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The Ultimate Match - Knowing God’s Will in Choosing a Medical Specialty and Residency

John Shin


John Shin

Physician-fellow of oncology and hematology, Mayo Clinic- Rochester, Minnesota



  • January 11, 2019
    7:00 PM
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Heavenly Father we thank you for the gift of your Sabbath we thank you for this beautiful time where we can set of side the concerns of the world the studies and just focus on you and tonight Lord we ask to hear word from you I asked So you put your message in my mouth and I ask that you drive it home into the hearts of those who are sitting here and speak to them individually the message that you want them to hear all these things we pray in Jesus' name amen. So when Shannon asked me if I'd be willing to come and speak. During this time I really wanted to do everything I could to accept the request because I know that this time of year is a time of great decision for many people for the 30 years you guys are kind of honing down what your specialty interest is so that you can set your Forth your schedules for the 40 years you are coming to the tail end of your residency interviews if you haven't already finished and the rank list is looming large ahead with the match right around the corner and for the 1st and 2nd years you guys are busy hitting the books and you guys are wondering amidst all these studies will the doctor come out on the other end of it somehow. So everyone and for 2nd years you know step one is always that $300.00 pound gorilla that's always in the corner of your mind looming ahead so it's a lot of decisions a lot of prayers going on so I think it's a pivotal time. For us to talk about in the midst of all of this chaos how do we discern God's will and all of it and separate that from our will I think early on the most important question that any med student can ask himself or herself is what specialty does God want me to go into right. And it's such an important question that's going to shape your entire career however if you think about it you will never in your life make a more uninformed decision than what specialty you should go into because aside from basically the stereotypes regarding each field at least when I was in school I felt like I was very ignorant about what each specialty entailed and for a vast majority of specialties out there you don't really get exposure to it unless you ask for it as an elective and even then you get such a superficial exposure to it that you're not sure you've seen all aspects of it one bad attending one bad president could color the experience for you forever and you'll say well that's enough for me but that might not be true but how are you supposed to know you just remember your P.T.S.D.. Another problem is that the the system rewards those who make a decision earlier on so for those of for those who come into med school saying My father was an ophthalmologist my mother was an ophthalmologist my dog is ophthalmologist my sister is not just I will be an ophthalmologist that's what I'm going to go into I'm the eyeball man. I wish I was that guy coming in I was like Lord I wish I knew exactly what I wanted to do what research I had to do to get there what check boxes I needed to mark and just have one straight shot path into my specialty never looking back feeling fulfilled all the way but for me when I came into med school and if you asked me John what you want to do I would have told you I want to be a doctor. What kind of doctor Whoa whoa whoa. Let's talk about Step one 1st. And then come back and ask me what kind of doctor I want to be but I knew one thing I was going to go into internal medicine that much I knew but everything else I was like is open ironic I think God has a sense of humor. You know the issue with the fact that the system rewards you the earlier you make your decision the problem with that is that it increases the odds that you'll make a bad decision so I have a in residency I had a friend who was actually coming from an ortho program in Seattle where he did 3 years of residency and decided one morning this is not for me. And then so he rematch and came into internal medicine and I was like wow how painful is that you don't want to be that guy but the sooner you make a decision the more likely that you'll be making an uninformed one and a bad one so after deciding on a specialty in a surgery no surgery and then what subspecialty within that the next most important question you ask yourself is which residency program is right for me so when I was researching residency programs I was completely overwhelmed because there are so many programs out there in so many different locations and if I was ignorant about medical specialties I was even more ignorant about residency programs and it doesn't help that all of their websites say exactly the same thing right they all deliver compassionate patient centered care through a commitment to research and educational excellence and so on and so forth but other than the reputations that the programs have I know nothing and the reputations themselves aren't really accurate in terms of giving you a full picture of what it's like this is further complicated I think when you're a Christian because you want God to lead the whole process right and so even if you decide on a specialty in a residency How can you be really sure that those are God's choices for you and that's what we're here to discuss tonight now after all the interviewing is done. And you say you want to leave the match in God's hands you still have that step of ordering to break loose right and that's plays a crucial role in how the match process shakes out so how can we how can you be sure that your rank list reflects God's will so wouldn't it be nice if God could just speak to you out of a cloud and say I want you to go into this specialty and this is the residency program I've chosen for you you don't need to interview anywhere else that's it. Wouldn't that answer a lot of questions we spoke to you from a burning bush or out of a cloud one day and just told you that why keep us in the dark for so long and let us flail around with a huge risk of making the wrong decision you know if God spoke to me the way he spoke to Moses back in the day I tell him I could have the same faith that Moses had in you if you spoke to me face to face like a friend but if you don't do that how can you hold it against me if I tell you that your voice is indistinct in my life so then the 1st question we need to ask ourselves is is it even possible to hear the voice of God in your life is it possible to hear the voice of God in your life is that something that you've accepted for yourself to say this is truth this is fact there was a comedian named Lily Tomlin and she said why is it that when we speak to God we're said to be praying but when God speaks to us we're set to be schizo phrenic. It's an interesting statement because maybe the biggest issue at hand is not that God doesn't speak to us but that we don't really expect to hear an answer from him. John Chapter 10 versus one through 5 says Truly truly I say to you he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep but climbs up some other way he is a thief and a robber but he who enters a door who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep to him the doorkeeper opens and a sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out when he puts forth all his own he goes ahead of them in the sheep follow him because they know his voice a stranger they simply will not follow but will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers so did you catch that he sheep follow him because they know his voice and he calls them by name so what the Bible says is that not only is it