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CrystalQuest Adventures

…towards equipping the total man!

Month

March 2014

The pursuit of happiness!

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Anyone that has read Chris Gardner’s autobiography or seen its movie adaptation “The Pursuit of Happyness” should be able to relate with the power of diligence and determination in living an impactful life and achieving good success. In a true grass to grace story, Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son (coincidentally played by Smith’s son) evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them.

One striking thing I want to believe we all should be able to relate with about his story is the fact that he took his destiny in his hands, played his part very well while trusting God for a breakthrough. He never for once resigned to fate or plunge into despair. My challenge today dwells on how some Christians had misrepresented God’s omnipotence. Although the Bible teaches that God is sovereign and has total and absolute power over all things. The belief that God controls everything that happens to us is one of the devil’s biggest inroads into our lives. When people take this doctrine to unbiblical extremes, they become passive and uninvolved. They lack zeal, become irresponsible and do not strive for personal excellence. If this belief is true, then our actions are irrelevant, and our efforts are meaningless. What will be will be. All is of God, they say, so God does everything. He is the Potter, we are the clay so it does not matter what we say, think or do. He is the ultimate decider of all things. The point is, if we believe that God wills everything, good or bad, to happen to us, it gives us some temporary relief from confusion and condemnation, but in the long-term, it slanders God, hinders our trust in Him, and leads to irresponsibilities on our part.

God sovereignty does not mean we are excused from our responsibilities. It does not give us the liberty to abdicate our duties at all. God predetermined the consequences but gave us the free will to choose our path. He has a predefined will for each one of us but gave us the responsibility to either walk in it or away from it. Our tendencies to want to absolve ourselves of our responsibilities in God’s overall plan for us could sometimes cause us to eschew perseverance and some even go to the extreme of taking life’s challenges as indications that God is opposed to their plans. We forget Proverbs 22:29 [Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men] and Proverbs 12:24 [The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor], claim God’s promises, refused to earnestly put in the best of our efforts and start trusting God for bountiful rewards. Diligence requires us to remain doggedly committed to getting to the finish line. We strive for the best against all odds and refuse to be swayed by challenges we encounter. God is no slacker and can be counted on hundred percent of the time. He wants His children to be imitators of Him, according to Ephesians 5:1. He set up the principles of sowing and reaping and the law of giving and receiving extends to diligence and conscientiousness in one’s work. God never called out lazy people to do His divine assignments. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all herdsmen. Moses and David were shepherds. Elisha was plowing, and Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen. Even Jesus had an occupation. Those who assertively take action and diligently pursue their dreams are the ones who will flourish. Be diligent in all you do and excellence will trail you in all things.

Finding God’s perfect will!

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I have been greatly troubled about my schedule these past few weeks. I have a job that seems to be a blessing considering how daunting it is to be gainfully employed in my country but how do I reconcile it with the fact that this so called blessing seems to be taking me away from everything and everyone I am passionate about. I have always wanted to be a big time businessman and part of the reason why I had to seek for a salaried job was to raise capital for expansion but this same job seems to be choking every other thing I plan to do. I’m sure every faithful follower of this blog can attest to the fact that my blogging seems to be feeling the heat too and almost everyone that has a so called nine-to-five in this present economy can relate very well with what I’m grappling with. Anyway, ruminating about how to adapt and effectively manage my hectic schedule seems to be what kept pushing my thoughts every now and then to this subject of finding God’s will for one’s life. I usually ponder on what God’s plan for my present situation really is even as I struggle to find answers and wonder how He intends to make it all work together for my good as promised in Romans 8 (my favourite Scripture and I really think it’s one we all need to frequently meditate on).

I recently stumbled on Charles R. Swindoll’s ‘Great Life Series’ which is a set of books that chronicles and critically dissect the great lives of certain biblical characters; David, Esther, Joseph, Moses, Paul, Elijah, Job and our saviour Jesus Christ. My foray into these written masterpieces has really provided the much needed comfort and has wonderfully illuminate my perspective on following God’s will. I realized men and women abounds in the Scripture who were expressly made aware of their calling from the Lord, but who soon discovered that heeding God’s will comes at a very steep price. They were most times exactly the opposite of what they envisage and don’t even correlate with God’s promises at all. There were times they were even downright painful or at least not where they had expected to go. To fully come into God’s will for him as the father of faith, Abraham had to contend with the pain of sacrificing his only son inspite of God’s promise that he will be the father of many nations. Joseph was maligned, mistreated and falsely accused. How could being sold into slavery and going to jail be God’s will for anyone’s life? Well, for him, it sure was. David was anointed to become king of Israel but within a short time became the object of King Saul’s jealousy and wrath. And for a dozen or more years, the pressure he endured mounted to such an extent that he must have wondered if he would ever live to be king. Yet, everything he went through was mysteriously being used by God to lead him to the throne. Paul, after being so clearly called by God as the apostle to the Gentiles spent the remainder of his life jumping from one frying pan to another fire. Even God’s only son had to endure the cross to fulfill His father’s will for Him. If God can sanction the death of Christ to bring about His redemptive plan for mankind, He sure knows about and deliberately allow that situation that to you, may painfully seem like the end of the road. The life of Job is a perfect example of what I’m trying to emphasize about God’s will.

At some point, it dawned on me that God uses the good, the bad and the uglies of this world to bring His plans for our lives to perfection. Walking in God’s will is no guarantee that all will always be fun and smooth. There will be times we would be required to navigate rough waters and even though it might not look like it, His faithfulness is forever true. No matter what you are going through, He is carefully chiselling you to conform to the image of His son and when next you are wondering what God is up to concerning your situation, just remember that embracing His will though might come with its ebb and flow, He that began the good work in you is sure faithful to complete it. You are inscribed in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16) so be rest assured He will never leave nor forsake you. This has been my comfort amidst life’s “tempestuous sea”. It sure can be yours too!

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