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“What should I do God?”

What’s your dream? Don’t hold me to this, but I think the very last scene in the movie “Pretty Woman,” there is a homeless man crossing the street moderately shouting out as he passes by, “What’s your dream!?”

Have you really answered that question for yourself?

What’s your dream?

Makes me wonder, right now, what’s going on inside your brain as I cause you to think about your dream/goals/vision/plan? Are you the type A person right now just thinking to yourself… “Ya…Ya…I’ve got my dreams…come on Renner…get to the point.” Or are you someone who has been bashed by life’s circumstances just enough that you have become cynical and you don’t believe your dreams are possible for you anymore and you’ve given up on “childish” dreams?

I saw this picture the other day on a friend’s website. Its a street corner in Anthem AZ. "The Ultimate Crossroads."
I’m giving a testimonial for just 10 minutes at a Church Service in Anthem this weekend and when I’m up there I want to find this street corner and take a family picture in front of this sign. This sign on that street corner is truly a crossroads that everyone of us face, sometimes daily, in our lives.

How do you decide which way to go? I’ve just closed down an era of my life of being a Sr. Pastor for more than 14 years straight. I’ve been a preacher, preaching nearly every weekend for 20 years now. But now what? I’m staring the next 20 years of my life in the face and its blurry. I can’t get a good look into what its going to look like. And here’s the deal. I think God likes it that way. Does that make Him cruel? No. Maybe I’m too playful…I like to think its a form of the game called “Blindfold.” You’ve played it, right? Where one person puts on the blindfold and has to trust the directions of the teammate and hope not to be led into a wall or hit their Shin bone on a coffee table or fall off a cliff. If God is our guide and He chooses to “blindfold” us…aren’t we still in great hands that we can trust?

I have found that I am more of a control freak than I thought. And I’m actually deeply laid back. If I’m not liking my future being out of focus, then I’m pretty convinced you, maybe not as laid back as me, really don’t like it when your future is out of focus.

So…here’s what I know God says about all this. First look at this passage in Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (NLT) The NASB version says, “The mind of man prepares the way, but the Lord determines his steps.”

That verse makes me squirm a bit. It makes me think of another game. Tug-O-War…but…Tug-O-War against God. And He’s bigger than me. I love Tug-O-War, but only when I win!

So when we’re at the crossroads of Vision and Opportunity Way…what shall we do? Is this Tug-O-War time? Or…Blindfold time?

I think the answer is found in one Story of the Bible. Its in the Book of Exodus. The key part of the story is in Exodus 14:15. Its up to this point that the Israelites have been led out of Egypt and have found themselves at a dead end. The name of the place is Baal-Zephon, which is literally translated, “God’s Cul-de-sac.” Sounds like a crossroads. A crossroads for so many can be a dead end because the choice to go left or right is too overwhelming so they freeze up and quit. Dead End. Many will fall to their knees and spend hours on end praying about which way they should go and they get frustrated when God doesn’t seem to answer. So…they pray more and nothing ever moves forward. Just lots of prayer. Prayer is good, but prayer only is tragic. Faith is Action. Forward movement. So in the passage I refer to above…God says, “Why are your praying right now.” (Not exact translation, but same thing…agree?)

I think God is saying…”You know me…I’ve earned your trust…I’ve shown you how to live…get off your knees this time and let’s practice praying without words…pray with your actions…I got your back.”

Isn’t it fair for me to say that at this point in the story of Moses…that Moses had already been told how to live and what to do by God? The answer is yes. (God gave Moses clarity at the Burning Bush.)

At this point, Moses found himself in a scary moment and he froze in his tracks and he did only what he knew to do. Pray and cry out to God. And…God told him to “knock it off and get going..just do what I told you to do when I met with you at the burning bush.” (TRVB…Trent Renner Version Bible LOL)

So Moses got up…shook the dust off his robe and held his staff high and put one foot in the Red Sea and experienced an unprecedented miracle.

So…here’s my challenge to you. What do you continually pray about but there seems to be no answer? Maybe God is saying…just move. Maybe God is saying to you…”Pick Opportunity or pick Vision. They both end up in a good place.”

Is it possible that God is not concerned as much as you think about what House you live in, who you marry, what job you do, what car you drive, etc?

And with some things people pray about…give me a break.
Do you really have to pray about leaving your spouse?
Do you really have to pray about cheating on your taxes?
Do you really have to pray about beating that guy up?

God has told us how to live in the Scriptures. We have a perfect road map(Bible) that God laid out in detail about how to arrive at one of two final destinations. Heaven…Hell.

The crossroads and fork in the roads and Cul-De-Sacs, and Dead-Ends are all part of the incredible journey to our final destinations.

What we should be praying about is our behavior, our heart, our thoughts, our purity, our integrity and character, our influence, etc.

When we get those issues worked out and we have our lives spiritually going the way God would have them going…THEN…when we arrive at the corner of Vision and Opportunity…does it really matter to God which way we turn and move forward as a person who is blindfolded and being led by the greatest leader of all time past, present and future?

