February 20, 2012

He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

It is a gorgeous day outside, so I'm trying to limit my dwelling time inside. God has graciously blessed all mankind with His wonderful creation! Just like Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world [God's] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." God's creation clearly proclaims His majesty and power and we get to enjoy that! He is a good God!

For about two weeks I have been off Facebook, but, after a couple incidents, I'm back on, haha! I actually realized how for some people I'm friends with, it's my only mode of communication with them. Also, I realized I can proclaim what God is doing in my life on there too. The only rule I have is that I am going to seriously limit my time on it! And as long as it isn't interfering with my time with God, that's good!

Day in and day out, I continue to mature and grow in my faith. I'm always blown away by the changes God has brought into my life. I, as a person, am becoming someone I would never be without God's guiding hand! Sometimes it can be hard to surrender 100% to God (usually because we fear the unknown), but I feel like it is the worst thing to hold back our lives from Him. I mean, really, God bought me with a price, redeeming me back into a right relationship with Him and totally cleansed from my sin, so that I stand righteous before Him, not on my own merit, but only by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross! Doesn't He deserve my total surrender to Him, my life? Doesn't He deserve much more than that from me, but it's all I am capable of giving? According to His Word, yes! And everyday that is my prayer! My desire is to take up my cross and follow Him on a regular basis, laying it all on the line (because He did that for me), no strings attached!

And I don't just want to talk about it and give some "inspiring" speech on it; I really and truly want to live it out! I have always been a "to myself" and "socially awkward" guy (but when I'm around the right people, those descriptions would fly right out the window!). I know that God has made me who I am, but I don't want my social "ineptness" to take over; I want to extend myself and reach out to people! If they're part of the Body of Christ, I want to edify them in their faith as they do the same for me! If they are not a part of the Body, I want to share with them the saving message of the Gospel! I want and desire for God to use me in such a way that it is crystal clear He is working and not me! I want that so much in my life and God is clearly doing that through me. In the words of John the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must decrease." That alone is satisfying enough for me!

February 04, 2012

Nothing Is Set in Stone

It is truly amazing how things change right when you think it's all set. I've experienced a lot of comings and goings of friends, family, and trends in recent years, which makes my realize that not everything is here to stay forever. It constantly reminds me of the frailty and swiftness of life. Just like James says in the Bible, "your life is just a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." It's humbling and eye-opening when you see it take place in your own life.

A lot has happened recently, but I can't retell it all in one posting without making it super long, so I'll give you the condensed version of it. A couple of weeks ago I started getting fed up with how addicting Facebook got and how it really made my real friendships tarnish. Most of my friendships started becoming cyber-based and I really didn't like that. So after some prayer and thought, I decided to deactivate my account. And I didn't just deactivate it, I also deleted everything off my page and then deactivated it so that it gives the same effect as deleting the entire account, since you can't actually delete an account off of Facebook. And let me tell you, it is such a relief to finally hang out with real people and not have the nagging addiction of getting on Facebook first thing in the day. It's freeing and it also gets me into God's Word a lot as well. It is a change that I enjoy and plan on keeping for sure.

The other big change that happened to me recently is that I switched my major at Trinity Bible College. Instead of going for my Bachelor's in Youth Ministry, I've now redirected my focus on a certificate in Biblical Studies. I have been praying and thinking about where I'm headed in ministry and considering what God is doing and leading me. To be honest, I hadn't really consulted God on my youth ministry decision; just basically followed my feelings and emotions. That was not good on my part and now I'm actually praying hard about it all. God has opened the door for me into this college, so I knew I didn't want to leave it, but I wanted to consider my other options because, honestly, a Bachelor's was biting off more than I could chew. I decided to back off and start small and see where God leads me after that. I'm trusting Him in all this and know full well that His plan will prevail as long as I submit to Him. One thing I know: I want to be in full-time ministry, but the real question is, "where?" That could be anywhere and God has graciously gifted me with abilities that equip me for His service. I want to make sure I use those gifts accordingly for His glory.

As always, I ask for prayers for the Lord's guidance, leading, and wisdom. Lots of changes, which reminds me that nothing is set in stone...except, of course, for Jesus Christ.