Serious Question... Very Troubling

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nobodyyouknow, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. nobodyyouknow

    nobodyyouknow
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    I read here quite a bit, but I signed up just to ask this question. Bear with me as I explain.

    I am called to preach. The Lord has given me an intense burden and desire after the calling to preach his words. I was called to preach in 1997 and have been doing so in the normal capacity: I went to Bible school, earned my degree in theology, was called over to a great church, where I now serve as the youth director (among many other things... it is a small "many hats" kind of church), and I've been here about 5 years or so and I really love it.

    I am part-time here, as there simply isn't enough to do to warrant a second staff member after the Pastor. I own a business that is doing well, and it is at the point that I don't really have to work, the staff does everything. I now have the opportunity to start a second business that I know will be profitable simply becaue it is a sister company to the one that is profitable now. It will take me about a year and a half to get it profitable and running without me. Then I'll start another business. And so on until the church needs me full-time which I will gladly do.

    So far so good. Except for one thing. I am called to preach. I am supposed to be a new testament preacher, yet I live like a king. I'm not a millionaire or anything, but I can't shake the fact that I live (and really, all of us americans live) in the lap of luxury. Even those among us who are struggling still live better than 99.9% of all the Christians who have gone on before us.

    And its not just about money. Its about time. We live in amusements and entertainments. Even if I go to work all day, then spend All day Sunday at church, Wednesday night at church, Friday at Youth Nights, Thursday at Visitation, Monday night is spent planning and calling and visiting church people, that still leaves Tuesday and Saturday and hours every night (after church work) to just sit around reading or watching tv or something.

    Here's the bottom line. Living in America right now, I have more money, food, time, opportunity, etc. than any Christian ever before, but what am I really doing with it? I feel like I should be spending every waking moment doing the work of Christ while this short window of time exists.

    I know there is nothing wrong with TV or Golf or fishing, but every time I do those things, I feel extremely guilty afterwards. Like, "what the heck am I doing?" I've heard so many people say that we need to enjoy what God has given us, but where is that in the New Testament? Where doe sit say we are supposed to sit around in amusements and entertainments?

    I guess the song sums it up:

    "Should I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease,
    while others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?"

    I could obviously use any help or encouragement that anyone could offer. Thanks!
     
  2. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Thank God for what you have, you don't have to feel guilty for being blessed, just thankful.

    However, if you can't quit feeling guilty and feel you should be self-sacrificial, go for it. Spend it doing stuff like sending in the rent for one poor person in your church, buy another one a vehicle they need, buy another one groceries for a month, etc.. Spend your time in a soup kitchen, helping the old ladies in your church clean their houses or get to doctor's appointments.

    Whatever you do, don't sit there and write out a check to a charity to assuage your guilt. If you're really called to do more and you feel guilty, don't try to get around it the easy way. Just do what you're convicted of or you might be forced to in a manner you won't like at all.
     
  3. Trotter

    Trotter
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    And, on the flip side, don't spend every waking moment without taking some time to relax and recharge your batteries. if you don't, you will run a very high risk of burning out.

    A meteor is brilliant as it streaks a cross the nighttime sky. but then it is gone, consumed by the friction against the atmosphere. Learn from its example.
     
  4. bapmom

    bapmom
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    Let me ask you this..............Do you think that because you are called to preach then that means you are also called to a life of poverty? I do not believe this is ever what God said.

    Are you using your good income on sinful activities? According to what you wrote, no. Are you using your income to help those around you as much as you can? From what you wrote I don't know. I think Gina is right in her advice too. The more you give, the more your heart will be blessed. But don't give out of guilt, give out of love. Ask God to show you who needs your help, and I bet you start hearing about needs around you.

    But don't feel guilty for having more than others. For one thing, to whom much is given much will be required. You have some more responsibility than others too, because God wants you to do right with what He's given you.

    Remember that not all guilt is of God. Sometimes we make ourselves feel guilty, and sometimes it's the Devil.
     
  5. Brother Bob

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    I will just say this and its what I live by and I been preaching for 34 years and also don't have to worry about where my next bite will come from.

    If you were broke and poor you couldn't help anyone and if you look at it that way you will be alright. I always make sure I don't go so far as to break myself or who can I help then. I hear so many people say "if you need me call" knowing that person is in desperate need right then. I don't do that. God Bless,
     
    #5 Brother Bob, Jun 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2006
  6. menageriekeeper

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    If you think you should be preaching more, go preach! If you think you should be giving more, then give!

    But don't feel guilty because God has blessed. He has put you where you are for a reason.

    It is a hard thing to wonder why God has blessed me and not the next person. But the answer to that seems to be that we all have our own individual life and circumstances and God gives to each of us as our needs require it. Just because we don't understand why God would allow someone to suffer financial problems doesn't mean that He doesn't have a reason for it.

