*Colossians 1:9 ~ “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

*Colossians 1:13-14 ~ “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
2 Thessalonians 1:6; Matthew 7:21; Matthew 7:13-14

*Make sure you’re living to follow God, not others, living up to their expectations & being too popular

*Go against the popular way

*Whose will for you are you following?

*Deny your own life to pick up His cross for you

*Do you even want to really know God’s will & desire for you? ~ do you trust Him enough to go for His will instead of your will? ~ remember who God is & who we are & how big He is

*Will you follow His way even when it’s completely different from everyone else’s ideas?

*Do whatever He wants you to do, don’t wait for anything

*Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 ~ “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, ‘My vow was a mistake.’ Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.”

… Those are my notes from our opening session with Francis Chan at BNYC this year. I so love how he makes it all personal and applicable to our lives. He shared that earlier this year, he told his congregation in Simi Valley that he needed to step away from his position as pastor for a little while because as much as he loved being there, he needed to be sure that he was staying there to follow God. Maybe it sounds drastic, but he wanted to make sure that his life was on track with where God wanted him to be. He didn’t want to stay there because it was what everyone else thought he should do. He wanted to do whatever God called him to do.

It makes me think of that song by Avalon… “I don’t want to go somewhere if I know that You’re not there, ’cause I know that me without You is a lie, and I don’t want to walk that road, be a million miles from home, ’cause my heart needs to be where You are…” that is the best description of it that comes to my mind. Don’t do something just because it seems to be the popular consensus. Really be listening to God and wanting to follow His will for your life, not somebody else’s will for your life.

It is so easy to go a certain direction because it just seems like what everybody thinks you need to be doing, but that is not what following God really is. Do you really want to know what God’s will and desire is for you… even when it is completely different and in the opposite direction of what everybody else tells you… do you want to know it even then??

We need to honestly mean what we are saying to God. Don’t make a commitment just because it feels like what you should do. If you know you are just going to break it the next day, then God would rather have you not make the commitment at all than make it and break it. Nobody likes to be promised something and then have that promise broken. Why should God be any different and actually like to have promises made to Him broken? Make sure that you mean what you say, and that you keep looking to Him for His will… not to others. No matter what it might mean, His way is truly the best.

Francis had this great computer program that showed what the earth would look like from billions of light years away, and as he showed us the picture of the earth getting smaller and more obscure, as the Milky Way faded into so many other galaxies, he said… just look at how big God is. He made all of this, and still we stand on this tiny ball of dirt and water spinning somewhere in space and say “you know, I really think my way’s better”… the absurdity of it is so great. What makes us even think that we could begin to know the better design for our lives?? Keep your priorities in line and follow God’s will for your life.