Changing Direction In Life

Changing direction in your life is not a tragedy—but losing your passion in life is! Something happens along the way. Convictions to change the world downgrade to commitments to pay the bills. Rather than make a difference, we make a salary. Rather than look outward, we look inward. And we don’t like what we see!

But God is not finished with you yet. Oh you may think he is. You may think you’ve peaked. You may think he’s got someone else to do the job. If so, think again! The Bible says, “God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again” (Philippians 1:6 NCV).

Do you see what God is doing? A good work in you! Do you see when he will be finished? When Jesus Christ comes again. May I spell out the message? 

God ain’t finished with you yet! You’re still under construction and God doesn’t make junk.

He Knows Your Name.

When you see a flock of sheep what do you see? Exactly—a flock. A rabble of wool…all alike. But not so with the good shepherd. To him every sheep is different. Every face is special. Every sheep has a name, and that includes you! The Shepherd knows your name and he will never forget it.

He says in Isaiah 49:16, “I have written your name on my hand.” Your name is on God’s hand. Your name is on God’s lips. Perhaps you’ve never seen your name honored, or heard it spoken with kindness. If so, it may be more difficult for you to believe that God knows your name. But he does! Written on his hand. Spoken by his mouth. Your name! Keep listening…be sure to hear when God whispers your name.

God is there for you. Night and day He is watching over you just like the shepherd described above. Let the fact of God’s presence in your life be fully embraced by you. It is never ending. He loves you very much.

How do I know? He knows your name.

We Experience the Spirit Through Faith

The Spirit came to you the first time when you believed in the blood-bought promises of God. And the Spirit keeps on coming, and keeps on working, by this same means.

So Paul asks, rhetorically, “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” (Galatians 3:5). Answer: “By hearing with faith.”

Therefore, the Spirit came the first time, and the Spirit keeps on being supplied, through the channel of faith. What he accomplishes in us is through faith.

If you are like me, you may have strong longings from time to time for the mighty working of the Holy Spirit in your life. Perhaps you cry out to God for the outpouring of the Spirit in your life or in your family or church or city. Such cries are right and good. Jesus said, “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).

But what I have found most often in my own life is the failure to open myself to the full measure of the Spirit’s work by believing the promises of God. I don’t mean merely the promise that the Spirit will come when we ask. I mean all the other precious promises that are not directly about the Spirit but, perhaps, about God’s provision for my future — for example, “My God will supply every need of yours” (Philippians 4:19).

This is what is missing in the experience of so many Christians as they seek the power of the Spirit in their lives. The Spirit is supplied to us “by hearing with faith” (Galatians 3:5) — not just faith in one or two promises about the Spirit himself, but about all the soul-satisfying presence of God in our future.

Our Flesh Is Insufficient

If you’re like me when you hear about the Holy Spirit for the first time you might have thought of some demented, strange demonic force twisting heads around. Nothing, let me repeat that, nothing could be further from the truth. When I became a Christian by accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I also had a clearer understanding of His role in my life.

Although the works of the Holy Spirit are many, four are basic to the life of faith: The Spirit illumines the mind, enabling believers to understand the things of God; He energizes physical bodies to serve the Lord; He enables the will to follow through on doing what is right; and He quickens emotions to feel and express the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

An important truth to remember: Our flesh is insufficient. Only the Holy Spirit living inside us has the strength and wisdom to live out the Christian life victoriously. That’s why God gave us His Spirit, through whom we reap all the benefits of a righteous and godly life.

We Are Christ’s Soldiers

Growing and managing wealth, providing for one’s family, and taking advantage of leisure time are important activities. In fact, God encourages all of them.

However, these blessings are not to become distractions that draw believers away from church or regular prayer and Bible study. Nor are we to compartmentalize our life into “Christian ministry” and “regular work/play.” We are Christ’s soldiers, no matter where we are or what we are doing—there is no such thing as a part-time warrior.

It’s important for believers not to draw artificial boundary lines between the secular and the sacred. Everything God gives—from vocation and wealth to leisure activities—is to be used for His glory. By keeping priorities straight and activities in balance, we can prevent hobbies and interests from becoming a snare.