    Now if you guilt is because you believe that you have spent/are spending to much time making money than getting out and witnessing, I think you already have the answer to that. The fields are white unto harvest!
     
  7. whatever

    whatever
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    Earn as much money as you possibly can, and send it to John of Japan.

    “Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Invest as much as you can. Give as much as you can.” — John Wesley (1703-91)
     
  8. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    nobodyyouknow

    Buy the biography of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones (Ian Murry) (it is 2 volumes) and read it. I suspect you will find your answer.

    peace to you:praise:
     
  9. gb93433

    gb93433
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  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    :thumbs: :applause: Thanks for the plug, whatever!

    Well, anyway, use it for missions!
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Now I mean this very sincerely and with a desire to help you find your way: My advice:

    (1) If you believe God wants you to stay in that church, then DO SOMETHING that will use up your time for Jesus Christ. Start a ministry for the Hispanics or Asians in your town, knock on doors for 10 hours a week, start a street preaching ministry. ANYTHING would be better than starting a business for someone truly called to preach.

    (2) Leave that church and go somewhere where you can preach full time. "The harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few." Tell you what. Come out to Japan and I'll show you 100s of towns larger than 10,000 in population with no Gospel preaching churches. Come up here to Hokkaido and I'll take you to Kitami, a city of about 60,000 with only two good churches. My good brother Pastor Kamidate has been praying for 20 years for a missionary to come help him reach his town for Christ!! Now there is a task for a preacher, not starting another business!
     
  12. lgpruitt

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    That was a great plug for John of Japan....

    Count your blessings. God will use you where ever you may be. I'm a teacher in the public school system. I look at myself as a missionary. I've said that for 18 years now and will continue to do so. I'm not trying to belittle anyone that is far and away doing God's work as a missionary by any means. I just feel that I can serve God by being a public school teacher.

    Take time to recharge. We all need some down time as it has been said to recharge. Just maintain your balance. Ask yourself, as you well know, "is what I'm doing acceptable and/or pleasing to God if He came for me right now?" I can go work out at the gym and feel that it was needed. I can sit down and watch the news(not a great example) to unwind or keep abreast of current happenings.

    Peace to you and yours!
    :Fish:
     
  13. Soulman

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    :Fish: Friend, If you are called to preach, you must decide to what extent. Are there opportunities to preach in your current church? Are you called to the pastorate? If you are called and you have a business that runs itself, it sounds like you could be a church planter or something unencumbered by the worries of money.

    As suggested by others, you could be a tremendous blessing to others in need. I know of people that have prayed to God to make them prosperous so they could do more for God.

    As far as feeling guilty for living in a society such as ours......Dont! Alot of good people sacrificed their sweat and their lives for this nation in order for people like you to go into business and make a good living. Be a good steward.

    I think it is better to have money to help God's work than not to.

    If you are called to preach, get to it in the capacity you were called. You have already been to school. Go for it!

    Time is short.:thumbs:
     
  14. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
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    nobodyuknow;
    Let me give you an example about having money.
    Lets say you are standing in the emergency room and a family is told their "love one" has had a very bad heart attack and needs to be flown out to another hospital 3 or 4 hours away. Well, you know that family did not come prepared to follow him there in their car so "you" give them some money to get there, you don't ask them if they need it for you already know that, you just do it.
    Now, if you did not have some money you could not of helped that family but being that you did you were able to do a Christian act. I have did this many times too the point my family told me to "lighten up". So use your money to serve the Lord but don't get fanatic about it and think you are supposed to give it all away for then you will not be able to help anyone else. This is how I deal with it and works just fine and I sleep good at night knowing I helped someone.
     
  15. brgalyon

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    Nobodyyouknow,
    You say that you feel guilty when you are relaxing and enjoying yourself. Maybe and this is a maybe, but could that be because you are not doing what God has truly called you to do. You said you are called to preach, but yet you are doing youth director. Ask yourself truthfully and ask God, are you doing His will and to the extent He has called you. I have been preaching part time for 16 years and working a career job in the Army. My wife and I have a good amount of financial blessings and we do not feel the worse for it, and actually are very gratefull and thankfull for it. Also I have been struggling for 2-3 years now about leaving to go full time. I have now decided to follow God. Now remember, I only need to do 5 more years in the Army and I get a pension for the rest of my life, but God has spoken and off I go; finally I yielded. Hope this helps. I know your situation all to well my friend. God Bless
     
  16. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    Place all your focus on God.

    Know that all blessings come from God.

    Know that all blessings do not belong to you, but are Gods.

    Thank God for your blessings and enjoy them as long as you have them.

    Do not think of your blessings as part of YOU...but from God.

