Saturday, May 21, 2016

What To Do When God's Ways Aren't Your Ways

So many people are probably wondering, what gives? Where's that mission call? You've turned your papers in ages ago, right?

Well, yes and no. You see, I'd rather not get into the entire purpose, but certain things have held back my papers from going in until very recently. Like, they're with my stake president right now, recently.

Which actually is very frustrating for me. When I decided a year ago to buckle down and get ready for a mission, I expected by this time to not only have my call, but be packing up and getting ready to go. Now I'm waiting for my stake President to get everything ready, which will take more time after it gets sent in to Church Headquarters.

Now let's get one thing straight, I'm fully aware that God wants it to be this way. I'm fully aware that God is going to do whatever He feels is necessary, regardless of what plans I had. As I've gone through this, I've had stress, I've had temptations, and I've had just plain bad days.

In my scripture study of the Old Testament, I came across some verses in chapter 55 of Isaiah. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

More often than not, God's will clashes with ours. While I feel like this needs to happen a certain way, God says, "No, I have a better way." So here's my main point, what do you do when God's ways aren't your ways?

First, we're gonna need some examples. First of all, I'll share a story from the scriptures. My personal favorite story in the Old Testament, actually. That is the one of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (incidentally, if I ever have triplets, those will be their names).

In this story, three Jewish young men are among King Nebuchadnezzar's court in Babylon. The King (who will henceforth only be called "the King", since his name is really hard to type) builds a golden image, commanding all men and women to fall down and worship it whenever they hear the music (incidentally, falling down with the music is what happens to me at every stake dance).

However, our favorite Trio remember Rule #2- Thou shalt not worship false idols. So when the music comes, they don't fall down to worship the idol. The King isn't too fond of this, and calls Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego to him. He asks them, "Is it true?" and reminds them of the punishment, being burned alive in the fiery furnace (incidentally, "The Fiery Furnace" is the name of my new album #spittinstraightfire).

The three answer rather sure of themselves, saying that God is able to deliver them out of the furnace. But if not, they will not serve the gods of Babylon.

That phrase, "But if not" is the whole point I have here. It was no mystery to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego that God was totally able to do whatever he wanted. If God didn't want them to burn when listening to my new mixtape they're in the furnace, boom, no burning for them.

But they also acknowledged that God has his own will and his own purposes, with the three words, "But if not." They show the attitude we should have in similar situations. We should be willing to continue to serve God and worship Him no matter what happens.

Of course, God did save them from the fire, which they probably enjoyed. And that does happen sometimes. For example, with my new single, I wanted it to tear up everybody's playlist with some savage rhymes. And it does just that.

Another example that comes to mind is a story with Oliver Cowdery. He was serving as the scribe for Joseph Smith as he translated the Book of Mormon, and he was doing pretty well with that. However, Oliver wanted to take a shot at translating.

So Joseph prayed about it, and received the revelation found in section 8 of the Doctrine and Covenants. It basically said, "Go ahead. You're gonna need faith, cause I gotta give you the gift."

So Oliver gave it a shot, and couldn't do it. Joseph received another revelation, this one in section 9. It explained why Oliver was unable to translate, saying that it wasn't his work to do at that time. A couple phrase there are important in this situation. "Be patient, my son . . . Do not murmur, my son, for it is wisdom in me."

At the end of the section, it says, "Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you". So right there, there are even more things we can do when God's will opposes our own!

So we've got a couple examples. Great! Three friends accepting that God does what he wants, and council given to a scribe for the greatest book ever. But if that's not enough examples for you, first of all, what's wrong with you? Didn't Christ say, "in the mouth of two or three witness every word may be established"? Really that's four witness. King Nebby makes five if you wanna count him.

Also, I've got a final example that you can't possibly deny. If you recall that in the Garden, our Savior, Jesus Christ said certain words that you should all find familiar. "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me". Already, we see that even Jesus Christ had a desire to find another way. If there was another way, he wanted that. But the next line is the most important. "Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

Not as I will, but as thou wilt. Isn't it amazing that this phrase was important enough to be recorded in three of the four gospels? From the Savior Himself, we receive the most important example of submitting to God's will.

God knows more about us than we do. He knows what's going to happen in every situation, and he makes sure that the situation is ideal for us to make the best choices. And these best choices will lead us in the right direction.

As long as one of our ways is consistent with God's we'll be fine. He wants us to return to live with Him, and to become perfect. If we want the same thing, we'll be willing to do whatever it takes.

Eternal life with our Father in Heaven is my final goal. It's also God's final goal for me, and for everyone I'll be teaching on my mission. If the best way for me and everyone else to get there is to wait a little bit for my mission call, so be it.

What's a couple weeks on the calendar of eternity? I can handle it a little longer. After all, His thoughts are above my thoughts.