What Are You Gonna Do Now? (Graduation Speech)
Well Praise God I finally made it through. 4 years of part-time classes, since 2012 and it all came to an end this past Saturday. It seemed like such a long time when I first started, but it did go by very quickly. Graduation isn’t for another few weeks, but I wanted to write a blog about the end of school while it’s still fresh in mind. I won’t be speaking for my class at my graduation, our fearless leader Andre Bullock will…a well-deserved honor. But I was thinking about what I would say if I was.
The question that all of us graduates are asked all the time after graduation is; what are you going to do now? We also probably ask ourselves this all the time too. It reminds me of Joyce Meyer doing the “what about me” robot, except we’re going “what are we gonna do, what are we gonna do”. Fast forward to the 2:50 mark of this video to see Joyce doing the “what about me” robot:
This question comes to us at many points in our lives. It’s particularly relevant to me now, but the question could be asked of us on a daily basis. What are we going to do about the situation we are in? What are we going to do about this person who said something about us? Then we even start worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. What are we going to do if this or that happens?
The question of “what are we gonna do now” is a loaded one in my opinion. One, it implies that we have to do something. Two, it implies that we are the one that has to do it. I might be a bit a stickler on this, because I know people who are asking this question are curious and what not, but from our perspective once you get asked this enough it’s easy to start putting pressure on yourself. Once you get into this mode, the tendency is to get into what the author of Hebrews calls dead works:
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,” Hebrews 6:1 KJV.
Dead works are anything we try to do to make ourselves right with God. They may be good things, like praying, reading the Bible, fasting, etc., but if you’re doing good things with the wrong motives it’s a dead work. Something that is without force. The enemy is always trying to keep us on the treadmill of dead works. He wants us to keep thinking God is not pleased with us, and that we’re not doing enough, but if we’d just to do this and that…then God will be happy with me. I’ve definitely been there and done that and glad that I stepped off of that treadmill a long time ago.
I have a few ideas of things I would like to do and things I feel God is speaking to me about but the thing I’m going to continue to focus on is filling up on God’s love. That is the fuel for our Christian lives. Just like a car, we can make it look great (wax the outside, put some rims on it, etc.) but if it doesn’t have any gas in it, you aren’t going anywhere. We can do things that make us look good like giving, praying, helping the needy, etc., but if they’re done with the wrong motives and without love, it’s like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”Cars that look good still aren't going anywhere without gas. God's love is the fuel for your Christian life. #FillUp Click To Tweet
The temptation for us graduates is to take this knowledge we have acquired and go and try to make things happen in our own power with it now. Many well-intentioned people will try to motivate us and say go and change the world and while that is something I would like to do, the way to go about doing that in my opinion is to not to focus on the fruit but on the root. By that I mean, not getting carried away with the things that can happen as a result of our works but the one who makes all of these things possible. It amazes me how reluctant most Christians are to give people up to be compelled by the love of God. It seems that most feel if they don’t tell people about the stuff they should be doing that it will never get done.
What do you think God cares about? Us. People. So if you’re spending time with Him, that topic will come up. Your desires will start to line up. As a result, a desire will rise up in you. It will actually be something that you want to do, not something you will feel like you have to do. But people who don’t trust God with this process end up sending people out to try to accomplish the fruit of the spirit in their own power. That is a recipe for disaster. The very thing that people who preach works are trying to prevent “people sitting on the couch” is the very thing that is causes. They may be able to motivate people for a few weeks, months or even years. But eventually people will burn out if they are not filling up on the love of God. This results in them thinking they are not good enough, that they just can’t do enough, that they can’t keep up with these Christians and they end up just giving up.
This is why I am so thankful for the revelation of grace God has given me and the awesome preachers he has led me to in order to understand this better. I’ve always been a really hard worker so getting me to relax is something God has had to work really hard on me about. I felt like He gave me a good picture of what my walk with Him will look like going forward at the airport on our return trip from Costa Rica. As I was walking of the plane with my classmates, most of us were on our phones, calling our families and arranging rides. I wasn’t paying close attention to where I was going, but since it is a long walk from the terminal to the baggage claim, there are escalators that help move people along. Well two of my classmates got on those escalators while I was just walking on normal ground. One of those classmates was an older man who was walking a ways behind me at a slower pace. By the time we were done walking the length of the escalator, he caught up to me. We both ended up at the same place, but he got there much quicker and with less effort on His part.
See God wants to take us places and is more than capable of doing it, but we need to yield to Him and trust Him in order for Him to do that. We have to choose to get on that escalator. The thing that gets in the way is our pride. We tend to brush God off and think we can do it ourselves. That’s why the flesh loves getting a checklist of things to do. We want to know what we can do about it so we don’t have to trust God. We can actually accomplish a lot in our own power, but not nearly as much as if we involve God. Plus that’s not the way He wants it to be. God wants to be intricately involved in every aspect of our lives. If we’d just give Him a shot, we would find life to be much easier…just like taking the escalator.
James 4:10 says “humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.”Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you. - James 4:10 #EscalatorStyle Click To Tweet
So what I’m going to do is humble myself and sit at His feet. I’m going to fill up on His love and I’m going to trust Him to exalt me. I’m going to take the escalator and I’m not going to feel sorry about it. See ya the top.