Lots of peer pressure out there. It is hard to be different in a world where most people want to fit in and to be alike. It seems that my whole life, I have been called to be different than most of my peers. I would have loved at times to just blend in--but He called me to a different life.
Yet, in scripture, holy means to be the set apart one. God calls us to be set apart for His glory--not our will but His--that is how Jesus taught the disciples to pray. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done."
The only place we can find peace and joy is in God's will, so if we try to find it in, to conform, we will not find His blessing or rest, peace and joy.
I remember when I left full time ministry to stay home with my children, I was criticized for leaving "the ministry." Such a shame, they said, a waste of your arena and skills and influence.
When I decided to have more children, as many as God would provide, some well meaning believers said, "You already have your boy and your girl, and kids take up a lot of time and are expensive. Why would you have more?" (This from many places)
When I wanted to have one more when I was in my 40's, after 3 miscarriages, I heard from many places how unwise it was to have a baby in my 40's and how unhealthy for me. But I had prayed......
When I wanted to homeschool my children, I kept hearing and hearing and hearing how they would be unsocialized and that I would see, eventually, just how hard it was and that I would quit when they were teens. God lead me to keep going.
When I had an out of the box child who struggled with some passages in life, I was told I was not disciplining enough and I needed to spank more--but this child responded to gentleness and firmness. And so I prayed, and loved and trained patiently for many years.
When I read articles on how important it was to read to my children and focussed them on great authors, great minds, experiences and discipling them and walk by faith in the home nurture and education of my children, I was criticized for the possibility of leading many astray through my articles and speaking--after all how do you know you are not missing a lot by not using proved curriculum? How do you know that you are not hindering their development and ability? But we had prayed and sought wisdom.........
All of these voices and more criticized me, and told me I would find out I was wrong. These voices proved to create havoc in my soul, and stress in my life.
But, I kept having quiet times and praying and was, as much as I knew how, following God by faith. I do not pretend to say that His way for me is the right way for everybody, but I had to listen to Him and follow Him by faith, even though it took me in different directions than everyone else.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God.........
And so, as I am seeking His voice these days, he is again saying, "You, follow me." "You, live by faith." "You, do my will."
Adam and Eve didn't listen to His voice when He was calling them to loyalty in the garden.
The spies did not listen to Him, but looked at the giants when they saw the land of milk and honey He had already prepared.
The soldiers could not defeat the giant because they did not hear God's voice, only a young boy could do so.
It is age old to want to fit in--but only those who listen closely, who seek intently, will have the blessing and privilege to hear Him, to see His ways and to live in the grace that only comes from resting in Him, and obediently walking by faith.
Where is He leading you today? Follow Him only.