Friday, December 27, 2019

God Doesn’t Reveal His Specific Purpose For Us All At Once

God reveals just enough of His plan for us to obey. Then, over time, He progressively reveals what it is that He is leading us to. I doubt that Joseph saw himself sitting at the right hand of Pharaoh when he was sitting in the hole his brothers had thrown him into. He did have the dream about them kneeling before him (Genesis 37:5-8), but he did not know exactly how that would happen. Rather than blame God for what happened, he trusted God and did the best he was able in spite of his circumstances. You might imagine what it is that God has in mind for you, but don’t expect it to happen on your timeline or according to you plans.

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps” ― Proverbs 16:9

God very often leads you to a place that stretches your faith. When we left Montgomery for Mississippi to help for a few days, we had no idea what was to follow.  We found the church where we were supposed to establish a Red Cross shelter and met with the church staff the Friday morning after Katrina made landfall. They had gone with virtually no sleep since Katrina made landfall four days earlier. We had a simple shelter organized and ready for evacuees by 2:00. Martie and I expected to be there for a maximum of 2 weeks. God had other ideas. 

Martie was helping process shelter residents and host volunteers. I was in charge of receiving shipments of food and supplies, organizing food distribution to the community and managing a 24/7 kitchen which fed volunteers, shelter residents, and anyone who needed a hot meal. I was sending pickups and utility trailers into the neighborhoods with food and supplies. 

We also had a medical clinic in the foyer of the church run by volunteer doctors and nurses. They provided emergency aid. After the first week, most of the initial team from our church returned to Montgomery, having run out of vacation time from their jobs. Martie and I stayed. We had already left our secular jobs to join the Military Missions Network ministry but instead we found ourselves in a vital ministry on the Gulf Coast. 

“Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.” – Genesis 12:1-4

Notice that God did not tell Abraham about his destination. A land that I will show you – that was it. And that was enough for Abraham to pack it up and go.  Could you do that if God said “Go”? Would you do that? How old was Abraham? Do you think that Abraham was settled in his life where he was? How difficult would it be for you to be uprooted from your established life?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

What old things in your life must be left behind? Are you willing to leave them or do you want to take them with you? Largely the old things are what you trust in – depend upon for security and the manner in which you live your life – habits – preferences. Do you believe that God is sovereign over where you are, what you have, and where you are going? Why do you believe that and what would be the evidence of your belief? God sees the heart. “Where ever He leads I’ll go.” For most of us, knowing  where God is leading us, before we go is critical to our agreeing to go – to risk what we have for something we don’t know.

When you place your faith fully on God, it won’t matter the distance that God asks you to travel, the destination He has in mind for you, or what it is that you must leave behind.  It won’t matter if your heart is wholly devoted to God.

“Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” – Luke 17:32-33

That was Jesus speaking.  If you recall, Lot’s wife looked back after God had told them not to.  Why? Because she had left her heart in Sodom.  God had said go to where it will be safe for you but she chose to love what she was leaving behind more.

The struggle Christians have is giving up their devotion to worldly things.  Not all of those things are evil, but they can become gods that we worship and are devoted to more than Jehovah God. God may not ask you to go far from where you live, but He will ask, even demand, that your heart travels far from the things that have gotten between you and Him.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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