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March 04, 2009

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Ryan Allison

I know what you mean. I'm in exactly the same place. And I have so much anxiety that I won't do what God wants. I have these plans that I've made, and I try to offer them up to Him, and say, Lord, if you want, I'll throw my plans away and do whatever you fill me with. I don't know if God requires this. I pray and hope He'll reveal His plan to me for my life. I want to use what I have to bring fame to his Name. Please pray for me. In Jesus Name I write.

Tim

Ryan,

Thanks for sharing. I will be glad to pray with you about this.

Some people know exactly what God wants. My Father began pastoring at the age of 17 and continued to pastor churches till he retired 47 years later. There was no question in his mind about what God wanted. I, on the other hand, have been in ministry for almost 30 years but in many different roles--pastor, music minister, youth minister. Most of this was part time while working a full time job in mental health and substance abuse therapy. Looking back I know God has been using me in His ministry since the day I became a Christian 30 years ago. At the time I was often wanting to do something different than I was because of my preconceived idea of what ministry was. God has used me over and over again through all those years in spite of myself. It is very humbling. Through all that time I did one thing right on a consistent basis--I tried to focus on being the best minister I could in each situation I found myself.

I have learned a few things over the years about this:

1. Grow where you are planted--do your best for God in whatever situation you are in.

2. I am in God's will when I am at peace in my life. If I am anxious, worried, irritable, etc. then I am probably not smack dab in His will.

3. "For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37. God can do all things and He will put me in the situations he wants me in and give me the skills and gifts needed at the right time--all of this is dependent on my sincere desire to do God's will.

4. "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. I don't have to worry, in fact, Jesus tells us not to worry. God is in control.

5. Trust that God knows how to lead you so you will understand what he wants.

I didn't mean to preach, but this is dear to my heart. It took me a long time to figure these things out.

I will be praying for you, Ryan.
God bless.

Tim

Hey Ryan, I will be praying for you. Keep in mind, God is able to convey His will to you no matter what the situation. I have learned to pay attention to my emotional state when I am seeking God's will. Let me explain what I mean. When I am thinking about what I "think" God is telling me and I am nervous, anxious, or worried about the outcome, I know this is not God's will. On the other hand, if I have peace and calm I know this is more likely to be God's will. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. The verse I often think about related to this is Psalm 46:10 where God says, "be still and know that I am God." This is one of the keys to discerning God's will that I have learned. This may not work for everyone. There are a lot of other factors to consider such as is it consistent with the Bible and the character of God.

God bless.

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Tim's Recommended Books, Videos, and Study Materials



A Simplified Harmony of the Gospels is a great resource for studying the Gospels. I use it frequently and highly recommend it. Another plus is it is easy on the budget. Well worth the price.



The Thompson Chain Reference is an excellent study tool. I bought my first copy of it in 1984. It was my first leather bound, "preaching Bible." The Chain reference is such a wonderful study tool. I highly recommend it." -Tim



This guide to prayer is a little formal for some but I have found it to be a great resource for my personal devotions. I need something to help me keep my mind focused and guide works well for me. Suggested Bible readings in this guide follow the Common Lectionary which will allow you to study all parts of the Bible. I highly recommend this to any serious student of the Bible.



A Celebration of Discipline is a wonderful study through the many practices of Christian, spiritual devotion. Richard Foster really opens the door to a more complete understanding of these disciplines. Even though you may never participate in some of these it is great to learn about them. I highly recommend this book.



The Visual Bible - Matthew is incredible. The first time I saw it I watched all 4 hours straight through in one sitting. It made quite an impression on me. I recommend it.



Something to Sing About is my favorite of the evangelistic movies presented by Billy Graham. It is a good family movie.



The Road to Redemption is a great story and a fun family movie. This is one of the evangelistic movies presented by Billy Graham.



Facing the Giants and Flywheel are two of my favorite movies. They both have great stories which present the Gospel of Jesus in the lives of two very different men, but, in both, God is honored. You need to watch these if you haven't already seen them.



Praying God's Word by Beth Moore is an incredible book. I frequently use it in my personal prayer life and have for years.

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