You ever make decision based on how the Lord was leading you or your family and once you made that decision did you ever stop for a moment and realize that from all outward appearances you look like a plain old fool?
Ever since our decision to move to Connecticut the Lord has constantly prompted us to keep walking by faith and not by sight at the risk of looking like a fool. The entire string of events that lead us to Texas was looked at by a lot of people as pure lunacy. But did that matter? No. It couldn’t. Because we knew, we knew that every step into the unknown, every tip-toe into fool territory we took, the Lord continued to show Himself faithful and gracious as He held our hands down His road.
Apparently moving to Texas wasn’t the end of it. We’ve had to make a couple more decisions that have been perceived as “out of God’s will’ or just plain old stupid to others. Yet each time we chose to believe in Him, He has shown just how much He desires for us to be with Him, to seek Him and to know Him. The Lord has graciously blessed and challenged us to keep moving forward no matter what the world or even other Christians may think.
Yes–other Christians. You ever find that to be the hardest one? Where you could care less if someone judges you for going to church, but when it comes to others who are in your bible study, home group or those who sit next to you on Sundays, it’s much harder? I’m not talking about deciding to deliberately disobey the Lord’s instructions and commandments in His word. NOT that. I’m talking about the other countless decisions you make as parents or as a husband and wife that are not explicitly laid out in the Bible and have been left out for us to seek the Spirit and know God’s will for our lives. You know simple things like: if you’re going to have children, when you have children, how and when you children sleep, what you eat, where you live, how many sports you play–if any. Or harder ones, like what we are facing now: homeschool? public school? private school?
Those decisions are hard to make, especially if it doesn’t look like everyone else around you… Living in 3 totally different areas of the country have revealed somethings so interesting to me and something I was very ignorant of: that different churches and Christian communities place different priorities on different things. For example, in Portland, there are large amounts of families who homeschool and have been blessed in the process. And we also felt huge pressure to homeschool. In Connecticut, private Christian school was seen as almost an imperative if you desire to raise your children in a godly way. There were large pressures to follow in line there as well. Here in Dallas, Texas, most every mom I meet works and homeschool is kinda weird and the public schools are viewed so well that private school is not really considered. None of these choices are right or wrong based on what the bible says–each family is called according to the purpose and plan God created for them. Each of these vastly different communities and have very specific and purposeful reasons they might lean toward one kind of schooling over another. But what happens when your plan doesn’t look the same as everyone else? That is when you start to step into what I am calling “foolish territory”.
I want to first clarify that the Word calls us to seek godly counsel (Proverbs 11:14 & 15:22) and to bring your needs and questions and desires to the Lord (Jeremiah 29:13). When you are thinking about doing something, praying about doing something, if you feel the need to be secretive about it or are ashamed to share with your mentor or other godly people in your life, that is a clear indication that your “something” is not a God thing. Bring your desires or decisions to the Light–confess it to the Lord, ask friends and family to pray with you and seek with you and the Lord will direct you! And He will never contradict what is in His word! If you are feeling the Lord is leading you toward a decision that doesn’t look like everyone else’s, seek Him fervently and ask others to join you as well. He will never leave you to make choices on your own when you are asking for His help–never.
But when He is guiding, it doesn’t necessarily mean His answer to you will look like what your peers are expecting…
So, as you probably figured out, my latest “foolish” move is school related. I mean, I have literally wanted to wear a sign around my neck that states: “If you have any questions regarding the school my children are going to attend next year, please read this preface before you think I am an idiot, selfish, stuck-up, foolishly misguided or not really a Christian. Thank you.” You see, the Lord asked us to go out on a limb for something a couple of months ago that was so far out of bounds I thought, “I MUST be making this up!” I would pray Psalm 139: 23-24:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
I sought prayer and counsel from dear friends and of course my family, and though they might not fully understand, they were faithful to pray and walk with us through this process. But I realized that from outward appearances here in our community, this decision came with whole load of judgements and preconceived ideas of who we are as a family and what our priorities are. And I started to shrink back, I found myself talking down our own decision to some people when I ran into some push back to our decision–totally caving into the fear of man. Once I did that, I opened the door for the enemy to speak in doubt and fear of what we had prayed for and listened to…and just when I am spiraling down the pit of doubt, the Lord swoops me up in His mighty hand and reminds me of the truth: that He loves me. That He is my father in heaven who will never leave me or forsake me. And that He is the one who is in control–not me and not anyone else. From that instant I realized that no matter the outcome of our journey, whatever happens the Lord is with us and He will guide us. So I decided to take off the sign and start boldly living like a fool on the outside for a God who lives on the inside.
Don’t let others determine what your faith looks like. Don’t look around to figure out what God has for you. Look up. Seek Him, let Him show you what is best for you and your family, no matter what it looks like on the outside. No matter how foolish it seems. Our ways are not His ways. Don’t do what seems right in the sight of man, but seek our Savior, Author and Perfector of our Faith and you will be given guidence and direction, and most importantly you will begin to seek the things of the Kingdom of God and not of this world.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
1 Corinthians 1:31