Monday, January 6, 2020

In God’s Economy, There are No Coincidences

God weaves a web of relationships that is improbable and, more likely, impossible for man to orchestrate. When I meet people, I always ask the Lord ― “Why am I meeting them?” I can’t see very far down the path He has me on ― but I know that some of the people I meet along the way will play a part in my journey and my mission which is to point people to Jesus.

I believe that the Holy Spirit works at “both ends of the stick” at the same time. What I mean is that if He is leading, then He is also preparing hearts to agree that “This is the way” (Isaiah 30:21). If we look at people as the source of our provision, we are looking too low. We must look to the hills! (Psalm 121)  There are no coincidences in the life of a Saint. God is always at work, all around you. The question is, “Can you see Him at work?” Even in the mundane, simple things, God is at work.

 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” ― Romans 8:28

It seemed that each time we solved one problem, another one would pop up. It is a little like that arcade game where you hit a gopher’s head with a mallet only to have another pop up. The more you hit, the more heads pop up. While we were in Haiti, we raised and provided funding for 6 church schools. We had the salaries; we had the books; we even had the uniforms by the providence of God. A pastor shared a Haitian proverb, “Empty stomachs have no ears.” Most of the children were coming to the schools without having eaten and would not eat until they got home. If there was food to eat. I recall Martie measuring children for uniforms in La Vallee. When one little boy took his shirt off to try on a uniform shirt, you could see all of his ribs. Martie cried.

We needed to feed the children (Matthew 25), but how to do it. By this point there were several hundred children in the schools. That represented thousands of meals each week. And we would need water and a place to cook the food.  

While in Haiti, I had two phones. One for the U.S. and one for Haiti. One day I received a call on my Haiti phone from the U.S. It was a bit unusual. It was a man, Lou, who lived near Chicago. He told me that he had been visiting his uncle in Demotte, Indiana. Churches from same Demotte that helped so much with hundreds of sheds in Mississippi. I had sent an update to the churches that had pro-vided volunteers and financial support. In the last up-date I mentioned that I needed food for the children. The churches would make copies of my updates and distribute them to church members. Lou’s uncle showed him the update and asked if Lou knew any-thing about it. Lou did not and that is why he called me. You see, Lou had been providing food to school children in Jacmel, the same city we were working in, for the past 16 years. He said he would be in Jacmel in two weeks and would like to meet to talk about how we might partner in feeding children. We would need to pay for shipping, but the food was free. Do you see God’s hand at work?

“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means ‘queen of the Ethiopians’). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’ Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: ‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.’ The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.” – Acts 8:26-35

Philip was prompted by the Spirit to connect with the Ethiopian.   At the same time, the Ethiopian was reading Isaiah – seeking God. Has anything like that ever happened to you?  Prompted by the Spirit to speak to someone, and they were ready to hear. Did you see it as God at work or did you just right it off as an amazing coincidence.

 God is a “just in time” God. He is never late. We may become impatient, but God is always on time – His time.  When I meet people, I always ask myself, and the Lord, “Why am I meeting this person?” “How is God going to use this for His purpose and glory?” 

When I received the phone call about the food for the children, I knew the impossibility of me orchestrating that connection.  So often we miss what God is doing in and through us and the people we meet.  What He did through men and women in the Bible, He is doing today.  The same Spirit is at work in all of us.  Are you ready and willing to be used by God? God is ready and willing to use you for His glory and the good of others.

Paul wrote and I pray in agreement:

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as His mighty strength.” – Ephesians 1:17-19  

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

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