Let Me Clear My Throat...Actually, let me just clear up a little bit of what I was saying...then after I let the rest of both Jake and Dusty's posts really sink in, I'll hit on some of that (probably in like a year or so...)
I am quite interested in diving into the idea of God's Grace and Silence, but in regards to what I said in my last post let me point out a few things that I may have believed were understood. Scripture is quite clear on what activities Christ Followers are to be participating in. I won't say there are five purposes in our life, but I would say that in searching through the Scriptures we can understand that we are too about reconciling the lost to God and meeting the needs of those around us (emotionally, physically, and spiritually). Now in searching the scriptures and meditating on what they have to say I guess there is not a road map laid out for us, however I do believe that God may speak through these methods. When people ask "what does God want me to do," I want to point them back to 2 Cor 5, or the great Commission and the Great Commandment, and say "I think He's kind of laid that out for you...now what's that mean in your life." Maybe this is too vauge, but understanding that everything we do as Christians we do by the Grace of God, and that anything good living in me is not me at all but Christ who lives in me, I believe that we have to stop looking for "the thing" that God wants us to do, but instead start doing what He's already told us RIGHT WHERE HE'S ALREADY PUT US! Maybe then we are blocked out (like Paul, as Dusty pointed to), or maybe God uses our obedience to further push us along the path. However, if a person asks these questions, is NOT obeying even now, I say they're quite a far distance from what God wants to do...and I don't mean in circumstances or time, but rather in obedience.
Now onto my cliche` of the night. When I posted the verses Jer 19.11-14 I knew Jake would jump all over me. I even wrote something about how I am taking this out of context, but I thought it would be more fun this way...and it is. I do know that this verse is often taken as a comfort verse, "that GOd will bring good will upon my life forever, b/c that's God's job" mindset. I however do not believe that this is a correct interpretation for all the same reasons that Jake says. The part that I fall back on quite frequently is the part I put in bold print, that speaks of finding God when I seek Him with my whole heart. If I am unclear about what God has for my life, if I am not able to participate in the ministry of reconciliation where I am today, I'm guessing that it's not because God's will won't allow it, but rather b/c I am not seeking God with my whole heart. Does this mean that I'm sure that I'll find all the answers that I need. No. It means that even if God is silent, even if He leaves me right where I am for the rest of my life with NO explaination, I know that I will find God (not "His will for my life") when I seek Him with all my heart, and that I can be obedient to that which has been laid out in scripture.
One final note. Jake talked about the fact that I may believe that Jer19.11-14 means that I will live a life of prosperity and purpose in a worldly sense. He went on to talk about failure and loss, even living a life that is not focused on one's individual passions, but is ultimatly successful in the purposes God had for their lives. I would like to say that is exactly how I believe this verse to play out in a life of a Christian today (out of context or not). I think that this assumption is one that is made because of the way this verse has been marketed to the masses as a "promise". However I don't remember a roof, a bed, and three square meals ever being something that we're promised in scripture. It is abundantly clear that prosperity and purpose in regards to the Gospel has ABSOLUTLY nothing to do with financial wealth, security, and 5 year plans. Maybe when we're done talking about God's will we could explore what it means to prosper in regards to living a life that is SOLD out to the truth of the Gospel.