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Finding God's Life for Your Will

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Author, Finding God’s Life for My Will (2019, Waterbrook)

Founder, lead singer of the band Tenth Avenue North since 2000

Worked in church ministry for seven years

Graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic in 2003

Grew up in Virginia and graduated from Fredericksburg Christian School in 1999

Married to Kelly, four young daughters

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Like most believers, Mike has given a lot of thought to God’s will for his life.  He says the Bible makes it clear that His will for all His children is joy, rest, forgiveness, gratitude, and purity of heart.  In terms of  specific plans, he’s landed on this conclusion:  “I’ve come to believe God is much less interested in what we do with our lives and much more concerned with how and why we live our lives.”  Mike says he’s on a journey of finding God’s life for his will, and says that for all Christians that means a never-ending journey of submission.  

One of the ways he says believers often miss God’s will is thinking that spiritual maturity means being a leader.  Mike points out that Jesus never asked anyone to be a leader, but a follower of Him.  The “leader label lie,” as he calls it, relates more to people’s need to be viewed by others as a leader rather than a genuine desire to serve.  “Titles have replaced character,” he says, “ and we gladly exchange one for the other.”  True leadership, he says, comes from following Jesus well.  He recommends we ask ourselves: “Am I letting God use me, or am I trying to use Him?  Am I trying to change God or letting Him change me?  I want His life to change my will.”   

One of the toughest decisions Mike made in his life was whether to marry his girlfriend, Kelly.  They dated for  three and a half years, which, Mike says, was three years and three months too long.  It wasn’t that he didn’t see in her everything he wanted in a wife.  “She was perfect,” he says.  His paralysis stemmed from knowing that saying “yes” to one person meant saying “no” to every other option that might come along.  After breaking up with her five times, he went for a run in the rain and begged God again for clear direction.  The answer he perceived was “I will never leave nor forsake you,” to which Mike responded, “Cool.  But that’s not what I asked!”   The Lord continued to remind Mike of his promises of faithfulness until he started to realize that God wasn’t giving him a plan because He wanted to be the plan. Regarding Kelly, Mike says he realized he needed to stop worrying whether she was the one and start treating her if she were, rather than stringing her along while he weighed all the options.  Once he moved in faith toward what he knew was true, the answer became clear.  

Mike had just started his senior year of high school when and he and two buddies were in a car wreck.  The driver was going 50 mph when the front tire of the car caught the road edge, causing the vehicle to skid violently, lift, flip several times, and land in someone’s lawn.  His friends were jarred, but unharmed.  Mike was thrown out and landed hard on the pavement, fracturing two vertebrae, his skull, and ripping off his right ear.   Mike flatlined five times on the ambulance ride to the hospital, and doctors couldn’t promise he’d ever walk again.  For an active 17-year-old who loved playing sports, that sounded like a death sentence.  During his long recovery, Mike, both depressed and bored out of his mind, asked his parents for a guitar.  The idea was nothing more than a way to pass the time to him, but Mike later saw that as one dream was dying, another was being born.  “Learning to play the guitar shifted my heart from despair to dedication, and it slowly taught my soul how to rest in the process.”  Little did he or anyone know then that not too many years down the road,  he’d make his living in a band.  

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