Following God’s Plans; July 8, 2017

1 Kings 11:38 “If you do whatever I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you.”

Don’t you know Jeroboam was blown out of the water by this prophecy! The problem was, just like we all tend to do, Jeroboam focused on the promises and overlooked the conditions. He was obviously a man of great ability and potential, but he tried to figure out how to make all this happen humanly speaking, instead of inquiring of God as to His plan of action. One wonders how history would have changed had he been more like David spiritually, recognizing his utter dependence on God and acting accordingly. However, he had never known David personally, so the references to David in the prophecy just made him think of military victories and the like, from the stories he had heard. Much like King Saul, he doesn’t seem to have had a personal relationship with the God of Israel. Having received a personal prophecy of this magnitude, he probably figured that he was fixed for life, and didn’t have to worry about anything. Like Solomon, he is a case history of how not to respond to the blessings of God. The Bible has a lot of those! We are back to Paul’s admonition: “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12) The minute we think we’re OK in our own strength, we are in grave danger. When we are submitted and obedient to God we indeed have nothing to be anxious about, but thinking we can go it on our own puts us on the edge of the tallest of cliffs.

This is something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. Right now it looks like things are falling into place for the elder-care facility we want to build, but the hazards and pitfalls are myriad, and I know I don’t have the skills to navigate through successfully. That knowledge may be my biggest strength! In the first place, the finances involved are huge, compared to the history of this church, not to mention my own personal history. I know that God is never at a loss for money, and “Where God guides, He provides.” However, if I am presumptive, I won’t receive that provision. I know that organizational and administrative skills that I don’t have are called for, both in the planning and the operation of the facility. I am to seek God at every turn, not simply to know what I am to do but more importantly, whom to ask to do what I cannot. I have a life history of attempting anything at all on my own, with varying degrees of success. This project is too important, and affects too many people, for me to let my pride get in the way. As Don Moen’s song says, “God will make a way where there seems to be no way.” However, if I try to make my own way, I will miss His.

Father, thank You for this very timely Word. I go this morning to sign the contract to purchase the land. That’s a major step, but it’s just one of very many. Help me be humble before You to recognize each step in turn, not trying to run ahead or lag behind, but listening obediently to You. May all of Your plans for this facility and for this church be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory, drawing many into Your kingdom for their salvation. 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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