May 31, 2016

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.

It’s interesting, but this bit of wisdom would be deemed “unspiritual” in some circles. “If God said to do it, then do it, whatever anyone says,” would be the response of some. That is true enough, but unless you are close enough to the Lord to take dictation, you had better consider carefully how and when to do whatever it is you feel He is directing. This is where input from others is very helpful. I have seen people get into all sorts of trouble over personal prophecy, even when the prophetic word was perhaps right on, but they didn’t take time to consider what the Lord’s timing might be or how He wanted them to do whatever it was He had said to them. And that’s not even touching on whether or not the “Word” was genuine or not! God will indeed enable us to do whatever He tells us to do, but pride is as always a huge trap. If you think, “I’ve heard from God, so I don’t need to listen to anyone else,” you are asking for trouble. Of course, who you listen to is of great importance. Get spiritual advice from people who have demonstrated they are close to the Lord! The devil will always supply naysayers; I’m not at all saying we should listen to them. However, even Mary hurried off to talk with Elizabeth after hearing from Gabriel. I don’t think we’re closer to God than she was! In her case, when was never in question, but how had a lot of options, and I’m sure the two women prayed over both their pregnancies a great deal. In large-scale projects there are a lot of regulations that must be met, with licenses, authorizations and the like. Failing to investigate those can cause needless roadblocks. Frankly, those don’t feel very spiritual, but they are part of “rendering unto Caesar,” and they must not be overlooked. There, too, prayer is essential, because God – and sometimes only God – can cut through red tape. If God said to do something, it will happen, and we must not let go of that assurance, but we must do so with all humility and respect, so that He will receive all the glory.

This is intensely personal right now, because it looks like the Lord is giving us the land next to the church building, and we feel He is telling us to build a group home for seniors on it. All sorts of things seem to be falling into place for that, but acting in presumption will guarantee failure. In the first place the very idea seems absurd for a congregation whose average attendance for fiscal 2015 was 9.5! However, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27) We aren’t to look at our own strength and give up, but neither are we to ignore all the issues that have to be dealt with. Not only do all the permits and certifications have to be cleared, we have to have a pricing structure that will allow us to pay staff reasonably. We want Christian staff, certainly, but we aren’t to ask them to work for nothing. The community is going to be watching our every move. If we are humble and obedient to God, with the wisdom that comes from fearing Him only, then this will be a powerful magnet to draw people into His kingdom. If not, then it will be a colossal failure that will convince people that Christians are idealistic fools. He will always have the perfect answer for every issue, but we have got to be humble enough to hear Him, however and through whomever He speaks to us.

Father, it is easy to get excited and/or overwhelmed at what it looks like You are doing. Help us rejoice in You without getting so excited we overlook the steps You have for us to take. This is certainly a long-term project once it is established; keep us from rushing the preparation. However, keep us also from holding back when You open doors. May we recognize Your provision and receive it, not only financially and materially but also in wisdom. May we be effective witnesses for our Lord, on all levels, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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One Response to May 31, 2016

  1. Pingback: Epically Awesome Award | Never Backward

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