Posts Tagged ‘God’s faithfulness’

Doubt is common to us all, especially doubts in matters of faith, but there is (at least) one doubt none of us can afford. The children of Israel had just been released from Egypt. They were headed to the promised land. This was the land flowing with milk and honey, the land God had promised them since the time of Abraham centuries before. And now they were knocking on the door of all that God had promised. Moses sent spies into the land to check it out. They saw the land was everything God promised, stocked abundantly with everything they could have ever needed. The land was indeed good, but there was a problem. Huge people and fortified cities were throughout the land and doubt started knocking on the door of their hearts. That doubt became so extreme that by the time the spies returned, they worked the people up into such a frenzy that they wanted to kill Moses and the two faithful spies, Joshua and Caleb and then return to slavery in Egypt.

Their problem can be summed up in one word, doubt, but the doubt was specific. They doubted that God could deliver everything He promised. That doubt carried a death sentence of sorts. All the people who doubted died in the desert and the promised land was received by their children after having to suffer with their faithless parents for forty years. Their doubt was deadly and even the faithful, not to mention their children paid the price. The question is, could this happen to you?

Think about it, we are surrounded by God’s promises. They are all over Scripture and there is much ground to be gained for God’s Kingdom. The One who promised never to leave nor forsake us, has called us to go into all the world and make disciples. He has gifted us for that very purpose. We have the call and we have the resources. There is only one thing we lack. Will we have the courage to step out in faith and receive the promises? As soon as we set out there is this very real temptation to look at all that is against us, and there is a lot going against us. Our society is increasingly hostile to the good news, our faith is seen as politically incorrect, and while there is very little outward physical persecution, there can be no doubt that there are plenty of people who make it their mission to bully us into silence. These are the giants we face and the question is will we move forward or will we retreat and wander while our churches die and our children succumb to the whims of society or will we move forward in our call. The thing to remember is nothing is bigger or more powerful that the One who goes with us. If we wander in this desert, it is because we choose it.

Here’s the thing. The One who called you is faithful and in Him, you can do whatever it is He has called you to do. With God al things are possible and you can do all things through Him who gives you the strength. Yes, you can do whatever God has called you to do. You just have to face the giants an trust God to be bigger.

I had a full day planned with lot’s of productivity laid out for today. I headed out to the hospital to visit one of the guys from my church, then as I headed to the church, I felt a clunk. all of the sudden I had the stunning realization that my van was no longer shifting. The transmission had a pretty serious problem. I limped it onto a church parking lot, called AAA and waited for the tow truck. I had the mighty MacBook with me so I got a few things done, but right now my back log is pretty large. At this point I can go one of two directions. I can get frustrated and give up or I can double down tomorrow and get things done.

It’s not really even a choice. Frustration gets me nowhere. My goals will be hampered by the stresses of life sooner or later and so will yours. Giving up will serve to do nothing but put us further from our dreams not to mention God’s call. I an do al things through Christ who strengthens me. It was somewhat ironic that one of the things I finished while waiting for the tow truck was this cartoon for
I do believe this quote to be true. God always knows exactly what He is doing, even when He doesn’t seem to want to let me in on what he’s doing. The best we can do is trust Him and move forward.

Even aggravating things like broken vehicles might provide a way to bring Him glory. I was conscious of this as I dealt with the other involved people. MY van had just been in for transmission service about three or four weeks ago and the thought of it having to go back to the dealership on a roll back would normally have been enough to put me into a tirade. I decided instead to treat people the way I would want to be treated. As a result I got excellent customer service from the dealership. I believe these folks will get to the source of th problem and get it fixed. God once again has demonstrated Himself to be faithful. For some reason today, God decided to allow my plans to be confounded. I choose to believe that one day I will understand why it happened and in the mean time, I choose to trust Him regardless.

There is one thing I know about my plans versus God’s plan. His is always right and always better. If He messes with your plans, trust Him anyway.

He is good!

faithfulI’m on an adult coloring book Facebook group, and someone posted asking for us to describe 2015 in one word. My word was “fulfilled.” At the beginning of the year, I thought it was going to be “creativity” and there was some of that involved for sure, and “fulfilled” definitely sums up how I feel, but when I look at the year from a wider scope, I have to say “faithful.” Here’s why…

In May, I lost the job I’ve had since 1999. It was an amicable parting, my position was outsourced. I’d been praying asking God to let me know when it was time to go and, I guess this was His way of telling me. It was expected, but I have to admit I was still kind of scared. Full time income is hard to replace, my speaking schedule was not real full, and I wasn’t sure what I would do. My wife and I in our prayers heard another word, “trust.” So we did. All of the sudden my schedule was packed. I ministered at least once every week from May to September. God was faithful. October and November were looking a little slight, but in August I got a call from my church district asking if I would consider serving as an interim pastor. The term would be October to April, the term when my speaking is traditionally the slowest. Again God was faithful.

