Isaiah 55:9 – “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Over the years, the Lord has directed me to do some things, and most of the time my answer was an immediate “yes”. Then, I must admit that there have been times when I haven’t been so agreeable. Those were the times when what He was asking did not make sense to me in the natural and I knew it would be incredibly challenging. One of those times was a little over two years ago when God asked us to come to Sheridan, Montana, and pastor a small dying country church. It made no sense at all. I have pastored in large cities for over thirty years but never a small town like Sheridan. I had been pastoring in Dallas, Texas with over six million people, and moving to Sheridan with about eight hundred people and only three thousand in the valley made no sense to me. When God told me that this was His will, I did not sleep for a month – wrestling and arguing with Him. But God finally won. We have now been here for two years and 3 Rivers Family Church is a growing body of believers that looks like our community. Families, teenagers, moms and dads, young adults, and grandparents. We now have a full band, an anointed worship team made up of young people and experienced musicians. And the Word that the Lord gave me while still in Dallas, “He handpicked me to bring revival to Ruby Valley”, is starting to happen. It always pays to trust and obey!!
Sometimes, God asks us to do hard things, uncomfortable things, and even strange things.
Imagine being Hosea. God asked Hosea the Prophet to marry Gomer, a prostitute, and have children with her. Believe me, that would not go over with denominational headquarters. Yet she was God’s choice. God said that His instructions to Hosea were an illustration of how Israel was acting like a prostitute, by turning away from the Lord and worshiping other gods. Hosea obeyed God, though it could not have been easy.
Just as God gave out special assignments to accomplish His purposes through unconventional ways, He does the same thing today. There are times when God will tell us what He wants us to do, why He wants us to do it, and what He will do as a result of our obedience; but sometimes He isn’t that specific. Sometimes, it’s just “Be willing and obedient” (Isaiah 1:19). We won’t always know why God asks us to do something, or why He allows somethings to happen. Despite not knowing, we must still trust that God knows what He is doing and always has a good plan (Jeremiah 29:11). That is why this life with Jesus is all about trust. Religion can never give you what only a relationship can provide for you. Relationship with Jesus will always cause you to trust and have confidence in Him. By “Trusting in the Lord with all your heart and leaning not on your own understanding,” will He make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5,6). By trusting simply means that it will work out for good. You might not be able to clearly see or understand right now, but He’s about to bring something good out of this season of testing. You will be blessed! So, keep trusting Him through it all.
Relationship with Jesus will always cause you to trust Him.
Our role is not to figure it out but to trust and be obedient, to trust Him through everything. It pleases our Father when we surrender to His will – even though we do not understand. God calls that faith. Abraham did not know where he was going when God asked him to leave everything that was familiar. But Abraham believed God and stepped out in faith and God said that Abraham was righteous because of that (Genesis 15:6). No matter how difficult, unclear, or uncomfortable the circumstance, God wants us to trust Him.
If your present season is one with a lack of clarity, God is challenging you and stretching you to grow your faith by trusting Him. By trusting Him, He will do greater and more than you could ever do on your own. Hebrews 10:38 – “My righteous ones will live by faith (trust).” Our Father wants to abundantly bless you. So, trust and obey.
My prayer for you today is that you grow to trust the Lord with your whole heart, in all things.
Pointing People to Jesus,
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”