God's Resume In Your Life
By Christopher Sealey
How He Instructs, Teaches, Counsels, and Watches over you
Online encyclopedia Wikipedia.org, defines a resume as a document containing a summary or listing on relevant job experience and education, usually for obtaining an interview when seeking employment. A resume is often the first item a potential employer encounters regarding a job seeker, so it is ascribed a large amount of importance. A resume is a biography of a person's professional life, where the individual worked, lived and describes who that person is. Your resume is an important tool that communicates all about you to a potential employer. When it does the job right, it wins you the interview. A resume does not simply provide a potential employer with the job seeker's work history, when constructed and well written, it conveys loudly and clearly that the individual has the credentials needed to be a success in the desired position or career. A good resume works to build credibility through experience gained, while illustrating career growth over time. A resume is not a document that you create once and never update. As you gain new experience and learning, you update your resume regularly keeping it evergreen.
God Communicates His Role
The Bible states in Psalm 32:8;
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
(New International Version NIV)
In this Scripture verse, God declares the things He will perform in our lives, if we let Him. He declares that He will instruct us; this implies that sometimes He will provide the direction and He expects us to follow, unquestionably. He will teach us, implying that sometimes He will help us to understand the meaning of His decisions and actions in our lives. That assures us He will give us godly wisdom. He declares that He will counsel us. This implies that He understands that sometimes we will step out on our own, but He will be there to give us advice when we ask of Him. Finally, He declares that He will watch over us. God has your back. We have nothing to be afraid of because the almighty God is watching over us. God has communicated convincingly and clearly His desired role and responsibilities in our lives. If only, there was a way for us to pause and reflect on how God delivers on His promises in our lives, especially when we face challenging situations.
God's Resume in Your Life
Sometimes, when we face challenges in this life and the outcome appears uncertain or is not what we expected, doubt is born. Doubt keeps close company with fear and anxiety. Together they bring despair into our lives and cause our faith in God to falter. Have you ever felt like the promises fulfilled for Abraham, Elijah, Job and Jeremiah were great for them in their time, but seems like they do not translate easily to your situation? If only, there was a simple way for me to reflect on how God delivered on His promises in my life, not for David and Solomon, not for Paul and Timothy, but for me. God has led me to a simple way to reflect on His presence in my life; I would like to share with it you. Allow me to introduce you to God's resume in your life. God's resume in your life is a document, which you create; it contains a chronological summary or listing of relevant experiences in your life through which God was working to instruct, to teach, to counsel and to watch over you. The sole purpose of developing God's resume in your life is to strengthen your faith in Him. Documenting God's resume in your life is an act of praise and worship since it demonstrates to God that you have acknowledged His goodness and mercy towards you. Based on my own experience and those of others I encountered over the years, creating and maintaining a resume of God's presence in your life, builds your faith in Him through experience gained, while illustrating your Christian growth over time. In the Book of Psalms, David penned God's resume in his life. The Psalms show us how God instructed, taught, counseled and watched over David throughout his life, while they illustrate his Christian growth and maturity over time.
The Origin of God's Resume in My Life
In the summer of 2002, an opportunity presented itself for me to write an article for a widely published monthly Christian magazine. The chief editor requested that the article should offer advice on careers since several of their readers had experienced recent job losses. The article I wrote was entitled, "Coping with Job Loss as a Christian." Several weeks after that edition appeared in print, I received a call from a good friend, who lived in Rochester, NY. She mused on how I would write an article on coping with job loss, having never experienced unemployment in my 25-year professional career. I assured her that it was all divine inspiration that drove that article. Within a couple months of that conversation and for the first time in twenty-five years, I found myself unemployed. I was also facing a scheduled mortgage closing on the newly constructed home. The mortgage broker gave me a deadline of fifteen-days to find a new job or risk losing the home. I was facing a difficult financial challenge and I became anxious in my spirit. It seems as if all the inspiration I had experienced two months earlier had given way to perspiration as I was now coping with job loss. It suddenly became very clear to me, why God had put that article of job loss in my mind two months earlier; it was not only for the readers of that Christian magazine, but he looked into my future and saw that I would need all the advice I had captured in that article.
