Never Forget in the Dark What God Showed You in the Light

7 Mar

As students here at LU, we get the privilege to be taught and even exhorted from some of the greatest men and women of our time, whether in the classroom, the dorm room, or convocation.  However, in the midst of all the inspiring lessons and messages I have heard, few have convicted, or lets even say “haunted” me like the message that was brought by Dr. David Platt last week.  Lately, I have been struggling with a question that until my recent, personal epiphany, left me completely perplexed.  It was a message that grabbed my attention so tightly, I chose to set down my pencil and notebook so that I wouldn’t waste time writing and lose the ability to listen more attentively.  This is the question that has followed me since that sermon. “Are my college and career goals REALLY what God is calling me to do?”  I began to think that I may not be the only one with this question.  Therefore, the purpose of this post is to hopefully encourage those of you who, like me, have struggled with the same question.

Now, before I get into the meat of this blog there are two simple premises that we both need to keep in mind.  These guidelines will help us keep in perspective how utterly small we are in the scheme of things, and how encompassing God’s will is.

  1. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.  II Tim. 3:16 … Pretty standard I’d say.
  2. Let us refrain from, as David Platt said, adding to the gospel, or picking and choosing what we like and do not like about the purpose and standard that Jesus calls us to.

Quickly, I’ll bring to light the main passage of Scripture that Platt brought to my attention on that Friday morning.  He spoke from Luke 9:57-62.  This is where Jesus encounters 3 people who wish to follow him, but rather end up prioritizing their own agendas ahead of what the Lord would have them do.  Jesus answers the requests of the men with a couple of seemingly crazy propositions, which were in fact exactly what Jesus was asking for.  Jesus’ propositions called for “Radical” (also the name of Platt’s bestselling book) actions.  I found myself mulling over the question, “What would my response to Jesus be?”  How would I respond if Jesus asked me to forsake the ones that I love most dearly?  Could I be missing God’s call due to the walls of comfort and security I have built around my future?  And this is where my dilemma began.

I began to wonder, “Why am I spending so much time and effort on my degree, when I could be focusing my efforts on things such as third world mission’s relief?”  I am privileged to have a truly awesome SLD again this year, and I have been blessed to hear his stories of how he was given the chance to spread the gospel in India on his latest mission’s trip.  I’m thinking, “Wow, what an awesome privilege to spread the good news and help lead people to a relationship with Christ! This is what it’s all about!” And my next thought was, “Then what the heck am I sitting here in a Pathophysiology lecture for?”  It all began to feel so trivial.  “God, why do I feel like you have called me to pursue a Nursing degree, instead of serving you in a greater way in some other country?  And this brought about the question, “Am I missing out on a higher calling?”  I know that Christ has called us all to the mission field in one way or another, but I couldn’t find any reason why we all shouldn’t abandon our careers and GO.  I feel like I have heard it so many times that I have become numb to what it really means to take up your cross follow Christ to your own personal mission field.

Last night, while reading in Matthew, I stumbled across the parable of the laborers in the vineyard.  Before I began to read through the gospel this time, I specifically asked God to reveal new, meaningful things to me this time around, and well, He did just that.  One morning, the master of a vineyard goes out to hire workers at a set “denarius” (or a day’s wage).  Throughout the day, he hires more and more laborers at the same day’s wage.  As the day comes to a close and the wages are being dispersed, those who have been laboring since early morning feel as if they are being ripped off, and in my own capitalistic way of thinking, I would assume they are correct in thinking that!  However, the master answers in a way that sent me into a whirlwind of thought.  I just love the way that the ESV puts it here, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?” And to follow that up he says, “So the last will be first, and the first last.”

For the first time since hearing the message from Bro. Platt, I felt peace about the career field that God has called me to.  This one sentence in Matthew 20 made me realize that although I may not have the privilege of seeing hundreds of people come to Christ in some remote village, I can rest assured that God knows exactly what He is doing in my life.   Because I am in fact God’s very own, and since He can certainly do as He pleases, I will strive to be willing, obedient, and faithful in that which God has made clear to me through His provision and the opening of many doors throughout my life.  Perhaps this old saying states it best, “Never forget in the dark what God showed you in the light.”

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2 Responses to “Never Forget in the Dark What God Showed You in the Light”

  1. Stephany March 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Wow! Profound, how such a small saying, can mean so much more, but it cannot be seen until you choose to scratch the surface! Thanks, Josh!

  2. k8splace March 9, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Josh, thanks for sharing your heart. Just wanted to exhort you that you will be entering one of the greatest mission fields of history here in a few short months. The military has truly been one of the most dark places I’ve seen, but YOU can show God’s light in a practical way. Stand strong, and be encouraged that you do not labor in vain. Be still and know that HE is God and He will lead you–so be quick to listen for His voice and even quicker to walk in His path. Proud of you!

    Kate

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