Joe Henegan is a Christian writer based in South London, UK, and blogs regularly at Be Rooted.
How do you make the big decisions about your life?
There are things that the Bible gives us explicit instructions on – do not get drunk, do not commit adultery, give generously, meet with other believers etc., but the majority of the decisions we make in our lives are not guided by a step-by-step manual. For the last few years now I have found myself in what I believed to be in a state of limbo, waiting for God to give me distinct and unmistakable guidance on what to commit my life to.
When it comes to figuring out our calling in the Kingdom, the temptation is to look at the ministries that God has given other believers and emulate their exploits.
It’s easy to look at the way that John Piper preach and assume that is God’s best for everyone or see how Heidi Baker or Shane Claiborne live out their mandate and assume that our lives must look like theirs for it to be considered a success.
It’s very easy to get drawn into thinking that God is not using you unless you are preaching like Keller or influencing young men like Driscoll. It’s easy to miss the fact that there is no other Joe Henegan in the world; no one else can reach the people around me in the way that I can.
I went through a period where I was really envying what God was doing in the lives of my friends around me. Some were planting churches, some were being sent on missions and others were being asked to pastor existing churches. What about me? When am I going to do what they are doing?
God knew my thoughts and spoke to me during a morning devotion. I had been reading through 1 Corinthians and one day I came to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:17:
Only let each person lead the lifethat the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.
The context here is that Paul had been dealing with some of the big decisions about relationships that may face a Christian after conversion: Is it better to get married, should I stay with my unbelieving spouse? Is it okay to remarry after getting divorced?
When we find ourselves facing incredibly complicated and emotionally draining decisions it can be very easy to look around us and envy other people’s lives. In commanding us not to covert our neighbour’s house, God was really using shorthand to tell us not to covet other people’s lifestyles, opportunities or circumstances.
When we covet anything that someone else has we are really telling God that has made a mistake. That we should have everything we want because we know best.
Look around you. How has God uniquely placed you to speak into the lives of people in your life? No one else lives where you live at this moment in time.
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. (Acts 17:26)