possible to hear the voice of God in your life but that if you call yourself a Christian it is imperative that you hear and recognize his voice in your life so let's get that on the table so how do we hear the voice of God in our lives while a good place to start is to look at what we see of his Revealed Word and His will in His written word so let's look at some Scripture text here and you don't need to turn to this and just so you know because this is a room full of med students you don't need to take notes I will give a copy of my notes to Shannon and she can email that out to anyone who wants it it has all of the Scripture I have here it has an outline of everything I'm going to cover along with the recordings if you want to go back and listen to it but I just want you to listen to these texts and I want you to listen for the common thread that unites all of these verses that talk about God's will so let's start Romans 122 and do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 1st Peter for one in 2 Therefore since Crisis suffered in the flesh arm yourselves also with the same purpose because he has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lust of men before the will of God collections one through 10 for this reason also since the day we heard of it we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Did you catch a common theme I went by pretty quickly if not then this should drive it home 1st thus alone eons for verse 3 for this is the will of God your sanctification for this is the will of God your sanctification this applies to all peoples in all times in all countries and all ages and all contacts this is the will of God blanket statement for Humanity your sanctification what is sanctification So it comes from the Greek root word to sanctify word it's the same use word that we use for a sanctuary it means holiness means set apart as it means this is not for common everyday use this is set apart for a special task it's been sanctified set apart so it means that when God says you are sanctified don't mean you are set apart for God's use and he says your character every fiber of your being is not like the rest of the world but it's special it's different you will be like mean in your heart and in your mind and therefore you will be a counterexample to the rest of the world and therefore you're set apart. You see the biggest issue in my mind and I'm convinced of this the biggest issue with discerning God's will is not an issue of information we're so concerned with Lord what specialty should I choose what residency should I pick how should I order my rank list who should I marry where should I work what should i information tell me Tell me tell me what is the information I need to know but God says the issue with knowing my will is not one of information but one of character we're so concerned about what we do God is more concerned about who we are and who we become the reason is that when you become the person God wants you to be you will do the things that he wants you to do when your heart and soul become aligned with the will of your Heavenly Father then every impulse of your nature every desire of your heart will be those that he planted there and you'll be lockstep with his well and that is how Christ lived his life on this earth so knowing God's will regarding the questions that he has raised these are very important but they are of secondary importance finding out these answers information that's the fruit of knowing God's will but the root is grounded in who you are and your relationship with Christ. So sanctification must preceded occupation. Now think about it do you remember the story of the rich young ruler who came to Christ and he said Master what must I do to inherit eternal life and Jesus said. Keep the commandments and the rich young ruler said all these things I have done what do I lack and Jesus loved him in his heart and said one thing you lack goal take all that you have been sell give to the poor then you have treasure in heaven and come follow me the communication of information. Indisputable unambiguous this is my will for your life but his heart wasn't sanctified and wasn't ready to receive and so instead of obeying he went away very sorrowful and now he's accountable for knowing the will of God and disobeying and you see in John Chapter 16 verse 12 the disciples are walking with Jesus and Jesus says I still have many things to say to you but you cannot bear the now so guess what I'm going to do you favor I'm not going to tell you the things that you cannot bear right now because I don't want you to be accountable for them when your character isn't able to handle the information of my will to you so in my mercy I would withhold that information so perhaps when we're frustrated that we don't know what the will of God is perhaps it's the mercy of God that's preventing us from knowing the information part of his will until our characters grow to the point where you can actually execute it. Now here's a very important point that I want you to take away you can be working in the specialty and in the residency that God has destined for you it is His Will for you that is where he intended for you to thrive you can be in those things doing those things and yet if you walk with an unsaved to 5 heart if your heart is not dedicated to Christ you will not be accomplishing his will think of the example of King Saul 1st king of Israel God hand-picked him to be the 1st king of Israel God chose his career for him if there is anyone who in an unambiguous career counseling event with God it was Saul and he said you will be the 1st king of Israel he's a I'm not worthy and who am I that you will be the 1st game he became the 1st king all his life he can think back to that time with the prophet Samuel and God speaking to him himself saying I have no question about my career this is the right career for me this is the right specialty for me this is the right job for me he should have been 100 percent set in his life right new God's will and ambiguously. But what happened as his life went on at some point his heart lost its sanctification and God rose up David to take his place and said you are working the job that I picked for you but you are not walking in my will therefore the job you're working is useless to me and so someone else must take up your torch so that is why God doesn't want us to focus on the information yes to information is important yes it's important to know where does God want me to go what does he want me to do but a lot of times we ask that question prematurely without looking inside to say do I have a character issue Now conversely the ship fills with hope you may not be working in the specialty God eventually has destined for you maybe you mash into residency where God said this was not optimal but you're in you're in this residency looking we can be assured that if your heart is sanctified to God it's only a matter of time before he will steer you in a way where you will be walking in his well. In Matthew 513 Jesus calls us to solve the earth right but before Sol can be used for human consumption it has to 1st be purified has to undergo a purification process that's what he wants to do with us when we ask him for the knowledge of His will that information of his will before we sanctify our hearts to Him It's like impure salt demanding that it be used for food because if you use bad solves it will ruin any dish it's used in but once the salt is purified we garners of where it's used it will enhance every dish you see so the principle that the Bible teaches us is that you commit your heart in your life to Christ and you put that stake into the ground in C. As for me and my household I will serve the Lord and you make that your primary focus in life then you will be his hands and