I had an epiphany this past week. As often happens when I go to conferences, the Lord has much to say to me, and, instead of working, writing daily journals (devotionals), or doing any other form of work, I camped out with some boys from our church, helped them with sermons, and we all listened to great speakers lift us up through God’s word. Yesterday, as I was studying through Hosea it hit me: chaos in my life has everything to do with me moving away from God’s plan. I apologized to my wife and kids for lack of leadership in our home (though my wife assured me I’m a good father and husband, I realized that God does not call me to mediocrity, He calls me to lead in my home). In this sense, in my first ministry (and yes, everyone’s first ministry is to their home), I fail at all of my ministries if I’m failing at THAT one! I am to lead my wife and children, and if I cannot (and, as some preachers, elders, deacons, church leaders do, will not) do that, no matter what good I do in the church is for nothing because I am out of God’s order of things.
If our lives are out of order, it’s because we’re trying to do it our own way. We can’t blame anyone else for the place we are in. Although my wife tried telling me it’s not all my fault, and that there’s correction to be had in the whole family, I take it personally that my leadership in the Doyle house has been less than what it should be. Why am I saying all of this? Because not a single one of us can blame anyone else but ourselves for the situation we’re in. When we examine our lives and someone tells us “It’s okay, you’re doing just fine,” we should seriously measure ourselves, not against a worldly standard of “fine” and look to God’s standards and commands, not to put ourselves down, but to constantly be striving toward the goal of knowing Christ intimately and reaching Him. I’m not okay with “just okay.” I want my life to be completely in God’s will, and so I will strain to the finish line! I want my wife and kids to get there with me, and, if the Lord allows, my future daughters-in-law and grand kids, in-laws, siblings, nieces, nephews, neighbors, church family, enemies, and anyone else God puts in my life to go with me! I want my light to so shine before men that they see and give glory to the Father! And all of this begins with me bearing my God-given role in my home with love, joy, and gladness.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son toe me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.