God brought me all the way through and there are some pretty bright possibilities in front of me. It’s funny, I’ve wanted to be in full time ministry for years and fear of the uncertain held me back. Losing my job was scary, but God was faithful and He provided. He’s always faithful. He can be trusted every time.

Of course, there was another element of faithfulness involved. I couldn’t just sit on my hands and do nothing. I had to be faithful too. I had to do my part and work hard. I’ve got a wonderful family and I am really blessed, and have been for many years, but when it comes to my work/career/ministry this has been the most fulfilling of my life. God is faithful.

Trust Him and do what He is calling you to do. He is faithful.

Recently, I ministered at one of my favorite places, a camp here in Pennsylvania. These folks have had me back four years in a row and it’s always a great group. I love this place. I was a little struck by the lack of activity when I rolled up to the place. Usually there are kids running everywhere. I panicked a little, and double checked my calendar. No, I had the right date, so I began to set up. It turns out I was there just after the last campers left for the season. This would be more of a community presentation along with the staff who had stayed behind to help with a conference that would start the next day.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I had a brand new presentation to do for them (they’ve had me every year and have seen all my previous full-length presentations.) I’d done a similar presentation to this one in another place, but massively changed it to do it for these folks. I had a smaller presentation I could have fallen back on and part of me wanted to just do that, since it would be a smaller group.

Here’s the thing. I prayed about this presentation and felt led to do this presentation for these people. God didn’t give me a number. He didn’t say, “Do this unless only a few people are there.” He simply led me toward this presentation, so I did it and people said they were blessed.

Why do I share this? Sometimes we are far to caught up in how many people are in a room. The people in the room that night were no less deserving of my best because there weren’t 50 or 100 or 1,000 people there. I prayed what I pray before every presentation, that God would use me and the presentation He gave me, to His glory. These things we do are not measured in how many people see it. They are measured in how God works in the lives of the people who see it. I may not see what comes of my ministry, but my ultimate audience, the One I say I actually do this for, sees it. My job, our job, is to be faithful with what He has given and trust Him with what success means for whatever it is that He calls us to do.

He is faithful… Will you be faithful too?

You may have noticed my posts have been a little sparse the last few days. I missed a couple of days and yesterday I just posted a short post about a truly nice little video. The reason for this is pretty simple, I was really sick. I am a little better but not totally out of the woods so I would appreciate your prayers.

Here’s what happened. I awoke feeling a little off but I had a presentation that evening and although I don’t consider what I do to be a show, in a sense “the show must go on.” A church asked me to come in to sort of kick off their Lenten season with my presentation Pictures of Jesus. The tough part about being a single person operation is the there is no one else to take my place. As the day wore on, I left work to go to the Dr., got some meds and went back to work. (I didn’t feel right about taking the day off only to go and speak in the evening.) By the time it was time to leave work and head to the church I was a shivering shaking mess. I thought about canceling about 100 times, but I knew people were depending on me. My wife, Dawn, ended up driving me there and helping me set up before heading off to her evening’s commitment.

I did the presentation and it went very well. I can’t explain that beyond saying all glory to God, because I know physically, on my own, I know I was unable. Dawn came back to help me pack out and drove me home. I was done.

I missed the next two days of work. I was literally unable, having spent the majority of those days horizontal and wrapped in blankets. I’m going back today, and mainly because I have a deadline that can’t be missed. Otherwise I’d still be in bed.

So why do I share this? Well first please pray for me that my recovery would be complete. Secondly, I want to tell you that serving God is not always easy, nor does he always remove every obstacle. Some days He even lets us get really sick right before we are supposed to do something for Him and His Kingdom. I don’t know why He would do that, but it would seem that maybe He wants us to depend on Him. When everything in me said quit, He came through. Thirdly, faithfulness and responsibility are really important. I was too sick to do the presentation but it was too late to cancel. People were depending on me so I had to be there. I did my best to be faithful and God honored that. Also with a looming deadline at work, though I could not go to work, I did spend some time yesterday, bundled up and on my laptop preparing some work for today. I may not have been able to be productive at the office, but I also couldn’t leave my employer in a lurch. Lastly, there are times where your body will make you rest. It’s best if you don’t let it get to that point.

Sometimes life throws obstacles at us. We have to be faithful and responsible.