feet wherever you end up Christ object lessons. Page 9697 it says but man cannot transform himself by the exercise of his will he possesses no power by which this change can be affected to leaven something wholly from without must be put into the meal before the desired change can be wrought in it so the grace of God must be received by the sinner before he can be fitted for the kingdom of glory all the culture and education which the world can give will fail of making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven the renewing energy must come from God The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit all who would be saved high or low rich or poor must submit to the working of this power as 11 when mingled with the meal works from within outward so it is by the renewing of the heart that the grace of God works to transform the life and listen to this no mere external change is sufficient to bring us into harmony with God There are many who try to reform by correcting this or that bad habit and then they hope in this way to become Christians but they are beginning in the wrong place our 1st work is with the heart our profession of faith and the possession of truth in the soul are 2 different things the mere knowledge of truth is not enough we may possess this but the tenor of our thoughts may not be changed the heart must be converted and sanctified So it's not so much the outward actions that God wants us do to modify the decisions we make that's easy anyone can make a decision to go into a particular specialty you or to order your bank listen a certain way that's easy What's hard is a hard change that must take place so that when God reveals His Will to you you won't be like a rich young ruler and walk away sorrowful So let's say that you embrace this concept let's say that you've been resonating with the principles I've been telling you king however you confronted with his decision you have to make a choice soon. Interviews are over 4 to 40 years for the most part you have to order your bank lists you have to choose a specialty for your 4th year you have to think about where you're going to yourself there's dare deadlines to meet How can we go about discerning God's will when we have these concrete deadlines in front of us what steps can we take to maximize the chances that our hearts are in the right place and that we are hearing the voice of God in our lives so for that I want to go through 7 steps OK that I think are crucial in the process of discerning God's will number one is put away all known sins in your life put away all known sins in your life some 6618 says If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me Isaiah 592 says but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God in your sins and hidden his face from you so that he does not hear so think about this it makes sense if there is something about God's will that I am not obeying in some area of my life aka a sin a rebellion Why should God reveal his will to me in any other area of life when I'm already disobeying him in a known area in that case I'm not qualified to get more knowledge of his will if if my goal is simply to take it into consideration with my own preferences and then decide whether or not I want to follow and God will reveal his will to those who are committed to following it once he reveals it so if you're in open rebellion in some way of the Holy Spirit has been convicting you that there is some area of your life that you have to change change in if there's a decision that he's been working on your heart to make and you can progress in aiding on that decision make the decision he's calling you to give something up give it up. No matter how big or how small if it's eating away at your heart if you don't have peace in your heart and you've been delaying obedience obeyed this is the 1st step until your conscience is clear before your God You cannot approach him in prayer and expect to hear a clear response because you've muddied the signal it's not that God steps away but they do you cannot find yourself drawing near enough to hear his voice because he sticks in a still small voice and only when you get close to him really close can you hear him talking to your heart and you can't do that when you feel that you're rebelling against him in some area of your life this doesn't mean that you have to be perfect OK What this means is that if there's something that the Holy Spirit is convicting you of actively that you're saying I know I should change this I know I shouldn't do that I know God wants me to do this but I have I've been reluctant to to agree to obey if there is something like that in your life that is the 1st thing you have to change before anything will work out in this process so God has put something on your heart maybe it's maybe the things that you put before your eyes and listen to or maybe good things the entertainment you enjoy something has been convicting you that this is opposed to the principles of God Maybe the people you spend time with maybe who knows what it is the world may say it's such a small thing why be so radical other people don't give that up why should you give it up no one's going to blame you for indulging that but if you don't have peace in your heart that's the Holy Spirit Spirit telling you don't look to the left and to the right you need to give this up you need to change this you need to make this decision make a change have a clear conscience before God Too often we sit there and say Lord the signal is not clear I don't know what you're telling me to do I just it's so frustrating and then you start to wonder. Is there really a god does he actually answer prayer who's to say how to discern his well anyway. All because at the root issue is that there's something in your life that you haven't paid and you know it so start right here put away all known sins in your life does deserve a just pay 68 those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God will know after presenting their case before him just what course to pursue and they will receive not only wisdom but strength power for obedience for service will be imparted to them as Christ has promised so the knowledge of God's will in the strength will be it comes all lead to those who 1st purpose in their hearts to do nothing in any line that will displease him this is a necessary 1st step you do not get the knowledge of God's will if your goal is to take it into consideration you only get the knowledge of God's will if you say Lord no matter what you tell me I will obey then he says I will give you my will take a step number one Step number 2 empty yourself of your will and commit yourself to doing God's will no matter what that turns out to be in John $717.00 says if anyone is willing to do His will He will know of the teaching whether it is of God or whether I speak for myself so for those like I mention who are willing to do God's Will who empty themselves of their will that's a prerequisite for knowing God's will there is a story a lady an Irish lady who lived in an Irish village and she had the strange habit where every morning she would walk to the edge of town with her walking stick and it be a fork in the road leading to hell and she would always drove her stick in the air he would drop to the ground she would look at her stick scoop it up and then walk down one of the 2 paths and she would do this every morning for her walk. So finally a neighbor who sees her and then he comes over and he says you know you do this every morning you get to the fork in the road you tore your stick you pick it up and then you walk down what are you doing and she said Well this here is my defining stick and it tells me which fork in the road to take so I throw it up in a points to the left or to the right and that's the that's