I’m baring my soul and I know someone reading this may trample on my soul but… if the Lord uses my transparency to touch someone… it’s worth it.
Go back with me to the nineteen eighties. I was a student at Mississippi College in Clinton, MS, preparing to go into the ministry. I graduated from MC and went to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and got my Masters of Divinity degree. I graduated in May of 1987. Then, in the early nineties, I went to Reformed Theological Seminary and got my Doctor of Ministry degree.
At that time, I was prepared for the ministry. I had my education, I sounded like a Preacher, dressed like a Preacher… walked like a Preacher, I was going somewhere… but I wasn’t sure where. 🙂
For twenty years, I prepared sermons. I went to all the denominational meetings. I spoke the language of Zion. I was going somewhere… again… I wasn’t sure where. 🙂
Today, I’m in my fifties… fifty-five to be exact. I don’t have a church. Yes, I have resumes out, but it gets more difficult to get a church the older you get.
At fifty-five, I’m asking, “Where do I go from here? What’s my next step?” Did I anticipate being here in life? No. I didn’t. And at times, when I’m down, I will say, “Lord, I’ve got all the education I was supposed to get… but today it’s not doing me any good.”
But, recently, God spoke to me about that. I have a tendency to remind God of all my credentials like God supposedly owes me something. And this is what God has impressed on my heart … .God doesn’t owe me anything. Nothing that happened in the past matters. It’s not like I earned brownie points with God because I got my Masters Degree and my Doctorate but at times, I can think that way.
Maybe you do as well. Do you have a tendency to remind God that you have been on His side? Other people haven’t but you have. So, God owes us something, right? Nope, He doesn’t.
I graduated from a Baptist college. Ok, big whup.
I graduated from a certified Baptist seminary. Ok, big whup.
I got my Doctor of Ministry degree. Ok, again… big whup.
We can think that because we do certain things God is supposed to help us. We can think that because we go to church, God is supposed to help us. God loves us and cares for us and God promises to provide for us. God promises never to leave us or forsake us. He doesn’t promise to keep us out of the fire. He doesn’t promise that we can go on vacation every year.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 says, “Thou the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines; though the yield of the olive should fail and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in Thee O God.”
So, if you are struggling… if you are thinking God owes you something… He doesn’t friend. God promises to provide for us and give us strength for trials.