The Best Question Ever
The Best Question Ever
by Stephanie Miller
Christian author Andy Stanley wrote a book called “The Best Question Ever.” Don’t worry, I won’t share any spoilers here! Still, the title calls to mind one of the best questions I’ve ever been asked. The spring before I started college, God was really dealing with me about my character. I felt so strongly in my spirit God asking me, “Stephanie, who are you going to be?” The answer to this question exposes who or what we are living for. In every situation and with every decision we face we ought to ask ourselves, “Is this pleasing to God?” If at the end of the day, the world stands and applauds us while God is silent and displeased, then we have missed the point.
The college years are a transitional time, but I believe we don’t have to emerge from them indelibly scarred by the world’s idea of “finding ourselves.” If we ask God, He will give us the wisdom we need to make the choices today that will impact our tomorrows. (James 1:5) We may not have all the answers, but by following Godly principles we can know the heart and character of God and choose to do what He would do in any given situation we are faced with.
Personally, the biggest lesson that I learned in college was to not compartmentalize my life. I absolutely believe this translates into one of the most important spiritual decisions one can make in college. When I think of compartmentalizing, I picture The Container Store. It’s a place people go to organize their lives. If you’re a type One on the enneagram, this might be your little version of paradise. Inside you can find containers to hold all of your possessions and separate everything into neat little boxes based on your preferences. It seems silly, but we often do this with our lives! Compartmentalizing is essentially building walls, but around and within ourselves. Building walls is the equivalent of saying, “God, you’re welcome into my spiritual life, but you can’t touch my career choice, my personal relationships, or my finances…”
Here’s the thing, Hyphens: all of life is spiritual. We don’t have an academic life, a personal life, a spiritual life and a work life. We have ONE life, and God is the sole sustainer of it. If we compartmentalize the different facets of our lives we are susceptible to living double lives, trying to be one way inside of church and another everywhere else. The Bible says in James 1:8 that being double- minded makes us unstable in all we do. It’s nearly impossible to be successful when you have two contrary identities that are fighting each other. It is confusing and we risk losing so much more than the illusion of comfort that compartmentalizing attempts to protect. Putting walls up around the different areas of our lives robs God of the chance to impact our world as a whole and robs us of the chance to see God do amazing things in our lives. These are the very things that can build our faith and be a testimony.
But, what if our worlds intersected? It’s not so far- fetched. God wants to use us, He wants to work in our lives, but He’s waiting for us to open our hands and tear down our walls.
Go With The (Spirit’s) Flow
The best way to keep our walls down, to stay open and allow God to have His way in our lives is to be grounded in who God says we are and to walk after the Spirit. We often equate flowing in the spirit with participating in things that are directly related to pulpit ministry such as preaching, teaching a bible study, or singing on the choir. A wise friend of mine once said that flowing in the spirit can happen anywhere you are because God’s spirit lives in you. It’s not as much about the activity you’re doing, as it is about being surrendered to God’s will and being sensitive to His voice, so that you are where God wants you to be when you’re supposed to be there. Catch that? Being, not just doing. The “where” might be a location or a place in time. God might be preparing you for a pulpit or a mission field, but maybe He’s called you to a classroom, for right now. Or maybe He has called you to be an AIMer first, or to clean the bathrooms at your church! Don’t discount the moments that seem ordinary.
When David killed the lion and bear, he could not have known his experiences were preparation for slaying Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:34-36) Like David, if we remain faithful to God in our current season, we will discover that our experiences are preparing and aligning us for the future God has planned.