the road I take that day so he thought well that's a very strange way of deciding how to travel but whatever makes you happy or one day he wakes up and he sees the lady do the same thing she gets to the fork and she throws her stick and she looks at it but instead of walking this time she picks it up and she throws it again and then she throws it again and she throws it again so he can't help himself he comes out and he says is your dividing stick being ambiguous this morning what's going on and she said well I want to go left but he keeps pointing right. And we laugh at the story but I wonder do we often do this to God do we approach him in prayer wanting him to affirm a decision that we've already made in our hearts that you know what special to you want to go into deep in your heart and your soul wish that God will give his stamp of approval you know which residency program attracts you and maybe it attracts you for reasons that are less than holy and you're so desperate for God stamp of approval on that and you tell him Lord let your will be done in my life option A or Option B. you choose for me Lord but if it's Option B. We're going to have a have a long talk. If it's Option B. I know we're going to be a lot more prayers to follow. Him and we laugh because we know it's true and let's be honest when we put our petitions before God It's very rare that they're completely equal we always have a predilection for one side or the other you know that's why George Miller said. He said I seek at the beginning to get my heart in such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to given matter 9 tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here 9 tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will whatever it may be when one is truly in the state it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is this calmness of mind this having no will of my own in the matter this only wishing to please my Heavenly Father in it this is only seeking his and not my honor in it this state of heart I say is the fullest assurance to me that my heart is not under a fleshly excitement and that if the dust help to go on I shall know the will of God to the full so he says the peace that he gets from knowing that his will is not in it and that he's giving it all to God is the best assurance that he can get that it's only a matter of time before God reveals His will to him you know God requires full and total surrender of our will 99 percent is not good enough Jeremiah $2913.00 you will seek Me and find me when you search for me with part of your heart with most of your heart or with all of your art. All of your heart minister healing page 480 says many who profess to be Christ followers have an anxious trouble hard because they are afraid to trust themselves with God They do not make a complete surrender to Him for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve unless they do make this surrender they cannot find peace worry is blind and cannot discern the future but Jesus sees the end from the beginning in every difficulty he has his way prepared to bring relief no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly Our Heavenly Father has a 1000 ways to provide for us of which we know nothing so listen those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme will find perplexities vanish in a plain path before their feet so to be fully surrendered to God's will means that we must be fine with any option before us again now if you're like me and you know that your heart is being drawn in a certain way when it comes to a decision be honest with God He wants you to and take heart that you're in good company because you know who else was that way Christ Himself Luke 2242 in the garden to 70 he said Father if you are willing remove this cup from me yet not my will but yours be done that blows my mind cry some self said I know your will is for me to go to the cross but if possible can I have something else if possible take this cup from me I don't want to drink it so I know what your will for me is but I don't like it but yet not my will but yours be done and I think that's the model prayer we should pray we say Lord I want to Option A over Option B. you know my heart there's no point in me hiding that from you but Lord if you want option be for me. Let your will be done and please change my heart that is the way we should pray when I 1st said that the issue with knowing God's will is not an issue of information but an issue of character if you felt Well John I don't think so I think it's more an issue of information let me ask you Do you ever feel anxious about not knowing his well if the answer is yes then that means it's an issue of character because if you had perfect trust in your heavenly Father like Christ did when he walked this earth you would not be anxious about his well you would say even though I don't have the information I know my heavenly father well enough that I have peace knowing that I have faith in what I don't know so in his good time he will reveal it to me and that I have 100 percent confidence therefore knowing. But if you sit there in a decision has to be made and you're anxious and you say I don't know Lord what you want me to do it's a character issue come back to that you think it's an information issue but it's not it's a character issue and we're we've all been there so Step number 2 again was empty your will commit yourself to doing God's Will Step number 3 in strength in your devotional life during this time of prayer it makes no sense to ask God what His will is when you're too busy to spend time with him to hear response. The only reason why we should want to know God's will is because you love him and you want to serve Him with your life but you cannot serve a God that you don't know you know the key to becoming the key to knowing God's will is to become like him in heart and mind the only way you can become like God in heart and mind is if you spend enough time with him to be changed into his image by beholding we become changed so whatever you spend your time holding in your mind you become like that and if you spend your entire time worried about the things of the world. And then once or twice a day in your prayers you say the Lord please help me to become like you and show me your will it doesn't it doesn't balance out you see right now if you're in the valley of decision make no mistake the devil is going to attack your devotional life like he's never attacked before the greater the stakes in the decision that looms before you the greater will be his attack on your devotional life maybe you've already noticed in your life before some reason things are just crowding in and trying to crowd out that precious time for some reason you're little bit more sleep deprived you're having some more calls you have more responsibilities maybe it's even ministry that's taking away from a devotional life where using ministry as a substitute for devotion whatever it is the devil will attack you 1st here because he knows that the branch cannot live if it's cut off from the vine so he will say no focus on making fruit Don't ever take your eyes off that but while you're not looking I want to disconnect you from the vine in the SAP will no longer flow and before you know it you're wondering why the fruit shriveling up make sure that the foundation of your faith is secure and spend time with your Heavenly Father every morning Minister of healing page 58 says all who are under the training of God need a quiet hour for communion with their own hearts with nature and with God in them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world its customs or its practices and they need to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God we must individually hear him speaking to the heart when every