Sunday, July 07, 2024

Sunday Reflections: Make It Your Ambition To Lead a Quiet Life

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you - 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV


God gave me this verse and Deut 6:7 in 2006 when He led us on a journey that was very much 'counterculture' and not the norm. He blessed us and gave us the great privilege of homeschooling our children. He showed us how to live a quiet life that left the hustle-and-bustle of the world outside to a large extent.

This verse as long been one of my favourite verses and the desire of my heart and soul which I know was planted by God and very much in line with how He created me. I have always found fulfilment and peace in the simple things, in God's creation, in my home and role as a wife, mother and as a Christian.

It's funny, because I have been on this academic journey and done quite well (I passed the Bar Course BTW with a High Distinction!), yet I have felt a sense of disquiet over the past couple of years about pursuing a career in law.

Why? I wondered. 


Well, because it goes against my innermost being and who I was created to be. I absolutely believe that God has a purpose for each of us and some of us are purposed to be lawyers, doctors, teachers and so on.

But if I examine closely my nature and the inclinations displayed in my childhood, and if I pay close attention to the things that bring me the most peace and joy - those things which make me a better person who is able to reach into the lives of others and share God's love, then I can see where I should be placing my efforts and where I should be working.

Oh, God is faithful! He closes doors, opens others, gently places things in our paths and leads us along the way that we should go. We don't always recognise it when we see it. We try to take matters into our own hands and attempt to make our own way and shape our own destiny, often settling for so much less than what God has in mind for us.

We can be blind to what really ought to be quite clear. 

But once we are sure about the path God wants us to take, we will need to set aside all our 'but how's' and our 'but what if's' and our fears and step out in faith.


Stepping out in faith reminds me of that scene from the 'India Jones: Last Crusade' movie. He stands on the precipice of a great chasm. He needs to cross it to get to the room where the grail knight guards a room full of chalices, one of which is the Holy Grail, the cup of life.

He closes his eyes and steps out in faith. His foot lands on a solid rock bridge which could not be seen with the naked eye, and he safely crosses the great chasm.

Sometimes we need to step out in faith, even when we cannot see how we will make it to the other side and the unknown seems terrifying.

Isn't that what it means when we as Christians 'live by faith'? 


We trust God to show us the way. We trust Him to lead us, to make it clear so that we understand, and we surrender ourselves to Him in all areas of our lives, not holding on to the bits we feel we are better equipped to control.

I wonder what it is that you are grappling with right now

Is God calling you to something that appears impossible?

Are you standing on the precipice of a chasm, and you are not sure how you will get across to the other side?

Are you scared to step out in faith?

"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

We have all been there. We have all wondered if the decision we are making is the right one. Sometimes it is easier to keep the status quo and stay in our comfort zone, to stick with what we know works even if it makes us unhappy, even if it means we will not experience the wonder of seeing God's hand in our lives.

"Be strong and courageous" For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." - Josh 1:9

I want to tell you that this promise from Joshua 1:9 is true. 

In my own life I have seen God make a way where really...by the world's wisdom, should never ever have happened.

We stepped out in faith and obedience when God called us to homeschool.

We stepped out in faith and obedience when God impressed on my heart to keep teaching them in the way He had shown us which was absolutely not the way the education system works in the UK.

And He opened doors! You can read about it HERE.

Sometimes, we are like the Israelites


We forget God's goodness.

We forget God's provision.

We forget that He loves us and has a plan for us.

Instead of trusting Him, we wander around the desert surviving, but never fully living in abundance.

By not stepping out in faith, we deprive ourselves of seeing His mighty hand at work in our lives. We deprive ourselves of seeing a way being made where there shouldn't be one. We deprive ourselves of growing in faith and experiencing His peace and joy.

I don't know what decisions you have to make today...

But I want you to know that God is big enough to handle whatever it is. He is big enough to make a way, but you need to reach out, put your hand in His, and take the first step.

That is exactly what I will be doing today and every day (for faith is not a single action but a daily sacrifice).

Blessings in Christ,

Shirley-Ann

2 comments:

  1. This is so true, and a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s love and care for us as believers. He will lead us and guide us in the way we should go as we trust in Him each day. Thank you so much for sharing this Shirley-Ann. Such a blessing, and just what I needed to hear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Candis, I'm glad it brought you encouragement!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate each and every one left for me.