Friday, November 13, 2015

I Stand Alone on the Word of God; Update on Life

I'm guessing most Christians have heard the B-I-B-L-E song before. It's a nice little song, but the words are more than nice little words. They are crucially important! (I suppose that the song could mean standing alone for Christ, but I took it as having the Bible as what we take our stand on.)

The other day I was watching a free video from a college course on engineering. Near the start of the course the professor stated that this generation of engineers will face great challenges because of global warming (once he even said something about "if there are still fish in the seas") and overpopulation, because we already are producing the most food possible to produce without technological advances, and because things are not sustainable. Of course, I disagree with all of that. But wow! I had assumed (even though I should have known better) that the course would generally be neutral. But everything is done based on our worldviews.

If we view things from the Bible (which says that the earth will not be destroyed until the judgment and that we should be fruitful and multiply) we will live our lives one way, but if not, our lives will be completely different.

Increasingly, I've seen that when Christians compartmentalize their lives so that God's word does not guide them in everything, they have poor and sometimes tragic results. It's sad, but it seems that often Christians are living their lives based more on emotion and on trends than on the word of God. We ought to embrace God's word, not reject it.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
God gave us existence. Before creation there were no people, money, government, relationships, or anything else! He gave us tons of freedom and so much to discover that we'll never be bored, but He also gave us clear instructions.

For example, let's think about economics. We don't have to try to figure out what type of economic system is good based on logic or experience. Of course, because God is the author of HisStory and logic, logic and history will confirm His word. Nevertheless, ultimately God's word is where we learn what we should do.

God prohibits stealing. Therefore Communism (involving forced redistribution of wealth, a.k.a. stealing) is wrong. God tells us that work is good. In the Bible there are many examples of unrestricted trade. God gave civil government authority to have certain, specific, and very limited taxes for certain, specific, and very limited tasks, but other than that the government doesn't have authority to take people's money.

I could write more about economics or write more examples, but I think it's already clear that God has spoken in the Bible, and we are to listen and obey.

Let's stand on God's word alone in every area of life. God is holy. He knows what is best.

A question I frequently receive is if I am in college or will be going to college, and because I mentioned that I was watching the lectures from a college course I thought I would provide a summary of my recent past and my current plans:
  1. 2014 was a somewhat difficult year for me; I graduated from high school in the second half of it.
  2. Prior to graduation I had thought that I probably wouldn't go to college, or at least would take a gap-year. This was based on college being expensive, long, and having a somewhat bad environment.
  3. During the end of 2014 I prayed and read a lot of materials about choosing a career and also about college and its alternatives.
  4. Mechanical engineering seemed quite interesting to me and thought I should at least explore college options.
  5. In early 2015 I studied for the ACT; in April I took the test and received a decent score, high enough to possibly receive a full-ride scholarship at some schools.
  6. During the middle of 2015 I kept studying (homeschooling after high school?), asked for advice from others, and gained some more real world experience by doing some handyman and other work.
  7. Several months ago I asked some colleges questions and it turned out that most colleges only offer scholarships if a student applies during high school. (I'm afraid I that in my planning I had sort of boasted about tomorrow.)
  8. So basically I decided that college wasn't an option financially, and that I wouldn't seriously consider it unless I was able to afford it.
That might sound a bit negative, but I'm really not disappointed. To be honest if someone offered me college for free I'm not sure I'd go, because the opportunity cost is so high. Of course, only God knows the future.

During the past year I've learned a lot about myself. I've found that I seem to be gifted in giving/service and related gifts. My two biggest areas of interest are probably engineering related (inventing, problem solving, analysis, etc) and being an entrepreneur (investing, real estate, etc).

So where am I going from here? Ultimately I'm here to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. The three things I'm especially doing right now are:
  1. Seeking to grow closer to God and more obedient to Him. He has been sanctifying me a lot recently, and I'm glad for it. Lately I've been learning that I need to rejoice always, and not let problems take my joy.
  2. Seeking to do more work so that someday I can provide for a family. I really want to make a big impact for God's kingdom by working where He has gifted me, but I realized that I tend to be too careful, and sometimes lazy. Even if exactly how I advance God's kingdom isn't completely clear, it is clear that someday I will be called to be the head of a household. Doing something is better than doing nothing, and in all labor their is profit. I'm currently working as handyman, and am saving up so I can perhaps invest in real estate (and be a handyman in my own house(s); the skill is certainly useful!), invent things, or do other productive things. But I have to start somewhere.
  3. Learning more. As silly as it may seem, for some reason I kind of thought that not going to college meant I really couldn't keep learning but would have to immediately demonstrate (by making a lot of money) that not going to college didn't mean I was going to waste my life. At the beginning of this week I decided to set some goals for learning. This week I've listened to several sermons, started learning about programming and CAD (computer aided design; it's cool), studied physics, learned more about engineering, researched what makes startups successful, looked into what steps to take to turn an idea into a product, brainstormed about several entrepreneurial ideas, and more. Learning is fun!