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Bedford, Texas, United States
Pastor of Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Bedford, Texas and former Professor of Old Testament. But mostly I am a husband of an amazing wife, father of gifted children, and servant of an AWESOME God.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Am I Worthy? Developing a proper view of the good God does.

Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. (James 1:17, HCSB)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about being a place that I had never been before. I wondered what the future would hold and the impact that the uncertainty would have on my Christian walk and faith. I concluded by observing. "I know God has prepared me for this journey and that He is with me through it all. I just hope that like Saul, when I come out on the other side, I will continue to "grow more capable ([Acts] 9:22)" in His power and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit."

Tomorrow I start a weekend process of introduction with the members of Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Bedford - a process that will hopefully culminate with a call to be their pastor. I am excited about the situation, I am amazed at the opportunity, and I feel unworthy of the responsibility (which of course I am). From where I am sitting, this is a totally positive set of circumstances. Almost, too positive.

Yep, you guessed it. My analytical nature has kicked in and instead of reveling in the wonder of God's goodness, I find myself asking questions. Questions like, am I worthy? Not "Am I worthy" in the sense of do I deserve these blessings from God - the answer to that is clearly "NO!" But, does the fact that there has been no break, no blips, no concerns, and no problems in this whole process indicative of the fact that I couldn't handle such hardships? I mean we read that He will not give us a temptation that is more than we can handle (1 Cor 10:13), so does that then mean if a situation arises in which there would have been temptation, but then passes without the temptation manifesting itself, does that mean we couldn't have handled it so God kept us from it?

I'm just having fun here! I hear logic like that all the time from students and others - taking texts and statements in directions they were never meant to go. And, truthfully, my mind wanders in those directions all the time and has briefly taken the trip described above - not to the degree described, but enough to cause me to not be thankful for the good going on in my life. But then I realize how foolish that is, I praise God that He has blessed me in ways beyond my expectations and I find myself once again in awe of a truly awesome God. (Besides, even if I didn't have to go through it because He actually was protecting - that in itself would be cause for praise of Him, not disparagement of myself).

James tells us that the Father of Light is the source of all blessing. I believe blessing is everywhere. Our very existence is an act of grace and the sustenance of God is a blessing beyond description. The speed at which this process has occurred didn't really allow for the type of uncertainty I was expecting (uncertainty is present, but of a different sort), but I do believe that through this process I have certainly grown in the Lord and in my knowledge of Him. Among other things, I have learned to be more vigilant in preserving a thankful heart. My tendency is to doubt the good, but when I stop to realize that all the good comes from God, I soon realize as well that doubting the good is in fact an expression of doubting His goodness - and that my friends, is sin.

Though this part of the journey was not full of the stresses I expected, I know there will be difficult times ahead. I pray that the lessons already learned will allow me to see the good in all that comes and to praise God who is indeed the only one who is worthy!

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