Do I follow Jesus, or does he follow me?
I used to play video games a lot, but God started convicting me about it. I thought maybe if I read my bible for 10 minutes before I played, God would be happy, but after a week or so, I knew God wanted more. I decided to read my bible for the same amount of time as I played video games, but God still convicted me. I considered reading the bible for more time than I played video games, but I knew it was the same problem, my heart wasn’t honoring God while I played. So, I tried to make myself honor God while I played. I remember looking at the scenery in the game and trying to think how God created trees, and how he gave the ability to design these details in a game… There it was! I honored God for 2 seconds while playing a video game! But I knew I didn’t honor God, while playing a video game, rather, I stopped playing the game for 2 seconds. I even talked about God to a new believer in an online game. But I knew God wasn’t calling me for videogame evangelism. Sure, he might call some believers to do that, but I knew he wanted me to stop playing. Part of the reason it was so hard for me to stop, was because I thought Christian liberty meant I could do anything that’s not sinful. Which is a true statement, the problem is we also have to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, Christian liberty means we can do whatever doesn’t get in the way of us following God’s plan for us.¹ When Jesus called the twelve, he didn’t say finish what you’re doing and follow me, or just keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll help you with it. Jesus told them to follow Him. He already has a plan for us. As soon as we become believers, we need to surrender everything to Jesus and start seeking his will for our lives. I was scared to ask God what He wanted me to do at first, because I thought God would want me to give all my money away and help people in some war-torn nation. But I now know that whatever God calls us to, he also created us for. God’s plans are perfect for us, our flaws are accounted for.² Sometimes God’s plans are crazy hard though.³ If we get stuck in a miserable situation, we shouldn’t despair, as if God made a mistake or we did something wrong. Joseph probably didn’t know God’s plan was to be falsely accused, and learn leadership skills in an Egyptian prison. And I doubt David or Moses knew God was using sheep herding to teach them about leading a nation. If we can’t think of a God honoring way to escape our current situation, it’s part of God’s plan.
Because God’s loves us, he also rewards us for following his plans. Every good gift, including Peace, joy, happiness come from him.⁴ His plans are ultimately for our good, to give us hope and a future.⁵ To not follow God is disobedience. Following my video game plan, landed me in one of the most miserable places I’ve ever been in. Me and the Israelites like to learn things the hard way. I’m so thankful God is patient and full of grace! His current plan is a trial, but I’m so thankful to be in God’s trial.
① James 4:17 ② Exodus 4:10-11 ③ 1 Peter 4:12-13 ④ James 1:17 ⑤ Jeremiah 29:11
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