"Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." -Paul

27 April 2008

Into the Fiery Furnace

by Ben

I'm getting back on the dLog horse and reading Isaiah 62-66 and Daniel 1-11.

I don't know how much I will be writing in the next few posts. I need to just get back into the habit of reading Scripture daily.

Tonight, in my reading, there was a lot of prophesy. Isaiah's odd prophetic writings and Daniel's interpretation of dreams and visions lead me to wonder if we just don't trust the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. I know that I have had feelings or nudges about decisions that I just cannot explain. Do I always follow them? No. Do I sometimes? Yes.

Often times, they are very simple things. For example, I might feel the need to talk to a friend about a particular topic that I sense could be important to something they are going through. The decision to actually take this course of action is mine. God provides the opportunities, and if we are listening, He'll give us direction.

Does that mean that every time we sense a voice in our head that it is the Holy Spirit guiding us? No. Sin can creep in even easier than God's direction. We must learn to discern to what God is actually calling us.

I am sensing a still, small voice calling me to seminary. Fear could easily prevent me from following this voice. "What will my friends and family think?" "But I just bought a house." "The school is so far away from what I've always known as home."

I was reading tonight from "Confessions of a Pastor" by Craig Groeschel. In the second to last chapter, he wrote about fear and how it can prevent us from succeeding at all. Fear of failure has prevented most of us (at some point) from being our best selves. We must learn to push past these fears.

It all sounds so crazy. Five years ago, I would have considered the above ideas to be a little strange and possibly coming from a crazy person. I can't imagine what the youth of CPC thought when I told them that I felt that God was calling me to seminary (and away from my current position).

But I am reassured as I read Daniel. Daniel was willing to step out and say what God was moving him to say. He didn't fear death or pursecution. He, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all faced the possibility of pain and death because of what God was doing in their hearts.

I pray for that kind of faith. A faith that takes action and works for the glory of God's kingdom.