Finding your own path

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

–Proverbs 3:5-6

The phrase, “find your own path” seems to stir up images of rebellion and insubordination towards God from the more fundamental crowds of Christianity. I think this verse above from Proverbs is probably most common in the thought that trusting in ourselves is a dangerous thing to do, and that we should only, and exclusively trust in the Lord. While I do not disagree with the idea of being at peace with God in your decision, I believe it is strongly important that you also have an inner peace within yourself about your decision. Feelings “from God” can vary over time. I do not want to suggest that God cannot or would not speak to someone if he so chose. However, I want to caution against making life changing decisions based on lining up Bible verses with a date that your milk expires and assuming that is a message from God.

“Listen to your own voice, your own soul. Too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves.” – Leon Brown

When I was 15 I felt strongly that God was “calling me” into the preaching ministry. I do have a gift with public speaking, and it is something I enjoy doing, and so I think this translated from my worldview of the church into the idea that the preaching ministry was what I was supposed to do with my life. I am not trying to say that this would not be an honorable thing to do, however, I do not know that it is something that someone has to do with their life in order to serve God. The ironic thing is that it is this same fundamental Christian churches that caused me to believe this rigid structure, that ultimately led me to question this rigid, fundamental idea. After getting a divorce many years ago, I then married another woman. I have been married to my wife nine years now, and we have three kids out of this marriage. However, I saw judgment from over a dozen churches throughout the country that suggested that because I was divorced I could no longer serve in ministry. They use a verse in the letters to Timothy to support this where the Bible suggest that a “Bishop” should be the husband “of one wife”(some think this simply means one wife at a time, while others think this means you can only ever be married one time). However, there is also scripture that supports the idea of God’s sovereignty, which fundamental Christians supposedly believe in strongly (as do I), and suggest that Gods callings (i.e. ministry) are “without repentance” (meaning God knew when he called me that I would end up divorced, and yet he called me anyway. In other words, God is not regretting his decision to call me into the ministry. I did not surprise God). The reality is that everyone can find a verse to support their viewpoints (see The Author of Confusion, Part 1; Salvation: Baptism, and The Author of Confusion, Part 1b; Salvation: Baptism, which kind?). Everyone comes at various situations with presuppositions already in their minds. Someone from the Piney Woods of East Texas looks at the world through a completely different lens then someone from Hong Kong, China, or New York City. I can say with personal confidence that the mindset of people from upstate New York (very rural), varies greatly from people down in Manhattan. It is vital to realize that we must chose our own way in life, because opinions from people of all cultures will vary depending on where they are, and have been, in their own life.

Be at peace with God, please! However, do not neglect being at peace within yourself as well. I believe that God honors that, and will love us through all of our decisions. Do not stress yourself out over what God would have you do. We need to keep our morals in check, and strive to better those around us. However, outside of that we need to do what makes us happy as individuals. So, get out there and make your own path. If there is no path, then be the trendsetter, be the leader. If you feel that this is where you need to go, go do it.

Never look back on your past decisions, once you have learned your lesson from them, because you can never remake them. You can only make decisions for today, in this moment.

Blessings,

Billy

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