Three Taverns Church

To Whom Shall I Go?

11 Comments

John 6:66-69 (ESV) “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Andy Stanley preached marvelously on this verse several months ago; the context Stanley provided made this interaction between Jesus and Peter come alive. The point of Stanley’s sermon seemed to be: Even when we don’t like what Jesus tells us, what else can we do? To whom shall we go?

The late S.M. Lockridge, in his sermon titled “That’s My King”, makes the following claim about Jesus: “You can’t get Him out of your mind.” Again the point seems to be: Once you have accepted Jesus, there’s no turning back. You will never be able to get him out of your mind; you will never be able to stop thinking about him. Even when you don’t like what He has to tell you, to whom shall you go?

I am going through a very…confusing…season in my life. Two years ago, almost to the day, I had a very startling and miraculous encounter with God. I changed the course of my life as a result of that encounter: I quit my finance job, sought out other career fields, and earned a Master’s degree in Ministry. I was certain I was going into paid ministry once I graduated…until I was hired back into the finance field doing analysis and reporting once again.

These days I sometimes find myself asking God in my morning prayers, “Really? You had me quit my job, go through 18 months of unemployment, and earn a 2nd Master’s degree just so I could go right back to what I was doing before all this started? Really?

I have prayed for knowledge of God’s will. I have asked Him to clarify His call in my life, to speak to me and to guide me in the way I should go.

God is silent.

This morning during my prayer time I had a familiar thought: Maybe this is all nonsense. Maybe I imagined all of this…Maybe God didn’t speak to me that day two years ago. Maybe…maybe I’m just talking to myself?

Before you panic, I know that’s not true. I know it’s untrue because even though God is silent in this season of my life, He won’t let me go. I can’t get Him out of my mind. There is a silent ‘voice’ in my heart that does not speak but makes its presence known regardless. It is hard to describe. I know He is in there somewhere, though He won’t say a word. I can’t bluff Him into talking to me through threats of walking away because we both know He’s there. And if God is real, and if He lives in me, to whom shall I go?

Have you ever gone through a season where God was silent in your life? How did you know He was still with you?

11 thoughts on “To Whom Shall I Go?

  1. Yes!!! Absolutely, I’m having the exact same struggle myself right now. Where do you want to me to go God, what do you want me to do, what is the purpose, why??? I get nothing but be thankful, have patience, trust me. REALLY!! It hurts that I want more than that from Him when He gives it all, all the time. I know he is still with me, because the Bible tells me so. More than that, I know that I am with Him. I’ve felt and seen the difference.

    • Wow, we are completely on the same page. You said something that resonates with me: “It hurts that I want more than that from Him.” What I’m learning about myself is that the reason why I’m not OK with ‘just’ being thankful, patient, and trusting is that I have a performance addiction. I feel like I need to DO for God. I know, intellectually, that’s not true but in my heart I need to perform for God.

      I’m glad you still know He is with you. 🙂

  2. R.M….as always, you present some profound thoughts for your readers. Love to read your blog (though I’ve got some catching up to do).

    I’m really thankful for the personal info…I find it really effective when a writer tells of his/her own experiences and ties that into larger spiritual truths.

    Your comment about “doing” reminds me of a quote I recently came across that really had a lot of meaning for me….I will try to follow up with that quote in another comment.

    Keep praying and trusting…God will open doors in His timing. Another friend of mine, who has a surprisingly similar story (quit business world to go to seminary, then didn’t pastor) wound up using his expertise in finance to run the accounting office at the seminary, and now a mega-church. But he does this job with the expertise few ministers would have, and the “kingdom mind-set” few accountants would have. Really see God at work in what he does.

    • Thank you for this post, too. I know I need to be patient; in fact, it occurred to me that if God gave me a ministry opportunity today I’d probably be miserable in it because I’m just not ready yet. But I know I will be someday! God’s timing is amazing; rarely early, never late, he’s always right on time.

  3. Re: your comment about “doing” and “performance addiction”

    Just so happens I’m reading a book right now that does a great job of addressing this issue. The book is “Every Man, God’s Man” authored by Arterburn & Luck. Here’s a quote:

    “Doing more puts man in control.
    Being more puts God in control.

    Doing more is a safe style for men.
    Being more is risky.

    Doing more implies there’s an end to it.
    Being more is a process—fluid and unpredictable.

    Doing more lets a man pick the changes he needs to make.
    Being more allows GOD to reveal the changes a man should make.

    Doing more requires trying harder.
    Being more relies on training humbly.

    Doing more engenders spiritual pride.
    Being more produces humility through surrender.

    Doing more is about correcting behavior patterns.
    Being more is about connecting with God’s character.

    Doing more attaches to the public persona.
    Being more reaches the private self—the man God is seeking to reach.” (pp. 11-12)

    Do you have a link to the Stanley sermon by chance?

    • That is going to get printed and put up in my cube at work. These words speak perfectly to the challenges I struggle with regarding performance.

      I can’t find that sermon, but it must be there somewhere. If you are really curious I’m sure you could e-mail North Point and ask them to send you a cupy. It was really good.

      • that’s a good idea…I’ve actually got some friends who attend a satellite of N.P….I’ll check with them and see if they can get a dvd…they’ve given me a couple of others

  4. I read somewhere that God places me where He wants me to be and when he is not “talking” it means to stay put. God got me in and God will get me out; on His time. Which, of course, is the perfect time.

    • Ah, yes, that does sound like Him. Sometimes it’s hard to stay put though, isn’t it? We assume we know the plan better than Him…at least I do. Thanks for the comment!

  5. I woke up and found this on my heart that I wanted to share with you and your wife. For the 18 months that you were unemployed, you were learning to trust God financially. With your addiction and its struggles, you are learning to trust God mentally. You were learning to trust God spiritually when you spent a lot, if not all, of that time getting a Master’s in Ministry. You are reading His Word, studying His Word, learning His Word and putting that into everyday living. You have this blog, facebook, your workplace and countless other ways to communicate with people about all of this. You have a marriage that I’m sure still has its struggles, but is completely different and so much the better for it now. You are raising your children up to know and love Him as well. All that to say, YOU ARE IN MINISTRY, even if you are not “in Ministry”. God spoke to you and had you go through all of that to bring you here. You and your family are being His hands and feet. You are being salt and light. That’s the why. So your life can be a testimony everyday to His goodness, grace, mercy, etc…

    • Thank you very much for sharing this. My wife and I read it together this morning, and she told me that you (whoever you are!) are letting God speak through you, so thank you for letting Him work through you. I think what’s going on is a clash between MY idea of what my ‘ministry’ should look like, and GOD’s plan for my life. I have a preconceived notion of what my life should look like, and that’s different from the plan that God is rolling out. It’s difficult to see this; like cognitive dissonance or something. But encouraging words like these really help to motivate me on a daily basis.

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