Are you struggling with the idea of what God wants to do with you? Perhaps, your life is a mess for one reason or another reason. You may have even asked “How can a loving Father use me, as I am?” It could be that Jesus wants to turn your “mess” into a message. However, I’d suggest that you not rush into conclusion.
I would like to offer some helpful ideas that may be of help to you. I have been writing on the Internet, for since the 90s. Yes, I am that old! Though I’ll be focusing on the blogosphere and YouTube, the ideas and principles could easily apply to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you, as I share what I learned.
How does one turn a mess into a message? I’ll begin by pointing you to the photo used for this blog post. I was raised as a nominal Catholic and read my Bible, sporadically. Clearly, I had a hunger for God’s Word and didn’t know the place it would have in my life.
In school, I was told that I had a natural gift for writing. It’s in ’97, I came to realize the truth of what I’ve been told. I’ve just began writing a few tech-related articles for an online magazine called OS/2 Ezine. Here’s an old article that could be called prophetic, though I’d not have thought so. It’s called “OS/2 Warp Advocacy“
Was I following Jesus, in ’97? Though I knew about Jesus, I did not cry out to Jesus to rescue me until the Fall of 1990. That is when Jesus became my Lord and Savior. For about seven years, I had no clear sense of what I was being called into. I just knew that I was not designed to be bench warmer. Yet, God is faithful to direct my steps, in the way to go.
24 Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord,
How then can man understand his way?Proverbs 20:24 NASB
You may be asking, “When am I going to talk about overcoming disabilities?” Do you know how one can tell if God is directing them, to serve in an area? Though I did work at a sheltered work program in Phoenix AZ, I had no sense of peace in being there. I don’t regret working there.
However, it was very emotionally draining and depressing. I have gone to college and began to feel like an utter failure, in that place. Yet, other Christians were working there and did not struggle in the way I did. It was a relief when I left to work in a job training program geared towards running a small business.
Though it was challenging, I felt more at peace in that program then the other place. In case you missed it, God knows the plans that he has for you and it’s not one of despair and depression. Here’s what God the the children of Israel through the prophet, Jeremiah
11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’Jeremiah 29:11-14 NASB
The above prophetic word was given to the Israelites who had very good reason to despair and to lapse into hopelessness. Yet, God wanted them to have hope in spite of what appears to be dark time. At the end, there’s a promise of restoration if they’d seek God with their whole heart. How does this relate to my mess becoming my message?
My mess was never my disabilities; rather, it is how Jesus delivered me from depression and a despairing attitude about my future. Depression was not my only problem. I had to hide a lot of my internal issues that I kept hidden inside me. Why did I not say something? I had an intense fear being seen as failure by the churches I attended.
With the exception of one church, it was a lie when applied to everyone else. Most churches in the Phoenix areas were quite accepting of me. However, no one knew what I struggled with inside my heart. It’s not the only problem. I, also felt like a failure to my parents because I didn’t do anything with my college education.
Here is the Scripture that came to mind, as I wrote the above. It’s from Psalms 37:23-24.
23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.Psalms 37:23-24 NASB
In all my struggles and pain, God has been faithful and didn’t condemn me. He knew the pains inside my heart and the Holy Spirit slowly directed me to wonderful books and biblical teachings that would help me, in the long run.
One such biblical teachings come from a familiar set of Scriptures and it helps to read the whole set and not just the first verse. God knew the struggles that I’d be going through and he didn’t just worked all things for my own good; rather so that I can be of help to others. Here’s Romans 8:28-30
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.Romans 8:28-30 NASB
Do you see what has been happening? The clues and preparations are pointed out in the articles. It’s in ’97 that God gave me a vision of what I’d be doing. It was not immediately clear; except that I’d be writing for the Kingdom of God. Yet, I needed to get a clear biblical foundation to operate from. It’s why I’m thankful for the admonition to learn the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
When I finally started writing content for the Kingdom of God, I had to slowly learn what to share. When it came to blog posts that you’re reading, it seems I had a deep well to draw from. Though challenging, I never got tired of it. Yet, I could never get far in the area of politics or talking about straight theology. In my mind, it doesn’t seem that way.
Since I am not the only person to jump to the bottom of a post, I’ll give you a brief summary touching on what I shown in the above article. It begins by looking at the patterns in your life and seeing how God has worked in your life. At the same time, you should not rush to conclusion.
Often time, God will give you the peace to do what you are called to do. Did you read the part about the sheltered work program? How about the other place? Obviously, I wasn’t being called into serving that community. However, my time was not without fruits. The problem is, I did not reach out to the pastoral staff that could have helped me.
Build a routine of reading your Bible, on a daily basis. I’ve friends in the recovery ministry and they emphasize the importance of reading the Scriptures. I can tell that this habit has been a great help to them. Sadly, I picked up on this habit at a later time. Like my recovery friends, I love to reiterate the importance of seeking God, on a regular basis through prayers.
Here is the last point. You have to step out in faith and not be afraid of failure. I think that I went through six web site or blog sites before this one. Yet, God has been faithfully helping me in creating contents on all of these sites. I’ll happily give God the glory; even if they were not exactly what He had in mind. Yet, I needed to learn and grow in my giftings, both natural and spiritual.
Keep in mind, I only talked about the blog. I did not mention my YouTube channel or the audio podcast. Same principle. Don’t be afraid to talk to God about the message that He has given you to carry forth.