Thursday, February 02, 2006

Warning-Long Post Ahead

I started reading Kyle Lake's book-Understanding God's Will . It's a little surreal knowing about Kyle's tragic death. It seems like his words are more true then ever. Kyle basically states that knowing God's will does not require a certain formula. For instance, I've been taught and I've also taught (and Kyle discusses this also) that if you want to know God's will, you need to do the following. 1) Pray 2) Find scripture to back it up 3) Discuss your situation with friends & mentors 4) and you must have peace in your heart. Now, I still think this advice is sound and wise, but I do not think it's necessarily biblical or the only way to find God's will. If you are like me, at one time in your life you did all 4 steps mentioned above and yet things just did not work out. So, I was thinking about my personal life...I'm trying to wrestle with the thought of knowing God's will or hearing God's voice. I have a lot more questions then answers. Sometimes I wish I could talk to God like Moses did on that mountain...Of course, like Moses maybe I'm not sure what I'm asking for. One thing I do know is this, I want to be confident that I can hear God's voice (His sheep will know his voice) and I want to be confident that I'm doing God's will, but of course I also understand that life takes it's unique turns and things do not always work out.

Let me share some backstory...

7 years ago I left my home state of Califronia on a journey to Dallas, TX. I took a quasi position at a church in Dalles. My buddy Rawd left Cali and became a youth pastor at this mega church and we wanted to start some type of mentor program....So, Necole and I packed up and went to Texas with no financial security(official jobs). Just a dream to do something for God with folks that we loved and cared for. Things were going well, but we found out that the jr, high youth pastor had fallen into sin with an addiction to pornography. So, the church asked me to take over the jr. high ministry. Now, I love to serve and help in any way possible, but if you know me, then you know that I'm not a jr. high youth pastor guy. I HATED that job...In the meantime I had a passion to church plant...After 6 months as the jr. high guy, I decided to resign my position. (and the security the came with it) Now, this was really hard, it was the first time in my life that I had a full time salary and I was working at a great church...I also had four times the resources as a jr. high pastor then I did as a church planter. BUT, I knew I was not the best guy for that position...If I stayed, I felt like ministry was more of a career then a calling and that was not my goal. If I was not passionate about what I was doing then I did not want to do it.

The story moves forward....

So, Necole and I decided to move to Seattle. We were going to wrap up some educational stuff and plant a church. 9 days before the scheduled move, Necole found out that she was pregnant with our first daughter (who BTW is the joy of life, along with her sister of course). So, now we found ourselves in Seattle with a whole new set of issues to deal with...(Life is so much easier without kids) So, we decided to move back to Dalles. We knew Dalles was not a long term place for us, but we felt at the time it was a better fit. While in Dallas I took on my first corporate job...The experience was essential and I know their was purpose...BUT, I also wanted to plant a church...So after months of praying and researching we landed in Raleigh, NC. We have been here for 3 years this month. The first two years were awesome...God was doing some great things...But the last year was a nightmare...I knew the church was not going to make it and Necole and I went through so many financial difficulties that our own church leadership was concerned with our life. So, we decided to deal with reality and close the church.

WHAT...YOU ARE DOING WHAT...What the $%^$

I was pissed when I found out my mother in law was moving from Raleigh back to Oregon. So, to make a long story short....Necole and knew that we did not want to live on the east coast while our family lived on the west coast, especially if the church plant was not happening. So, we have decided to move back to Seattle this summer. Now, here is the question I have...



DID I MISS GOD???????????????





Here is why I ask that question...

It looks like their is a good chance that I will be going back to the same university that I left six years ago...And, If God allows, I'm pretty positive I will start or help someone start a church someday in Seattle. So, I wonder if I missed God the first time? What is the theology behind my questions...? I know God has done some amazing things in my life in the last 6 years, I've learned a lot. But, it seems ironic to me that I'm going back to Seattle to do what I wanted to do 6 years ago. What do you think?

5 comments:

jasen said...

i dont think you missed God at all. my first thought was maybe you needed to experience what you have in these past 6 years in order to more effectively minister in seattle. just a thought, i often ask myself similar questions when i think of the many cross country trips i took in the past 3 years...i think that is why the song 'on the road to beautiful' has been a life prayer for me. you should check it out, it is charlie hall. talk with ya soon

wahba said...

I've asked myself the same questions twice in my life. Once after an unsuccessful church plant, and now, living in Arizona.

Even after considering all the things God had done through these giant DETOURS - all the ways I've grown and learned and laughed - I still wonder, "what the heck was I thinking? did I totally miss God?"

my answer is: probably. I believe in God's "unconditional divine will" - which you most likely already have learned about (google it).

the presumption is this: God's will for us is perfect - but we're impossibly flawed people in a fallen world. therefore our failure is inevitable. and God, as usual, ends up showing us grace and mercy as he cleans up our mess.

Mr. Miller said...

Part of Kyle's book, really rocked my world. I guess the part of enjoying the journey is so difficult, when we have been trained to be so goal driven. For me, the future much have so much more purpose. Don't feel alone, I have done the same thing. I think it is just part of being passionate about God. One day, maybe, you will look back and really see the path you have been on, and see the big plan. I am beginning to see mine, FINALLY! But maybe I just enjoying the journey too much and I need to reach for some more goals, oh the conflictedness of this. I am off to the day by day goals again! Ha!

Chris Marlow said...

For some reason, the below comment did not post...So, I addeded it myself via my email.

________________________

I think God's just jerking your chain... I think He likes to mess with us sometimes. All I can figure...

actually, we went through all this financial stuff this summer, one thing after another, and i know we always say you learn the most in the hard times, but it really did reshape my view of our stuff and caused me to evaluate what i really want out of life, regardless of what i say i want. then right around christmas, we got a bunch of money from inheritances that we didn't really expect. my guess is that things work out really well (from our perspective) in seattle.

wWhat did you get out of Kyle's book? I was thinking about reading it.

Jeff

Chris Marlow said...

I like Kyle book, simple easy read, but good content and great for future speaking.