Thursday, May 29, 2008

Can you feel Him molding you?

Have you ever done the following?
The phone rings, you don't recognize the phone number on the caller ID and you do not answer it.  Or, you can see that the call is coming from a collection agency wanting some money that you owe them, so you nervously, wait for the phone to stop ringing.  Or how about this one...
you are mad at someone and they keep calling you to talk to you and you don't want to talk to them.

Any of those scenario's sound familiar?
I am guilty as charged as I am sure many of you are too.

In the first instance, you might be missing out on a blessing, or some very important news from a hospital.  The second one is just a case of running from your troubles.  The third one is a matter of forgiveness and loving your neighbor as God calls us to.

With each time that the phone rings throughout the day, we can expect to be blessed, encouraged, or humiliated and angered.  It might be a good friend calling or a person who just wants to "vent" their frustrations.  The main thing to remember is that the phone is a tool used to communicate with other people.

Communication is a tool that God has given us to build our relationships with one another and with God Himself.  Now, you can ignore this wonderful opportunity to build a relationship with others and with God or you can choose to use this tool to develop your skills and to increase your love for others.

When we are living "in" the world and "for" the world, we are doing things which are not pleasing to God.  We use language that is inappropriate.  We call people idiots and jerks for doing simple, innocent things that "we" don't like.  We take our anger out on the one's we love the most and we refuse to communicate in a loving manner.  We accuse, we crucify those we love.  When I was living in the world and for the world, it was "all about me!"  I was a good guy who was a friend to everyone.  And yet, when I was driving in my car if someone "cut me off" then I was quick to call them a name, like idiot or jerk.  Never mind the fact that they might not have seen me in their mirror.  I could have been in a blind spot.  In fact, I could have been the one at fault for not paying attention while I was driving.  As a "good guy" I could pass it off as being "I am just as good as the next guy!" or "everyone else does it!"  I would try to justify myself for my actions.  I didn't like the way things were going so I felt I could justify my position to God.

But God will not allow us to justify ourselves to Him.  When God calls you, how do you respond?
Do you wonder who the call is from and just ignore it?
Do you nervously wait for Him to stop calling you to change?
or do you hold some anger towards God for bad things that have happened to you and you refuse to answer His call?

"Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

As one who used to walk in the world, I ignored God's call many times.  I wanted to do things "my" way and not God's way.  I wanted to be in charge of my life and was not willing to surrender to Him.

You know, when you try to "mold" yourself, you just end up becoming a clump of clay with no shape, no purpose and no life.  You ultimately just sit there and rot.  I have heard people say they are "self-made."  How sad is that?  Where is God in their life?

When you allow God to mold you it might hurt.  Why?  Because it means we will become a "new" creature.  The old things will have passed away.  When someone cuts you off while driving you no longer want to cuss at them and call them names, but instead you pray for their safety.  When God calls you, you anxiously and immediately answer the call.  You drop what you are doing and you follow Him.

Open Doors and Shut Doors
While in college immediately following high school, I played baseball.  I was contacted by a scout for the Detroit Tigers.  As soon as my dreams of pro ball were beginning to be realized, I hurt my knee and never fully recovered.  God shut the door to playing baseball.

I took the postal exam and scored a 100% on it!  After a year and a half I still had not been called to start work.  So I decided to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Bradley University in Peoria, IL.  I was set to put my deposit down on Aug 31, 1985.  On Aug 30, 1985 I was contacted by the post office saying I had been hired.  I had to make a decision.  Do I go to school and four years later make good money as an engineer or do I take the comfort and security of a government job?  I took the post office.  Engineering door was closed!

After a year I was only putting in 20 hours per week.  I wanted a transfer to Arizona.  I thought I was going to be working in the good part of Phoenix.  Instead, God put me in South Phoenix. The worst neighborhood with drive-by shootings on a daily basis!  God shut the door to the good neighborhood.

I was going to get married in November of 1991.  In October of 1991 I get a call saying she was sleeping with her exboyfriend.  God shut the door to marriage.

In 1992, I took an exam for Air Traffic Control.  I scored a 94% on the exam. I was all set to be hired and make real good money.  I took the eye exam and found out I was color blind.  (for some reason they want people who can distinguish between green and red dots on the monitor!) God shut the door to me moving and becoming an ATC.

See, any reasonable person would think that I could focus on all of the shut doors in my life.  I praise God for the shut doors.
It is because of all of those shut doors that I met my son whom I adopted in South Phoenix.  And because of him I now have two beautiful grandsons!!

Had I played pro ball, I never would have moved to phoenix.
Had I become a mechanical engineer, I never would have moved to phoenix.
Had I moved to a good neighborhood in phoenix, I never would have met my son.
Had I gotten married, I never would have adopted my son.
Had I become an Air Traffic Control agent, I never would have met my son.
I praise God because of those shut doors.  Because God opened some wonderful doors.  I didn't recognize it at the time.  But as I look back on my life, I can see how it all came together for my good!  I wouldn't change a thing.

I left the church at age 14.
I joined the mormon church at age 28.
I left the mormon church at age 31.

I went through some pretty difficult times as a mormon.  My health was failing and I was dying.  Physically and Spiritually dying!  But, God brought me through it all.

Jesus calls us to "come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."
It is when you answer this call that you will begin to feel Him molding you.  Take a long look back on your life right now.  Take a look at all of those closed doors in your life.  Maybe you are facing closed doors in your life right now.
Rejoice!  For God has great plans for you.  But it is when you allow Him to lead you, it is when you give up your old self and allow God to create within you a new heart and a new desire that you will find yourself growing in Him.

When you realize that closed doors are not the end to your life, it is truly the beginning of something new and wonderful, that you will truly rejoice.  You will no longer desire to cuss out people who wrong you.  You will pray for them and thank God for allowing you the blessings of loving your neighbor as He has called you to do.

Can you feel Him molding you?
Come, follow Me!  May your life no longer be a clump!  But may He create you to be a new vessel used for His glory!


Melissa said...

Hello friend,
How are you and what's new with you.


WayneDawg said...

Very good post Brian!

I am also guilty of not answering the phone when I don't reconize the number......No more! Phone fishing can also be when the fish call

It's also good to look back on your life like you did here to see the chain of events that brought us to where we are.

Thank God that some of my paths did not take the turn I thought they should have took when I look back on it now.

Thanks for the post!