I have been so convicted lately of our need to be always on the lookout to what God would have us do and where He would have us go not what we would like to do or where we would like to go.
It’s just so easy to please ourselves and actually ignore God’s pull on our lives, His prompting and His guidance.
I found myself in this position just recently, well at least over the last 12 months.
Its amazing just how many excuses we can find not to do the will of God. We can just plainly be too busy to even think that God may want something more of us that what we’re prepared to give.
Must admit I was a tad gobsmacked when I, at last, realised that God was indeed talking to me! Really what did I expect? I know what I maybe needed – a smack across the back of the head may have got my attention but our God doesn’t work like that – maybe more to the pity.
As I said, for the last 12 months I was feeling disorientated in our church. I say “I” when actually I mean “we” for both Sue and I had been feeling the same way for completely different reasons, but the outcome was the same.
Amazing is our God that He uses different methods of communication for different people. For me personally it was a feeling of unrest, like I had left something undone or forgotten, For Sue it was more definite but hadn’t been going on and on for as long as my feelings of unrest and incompleteness.
When we finally gave in and really listened to what God was saying we were both completely taken aback that he wanted to use us in this most unexpected way and at our time of life.
Here was I being happy to sit back in our huge church in our huge auditorium soaking up the amazing messages. Sitting on my blue plastic stackable chair listening to one talented artist after another extolling praise and worship with extraordinary songs with astounding lyrics that blew me away Sunday after Sunday.
I was comfortable (well as much as one can be on a blue stackable chair) warming my place each week, paying my dues and making friends . No one bothered me much and I loved worshipping God and joining in on the social side of things with folk my age doing what folk my age do – just enjoying each others company and attending growth groups.
Still underneath all of that there was this feeling of something missing.
You know God isn’t finished with any of us! If you think you may have completed your work here on earth then like me you may have to think again! You may retire from your employment but never from the work and servitude of working for God.
I like to jog (in fact I feel I am addicted: sigh) and one cold wintry day at 5am I jumped out of bed. a quick word of prayer, pulled on my jogging clothes, wired myself to my NanoPod and my inspirational music and set off.
The gloom was pretty heavy that early morning, the moon had waned and no-one was around, a slight mist but not that heavy. Not far from our home is a busy road that winds itself through a good old fashioned Aussie bush. Beside the road and running alongside the bush is a straight footpath and that is where I concentrate my jog.
At that hour of the morning there is very few traffic and I guess it is just a bit gloomy with mist emanating from the bush and just a few street lights trying to shine through. I usually tune off and listen to the music and have my quiet time with Jesus – it’s our special time together and often I completely “zone out’.
On the opposite side of the road there is no footpath just a rough verge of stones and potholes and I noticed through the gloom a young guy jogging on that side. “Strange” I thought and wondered why he didn’t cross the road to the more level path.
When he was opposite me I was surprised when he called my name. At first I couldn’t make out who he was though the darkness but soon realised it was a friend that once had also been at our church.
He told me how he never jogs down this way and how he had actually been lost in the bush and finally stumbled out onto the very road and very place where I was jogging. I had never seen him there before and I have never seen him there since.
We jogged together and as we did we chatted about our families and our churches and he shared with me about this tiny little ‘church plant’ that his congregation had commenced, would you believe, in our very next suburb.
I knew immediately that was where God had intended us to go – I knew with utmost certainty He was leading us there to this little church.
Feeling a bit like Moses, my first thought had been, no Lord – I’m way too old – what can we possibly offer – I’m comfortable where I am in this sterile wilderness of my own making – I can’t speak or sing – I can contribute nothing!
We stepped out with Jesus – scary to leave friends and move out of your comfort zone but God is such an amazing guide – He tells us just to follow that’s all! – Just do your very best for Him and He again promises us that he will indeed take care of everything else.
Since leaving the huge and joining the tiny, we have indeed been blessed – honestly there is no better feeling in the whole world than to know that you are in the place where God wants you to be. His will and plan for us is perfect and in Him there is fulfilment and satisfaction.
So, don’t get too comfortable where you are and never be surprised by God no matter how old or young you are. In the words of the Late Keith Green “Just keep doing your best and pray that it’s blessed and Jesus takes care of the rest”
My prayer for you this week is that you will be open to God’s leading in your life. Be completely honest with Him – tell Him your anxieties and fears as to where and how He will lead you but be super sure you have counted the cost.
God bless you as you leave your future entirely in His care trusting and following Him – the Author and Finisher of our Faith.