Just a bit I could have added to the last post (sound of trumpets!) – many years ago, I’d get asked by Youth with a Mission/Bible school students, and countless others, the same question: ‘How do I know what God is saying?’.
I’d always try and answer that in my ‘Goals, Dreams, and Visions’ seminars: but probably the best I heard – also many years back – was Jackie Pullinger-To, speaking at a conference, having come from young people’s Bible school of some sort. You couldn’t find a more visionary, dedicated radical than her: and she said ‘I get so mad when people, especially young people, tell me that they’re “waiting for God to give them a country” to go to. Go anywhere, do anything! And what you do there will equip you either to stay there, or move you to the next place’.
My take on Psalm 37:4 was often my own answer: ‘Do you love God?’; ‘Yes’: ‘Do you want to do his will for your life?’; ‘Yes’: ‘Do you delight in Him?’; ‘Yes’. I’d then tell them to push all of that to one side, for a moment, remove God from the equation (for now!), and then ask: ‘Outside of the ‘plan’ of God, what do you WANT to do?’ Then they’d go on a roll, telling me where they wanted to go, what they wanted to do… and so on.
Then I’d suggest to put that, and God, together…. delight in the Lord, and he gives YOU the desires of YOUR heart. I spent many early years of my life assuming – and being taught – that that meant God put his desire in you. Wrong. Delight in him – he give you YOUR desires… and, the likelihood is, that because you delight in him, what you want is what he wants too…. That’s how I made the ‘habanero chili’ decision…. and 17 years on, Latin America is STILL my vision, as are many other places….
Good job I’m not a theologian, huh??