I would sent out résumés to churches about a staff position. When I was in Lexington, KY, I must have sent out fifty résumé. Once I had five churches that we were communicating with, and I thought surely one of them would work out for us. And you know not one worked out. And I wanted to say to the Lord, what is it about me that you don’t trust? Could all this be the Lord sending me a coded message?
After all the Lord called me to preach? (That is another post), so why wasn’t any church calling me to come a preach? That was the feelings, emotions, etc. I was having at the time.
Let’s reflect for a moment on the other side of this point, I have had some very good staff positions. There have been some very good results of ministry as a youth pastor and as a pastor. I would say to Charity, "The Lord sure is blessing the work here, isn’t He?" "The Lord must be pleased with us here!"
Does good results demonstrate God’s pleasure and bad result designate God’s displeasure?
Have we misread God here?
If we use the matrix surroundings or environement as the interpretive point, we will discover its not
What I have had to learn, in pastoral ministry or personal life, the interpretive, explanatory environment, is not and cannot be the experience itself. Where the ministry is good or bad or not doing so well, is not to be the interpretive of the Lord’s blessings or displeasure for us.
That is good to have learned. The experiences are not self - interpreting, as to where the Lord is happy or mad. They are not signs he uses.
So what is the interpretive grid for a Christian who is practicing the faith he affirms? The Bible provides the declarative grid.So again I ask the question: Is this how a Christian should respond to life's miseries or successes? Should he try to read them as encrypted messages from God, trying to discern His heart and directions from them?
It’s true that we should examine our lives. Every message I preached, I would examine my life in light of what I had preached. We should test ourselves (I Corin 11:32; 2 Corinthians 13:5). When I was preaching I Thessalonians I would say, Lord am I the kind of pastor/teacher I need to me. Is there some sin I need to confess daily? Yes, we should do that all the time for sure, not just when things are going badly?.
Every thing at first went wrong with Job but it was not a sign of God’s disapproval. Adversity or overabundance are not a sure indicator of God’s approval or disfavor.
"Read God’s stance towards you, and discern God’s will for you, in the perspicuous volume of Scripture - - - not in the opague codebook of Providence." Larry D. Pettegrow article "The Perspicuity of Scripture." Larry a professor of Theology. The clarity of Scripture.
We want to think the Lord is in what we might perceive "as a storm in our life." Is He of course. He does control the storm (Psalms 115:3, Ephesians 1:11)
- What we need to know, the ASSAULTS (STORMS) (events) is not what tells you whether God loves you or is pleased with you or what He holds you accountable for doing. We find that out in the Word. Those ministries experiences, those life’s experiences, good and bad, are going to be apart of God invincible purposes. (Romans 8:28)
We like to read into PROVIDENCE. Most of the time its in retrospect, Hebrews 12:11 "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
I have learned that it is a dangerous thing to believe that our hearts and feelings are trustworthy guides to all of life. How many times have you heard "Go with your heart." "Well I feel it’s the Lord’s Will." That is a trap I have fallen in several times. Its dangerous. Rather we should but out dependance in the Scripture.
What often gets us in trouble with ourselves (emotional) is when we justify our desires by focusing our perceptions of what we want to feeling rather than what the Scripture teaches. We feel we should start this ministry, or get involve in this ministry.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 24 07 and Checked by Charity Whisnant