other voices hushed and in the quietness we wait before him the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God He bids us BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. So important and when you're in medical school it is very hard to carve out this time and it's even harder when you get into residency When's the last time you just asked is honestly in your heart When's the last time that you had a devotional a truly refresh your heart that filled your cup before you went out the door or did you find yourself just reading a cursory Bible verse or listening to an audio bible or a sermon as you raced out the door to make it to class or to your clinical rotation Education Page 260 says many even in their seasons of devotion fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God They are in too great haste with hurried steps they press toward a circle of Christ loving presence pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts but not waiting for counsel they have no time to remain with the Divine Teacher with their burdens they return to their work these workers can never attain to high success until they learned a secret of strength they must give themselves time to think to pray to wait upon God for a renewal of physical mental and spiritual power they need the uplifting influence of his spirit receiving this they will be quickened by fresh life their wearied frame and tired brain will be refreshed the bird in the heart will be lightened not pause for a moment in his presence but personal contact with Christ to sit down and companionship with him this is our need to whatever you have to do to make this experience yours wake up earlier if you have to cut corners anywhere else but not here King Remember the extent to which you place an emphasis on guarding your devotional life will reflect the extent to which you really want to know god's will right let me say that again the extent to which you go to guard your devotional life will reveal just how serious you are about knowing God's will is a truly a priority in your life. Then you will darker devotional life. Again Jeremiah 2913 you will seek Me and find me when you search for Me with all your heart so seek Him 1st in the morning a lot of people ask Well John how much time is necessary for a fulfilling devotional like you're describing and I tell them we don't set time limits but you know in your heart whether or not you walk away refreshed I've never met someone who said 5 minutes is sufficient OK I'm not saying it's impossible but I have yet to experience that in my life I found that for me personally and this is just talking about me I need at least half an hour I found anything less than half an hour and I just start getting into the Word of God and then I had to get out some of my friends told me they needed at least a full hour find out what what you need because everyone's needs are different and see what it takes to have a devotional that's meaningful for you came Step 3 guards or devotional life step for prayed constantly and look for evidence of God's leading member to joke at the beginning of the talk where it when God is when you're talking to God It's called prayer but when God talks to you people called schizophrenia we don't expect to hear from God a lot of times how many times have you started the day with a litany of her requests do not think about it at all throughout the day and at the end of the day you say oh lord to the answer these prayers and that's the next time you think about it 1st and last thing you do and in between stuff happened and where was your mind but all in hindsight nor I think you answered that prayer but you were on the look out throughout the day that happens to me so much and it might happen to you too. That's why 1st 517 Paul writes pray without ceasing it's not because God is sitting in heaven with a prayer old leaders saying you need to fill this meter to a certain amount before I will answer your prayers so you've only pray 4 times today but but John over here prayed 24 times therefore I will answer his prayers that's not why God says to pray without ceasing you see steps across Page 93 says prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend not that it is necessary in order to make known to God we are but in order to enable us to receive Him Prayer does not bring God down to us but brings us up to him every time we pray it's not bringing God down to us and reminding him what our requests are every time we pray we're lifting our thoughts back up to him and be holding him in becoming recalibrating our hearts so that becomes more like him in nature so set yourself reminders throughout the day if this is an issue for you for me I made my patient encounters my built in reminders before any patient encounter outside the door I would pray and it would be a reminder for me to remember the things I asked that morning and then ask God to give you clear signs of his leaving tell him I told God the Lord. I don't take well to subtlety if you try to speak to me through a slight impression here and maybe a song was playing on the radio and a friend called me and said something that linked with a scripture passage I read that morning and it all seems to kind of connect together in this like if you will soup of nebulous this I don't respond to that I need like a burning bush like. I have to willfully ignore it in order to say like I don't see the Bush you know and he said I know I'm making a decision to ignore God's will but you have to be that clear with me Lord and that was my requests every single day Lord get my attention and boy did he answer that prayer and you know what after talking to lots of people it seems that that's what he does to everyone he knows what you need he knows what gets your attention you might not get anyone else's attention but he knows what gets your attention so when he sends you a signal and he can do it in an infinite number of ways it'll get your attention now the danger is that when you share that with someone they may say Are you sure that's God talking to you Are you sure that's not the burrito you know maybe you were a little sleep deprived in your half lucid state you got a little emotional label and you thought that was God talking to you and then the more you talk to these people who aren't convinced because obviously the message was to catch your attention not their attention they'll talk you out of your convictions and you'll say yeah you're right what was I thinking you know you know God I need another sign that wasn't clear you know noble noble not going to knowledge at that that was that was a burrito. And we're like Gideon over and over again during of the flea saying well now this time I want you to make the ground wet in the fleece dry No no no that's too easy to make a fleece when the ground. Actually bigger fleece disappear. Be careful I'm not saying don't share your convictions with someone but be very careful about who you take into your confidence if you feel that God is talking to you make sure that you vetted their character make sure you know that they have a vibrant relationship with Christ and they have your best interest at heart and then and only then in a very very sacred way share how God is moving on your heart but otherwise keep it to yourself This is also a pivotal time for you to journal if you haven't Journal in your life I would say at least Journal this every time that you have an experience or something that catches your attention to say that you talking to me could Dappy you swaying my decision here are you trying to catch my attention write it down if you felt the conviction write it down it might be de Brito who cares write it down at least it's on paper at least on paper so that later on when you start to doubt in the dark the things that were