God Doesn’t Ask Us to Be Successful

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I recently received an email from a young woman who wanted to live for
Jesus, but was afraid it might be too difficult. She wanted to know if she
could live for Jesus and still listen to music she called “wrong.” The
following is a part of my response to some of her questions:
If you decide to listen to Christian music, it should be a decision of your
will and not some emotional decision. The problem isn’t your music. The
question is, are you willing to let God lead in your life?
I had a similar situation when I was a young Christian. I had a cigarette
habit. I thought that it was a bad example and I wanted to quit, but I was
afraid that I couldn’t. One morning I asked God to take away my smoking
habit. He seemed to whisper in my ear, “Get rid of your cigarettes and I’ll
get rid of your habit.” I threw my last pack of cigarettes in the trash
before I left for work (I was a schoolteacher at the time).
During school, all I could think about was how foolish I was to waste a
whole pack of cigarettes–I needed a smoke! When I got home I went straight
to the trashcan to retrieve my “cancer sticks,” but to my surprise,
disappointment, and relief, someone had emptied the trash! Can you believe
it? I got rid of the cigarettes and He got rid of the habit. I haven’t been
bothered since. God answered my prayer. He took away my habit, but was
waiting for me to do my part.
Maybe God is waiting for you to do your part.
You said that God called you to be a missionary, but now you write it off as
some childish whim. To say “I was a child then” and dismiss it as a whim is
wrong. Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 & 4 “…unless you change and become like
little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Personally, I
believe your entertainment noise has covered the sound of the Holy Spirit in
your life and His voice has become a distant memory. I believe you are
afraid to “be still and know that I AM God.”
You said that you want “to be on fire for God” but are waiting for some
magical experience that you had at summer camp. Being “on fire” for God is
not some “extra-biblical” experience that falls on you. It is simply being
faithful with what you know. He never called you to be successful. He simply
asks us to be faithful–even when we don’t feel like it.
Satan wants you to live a life of guilt. Remember, no one is perfect, so
quit feeling guilty when your life is less than perfection. Your call isn’t
to be perfect; He has simply asked you to be faithful. Boldness and courage
comes from being faithful. You can live a victorious Christian life, and it
has nothing to do with your music. The problem isn’t secular music, and the
answer isn’t Christian music. The problem is sin, and the answer is Jesus.
Music will help you focus on the problem or the solution.
That’s why I suggest a Christian Music Diet. That is, only listening to
Christian music for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, decide what kind of
music and other forms of entertainment you want to put in your mind. If you
think that I’m advocating brainwashing, you are right:
Brain Wash + Wash Brain = CLEAN BRAIN
When you have a brain that has been washed by His truth, you will find it
easier to make decisions that are pleasing to Him, which in turn leads to
the joyful life you are seeking.
Related Stories:
Advice to Wives About Television
Don’t Add to God’s Word
Advice to Allison
Winning the Spiritual War

I Will Never Watch West Wing Again
Violent Media Causes Violent Kids

From our archives 6/15/2
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