I have been studying the book of Psalms all year, and I have been thinking about a passage all day long from Psalm 20: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,but we rise up and stand firm" (verses 7-8). This statement is of note because it comes from David, a famous warrior, who certainly knew how to utilize the instruments of battle. Yet David did not rely on his military genius, but rather on the Lord who directed his battle strategies.
One time the Lord told David to go and attack the Philistines head on: "Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, 'Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?' The Lord answered him, 'Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands'" (2 Samuel 5:18-19). The Philistines didn't have their fill, however, for they came back for another round.
David could have easily concluded, "I can handle this. I know how to do this and I will do it like I have done it before." Instead David sought the Lord again and this time the Lord gave him a different approach: “'Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.' So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer" (2 Samuel 5:23b-25).
Your training may be in finance, human services or resources, ministry, or education and that training is a good thing - if God is free to direct it. If not, then you will continue to rely on the "horse and chariot," or the expertise that you have in any area.
I write about this because I have met with a few people lately who were strong-willed. They asked me how to do something and, when I explained what I thought they ought to do, they ended up debating and even arguing with me. Now, I am not saying my advice to them was the best or was delivered in the best manner. I am not offended because they did not heed my response. I was just surprised that they were that adamant in dismissing what I said because, at the end of the day, they knew best and stayed in control of their situations.
If you are going to find purpose, you are not going to "figure it out." You cannot find it without God's help. Even then you won't fulfill it without the same kind of guidance that God gave David. God can give that to you directly but He may send it through others. Either way, you have to surrender a bit of your independence to walk in someone else's perspective where your life and work are concerned. I am making an effort in my own life not to trust in what I think I know about life, but in what I think I know about the Lord - and that is He is a whole lot smarter than I am and has all the answers I need.
Have a blessed week!
KENYA SPECIAL NEEDS: I posted two updates from our Kenyan partners who are encountering difficulties at this time. Please read about it and then give what you can through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you for your help - and please don't forget about the benefit at baseball game on August 29 to benefit the work in Kenya with our libraries and orphans.