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Monday, May 27, 2013

A Plea to Graduates

It's the end of May, close to June, and I know many are graduating from high school or college around this time. This is not just a post for graduates, it applies to everyone in whatever season of life they may be in. But I want to speak in particular to high school graduates, because their choice now affects their entire life. If you've already graduated from college, you can't take back a mistake you've made. You can fix it where you're at, but it won't be the same as if you had fixed the problem ahead of time. A high school graduate can reverse the mistake before any major damage occurs, and so I want to speak to you all.

May is the time for many graduation speeches concerning the destiny of a student. Students will be told by well-meaning Christian adults to follow their hearts, major in whatever subject they are interested in, without giving a second thought to what God wants. I say this because the Christians have allowed the world to slowly infiltrate their worldview concerning the topic of  "destiny." The waters have been muddied and many Christians feel that whatever their child enjoys doing is what their child should major in, instead of urging their child to pray about what God's will is for their life. The world believes you should be whatever you want to be in life and pursue all of your dreams. That's not what God wants for those who are Christians. May I urge you NOT to follow your college dreams. No, instead pray for God's will concerning what you will major in, or even if He might lead you down another path. If I would've done as I pleased and pursued my dreams, I would be getting my Master's in the medical field. Yes, I have this great desire to do so. No, it is not God's will right now- maybe later? Possibly. Highly unlikely, but there is always a possibility. I know right now God has said no to that desire, and He has a purpose in that. I would rather be disappointed in letting go of my dreams than to endure a life-long punishment from the Lord for my disobedience. We are called to live a life of sacrifice, daily dying to ourselves. Sometimes our dreams are good, and not bad- like my dream of getting another degree. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's not the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God. It's good, but not His perfect will. And it obvisouly isn't acceptable to Him if He has not okayed it. I find myself constantly having to let go of dreams, replacing my will with His. It's not easy, and it's not fun until we can see the purpose in it. I want to make something very clear right now though. If you are doing everything you have ever wanted to do, fulfilling every dream of yours as a Christian, and you have never had to make a sacrifice for God, then there is something utterly wrong in your walk with the Lord. I know that is a bold statement, but this verse clarifies what I am trying to say

"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry."

(1Pe 4:1-3 ESV)

If you're thinking, "I want to do what I want to do though," you did, when you were unsaved. When you walked in open rebellion towards God, you were able to do as you pleased. There was a time for that, but now that you committed your life to Christ, you cannot do as you please anymore. Now it is time to pick up your cross and give up the things you hold so dear to live for Christ. We won't always be given what we want in life. There are things required of us that we will not want to do, but we have to because God wants us to. In Hebrews, the author mentions that the people in the hall of faith lived, not according to what they wanted to do, but what God wanted them to do. Why? Because they were Heavenly-minded. They remembered this world will pass away, but the next will not. They were able to make sacrifices because of this mindset. They were able to know if what they were pursuing in life was in accordance with God's will, because they knew it would benefit the Kingdom. It would not be destroyed by moth or rust. Whatever they were doing would have eternal impact. And so I challenge everyone to think about where you are at in life right now. Did God call you to it? Are you doing what you want to do, or what God wants you to do? Will this impact the eternal Kingdom? Is it impacting it at all? Think about those questions and answer them honestly, being willing to change and do what God wants you to do if you're not already. We live for Christ, not for ourselves. Fulfill His calling for your life.