So which will it be for you this time?
Vision or Opportunity?
Those are great choices!

Pick and then step forward in Trust.
It really will be okay…even if it doesn’t turn out like you think it would.

Trent


5 Comments

  • Reply Keith Pavia |

    Trent, I am glad you are on here challenging us, I also agree that prayer is sometimes used selfishly and for our own gain. I wrote this the other day and that it fit with what you are explaining.

    Our lives must show that we are God’s chosen one’s and we must understand our constant praying and building that relationship, asking, seeking and knocking is what God desires from us. Think about how we are living when we are praying, are we in Him as He is in the Father or are we living for ourselves and separated from Him? We should be seeking wisdom and discernment as we continually grow to be like Christ. The definition of prayer is, “To address God with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving; to intercede.” It is 100% relational and a constant discussion and should be done always.

    I truly feel our prayer life is for growth and relationship, and our decisions should be made because we know Him and whatever we decide we need to do it to glorify the Father. Thanks

    Keith

  • Reply Liz |

    I don’t know Trent…I don’t think God ever says to choose vision or opportunity…He only says to choose between righteousness and sin – which is what I think you are saying – but I can’t find anything in the Bible about vision or opportunity….? As far as I know, God only has one vision, as should we. To tell the world of the sacrifice of His only son, Jesus. I think it is when we seek more meaning to our lives that we lose focus. I know I may be extrapolating from what you said, but the word “vision” kind of makes me cringe a bit.

    • Reply Trent Renner |

      Hey Liz…good thoughts. My point is that God ultimately doesn’t concern himself with whether we choose vision or opportunity. My point is that they are the same thing. Everyday we have to make choices. Many of our choices have nothing to do with righteousness or sin. Most of our daily choices are about choosing righteous door number one or righteous door number two or righteous door number three. I really believe God says…”Pick your door…any door…I really do have an adventure behind it for you.” When it comes to righteous choices…I don’t think God cares which one we choose. I think He simply looks forward to refining us and teaching us some amazing things about Himself…whatever door we choose.

      The easy choices in life are the choices between righteousness and sin. Those are no brainers. Those choices…as we mature are choices that should be made with very little hesitation.

      You may not find a Bible verse that uses the words vision or opportunity. But you won’t find a Bible verse that uses the word nightmare or depression or fatherlessness. My point is that even though the words aren’t there…the Bible is loaded with stories that teach about them. Same thing with Vision and Opportunity.

      Jesus said….”You will do greater things than these which you have seen.” OPPORTUNITY & VISION
      Jesus said…”Go into all the World and Make Disciples…” VISION…with no details of how. That’s vision and you will have to use your opportunities to contribute to the completion of that vision.
      Jesus said…”I will be with you always.” OPPORTUNITY

      God has a vision for you. You have an opportunity to join Him in that vision. Whether you accept the opportunity to join Him in His vision for you or not….He will still use you to accomplish His Vision.

      Opportunity and Vision are Holy Words as long as they focus on Jesus Christ’s Vision and Opportunity.
      Trent

  • Reply Jeanne |

    Trent,

    My husband and I have been in this cross-road for 2 1/2 years now. It’s been so tough, feeling like we are wandering in the Sinai desert, just like Moses. But, God has spoken to me through his word, and I learned to fast for the first time in my life (earlier this year). After being a “christian” for 34 years, I finally realized what I need to be “doing”… and someone lovingly pointed out that sometimes we should just “be” rather than “do.” I don’t like not knowing what the future holds, but I know that God is in that future. I can’t do anything but trust him at this point. Have I enjoyed going through these trials these past 2 1/2 years? Absolutely not. But, would I go through them again? If it brings me that much closer to my Lord.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that God has given each of us an allotted amount of talent, so that we may glorify him with our time. The treasure is a byproduct of our time and talent, so it is a small reminder of God’s provision.
    I know you know the truth. I’ve heard you speak the truth many, many times. God is only concerned about our hearts, and that we are wholly surrendered to him. I love the bible verse that says “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?”

    So, whatever you do, God will direct your path, if your heart and life is laid down for him. Whatever you do, it will be done for the glory of God. So, keep reading his word, keep on praying, and keep loving your family. God will provide for you, and he will open the door for your future. Even though it’s blurry now, pretty soon it will be clear again. The dust of uncertainty will settle.

    We all have a story to share. We all have something to give so that others will be blessed. I know your story is blessing others, even at this point in time, when life feels so uncertain. So, please keep telling your story. I will listen.

    Jeanne

  • Reply Richard Rackleff |

    Vision or Opportunity?
    Those are great choices!

    Pick and then step forward in Trust.
    It really will be okay…even if it doesn’t turn out like you think it would.”

    Hi Trent.
    I wondered if God had placed you at that intersection yet and what you saw. I enjoyed our lunch and would love to know how your meeting went. Let me know if I can help. You and your family are in our prayers. Merry Christmas & God Bless.
    Richard & Sandi

So, what do you think ?