Doing the Father’s Will

 
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This morning, I was reminded of this quote from Charles E. Hummel’s book, The Tyranny of the Urgent:

“Jesus did not finish all the urgent tasks in Palestine or all the things He would have liked to do, but He did finish the work which God gave Him to do. The only alternative to frustration is to be sure that we are doing what God wants. Nothing substitutes for knowing that this day, this hour, in this place, we are doing the will of the Father. Then and only then can we think of all the other unfinished tasks with equanimity and leave them with God.”

The first month here in Indonesia was a big transition for me, not only because we were in a new country but because I literally saw my family almost 24/7. It was awesome! In the States due to my schedule and various responsibilities, it was hard trying to juggle everything that I had to do. There are times when I feel like everything is important, whether it was family, church, relationships, school, and etc.

But coming out here to Indonesia a lot of my responsibilities are no longer there and it frees me up to spend a lot more time with the family and with people. Within the first month, I did not have to spend time in preparing a sermon, since our church did not start until last week. I did not have to go to a lot of meetings, since we were just starting here. It was great just meeting up with various church members, as well as other church and organization leaders.

This past week everything changed.

With God’s opening to teach at UPH and with our regular Sunday Celebration starting and with more people coming out to our church, I am sensing the crunch that I felt when I was in the States all over again. On one hand, it is not a bad thing because I would rather be busy than lazy. But where I do struggle with is knowing when to allow unfinished task to go unfinished.

One thing that I cannot stand is unfinished things – books halfway read, starting a project and not finishing, not following through on my commitments and etc. But the more I think about my frustrations, the more I am coming to the conclusion that it deals with two things:

1) Before starting something, you have to know if it is something that God wants you to do or it will lead to a lot of frustrations. There are a myriad of reasons and motivations in why we do what we do. Many of them are good but some are definitely bad for us. When we do things because we are self-focused or selfish (wanting to please someone, protect our reputation, our pride, our insecurities, etc), then we will experience things that we do not want to experience. We will end up getting bitter, frustrated, angry, discouraged and even depressed. This is why listening to and for God’s voice is critical. Also, this is how conviction is built. When we listen to God’s voice, then we can have more certainty as we engage in the task at hand. But if are not discerning or listening, then we can make a decision to engage and feel overwhelmed. Whenever we have God’s conviction, we will be able to do His will, no matter how hard it may appear.

2) We have to finish, not what we want to do but what God gave us to do. My problem is that there are a lot of things I “like” and “want” to do. This is the dreamer/idealist side of me. It is also because I have a passion and interest in so many different things. But as I am getting older, I am realizing the more important question to ask is, “Am I doing what God has called me to do?” Not once, has He asked me, “Seth, are you doing what you want to do?” This does not mean that we cannot do what we are passionate or excited about, but rather it is the issue of timing or doing things in the right season. In the words of Hummel, “Nothing substitutes for knowing that this day, this hour, in this place, we are doing the will of the Father.” I am praying that I can get to the point of saying, “yes, this day, this hour, in this place, I am doing the will of the Father,” the more I will be able to experience greater joy and freedom.

Even though things are busy and picking up again for me, I am certain that this is what God has called me to do. It is undeniable. Therefore, I have to believe that God will “equip me with everything good for doing His will” (Heb 13:21).

Jesus is our perfect example. He said, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (Jn 6:38). This is my heart’s desire; and it is prayer that I will do the will of Him who sent me here to Indonesia.