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When it wasn't the Will of God

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  • When it wasn't the Will of God

    Here's the outline of the situation.
    1. A man receives what he believes was a call of God on his life. This call requires a major change including relocation.
    2. Events happen that give the perception that God is opening doors to follow this call.
    3. Apparently those who he consulted believed also that this was a call of God. (I wasn't involved in this step.)
    4. The man takes 6 - 9 months to do the heavy lifting to prepare for the following the call.
    5. The man leaves on the call.
    6. About 6 months latter, the man has experienced a crushing failure and is returning home.


    I personally believe the man involved is sincere in his belief that was God's call on his life. I also know hindsight is usually 20/20.

    How would you respond in this situation? As you might discern from my avatar, tact isn't a strong point for me and I've already recognized my initial reactions are not helpful to the situation.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

  • #2
    I'd need more facts, TM, and would sit down with the man to discover those facts.

    It's SO EASY for us to want something, and to convince ourselves it's "God's Will", or even "God's Call". I've been there.

    I think the biggest thing, though, is "what's next"? Does this event preclude following God in the future? I mean, it would be easy to use this as an excuse NOT to continue following.

    I really don't know that the "crushing failure" is, or how much responsibility rests on the shoulders of the many to whom you refer.

    Paul's advice to Timothy in two letters constantly encourages Timothy to understand that there ARE difficulties out there, there ARE people who oppose us (Alexander the coppersmith, for example) and lots of setbacks. He tells him to endure hardships like a good soldier, and, in effect, to "cowboy up".
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      I think God's will is for us to familiarize ourselves with the Bible and to employ wisdom, not to read omens. If the guy was living by the word of God in a wise manner, then the failure should not stop him. If he was relying on mystical signs and feelings, then he got what he deserved.

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      • #4
        Discerning between the will of God and the designs of man is the first thing you have to do.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
          Here's the outline of the situation.
          1. A man receives what he believes was a call of God on his life. This call requires a major change including relocation.
          2. Events happen that give the perception that God is opening doors to follow this call.
          3. Apparently those who he consulted believed also that this was a call of God. (I wasn't involved in this step.)
          4. The man takes 6 - 9 months to do the heavy lifting to prepare for the following the call.
          5. The man leaves on the call.
          6. About 6 months latter, the man has experienced a crushing failure and is returning home.


          I personally believe the man involved is sincere in his belief that was God's call on his life. I also know hindsight is usually 20/20.

          How would you respond in this situation? As you might discern from my avatar, tact isn't a strong point for me and I've already recognized my initial reactions are not helpful to the situation.
          You might have to elaborate on what "crushing failure" is. Sometimes what seems like failure is just a bump in the road, or a very painful and/or scary test, as God is leading us to the destination he has for us. I always keep my focus on the life of the saints of the bible. Imagine being in Joseph's shoes while believing that God is leading you to the call he has for you. Most of us -- ESPECIALLY myself -- would have been devastated (psychologically and probably spiritually)if we went through what Joseph went through before God brought him to the destination he had for him. Or look at the life of Elijah as God was leading him through severe times of famine and persecution. The faith of these men absolutely amaze me. I wish we knew the back story, how they were raised, who taught them and how they got to point of unmovable faith during some of most severe tests they were put through.
          "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

          Comment


          • #6
            Good post, Sean.
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks KG.
              "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

              Comment


              • #8
                Crushing failure is a near nervous breakdown and having to leave the mission field. I know he was excited about what he was suppose to do and from personal experience he was good at it. I know that there were a few health question about him going in the first place. I'm certain the agency that sent him won't consider him again as a missionary.

                Sitting down probably won't happen. He's not coming back here but to middle Ohio where his extended family is. This is good.

                He's bounced back before from defeat but there is always a danger that this time he won't. He certainly had many talents that a good local church would benefit from.

                You could with justification say he follows the fad of the day. He didn't always finish what he started. I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply in this case.

                Hope this helps everyone who has been kind enough to respond. I can suffer from Schadenfreude, "I-told-you-so-itis", or total tactlessness so I'm trying to be careful before I say anything.
                "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                Comment


                • #9
                  Most of the Apostles suffered crushing defeat...from the world's point of view that is...(death by crucifixion: Peter, Andrew, Jude, Simon (Not Peter), death by beheading: Paul, Matthew, Mattais (who replaced Judas), James son of Zebedee, speared to death: Thomas. then you have those who were flayed, thrown down from a great height...etc. yet Christianity prospered. Why, because they were obedient. So, how do you rate success or failure? We are not called to be successful, or even sacrificial, we are called to be obedient. If he was, then he is a success no matter the outcome.

                  I'm a little rushed, so I hope that didn't come out as "harsh"

                  LJ
                  "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                  "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the insights, Littlejoe.
                    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                    Comment

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