff members, the curriculum, and the outcome and goal for the DTS. God confirmed:

    1) My calling to the Middle East and/or the 10/40 window. YWAM NSI stands for network in strategic initiatives, which focuses on how to effectively spread the gospel and do missions work in areas of turmoil or persecution. Their focus areas are Iraq/Iran, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and China. The DTS that will be here in Maine will be connected with NSI, as is the DTS in Texas.

    2) YWAM stands for Youth With A Mission, so it’s focus is on equipping and training young people to go into missions work. In talking with my friend, Josh, he told me that his goal is to provide the training and tools to have students who come through DTS either go out into the missions field or be leaders who send people out to share the gospel. Hmmm, this sounds familiar…

    I found myself laying in bed that night, thinking, “God, this is what you’ve been preparing me for! This looks nothing like how I imagined You working out my calling, but it all makes sense now!” There’s much more that God confirmed and areas in which I share my friends’ hearts and vision for missions, discipleship, and this school, but to go over all of that would require a book, not a blog post. All these years God was telling me, “I’ve given you these revelations and visions to give you a hope and promise. How I bring it all together is for Me to know and for you to follow as I lead You. Be still.” When I would question the fact that none of the things He had deposited in me seemed to fit perfectly together, He would remind me of Romans 8:28 and Ephesians 2:10.

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. - (Romans 8:28 ESV)

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.- (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

    It’s hard for me to say to God that I know he created me to hunger for knowledge and understanding, and yet there are just some things I need to simply trust without trying to figure out. A friend of mine is wired the same way, and she told me this week, “sometimes I just need to let the Holy Spirit go over my head.” Instead of not leaning on my own understanding and accepting that God’s ways are beyond my understanding sometimes, I spent so much energy and time in my head instead of resting in God. Over the past year, I’ve grown a lot in this aspect. I remember more readily to be still and let God be God. His ways are higher than my ways, and things don’t work out how I expect them to, but God has proven that all He has spoken to me will come to fruition. In the same chapter in Isaiah, the Lord says, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it (55:11). I see this verse coming to life now, and I am amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness.

    Coming up on the blog:

    • a post about dating. This will be geared towards young single ladies, but there is going to be something for everyone. The quote I posted from Matt Chandler yesterday serves as a good introduction.
    • Killing Calvinism. This will be a two part post. The first being a review of the book by the same title, and the second part will be what God has been teaching me regarding theology and its purpose in our lives as Christians.
    PERMALINK      June 29 2012
Handcrafted by Christopher Self