God’s Will

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September 12

Monday, September 12th, 2022

I don’t suspect I’m alone when I say I have asked for signs. Sort of like Gideon’s fleece in Judges 6. Gideon seemed to be the “least likely to succeed” candidate to lead God’s people vs the Midianites. Gideon thought so as well. His fleece proposition is legendary and has served as a “go to” for many individuals seeking God’s will. The test was/is simple: “If the fleece is wet and the ground dry then I know it is You.” That wasn’t enough so next time around it was “If the fleece is dry and the ground wet then I know it is You.” It happened both times as Gideon proposed.

That “fleece method” has been the way of many over the years. I’m one of them. I now wonder about the wisdom of that. I have learned something about myself: I can make whatever happens to fit my narrative. Many years ago I did that with buying a car. “If this happens then I’ll know.” Well…it happened but there was another glitch. Again, I laid out that fleece and the same thing happened. The third time was the charm. I finagled and bargained until I was convinced the choice was right. I got the car. It was a dumb purchase and it laid the groundwork for misreading God’s will on a number of levels.

I think I would be correct in assuming what I did bordered on superstition. God’s will is a mystery and is not meant to be “found” by conjuring up mystical means. Maybe the important thing to do is to stop looking for “signs” and just start seeking and following God’s guidance.

And that leads me to Principle #6…tomorrow.

August 17

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

As I said in yesterday’s post (and so eloquently put by Ryan in his comments), one of the hardest things to do is to give up control, or at least the semblance of it. This is especially true when a decision needs to be made and one has several options.

Back in the early 80s, I found myself in a situation like that. I had been pastoring a church that just about killed my spirit. It was very legalistic, i.e. “We are right; you are wrong; and we will argue about it.” I didn’t know that at first, plus I was desparate to find a church since I’d been asked to leave from the previous church by the Sr. Pastor. To make matters tougher, money was very tight and I went through some burn-out.

Anyway, I interviewed at one church and scheduled a time to preach. In the meantime, another church asked for an interview which I had. The conundrum was the second church was more inviting to me but I had no promises with them. Church #1 has already had me come to preach and asked me to come.  (I had scheduled the interview before the “trial” sermon). What should I do?

I asked a friend. His words were wise: “Bill, there is no right or wrong. Take church #1. You already know their decision. You can’t make a wrong decision in this because God will be with you no matter what you choose. He will not abandon you.”

He was right. While the 3 years there were good ones, learning ones, and ended dubiously, the other church never called me back. In fact, several months later-six maybe-a young couple from that church reached out to me and found out what happened. They not only profusely apologized but sent some expense money (out of their own pocket).

My issue was control. I was unsure at the fork in the road and needed to make a decision. I wanted it to be THE. RIGHT. ONE. At least in my mind. I reached out to my friend because I wanted him to tell me what only God could. In a way, he did.

He told me to “Trust God.” He doesn’t make mistakes. And even though I may choose the one that gives me a rockier road, He will not abandon me.

TRUST GOD at the fork in the road. Seeking His desire does not give a wrong choice. One may be tougher and bring some learning lessons, but neither can be wrong.