    If your blessings are taken, prasie God for the time He let you use them.

    God gives blessings and God takes away blessings. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    Do not think that if you "have" then you must be in Gods will.

    Do not think just because things are rough that you are not in Gods will.

    Blessing are sometimes NOT having "things".

    Be content with your blessing, and uncontent in your growth in Christ.

    Place all your focus on God.

    Place all your focus on God.

    Place all your focus on God.

    Do His will as he leads you.



    In Christ...James
     
  17. LeBuick

    LeBuick
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    I was praying for a new Cadi and the LORD told me to PM you my address.


    :laugh: :laugh: :thumbs:
     
  18. nobodyyouknow

    nobodyyouknow
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    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has replied with help.

    I am still struggling with a lot of things right now. It's not just about money.

    Every logical part of me says that there are thousands of places that need me more than where I am, yet when I pray about it, I never get anything from the Lord except that this is the place I am supposed to be.

    That makes me wonder if I really know how to discern the Lord's will. I just don't understand how there is such a need in so many other places, yet I am here in a place that doesn't even need me full time (even without pay). How is this possible.

    I must be honest, I have struggled with this so much, that the end result is an erosion of my faith itself.

    Yet I cannot talk to the Pastor about it for fear that he will doubt whether I should be involved in the church.

    I know the internet isn't really anonymous, but I just can't take holding this in anymore. If someone finds out its me then so be it.

    I am really, really, struggling. There are days when I am so overwhelmed with a burden for the lost and for ministry and close fellowship with Christ that I can't think about anything else. There are other days when Chritianity seems so fake and phony that I wonder if its even real at all. I find myself appalled by it and find myself sympathetic to the points of skeptics and atheists.

    BUt I know the Bible. I mean I really know it. The school I went to and the denomination I am a part of is heavy on the Bible. So much so that if its not true then there is nothing else. I really understand the passage where Christ turns to the disciples and asks "will ye also go away?" and Peter answers "Lord, to whom shall we go?".

    In other words, it seems like the only thing holding me in this faith is the fact that there are no better alternatives. If the Bible isn't right, there is nothing else that can be right.

    But I don't want a default religion. It is killing me. But I also don't want to preach about "The Truth" on Sunday when I am ignoring so many nagging questions about my faith. So many things in the Bible that just don't add up. So many things in the church that just don't add up.

    Then I wonder, does every Christian deal with this? Does every Christian secretly suppress his own very valid questions? If we are suppressing questions, how are we any better than muslims or mormons who we accuse of suppressing the Holy Spirit's calling?

    How can we be lovers of truth when we ignore so many logical screams on the inside?

    Bottom line: I was witnessing to a man a few weeks ago, and he said (not argumentatively, but really honestly) "I just don't understand Christians. If they really believed what they preached, they would sell all they had, quit their jobs, and spend every moment pleading every person they met to accept Christ and escape hell."

    Its this type of thing that makes me doubt my faith, because I have such a hard time arguing it. It seems so true.

    There is some line from a skeptics play that is terrifying me, because more and more it makes sence to me, and I don't want it to. It is a person talking to God who says:


    "It is because I take you so seriously that I can't bring myself to believe in you".
     
  19. Mexdeaf

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    Seriously speaking...

    You need to take a missions trip. Get away from your business and your busyness. Get out of your comfort zone. Get away from your pastor, your wife, the BB, and get alone with God. Lay yourself at His feet, give your business and ministry to him and do what He tells you. HIS expectations are the only important ones.

    God is not the author of confusion. Confusion about His will is created by trying to reconcile our expectations and the expectations of others around us with what He wants. God desires obedience and always leads in a clear path.

    I had a successful cabinet making business and was also ministering to the deaf in our church back in the USA. One Sunday our pastor made the statement 'The reason most Christians don't know the will of God for their lives is because they don't want to know the will of God for their lives.' That Sunday morning I went forward and surrendered my life, business, family, house, cars, hobbies, and anything else I could think of to the Lord. A few weeks later we had missionary conference. To make a long story short, God plainly showed us the next step was Mexico.

    I will be praying for you!
     
  20. lgpruitt

    lgpruitt
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    People who say Christians should give up all they have and be seeking to save others all the time are not saying that from the heart of God. I would say the devil had a good day with you that day.:tear:

    A mission trip, as stated above, might enlighten you as to how you can truly help. If you have the means, and apparently you do, take a short mission trip at first...10 days to Mexico or Belize...you'll find God can use you in so many ways there. Or, support a mission family...and go see them where they are.

    God will and does use you. When you question your faith...it's not of God. Rest in you faith in Christ and use your assests to help others. You'll find your rest easy and God will bless you (more) abudantly in return.
    :praise:
     

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