clear in the light you have a record it stands before you to say as of this day I felt convicted that God might be leading the this way and that's so important because the devil tries to make you doubt in the dark the things that were clear in the light and so he just tries to take it away little by little and God's voice becomes indistinct write it down make it stand as a memorial before you now the way and as I said he may speak to you through impressions conversations sermons scripture it's endless the ways he speaks to you but just so you have an example the way he spoke to me and I told him I don't take well to subtleties so this is what he did for me and this is not I'm not saying this is what he's going to for everyone but this is how he spoke to me I said Lord what specialty do you want me to go into. And I started praying for him to make it very clear and one physician told me early on John you should ask God to give you spiritual fruit during each rotation and you should take inventory of how much spiritual fruit you encounter and maybe that will tip the scales into what specialties you go into so I kept I kept an eye on that and I knew my mind that I would go into anything almost except internal medicine. That should have been the 1st warning to me. But lo and behold when I go into my internal medicine resit rotation I am having spiritual encounter after a spiritual encounter I meet with a I think currently the clerk and director Acord later or director for internal medicine program is Dr Amy hate and right she wasn't back when I was rotating through but she was at the V.A. and I was paired up with her and no joke every patient that she ever had a spiritual counter which showed up on her schedule that week I was working with her and every time we met with a patient it ended up with this incredible spiritual discussion where we were praying with the patient the patients crying Dr Heymann are crying it's just they have today my wife Alyssa they will tell you on other rotations I would come back and maybe once a week once every other week I'd come back and share a very touching story about how God was able to use me to talk to patients about spiritual things but on internal medicine is like every day I come home like Honey let me tell you what happened today inside what is going on to the point where I couldn't deny that you got my attention and the same thing happened as a resident when I rotated through my oncology services and so for me I couldn't deny who was talking to me I don't know how he's going to talk to you to keep a lookout for how he might get your attention. Is that step number 4 pray without ceasing and look for evidences of his leading Step Number 5 learn to wait on God's perfect timing this is the hardest part right this is the hardest part because we want to know now but we need to realize that any delay in God giving the information part of his will to you any delay in that is for your own good it's calculated he's not letting you twist in the wind because he's he's a sadist he's not giving you the information right now because he sees that you need to grow a little bit more before you can bear it. I had 2 classmates who walked very different roads in that school one of them you might know her name is Martha her now and she's currently doing her a fellowship here. But she went to ophthalmology but she was someone who struggled early on and for those of you who know her story you'll know this but there was not around exams that we went through where she didn't fail at least 2 or 3 exams out right you know she made the top 2 thirds of our class possible OK I mean she was bringing up the rear and she'll tell you she was like it is only by the grace of God that I'm going to make it the year 2 in the year 2 comes around and she's there she doesn't have to repeat it like we were celebrating No remediation not yes I passed with flying colors it's I didn't have to remediate. And so when she told us in 30 years she's like I really like ophthalmology my friends are like all Martha. Oh you of little faith right. But every time she went into exams she would she would post it on her walls post on Facebook like I am praying for God like I am God is going to give me deliverance. She put a picture of her face on David fighting Goliath and over and over the lies she wrote us Emily step one. And should do all these things. And she said I can do it with God's help and we're like I know Martha God gave us insight. I mean yes you can get your top the molecule of course you can he can do anything he can record but. You know if I walk off this building he could also help me to fly but for some reason I think I'm probably going to fall if I walk off the building and your head your head off the building Martha. But she was under so I think God is speaking to me to go into ophthalmology we're like OK well that's fine but I have a backup program. I do something else too don't just apply to opto and she applied to every opto program in the country no joke and she got one interview here because guess what. Tori interview to all students here so it wasn't you know when she got an interview here it wasn't like yeah you got to interview is a LOT of course you cut the senior year. We knew that was coming to get any other interviews no crickets were like Martha you can apply to anything else and when she interviewed of course they all love her Yuki if you know Martha you cannot she's someone who walks into a room and lights it up she made eyeball cupcakes for the entire staff one day I mean if that doesn't when your heart is off the molecules I don't know what will. And so when the match came for them which is early in December we were all like all ordered it we were trying to prepare her for saying Martha you cannot look at the outcome to determine whether or not God has been faithful because God may not matching to ophthalmology but that means he has bigger rewards for you and you have something else planned far better than ophthalmology that means you wouldn't have wanted it anyway so you know there is very little like that's right you know putting God's hands were like we're trying to soften the blow that we knew was coming for like we see this train wreck happening in slow motion and our friend like she's not going to go and mourn. But the morning comes and she matches. And all I can say was a rebuke to mean housing all this time she's putting she's stepping out completely and facing God I know it's crazy for me to apply to up though with my grades and I know this is all the people like Dr warden sleep at night and. I know everyone is telling me this is crazy but I can't help but to feel that this is what you want me to do so I'm going to do it and if I don't match and I don't get into residency then then I'll accept that and that's the heart with which she went in she was all in for Christ she made herself totally vulnerable to him and her heavenly father came through and because of that story then following year a huge bumper crop of people applied to ophthalmology. Where she spent in that story so I'm not saying that everyone who does what Martha did will be guaranteed to magine to ophthalmology new regardless of great that's not the moral the point of the story is she was completely in God's hands she said regardless of the outcome hell or highwater all and I'm not keeping I'm not keeping a little lifeline back here bored I'm all yours you do what my career what you want so that was her so when she matched into her competitors specialty It was just 100 percent glory to God and people How did she do that not how I did it how God did it and she could not keep quiet about God's goodness and he was she was singing his praises up and down the road I have another friend who will leave unnamed who the 1st month of me starting