During my job search, as I dusted off my professional resume and began to update it, I found myself asking some questions of God. Why now, Lord, and why so close to the closing date of the mortgage? Was this a sign that we should walk away from the deal? Did He want us to abandon our recent move to Virginia and go back to Rochester, NY? And on and on It was during my meditation, one morning that I began to look back at my life since coming to America, from my early days in college, then unto to graduate school, the jobs I held and the places I traveled. I began to review in my mind how God had been working in my life through the good times and through the challenging times, even up to that present situation. I began to praise the Lord for His goodness to me in the past and His leadership in the current situation. This lifted up my spirit. The Holy Spirit gave me 2 Chronicles 20:1-29 as my word of encouragement for that situation.
Then it hit me like a rock, just as I had spent time documenting my professional accomplishments in my resume to impress a potential employer, why not spend the time to document God's accomplishments in my life. I documented, in chronological order, highlights of God's instructing, teaching, counseling and watching over me from as far back as I could remember up to the present time. I created God's resume in my life. By the time I was done, I felt like I had more to praise about than to worry about. The process of creating God's resume in my life strengthened my faith in Him and solidified my resolve to trust in His leadership throughout that crisis. I have since updated God's resume in my life to include how He led a recruiter to me, and how He watched over the process that resulted in us closing the deal on the new house, on the scheduled date.
Some Resume Guidelines
There are guidelines on CareerJournal.com for career resumes that are applicable to creating and maintaining God's resume in your life. Remember, the following are just guidelines and not commandments. Some people are more comfortable using their personal diary to capture the highlights of the manifestation of God's leadership in their lives. It is your experiences with God, so use whatever you are comfortable with, even if it is your PDA or BlackberryTM. Here are some guidelines to assist you in creating God's resume in your life.
1. Define an objective for the resume: Be specific and concise. Example: "To increase my faith in God by reviewing His goodness and mercies in my life."
2. Use a chronological format for the resume. Begin with the most recent experience or situation where God instructed, taught, counseled or protected you. As best as you could recall, make a note of the date of the event or experience.
3. Focus on God's accomplishments in your life. Ask yourself, "How did I recognize God instructing me, teaching me, counseling me or protecting me during the experience or situation?" and "What did He do in my life that I may want other people to know about so that they can be encouraged?"
4. Use descriptive verbs. Describe your experiences using phrases that contain a past-tense action word. Example: "Two months earlier, God led me to write an article on coping with job loss for others to read. When I lost my job, I was able to use those same guidelines."
5. Keep the resume updated. Update God's resume in your life with new experiences and situations as they occur. As you review them, you would begin to recognize that you have experienced Christian growth over time.
6. Do not focus only on the dramatic events in your life. Note the small events as well since God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.
Do not limit yourself to any specific number of pages since God began to work in your life from the moment you took your first breath; in fact, He initiated that process. He did not start working in your life only after you became a Christian; God was working all along to bring you to Him and He does not stop working in your life when you discover Him. God's resume in your life ceases to expand when you die, but even then, your experiences can be beneficial to others. If you choose to share it with others, God's resume in your life could be past on from generation to generation in your family. However, it may be so personal to you that you choose not to share it. Remember, this is all between you and God.
A Sample of God's Resume in my Life
The best way to help you to create God's resume in your life is to share with you an excerpt from God's resume in mine. You can view an excerpt of God's resume in my life at the website listed below. I encourage you to take the time to develop God's resume in your life. This process will help to reinforce in your mind that all through your life God has been diligently working on your behalf; this will enrich your faith in His leadership. For a free download of a template, you can use to document God's resume in your life, visit http://www.christianstewardship.info/myexperiences.htm.
Christopher Sealey is the author of four books on the topic of Christian stewardship. His writings appears in magazines and Christian websites. More information on him is available at http://www.chrissealey.com