Have you ever had a very tough and scary decision to make? If so, on what did you base your decision? Did you wait for a feeling to overcome you, or "a word from the Lord," or a specific sign from above to help you make your decision? Did you think it important to search Scripture and find that one perfect verse that matched your situation? Were you trying to find the center of God's perfect will for your life? How did it turn out for you?
I am in the midst of making a very important decision regarding my life and this ministry, so I thought I would share my thought processes with you as I go along. I have no idea if I will have an answer at the end of my musings; we will learn together through application of truth, theology and Scripture!
Here is the dilemma: I am very ready to see if this ministry can make a broader impact in the world. To do this I need 1) time and 2) money. I need time to develop, write, record and minister to you. I need money to help on the home front for a little while yet.
I have been reading many things about faith and having faith to jump out there and do what God has called me to do with my life. I have no doubt God has called me to this ministry. My husband supports me wholeheartedly and also believes this is God's call on my life. He would, in a second support my decision to return to biblical counseling as my vocation if the funds were there. We find ourselves in a bit of a catch-22 as they say.
Conventional wisdom says I should remain in my job for a while yet and limp the ministry along until a more favorable time in the economy. The spiritual side says to step out in faith and watch God do great things, trust Him to provide the extra we need. So, what to do?
I have to ask myself some tough questions at the outset such as, what is my motive for wanting to make such a move? Am I thinking selfishly? Do I want to be able to "stay home" so I can watch television all day or sleep later in the morning? Am I willing to place an undue burden on my husband to get what I want? What would be in this change for me?
Philippians 2:3-4 tells me to do nothing from selfish ambition, but to think of others first. This verse demands that I do a heart check- is this desire to quit my job actually all about me? Is my motive selfish and self-centered? Have I fallen into deception along the way, thinking that this is something God wants me to do? Is it possible that my desires are of a personal nature for personal gain and personal glory as was once said about me? I would answer no. Of course, I would be lying if I said it was not about me at all...I desire to serve God and you in this way. It is my passion and driving force in this life outside of my family.
I think that trying to make our ministry at Reigning Grace Counseling Center (r-g-c-c.org) a success will take much more time and work than what I am doing now, clearly eliminating any ability to fulfill a selfish desire to lay around and watch television!
To arrive at a biblical decision I must carefully search the Word of God and look at verses and passages in context. This means I cannot find a verse that I read into it what I want it to say by ignoring its larger context and declare that "God is speaking to me" through it. Nor can I run to or rely on extrabiblical sources like a dream or a feeling to lead me to a conclusion. Just as bad would be to make a decision based on something I feel to be a "prompting" or "feeling led by the Spirit." No offense intended to my Charismatic siblings, but Scripture doesn't teach that anyplace either!
So if I cannot rely upon any of those methods to find God's will in making this important decision for the ministry and for my family, then what can I turn to?
Lord willing, tomorrow's post will add more insight.