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December 30, 2010

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Andre V Milteer, M.A.

Tim,
Thank you for this post. It mirrors the mantra that I have been working on for the past 12 months (the reason why? could take up a whole website in itself).

Here is a mirror of your article that I posted on my Encouraging People (http://encouraging-people.eresumes4vips.com/2011/01/happy-new-year-2011.html#links) blog...Godspeed

Koifishy

Where does initiative in personal interests fit into Christianity. Should a person not seek to make changes in their lives ever? Should a person give their life to God and then just wake up eat and o back to bed because God is in control? So if I feel like I want to do something different because I'm unhappy in a current situation, do I have to stay in that situation because that is where God put me and Hesse nothing I can do about it because I have no personal power to make changes in my own life or pursue things I feel will be better for myself? I'm just confused about this. Hope I'm making sense, I feel like I'm dancing around my point without making it. Anyways, any insights on this would be appreciated. It just feels like I'm hearing God doesn't want me to have dreams or goals or initiative or interests to pursue, etc.

Tim

Koifishy,

I believe you are dealing with very common concerns. Many people struggle with similar questions. I believe God gives us the opportunity to live our life the way we want to. We call this free will. God chooses not to force us to follow His will because he wants us to love him. He wants us to follow His lead in our lives because we love Him and trust Him not because we fear Him. We should fear His judgment if we choose not to receive Jesus as LORD and Savior. But, if we are saved, we don't need to fear God's wrath which makes it possible to have an intimate relationship with Him that is based on love rather than fear.

The other thing is we need to come to realize that God's will for our lives is the best possible life we can live.

As I mentioned in the original post, God says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

I have made the choice to try to live the way God wants me to live since I believe God's will for my life is the best possible life I can live.

So, we can follow our own inclinations but that may not be the very best plan for our life. Let me clarify that a little. If we are living for God and redeemed by the blood of Jesus then our own inclinations will be more likely to line up with God's will for us (more on this in a minute). If we are not living for God our inclinations will be more self-serving and not likely to follow God's will since we are being influenced more by the world and evil forces that are at war with God.

Another thought is God created us and He gave us the desires and skills we have.

Check out this passage from Psalms 37:4-6 NIV

'Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. [5] Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:[6] He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn."

God gives us desires (inclinations) when He creates us. If we delight ourselves in Him and trust Him enough to follow His will, He will fulfill the desires of our heart. So, the desires of our heart line up with the will of God for our lives if we choose to seek Him and trust Him.

I hope that answers some of your questions. God bless you and your search for understanding of God and His will for you.

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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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