Question:

Hello Minister,

I've recently been dealing with a lot of internal conflict concerning God's individual will for my life. I've been in deep thought as to whether I should give up all the things that I enjoy, as well as my current life at home with my parents, in order to serve Christ and preach the Word in the best way possible or not. This is because I felt a sense of peace and even joy in my heart at the thought of having nothing to hinder me in my walk with God. Could this be Him speaking to me through circumstance or the Holy Spirit encouraging me to step out in faith? The main experience that has led me to believe this was Him after I had taken some time in my room, praying to God for guidance on this matter. After I finished conversing with Him, I was scrolling through videos on YouTube when I came across one entitled "You Must Give Up Everything to Follow Jesus - My Testimony", and "How Do You Give Up Everything to Follow Jesus?" These struck me as "signs" that were speaking to my current situation.

I know that, as Christians, God requires us to be willing to give up everything in order to do His will, including our lives. Though He does not call everyone to do this, I'm just want to know whether this is truly the right decision at this moment.

I'm a 19-year-old college student who has just completed my first year at a technical college near where I live. I'm currently waiting for classes to start up again in August. I discussed this with my Dad, and while he wouldn't be against doing such a thing, he would also be incredibly disappointed because he knows that I'm capable of much more.

Right now I'm going through a time of stagnation, I feel an urgent need to make a decision and it hasn't given me peace. What are your thoughts on this season that I am in?

Answer:

Your question, in general, is a common one for people in their late teens and early twenties. There is a world of possibilities but you are just on the edge of realizing that you can't do everything. Decisions have to be made and deciding is hard. I wrote a series of lessons that I want you to go through in detail.  The series is titled: "What Is God’s Will for Me?" and contains four lessons.

A second problem is that people feel that righteousness requires giving up everything. It becomes the idea that you purchase God's respect with the things you no longer have. For this, I would like you to go through "The Great Giveaway." Thus, my challenge to you is why do you have to give away the blessings God has given you in order to serve God? Why can't you serve Him now with what you have?

Finally, notice that all your arguments about your future were based on your feelings. You did not give me reasons for your options, nor backed them up with Scripture. Feelings can be warnings, but they cannot replace reasoning because feelings are often wrong (Proverbs 28:26).

"If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with use) -- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence" (Colossians 2:20-23).

Question:

Well, one reason that I believe led me to this conclusion is my current difficulty struggling with idolatry. I've really been trying to make sure God is first in my life and that my hobbies and relationships aren't usurping my relationship with Him. I'll also admit that I've been having a little bit of trouble sharing God's word with family and close friends because of our conflicting views on Christianity.

Answer:

"Idolatry" carries an implication of worship in its meaning. I don't get that this is a problem in your life. Perhaps a better word would be to consider your priorities in life. See "Can thinking about a girl constantly be idolatry?" for a detailed discussion about what idolatry actually is. God can be first in your life while still being involved in the things of life.

Don't judge your ability to teaching God's Word by the number of conversions that result. "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth" (I Corinthians 3:6-7). You have to think about helping each person get a little bit closer to God. You might be introducing a brand new topic to some that they never thought about before (planting), or you might be reinforcing and growing their knowledge in a topic (watering). Eventually, that leads to conversion as God's Word takes root in them, but the amount of time it takes varies between individuals.

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