Given vs. taken…

One of the lessons I’ve learned over the years is the difference between what I’ve been given and what I’ve taken.

I don’t mean in the material aspect of life, but in the matter of what God has put in my life, who has He place in my life, where has He placed me in my life, and what does He have me doing with my life.

Using my life as the example, He has used the Marine Corp as a springboard of training and life experience to place me in law enforcement. There were only two groups of educated people in my training academy; those with a college education and those with a military background. There was no one with just a GED or high school diploma.

Now, I chose to join the Marine Corp, which I know didn’t surprise God, but He used it to place me into the military police field and then into the police department. Since then, He has place people groups around me to help direct me, train me, and help me live life to the glory of Him.

Now, I don’t believe for a moment there is anything I can do as an individual on my own to bring God glory, but through my relationship with Jesus and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, all things are now possible. It’s been amazing to see God work in my life.

From trainers and educators in the police department, to pastors and other mentors in my life, He has use a multitude to build me up.

I have tried to do many different things with my life like different ministries, jobs in the department, relationships, jobs outside the department.  All met with some degree of success and some degree of problems, however those areas that I know God gave me have been met with far more blessing than problems.

It has taken years living life and it hasn’t been until this last year, 2016, for me to finally learn this lesson.  When I tried going back to college to get my bachelors, though a good thing, it wasn’t really a God thing, it was a me thing, and it was EXTREMELY difficult. I failed, actually, and had to drop out. I didn’t have the time or the ability to focus to get the work  one.  It was tremendously stressful on me and my family.  When I went to get my associates, it was really pretty smooth.  It wasn’t without it’s struggles, but it was very much different than my bachelors.  The conflict was different and so was the outcome.

In my work, I know God has placed me because of the success of my work. I do not say this proudfully, but in realization of the lesson I’ve now learned. I know and can see the positive impact my work is leaving on people.  I’ve been able to share my faith in some aspects of my work, which is huge when we look at church and state. He has placed me in my work where I can build positive relationships for the police department, and its working. Which is very important, especially with all the stress there is between law enforcement and the communities we serve today.

I’ve tried different ministries. Some I’ve been able to finish in their season, however there have been others that I have had to quit. I am a believer that God works in seasons in our life, so to finish a season in a ministry is a great thing, but to quit before the season is over tells me I wasn’t to be in that ministry in the first place. Huge finding when it comes to impacting the lives of people around us and they look to you (me) as a leader.

So many times I feel the need to commit myself because doing the ministry is a good thing and it’s helping people and there is usually a need, but if it’s not where you are supposed to be and not what you are supposed to be doing, then you are being distracted from what it is you are suppose to be doing and where you are supposed to be.

It causes us to neglect those areas of our life which should be considered ministries, but so many times are often neglected for the sake of serving God.

Our own relationship with Christ, for instance, is our first and most important ministry. It is a ministry, understand that, and it is the most important ministry you will ever be part of.

If you are married or courting your future wife or husband, that is your second most important ministry. Next to Jesus, nothing should interfere with your relationship, or impact it in a negative manner. If what you are doing is having a negative impact on your marriage, you need to do a serious reassessment.

Now, it’s important you and your spouse are on the same page and expectations are discussed. Surprises and agendas in a relationship can be dangerous, when it comes to our work, ministries and relationship.

One of Satan’s goals is to destroy marriages, so talk with your spouse and make sure everyone is in agreement.  Compromise can be healthy and a good thing, but discussion is where decisions should be made.

Never be afraid or proudful about asking for help from someone more wise than yourself. Guys can have a problem with this. (Types as he looks in the mirror)

Life can be stressful and busy to the point it’s not healthy, but it’s not always supposed to be this way.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 was the second Scripture God laid on my heart and is a good place to start for our life.

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