“Struggle if you must but at the end of the day, obey”
Kathryn Grace Magsombol (a dear friend of mine)
It has been more than two academic years when I was challenged to be the chairperson of one of my Christian organizations, the UP Dormitories Christian Fellowship (DCF). Because of my academic load now I immediately declined the challenge last year. Not to mention the challenge in my other org, UP Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), to be part of the Core in which I also declined for the same reason. Yet the Lord is faithful to establish a faithful sister of mine, Madam Eunice, to be the overseer of our org. I continued serving in both of my Christian orgs to my utmost free time, if that exists. It has been a meaningful struggle when I became the prayer committee head of DCF ultimately because being faithful in prayer is one of my growth area.
From time to time I would think about the burden of being the chair. And now the hour has come.
Do I want to serve as the Chair?
NO. I really don’t want to be the chair. The responsibility was too heavy, I can’t bear it anymore.
For the past four years I have been serving in the ministry, leading people to Christ and discipling them. And to be honest, it was burdensome. I came to a point where I grew tired dealing with my sinful myself and with various people around me. Not to mention those failing grades I had. I started questioning my choices for the past four years. I am afraid.
Am I glorifying God? Am I on the right path?
Am I making a difference?
I started blaiming my multiple commitments. Did I spread myself too thinly?
Why do I feel so useless in my academics?
I just want to glorify God but why does my testimony seem worthless?
Some of my churchmates even tell me that it was because I am “BS Ministry” to mean that I have been involved in the ministry too much and now I am too distracted and out of focus. Although I recognize that sometimes I am really irresponsible, I wouldn’t want to blame my service to the Lord as the reason for my failure. I am convinced that the grace of God is solely based on His loving character, not on man’s good work.
I asked godly counsel from my brothers and sisters and I did appreciate their wisdom. Praise the Lord for His body! I can gather as much pieces of advice as I can but at the end of the day, I know I have to make the choice for myself.
How do I know God’s will? Always through His Word, the Bible. But it’s not as easy as opening some pages and be like “Say yes to be the chair” or “Say no because of your thesis.” It goes deeper into your personal walk with God.
Does God want me to be the Chair?
This has been God’s response to my prayers for the past days.
1. Peace with God is the fruit of oneness with God (Psalm 4:8)
Cross references: 2 Samuel 19: 9-15, 40-43; 20: 1-7, 15-22 ; Isaiah 26: 3-4; Ps 62: 5-7 ; Deut 33: 27
I have been so busy being anxious of almost anything but God calls me for His peace. In His presence, there is fulness of joy and peace. I have to submit every concern to Him and trust His guidance and sovereignty.
2. Listening to God is essential to walking with God (Psalm 81:8)
Cross references: Deuteronomy 4: 7-16; Ecclesiastes 5: 1-3; Matthew 6: 5-8; Hebrews 1: 1-3; Isaiah 51: 1-16
Listening to God through reading His Word changes not the heart of God, but mine. It is in prayer that God aligns my heart to His. Because He’s my Father and He is not silent, I will listen to Him. Because He knows what’s best for me, I will joyfully trust Him.
3. God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Isaiah 64:4)
Cross references: Isaiah 63: 7-19, 40: 27-31; Hebrews 12: 5-11; Ps 27: 13-14, 59: 9-10, 33: 20-21; 40: 1-3.
Waiting is surely tiring, it’s never fun especially when you don’t know what will happen in the future. Nevertheless, it’s God’s command to pray and wait on Him. I am convinced that those who hope on the Lord will never be disappointed. God’s “delays” is a good opportunity for me to grow in my character.
4. Brokenness is God’s requirement for maximum usefulness (Jeremiah 15:19)
Cross references: 2 Kings 21: 1-16; Jeremiah 1: 18-19, 15: 4-26; 2 Corinthians 1: 3-11; Hebrews 5:2; Ps 73: 25-26, 21-23
My brokenness is never an excuse to run from God. Even if I can’t trace God’s hand, I will trust His heart. There is certainly a purpose for this pain and all sorts of heartaches. Though I have fallen short of God’s standards, He will restore me if I come to Him in repentance and faith.
5. Shepherding is a gift given by the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-21)
This is the preaching last Sunday. I suddenly remembered earlier this year, I’ve been praying for my heart of service to increase since I lack so much in that area. So much.
Boom! Be careful what you pray for ‘cos God surely answers everything that’s in accord to His will. If I wanted to be serve like Christ, I have to die to myself, to my personal desires, so that I could live for others.
This position is certainly an avenue where I could serve like Christ. What could hindering me? Hmmmm
6. Whatever you acquire outside of God’s will eventually turns to ashes (Ezekiel 25:6-7)
Cross references: Zephaniah 2:8; Ezekiel 21:28-32, 25: 1-7; 2 Kings 24: 1-4; 1 Corinthians 3: 9-15; Ephesians 2:19-22
There, God sees my heart. I wanted to redeem my academic standing. Yes, I am very grade conscious and I easily get stressed everytime I fail. I know in my mind that grades could never define me but deep down in my heart I’m hardly fighting intellectual insecurity. Again, God reminds me that I am not the savior of my acads (and thesis). Don’t get me wrong. I need to be a faithful steward being a student, but I can never work for what God has already given by His grace.
7. The Call to be Holy (1 Peter 13-21)
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,
18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you
21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
(1 Peter 1:13-21, ESV)
What more can I say? I am called to be holy. I am called to love God and to serve the people. I know I need to die to myself so that I can live for others.
What more can I say? My life is not my own, it was bought by the blood of the Lamb. I want His will to be my will.
If Jonah disobeyed and was stucked in the belly of the big fish for 3 days, would it be possible for me to be stucked in college for 3 yrs for disobeying??? Far be it Lord, God, my Father!
So what’s my final answer?
It’s a HARD YES. I have apprehensions.
What will my Christian profs tell about me when I don’t do well in their subjects?
What will people say when I am not excelling in my studies?
How can I make my thesis the best version of itself?
How can I find time for my relationships?
How will I find rest and reaction?
When can I watch kdramas?
Can’t I choose myself first?
As I am writing this, I can’t help crying. It’s so hard doing not my will. My sinful flesh wants to rebel against the will of the Lord. Besides dealing with my own selfish desires, I would be managing people who are also sinners like me. Oh what a great task, my Lord!
I look forward to more crying moments next academic year. But those tears won’t be from fear anymore. This year, I have resolved to face my fears, I have tons of them. Let’s take one gram at a time. Those tears would be out of faith, as little as a mustard seed. I know they are not in vain and there is purpose for the pain.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
To anyone who’s also struggling in making an important decision, struggle well with God, my dear. The Lord is closer to you than you could ever imagine. Draw near to Him as He draw near to you.
PS. Thank you to Charles Stanley’s “30 Life Principles” that I’m using as quiet time guide while I’m too busy for an inductive Bible study.