Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I Learned

The move from Boulder to Junction was a life changing and eventful process in our lives.  Through the experience we learned some principles about God which I wanted to share with you here.  But I do not want you to think that having gone through these things means we really have these lessons nailed.  God continues to lead us from faith to faith in our relationship with Him and often leads us back to the beginning.  But hopefully in the journey we have grown to know Him better.

First of all, when it comes to making a large decision within a marriage, God generally speaks to both husband and wife, but not always at the same time. Often one or the other will have to learn to wait patiently while God nudges the heart in His timing.  And it is God who must work in the heart of our spouse.  We cannot think our nagging or manipulation will accomplish His purposes. (1 Pet. 3:1,2)

Secondly, steps of faith must be taken without always knowing all the details or being exactly sure of God's direction.  Believing without seeing and acting on that belief because you are sure of God who promises is the stuff of faith. Easy to talk about, but hard to practice in the nitty gritty of life. (Heb. 11)

Next, there is a crisis of belief often brought on by obstacles . . . a point of no return when bridges are burned behind us in order for new bridges to be built before us.  The difficult circumstances of our lives do not always mean direction.  Sometimes we must fight against them in order to go in the direction God would ask. (Gen. 12:1-6)

When God moves, nothing is too hard for Him and nothing can stop Him. But when He is about to do a great work, there is often a test of our faith and attacks from Satan to stop the work.  Crucial choices are placed before us which can determine whether we will get on board with what God is doing, or if we will be left behind from His blessing.  However, God's purposes will be accomplished whether we join Him or not.  It is us who miss out by our lack of faith and obedience. (Gen. 37:18-36; 39:1-23)

God also showed us that He prepares us for the task He calls us to.  As I look back on our lives, the simple job of custodial work for the church along with helping out with the youth group prepared us for full time ministry within the church.  We were able to see behind the scenes in the workings of a church, understanding church politics, becoming acutely aware of struggles within. We were made to see the sin nature within every man, even those in leadership, and learn that we could never put ourselves on a pedestal, nor others.  We were not naive in our desire for full time ministry.  God was preparing us for a specific purpose. (Ex. 2 and 3; Heb.11:23-27)

Lastly, in sharing this story with you, I risk others seeking similar experiences in their journey with God.  But our experiences will not be yours, and rarely are they the same twice.  Therefore we cannot seek to copy another's life lessons.  God's principles remain the same, but the way He works through our experiences differs for each of us. (James 1:17)  God doesn't want us to love Him just for the blessings He gives or for the sensational experiences, but rather for who He is.  God directs us as a result of our relationship with Him.  This is our highest goal--to know Christ Jesus on the deepest level possible. (Phil. 3:10)

I hope you have been encouraged through this story of God on the Move from November of 1996.  I'm blessed to revisit that time as it spurs me on to draw ever nearer to God in these days.  God is not done with us yet.  He has more to work through our lives and more to teach us, because "...He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."  (Phil.1:6)  But most of all, He wants us to know Him even further through His Word and the Spirit as they entwine with the experiences we face today.  Thanks for hanging with me on the journey.  I trust you were also blessed.

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