Thursday, November 10, 2011

Commitment Regardless of Circumstances

This past Sunday our pastor, Scot Wall, preached on Judges 13:1 – 14:2 and entitled his sermon “Being Committed Could Get You Committed.”  I at first thought that it was an interesting title for this particular passage as this passage focus on the announcement of the Angel of the LORD to Samson’s parents, and Samson’s birth.  However, as he got to verse 2 of Judges 14 I could see how it actually fit together. 

            For those of you who are not overly familiar with this passage I’m simply going to summarize most the passage, and then quote Judges 14:1-2.  In Chapter 13 the Angel of the LORD comes to Samson’s mother, who has been barren to let her know that she was going to give birth to Samson.  Her instructions where very strict because Samson was suppose to be a participant of the Nazirite vow found in Number 6 from his birth to his death, which meant there were certain things his mother also had to avoid as well; touching anything that was unclean, eating or drinking anything related to grapes, and so forth.  For the complete Vow of the Nazirites please read Numbers 6 as this is not the focus of this particular blog post.

            Samson’s parents were told that he would deliver them from the oppression of the Philistines.  However, upon becoming of age, we will look at Judges 14:1-2 and see what happened, “Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines.  So he came back and told his father and mother, I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore, get her for me as a wife. (New American Standard Bible, NASB)” As our pastor mentioned, this was probably a blow to his parents who had expected Samson to deliver the children of Israel from the oppression of the Philistines, not to find pleasure amongst this wicked culture.  If ever you desire to read the account of Samson you can read about him in the book of Judges Chapters 13-16.  Again Samson is not the focus on this blog either.

            In his sermon Pastor Scot started off using some sport analogies.  He was a football player in college, and has coached from the age group of 4-5 yr olds on up to high school.  He spoke about how often times when you look at pro football; it is hard to see the sport as a team sport because everyone wants to be the individual who is the best on the team.  He made the point that if you are playing right tackle, which isn’t a highly known position, you need to be the best right tackle there is.  It was this that initially grabbed my attention, and then he made at least seven application points which got my attention as well.

            So here we are finally looking at the actual focus of this blog, one of the application points that my pastor gave in that sermon and the one that caught my attention the most.  If you are not my friend on Facebook, then you have been missing a very major event that is going on in my life at this point.  As of this last week I was removed from the Nursing program at my community college which I had worked so hard to get into.  I was removed due to missing one too many clinicals due to some personal things that have been going on in my life.  This has been a huge blow to my family and I as we have sacrificed so much for me to get as far as I have, and in fact get into this program.

            When we first moved back to Texas I was working for a company that actually paid me a pretty decent salary.  The biggest issue with the job was the fact that I was gone from 7:00am and often would not get home until 10 or 11 at night.  Add to this that in order to maintain this job I was also working at least one Saturday a month, if not more.  This kept me away from my family, which was not a good thing in any way.  I left this job believing that the LORD had a better plan for me, and so I entered college and began pursuing the prerequisite classes to get into the Associate Degree of Nursing program at Lone Star College Tomball. 

            Many good hearted people, and I am mainly talking about believers, love the passage Romans 8:28.  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)” In fact I had a person in the Nursing program as well as fellow officers from Phi Theta Kappa quote this verse to me over this past week.  Our pastor used this verse today, but instead of focusing on the first part of the verse, about God working everything for good, he focused on the ending.  “…those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

            In my most recent post I let you all see a glimpse of what I’ve been going through as of late.  This has lead me to examine myself as the Apostle Paul admonishes in II Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test. (NASB)” As I examine myself I do believe that indeed I’m a born again child of Jesus Christ.  Since I am a child of God this life is not therefore about me, my desires, or my wants, but instead this life is suppose to be about me bringing glory to my LORD who loved me while I was an enemy (Romans 5:8). 

            Pastor Scot made this application in his sermon, “Commitment is fulfilling the role I have been assigned.” In a lot of ways this application points leads to one of the old age questions of all believers, “What is God’s will for my life?”  In order to answer this point one must examine the roles that they have been assigned.  Currently the roles I have are as follow.  1) I am a child of God.  2) I’m a husband.  3) I’m a father. 4) I’m a student at College.  5) I am an employee for Lone Star College. And 6) I am an employee for Lifeway Christian Stores. 

            Each of these roles is a part of who I am.  As I look at these roles I have to ask myself, am I fulfilling the role I was assigned.  I know that in some of these things I’m growing in day to day, especially in the area of being a husband and a father.  However, I also have to be willing to critique myself, and so am I bringing glory to God in these roles He has placed me in?  Often times I look at these questions and wonder if I can answer them, since I’m so close to the situation.  Then there are times when I know I can answer these questions, and I know the answer is too often, No! I’m not bringing glory to God. 

            So am I writing all of this to beat myself or to have you beat yourself up over the answer?  The answer to that is No! as well. Although, I also do not think that we should not ask these questions of ourselves.  These questions are very important, and need an answer.   Each and every one of us has at least one role that the LORD has assigned to use.  Ephesians 2:8-10 is a section of verses that I share often, and am going to share again.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.  For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (NASB)”

            I have been asking myself a lot over the past week or two what is God’s reason for first letting me into the Nursing program, and then allowing me to be removed? I shared this with my mother this week, but I also told her there is this other part of me that knows that I don’t have to know what God’s plan is because He is God, and can do what He wills.  My responsibility is to trust Him and believe in Him without knowing everything He is going to do in my life or the life of my family.

            Circumstances may be very good in your life, or there may be some of you who read this who are in circumstances that you also do not understand.  The title I gave to this blog is “Commitment Regardless of Circumstances”.  I want to tell you not that it is not our responsibility to know what all God is going to use in our lives, or how He is going to use it.  It is simply our responsibility to take up the roles we have been assigned in order to bring Him glory.  Today do not focus on the first part of Romans 8:28 about God working everything out to good, but instead I encourage you all, and myself as well, to focus on the end of that remarkable verse “…to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” God has a purpose with where you are, bring glory to Him today.

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