I continue to be blown away by how God keeps meeting my needs, even if they are silly. I came to the decision yesterday that I would seek certification in spiritual direction through a program offered by Perkins down in Dallas. All week, or maybe it's been longer, but intently this week, it has been in my face that I need to make a decision on my future ministry. So I started looking around on the Web and looking into what the Methodist church requires for certification in specialized ministry. This is what I found lying at my feet. Perkins is doing a two-year offsite program here at Mt, Eagle, Arkansas! They meet six times over the two years on weekends, and I think Mt. Eagle is only four hours from here. So in talking with Alex, it all started to come together in my mind and heart. Then I got the brochure from Perkins, printed it out and started to read it. It was like I could hear God chuckling. Really, I think I heard it! It was as if God had been waiting for me to find this. There was such a sweetness that came over me, I was taken aback for a minute until I thought about it. I keep hearing, "For such a time as this." Heck, Carness introduced Alex and me to the church on Wednesday and prayed, thanking God that he had brought us here for such a time as this. I mean, when we are truly tuned into God and seeking Him and his will, it starts being written on everything.
So this morning, after my run, I sat down to do my devotion, and this is what God spoke to me through Dr. Charles Stanley. Bear with me; this is a little long, but it's worth it:
Trust God to provide. James opens his letter with a strong warning that those who doubt the Lord can expect nothing from Him (1:6-7). God's trustworthiness is clear in Scripture and in believers' lives, but our waving confidence undermines His work.
Wait upon His timing. (1Sam. 13:9-13) King Saul took over the prophet Samuel's duty and made a pre-battle sacrifice to God. Like so many people who manipulate circumstances and timing, Saul was dissatisfied with the results. He won the war but lost not only God's favor but also his kingdom. No one gets what he wants by supplying his own need.
Accept responsibility (Prov. 19:15, 20:4). God does not open a door to opportunity while we're lying on the couch. We have to be on the lookout. If we need a job, we should be out making applications. If we want to know the Father's direction for a hard situation, we need to be seeking Him regularly through prayer ad His Word. The Lord goes before us to soften hearts, but we must do our share.
God knows our needs, and He has committed Himself to meeting every one. But He does not make promises in a vacuum. We have a responsibility to trust Him, be patient, and do our part. Then we leave it to the Lord to move heaven and earth to give us what we require.
Is that not cool? So I am stepping out once again to see if this is where I need to go and what I need to do. If it's not, I know that God will close doors. If it is, well—here we go!
“The burden of suffering seems to be a tombstone hung around our necks. Yet in reality it is simply the weight necessary to hold the diver down while he is searching for pearls.” -- Julius Richter