Many probably think of the guitar riff permanently drilled into their mind of Aerosmith playing and singing this song, but I want to speak of this phrase in other terms.
How many times have you said or even heard said, “I just wish God would tell me what to do!” Probably all of us at some point in time have at least thought of this question. The reality of the answer, however, is shockingly simple--He does!
I received wise counsel in my early adult life that said, “Don’t pray for a specific answer, pray for God’s direction, wisdom, and peace.” This was a crucial lesson to learn because our lives and the choices we make are not typically simple answers, i.e. should I take this job, do we need to move, how much shall we contribute towards retirement…
Our life decisions, even daily ones, are often complex and multi-level issues that we shouldn’t simply ask God to reveal the best choice. Our relationship with Him and how closely we walk in that relationship every day is crucial to understanding God’s direction and His wisdom in our lives. I love the way it is put in Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, this is the way; walk in it.”
This simply tells us that as we are moving forward and making decisions, the Lord IS directing us on how we should move through His “voice” of discernment and peace. It is said in another way in John 10:27, “My sheep (believers) listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
God never leaves us or forsakes us. If we truly want to Walk this Way, we just need to make sure we are walking His Way. Are you following? Are you listening?
Growing up I had a coach that was renowned for using the old quote, “success is 90% preparation and 10% perspiration.” While we have all heard this many times, I remember hearing this as a young athlete and thinking what does he really mean by this? Is he saying that it’s more about practice than the game? Or I don’t have to try as hard if I’m prepared? Or that it is just simply easier to succeed if we are prepared?
Well, many years later I still often hear my coaches gravely voice saying, “Thompson, 90/10!!”
I can honestly say I’ve used this quote in my life and discussions with my own teams of athletes and faculty teams. I have come to appreciate the simple wisdom and truth from such an old quote. Even Abraham Lincoln reportedly said “If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree, I would spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Preparation is definitely vital for success.
I believe the key understanding is that it’s not that hard work and perspiration are not needed, it’s the fact that if they are not tied to careful and prayerful planning, then they are just sweat.
But, like so many things, these simple little nuggets of wisdom are derived from scripture. Jesus taught us the importance of preparation and planning in Luke 14:
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the
cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is
not able to finish it, everyone who sees it ill ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to
build and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30
He went on to say in verse 31, “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another
king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to
oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?”
These words from Jesus console me, especially in our current situation. As we continue to wait on finalizing with insurance companies and FEMA and builders and contractors and architects-- we are VERY BUSY preparing! And as we are preparing, we are laying the foundation through our faith and obedience in Jesus Christ that will insure the continued “success” of MJCA in all that we do.
Thank you for your continued support and as the plans grow, we will need more and more of your help to plan with us in various areas of need. Let’s keep sharpening the axe and look forward with great anticipation to the amazing plans God has for us!
"God always prepares you for what He has prepared for you!" - Pastor Phillip Dunn
Though I usually hear Zach William’s voice when I hear this phrase now (great song by the way), it is a phrase that rings as true today as it ever has. Pandemics of hate, division, and selfishness seem to be plaguing our world. Satan, the father of lies, seeks to promote an agenda of fear of everything--especially one another. He IS a liar!
God’s Word, however, ensures us that love, pure love that comes from Him actually drives out fear. How powerful is that!?
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Couple the evil one’s agenda with very real feelings of anxiety in many of our children and even adults since the tornado and subsequent COVID-19 conditions and fear can seem to be all around us. As God’s children, we must focus and help our own families to trust in God’s boundless love for us. If He sent His only son to pay for ALL of our sins upon that cross, then whom (or what) shall we fear?
The more we focus on the Love of Jesus through the Holy Spirit, those anxieties and fears of storms, illness, or even people we don’t agree with become further and further from our thoughts. Love God, love people, tell others of His love...it’s really not as complicated as we make it. Fear is definitely a liar!
Have a blessed week!