medical school with him we're both studying in the library in the same location day after day as we got to know each other and one day he walks up to me and he says John I decided I'm going to stop going to church and I ask him why he says well I'm aiming for a very competitive surgical specialty and everyone else who's aiming for his specialty are studying 7 days a week I cannot be competitive if I study only 6 days a week so guess what I have to give up church and I have to study on the Sabbath. So my 1st reaction was that's terrible and the 2nd reaction was Why are you telling me. It was then as it was as if you was crying out to say like try and convince me otherwise as if there was something within him crying out for help but I just kind of plugged in so well I hope it works out for you man you know like it would be like him but I watched him throughout Medical School and he was true to his word he studied like a demon I mean he was he was a big honor in my class top grades OK he rolled up his sleeves he did the work and guess what he got the results and guess what he matched into a specialty guess what by the eyes of the world he is super successful right now he accomplished everything he set out to accomplish that 1st day he told me I'm going to stop going to church but at what cost Last I checked he wasn't going to church last I checked he wasn't interested in spiritual things at what cost 2 stories they both got into competitive specialties they both by the eyes of the world are successful physicians but their end result is drastically different so this is why God is not just concerned with your destination he doesn't just care about what specialty you end up in more what residency program you match into his question is will you be useful for my work when you're at the other end of the process will the journey taint you or will it blossom you in your spiritual life he's more concerned about who you become than what you do now you may have an experience where God leads you in a completely different direction than you'd want to go and you're wondering Lord how can this be compatible with your will for my life I failed my round of exams I failed step one how is that compatible with becoming a doctor for you but think of the story of Joseph Joseph No I mean when he wasn't part of her house and he kept true to God's Will how was he rewarded he got thrown in jail. But how was he to know that he needed to spend time in a dungeon to ultimately serve God in a palace he could not have a career planned out for himself all he knows is that he was true to God It kept up his faith and he was thrown in jail for it if anyone should doubt God's will and say Lord what is your problem it was Joseph right but instead he kept true to God in the dungeon as well and he said I will accept this if this is where you want me to be God eventually use that experience to train him up and put him in the palace you may be going through a dungeon experience in your life maybe you failed something maybe something's not panning out the way you wanted to and the whole world is telling you you're slipping behind a fear not sanctify your heart to God 1st make search his service your ultimate purpose in life and leave the results in his hands and say Lord I trust you enough that even if I flunked out of med school I will still serve you September 6th exercise faith Mark 1124 says Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask when you pray believe that you receive them and you will have them seems to be a blanket statement he displayed that you receive whatever you ask in prayer and you'll have it but the context here is that we're praying with a sanctified heart meaning that our will is aligned with the will of God So when your will is aligned with His will automatically the things that you pray for are his will for you and therefore you will receive them he was 11 verse one says Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen so exercising faith means not basing your decisions on what you can see and understand. And that's why Proverbs 35 and 6 says trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths that so important lean not on your own understanding Don't try to use your logic and come into it and say bored this doesn't make sense if you want to get me to my career here exercise faith and trust that he knows the whole picture so coming back to the question you have a decision you have to make you have to rank your list you have to apply for programs you have to choose a specialty you have to make a decision with a hard deadline you don't seem to have a clear answer what are you supposed to do in this situation exercising faith also means doing the best you can with what you know currently have you ever heard people say hey God can steer a parked car and I think that gets abused but to a certain extent here it's true God cannot steer a parked car head somewhere and he will direct a wheel but if you leave it in park and you say Lord I'm not going to get out of the driveway until all the lights turn green he will say and I can show you how I'm going to guide you make an effort to go in a direction to the best of your knowledge with what you have and when you get to a red light you'll be red and you'll stop but eventually it all turned green and the you get to the next light into the next light and before you know he will take you to your destination do the best you can with the knowledge you have so one of the things I found very helpful in this matter is to. Create what they call a Ben Franklin Ledger OK for every option you have whether it's a residency program or a specialty or whatever for every option before you make 2 columns pros and cons pros and cons and write down every pro you can about making that decision for the option and every con that you can and just be brutally honest or everything out a lot of times we have these nebulous things a couple of things keep coming back up as something we like about a program and that's all we fixate on and we minimize the negatives if we like the positives enough to get it on paper quantified list every single thing on both sides pros and cons for every option and have it in front of you as you're praying and saying Lord if there's something else that you want me to list here is another con another pro bring it to my remembrance and then write it down and step back an objective look at it and say Is there a common thread among the pros and among the cons I remember some of the programs I did was to every pro was basically pride of life proceed you know what people think of me but my family will think of me and every con was the opposite Currently it's coming down to you know where am I going to work my job I know a lot of friends who are being swayed by salaries and lifestyles you know if those are the only cons in a column then you ask yourself where is my priority and here early on now in your medical training define for yourself what metrics you're going to use for success because if you don't define them here and now the world will define them for you you have to be very clear what metrics will I used to determine that I am a successful physician for Lord. And Dr that will draw that line in the sand so that when the world tells you No you should use academic rank you should use prestige you should use salary you should use benefits use lifestyle as your metric you'll say No I mean the metric over here these are my criteria for determining whether or not I'm successful as a physician and then use those criteria to evaluate all your decisions use mental exercises for example understand that competitiveness and prestige alone are not adequate reasons to choose a program we all know there's we all say it but we're all drawn to the same traps OK So to help you rid of this imagine that you