Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There Is Power In The Blood"1 (Lyrics)
In my spiritual journey, I've discovered that God often leads in ways that we don't understand. He simply requires our obedience. He has something in mind for us further down the road. Like a book, our life has chapters. Each chapter builds on the one before.
For instance, for several years, I reluctantly led Bible classes. Like Moses, my speech is hesitant. I love to write, not speak. Often, my mind delivers a total blank. I avoid large groups because I am hearing-impaired. But the leaders in my church don't jump on just any warm body to do a job. After prayer, they are sure that they have found the right person for the job, and I trust their discernment.
In preparing for the Bible classes, to make it easier on myself, I went to a huge amount of trouble reading the leader's books and researching God's Word to formulate suitable questions. I loved the research, but I disliked the classes. Wanting to avoid all eyes on me, I simply showed a video, divided the class into smaller groups, and handed out the Scripture-based questions to search and discuss. All I did was sit in, but I always felt relieved at the end of class.
Another reason that I resisted leading Bible classes is that they were in the evening, and I don't like driving at night. When our second vehicle died, we decided not to replace it, and I prayed for a ministry at home. Immediately, two opportunities arose: writing devotionals and marking Bible studies to encourage prisoners.
Despite knowing that I was in God's perfect will in carrying out my new tasks, I felt guilty for giving up the other. False guilt really complicates life! Then God showed me:
Matthew 25:21b – You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. (NIV)
Had I not studied God's Word in order to prepare for Bible classes, I couldn't have been part of writing ministries that reach many more. But even as I moved on, I was looking back. Once again, God showed me:
Luke 9:62 – No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. (NIV)
Recently, I spent several months training for an online ministry, but when I graduated, the door closed because I couldn't honestly sign the contract. Still, I knew that God had a reason. Sure enough, a few days later, my prison ministry offered me the opportunity of using my discipleship training with one long-term prisoner, working all the way through a single course, instead of answering a different prisoner and lesson each time.
God has a plan, but He doesn't reveal it to us all at once. He requires trust and obedience. We may not like the chapter that we are currently in, but it is necessary before we can move forward. To complete the story, we must delve into the next chapter wholeheartedly.
Prayer: Father, give us the courage to step out in faith and not to look back. Help us to trust You when we don't understand. Help us to embrace the future as it arrives, and to use our story to bring others to You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.