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04.07.24 "To make a bold turningpoint("담대한 터닝포인트를 위한 확인)." by Jeremy Park (제레미파크 목사)

* First, I will introduce uncertain methods of discerning God's will. 1) Those who pray once and believe they have received an answer. For these people, the relationship with God quickly fades after they believe they've received an answer to their prayer. 2) Those who pray once, then open the Bible at random, read a passage, and take it as God's answer. However, God's Word is meant for obedience. 3) Surprisingly, many Christians also go to fortune tellers. 4) Reading more self-development books than the Bible. While understanding a changing world and cultivating good leadership is important, this is like building a castle on sand.


* Many young people fear a ‘Change’. Indeed, change is frightening. In fact, it's often not the change itself that is daunting, but the lack of certainty about what decisions to make. So, what should we confirm in a changing world to make a bold turning point?


* We must confirm our Calling. When people talk about calling, people often talk about calling in terms of a career."I believe this job is my calling." Yes, that's not incorrect. However, there is a greater calling for Christians. It is the belief in where I came from and where I am going. A calling is the belief in who is calling me and where my ultimate destiny lies. Calling sets the direction for our ultimate fate. It is the belief that God is calling us and that eternity is drawing us in like a black hole. It's said that a compass always points to the North. A calling is like the North Star. No matter where we are now, or even if we feel lost, if our ultimate calling is clear, it can be the bold Turning point needed to move into a new season.


* Early in my ministry, there was one person who both greatly encouraged and deeply disappointed me. Whenever I wanted to embark on an exciting new ministry, he wanted to have a serious conversation. When I talked about what I wanted to do, he would ask me why I wanted to do it. Each time, I always hesitated. Although I tried to explain in various ways, even I was not convinced by my explanations, and they seemed unpersuasive to him. I am thankful to him. Through him, God trained me to think about the 'purpose' behind whatever I do.


* Why is it important to discern one's calling correctly? The path of calling and the way of the world are like the lanes in a bowling alley, with gutters on either side. There are universal goals for both believers and non-believers. All of humanity dreams of a better world, a good world, a just world. Even if we appear successful in the world, or devout in faith, passionate and proactive in everything, or achieving all we want, we might be walking a path utterly different from our ultimate calling.


* But we must seek answers not to what we will achieve, but to why we live, why we do what we do. Discerning one's calling is defining the purpose of life. If we don't define our life's purpose in God, the world will define it for us.

"All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Colossians 1:16


* Calling is the work God has planned and purposed for us. Pastor Rick Warren said, "We exist for God, not God for us."

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9


* We must continually ask ourselves the Why of whatever we do. Why am I in America? Why am I trying to start a business? Why am I experiencing failure?


* Regardless of what we are doing or have already started, we must keep asking until God speaks. Those who ask such questions will, eventually, slap their knees in realization. At that moment, freedom, boldness, and gratitude in God's providence come.


* "If I can't do this, I feel like I'll die!" What are those things for you? Are they a calling from God, or did they start with me? We try to find our calling within ourselves, in our passions or talents. Sorry, but we must first face death to the things we want. That's the gospel. "If not this, then I am nothing" may seem like it will truly liberate us, but it can also enslave us.


* Like Jacob wrestling with God's angels at the Jabbok River. Jacob deceived his brother Esau to obtain the birthright and had to flee to his Uncle Laban's house, where he spent 20 years as a servant. By God's grace, he became wealthy with twelve sons and much property. As he prepared to return to his homeland, he faced the prospect of Esau's revenge. Jacob couldn't return to Laban's house, nor easily bypass Esau's potential vengeance. In this crisis, Jacob encountered God's angels. He wrestled with them, refusing to let them go without a blessing. This struggle wasn't just with the angels but with himself, not wanting to lose the family and wealth he had accumulated over 20 years.


* Ultimately, the angels prevailed. Jacob lost the battle, resulting in a dislocated hip, which left him limping for the rest of his life. However, he gained something far more valuable: a new name, "Israel," signifying a transformation in his identity from "deceiver" Jacob to "one who prevails with God" Israel. Though he lost the physical struggle, he won in the spiritual realm. His ambitions, methods, and physical strength were broken, but he emerged victorious.

"Then the man said, 'Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.' Jacob said, 'Please tell me your name.' But he replied, 'Why do you ask my name?' Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.' As he passed Penuel, the sun rose above him, and he was limping because of his hip." Genesis 32:28-31


* "Peniel" means "face of God." Though it seemed he had lost everything, Jacob had seen the face of God, leading to a transformation in his existence. This was Jacob's greatest turning point.


* Pre-surrendering is crucial. If we can't lay down our will, God will wrestle with it. Only what has passed through God can open the door to His ultimate purpose and plan. Remember, it was when Moses had given up his own ambitions that God appeared to him. Moses had a successful life until a single mistake turned him into a fugitive, spending 40 years in the Median wilderness. At the age of 80, God revealed Himself to Moses, showing him the purpose of his existence and starting a new turning point in the presence of the "I AM WHO I AM."


* Although we may not know precisely how or when God created the world, we can understand why He created it. Realizing the "why" is more critical and must precede the "what" and "how." This question encourages continuous reflection. Although it might seem tedious, those who approach it live simply and attractively, focusing on what's necessary and adjusting what's not.


* As a person inclined to see the "forest rather than the trees," I find this reassuring. To guide the faith community correctly, spiritual leaders must understand the end goal. We must view the world broadly, asking about God's ultimate purpose and plan, where we are headed, what changes in the world, and what truths and values should remain constant. I too have fears, but let's remember this scripture:

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33


* Those hoping for a turning point should ask God the "Why" before wondering "What should I start?" Nail your possessions to the cross. Seek the face of God that Jacob saw. Pre-surrender. Trust in the Sovereign God that Moses encountered. Approach God, knowing He understands your path.

"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10 KJV / "But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold." Job 23:10 NLT

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