ATP: What Is God's Will For My Life?
I must tell you the answer to that question is not difficult, complex or confusing. Let me illustrate. The founder of one of America's largest and most successful department stores, John Wanamaker, was once asked "How do you get time to run four thousand scholars, in addition to the business of your store, your work as Postmaster-General, and other obligations?" Without hesitation Mr. Wanamaker replied: "Why, the Sunday School is my business! All other things are just things."
John Wanamaker early in life drew a distinction between that which counted for eternity and that which was merely temporal. Making a living (a necessity and a God given command) puts food on one's table, but touching people with the love of Christ puts souls in eternity.
In his own right John Wanamaker was a true missionary. He founded the Bethany Sunday School (1858), supported temperance and the Pennsylvania Blue Laws, pioneered the use of price tags and money-back guarantees, was a leader in giving his employees modern "fringe benefits" such as vacations, health care, pension, life insurance, and payments for further education; he also was innovative in such things as refunds on merchandise.
God said, "Love you neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39) How John Wanamaker treated his employees and the reforms he brought to the U. S Postal Service were all ways of loving "your neighbor as yourself." You say, "Pastor, what does that have to do with finding God's will for my life?" Everything! First, understand that every man/woman has the same call – that is why "the answer is not difficult, complex or confusing." Jesus said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." (Mark 1:17) It is really that simple. Every man and every woman has the same call, "Follow Christ and fish for men." Therefore if we are not "fishing for men" we are not following Christ – period.
With that settled, the outstanding question is: "Where do I fish for men?" John Wanamaker fished for men in every dimension of his life. He began by loving Christ first, then following the second commandment he loved others. In loving others he fished for men – hence a Sunday School class of 4,000. In my message series "Finding the Will of God and Doing It," we determined that if we will fish for men wherever God places us, the LORD will reveal our pulpit. The pulpit is revealed out of the "fishing" not the other way around.
The reason why so many hate their jobs and find going to work boring and mundane is because they do not see their workplace as "a field ripe unto harvest," a place in which to share the love of Christ and fish for men. Without loving others and fishing for men, the true meaning of life is lost. When the true meaning of life is lost we become restless and think, "Surely, God has something other than this for me!" And He might – but you will never know until you first "follow Him by loving others and fishing for men." Try making your place of work a "pulpit," try touching others with the love of Christ -- try a kind word, a caring gesture, healing a hurt. Yes, try fishing for men and watch how God will transform your life and workplace.
You say, "I think I have exhausted my fishing area." If you have, then pray for a new fishing spot and let God pull up anchor and move you to new waters where there you can "follow Him and fish for men." There is no greater joy! (Make sure He pulls up the anchor and not you.) Have you lost your joy for life? Love Him. Have you lost your joy for living? Love others … and start fishing for men. There is no greater fulfillment in life. Period!
Have a question for the pastor? Ask Here!