have the ability to match into any specialty in any program you want OK The world is your oyster you just name it you get in OK pretend that that's the world and also pretend that once you finish your training no one will know where you trained and the only thing you have to show for it are the skills you take out of it now in that context can you interpret your decisions in a different light do certain programs rise and fall in their rankings in your mind if that world were true OK Do you find yourself drawn by money because let's be honest lifestyle is a big thing if I choose the specialty I'll make 110th of what I can make in that specialty It's a big consideration assume that whatever specialty you go into You'll make the exact same income you are destined to make the same income no matter what there's a rich uncle who's going to pay you X. number of dollars a year and that's it no more no less so pretend that that's true and then evaluate the programs in that light do certain church priorities shift to certain programs fall or rise and be very honest with yourself what is swaying my decision to one program over another. Matthew 6 verses 31 to 33 says therefore do not worry saying What shall we eat what shall we drink what shall we wear for after all these things the Gentiles seek for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things but seek 1st the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you no matter where you go no matter what specialty God puts you in no matter where you serve Him no matter if it's the mission front or the ivory tower he knows your needs and he will supply you for your needs the income that you should pray for is whatever he deems appropriate for me whatever you deem appropriate Lord no more no less and so having to promise that he will take care of your needs if you simply make his kingdom and His righteousness 1st and foremost in your life go for it and don't be afraid now I just have to put in this plug compared to this procedure of the program earning potential These are not necessarily bad things we can also make the mistake of demonizing them and saying well since it's a very prestigious competitive program obviously that's not God's choice for me because I must be a worm in the dust. And I was serving him. And no where is Bill and where the badge of humility because that is true righteousness that is not. Because there the Bible is replete with examples of people OK who wielded these things to great effect for the Lord but only because God put them there and God intrusted those things to him you should not desire desire these things for yourself let god add them unto you if he deems it appropriate but if he doesn't deem appropriate don't whine and ask him to give it to you right so make it a tool not the call all right and finally step number 7 when you feel convicted of God's leading act on it immediately. Don't say born boy you sure gave me a clear answer to my prayer and I really feel like you're leading this way I will get to it next week and suddenly over the weekend that conviction starts to wane and wane and by Monday you're saying was that really you talking to God when he convicts you act don't wait the devil doesn't tell you to disobey the devil only tells you to wait he says De Lay obedience he never says disobeying God because that's not going to work he just says no no delay obedience we have to be reasonable here let's collect all the data let's wait for some more data to come in OK but if you know in your heart that God spoke to you unequivocally and you were moved act assuming that there's a decision to act on so in summary step number one put away all known sins in your life Step 2 commit yourself to doing God's will no matter what that turns out to be Step 3 strengthen your devotional life step forward pray constantly and look for evidence of God's leading Step 5 learn to wait on God's perfect timing Step 6 exercise faith and Step 7 act immediately on God's leading So the conclusion of it all is that the key to knowing God's will is to become like came in character the issue is one of character not of information don't be sole focus and preoccupied with the information start with the character because when your character aligns with God you will know what he wants you to do because the impulse of your heart will be in lockstep with the impulses of his heart for you Jim. The only reason why we should seek to know God's will is so that we can obey and so therefore once you're committed to obey it's God's responsibility to reveal his will to you and you can be assured that he will do this according to His perfect timing so let God decide when and how he's going to reveal that to you and be OK with that and understand that any delay he introduces is designed to build your faith in your character so that ultimately you can act on the will that He reveals to you so if you implement the 7 steps I just talked about even if you don't get an immediate answer you will have the peace in your heart of knowing that given enough time eventually God will answer in due time and in the right way according to His perfect timing God will answer for Libyans for 67 May this be a text for you be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer in supplication with things giving let your requests be made known to God and then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will God your cards your hearts and minds their Christ Jesus so my prayer for each one of you tonight he said you will experience that peace in the midst of your decision making in the midst of your struggle in the midst of all the high stakes choices you have to make coming up in the next few months I pray you will know that peace of knowing that your heart is secure with Christ that you are dedicated to serving Him and therefore it's only a matter of time before he reveals to you his will amen let's pray Heavenly Father Lord this is such an important issue that we all face over and over again in our lives and the only reason Lord that we're anxious about knowing your will is because ultimately we don't trust you like we should if we trusted you like Christ did when he walked this earth we would not feel anxiety. But Lord we need this peace that passes all understanding and in order to do that we need to get our lives right with you if there is someone in this room who is delaying obedience in some area of his or her life if they're if they are living in rebellion to you in some aspect of their lives give them the ability Lord to make a decision tonight to stop that to bring their wills in accordance with your own to give up what it whatever it is that you want them to give up to put away all sin from their lives there may be people here Lord who they felt that they've known what you wanted them to do but they delay doing it because they don't want to do it heavenly Father help us to pray the prayer that Christ prayed to be honest with you about our struggles our desires our wants and dislikes and yet help us to end every prayer by saying Lord not my will but your will be done and ultimately Heavenly Father change us so that we can become the people you need us to be so that no matter where do use us we will be your hands and feet salt and light for you is ultimately it's not so it's not so much important what we do or who we are for you help us to become your children your servants stamp with your image and with our hearts beating in lockstep with yours help us to go forward and tackle a world that tries to confuse us and bring disarray to our thoughts so give us are Sabbath rest and we thank you happily father for the great privilege of training to become doctors for you in Jesus to pray in this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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