This happened to me last night, not only to me but to over 500 other believers. The whole room basically shut down. I suspect many did not even hear the word spoken last night because of the disappointment. For the past year we have all been attending a Saturday night service at our church and loving it. This service was in addition to two services on Sunday morning.
For me, this service was an answer to prayer. We had actually been attending Saturday night services at the only other two churches in our part of town for the past 6 months, but neither was feeding us. Many of you know of some of the medical challenges I experience and this was the perfect answer. My husband does not like big gatherings, so for him, it was an answer to prayer. For others, it may have been the only way they could attend church if they worked on Sunday. Because of the smaller gathering, it was more comfortable to invite non-believers so that they would not be overwhelmed. There could be dozens of reasons, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter. Why would I say that? The decision was not ours to make. Our decision is whether or not we will truly take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)
I can only imagine the myriad of emotions going through the room. My mind immediately went to the throne to ask what this meant for me; however, it didn’t stop many of the thoughts entering my mind as to why this wasn’t going to be very good for me. “For me”. Did you catch that? God did, and His response was to have me look around the room and He filled my heart with compassion for the others in the room. God’s Presence was always in this service, many had come to salvation this past year, where were they in trusting God? How strong was their relationship with Christ? How would they handle the change?
As I kept God as my focus, ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’ (Jeremiah 29:13), God spoke to my heart and reminded me, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Yes, it would be challenging, but He has already overcome! I needed to focus on Him to overcome the challenges in my body and pave the way to victory.
As I continued to listen to the pastor’s teaching, the Spirit began to make alive the reason I was to trust Him to continue to stay in this church, despite the change. When I got home I prayed and journaled and asked God to confirm what I was hearing because my heart’s desire is to be in alignment and agreement with Him. Here’s what happened when I submitted, without any hindrance or hesitation to the Holy One. I had 3 dreams that were basically the same, confirmation of 3 witnesses, and then the first devotion I opened this morning poured out His heart to me and gave me the scripture that titles this writing. I’ll share just a few excerpts that He spoke to me. “I am leading you along the high road, but there are descents as well as ascents.” “Disruptions to your routine highlight your dependence on Me.” “Trusting acceptance of trials brings blessings that far outweigh them all.” Lastly, “Breathe deep draughts of My presence, and hold tightly to My hand.” These are taken from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, January 18. I sought God’s direction only and I found Him and He answered, glory hallelujah! ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3) God is so faithful and just waiting for us to turn to Him.
What is your affliction today? What is your trial or challenge? You may be thinking that my situation is nothing compared to what you are going through, and I would agree. This situation is lighter for me, but it may be the Grand Canyon for someone else who is new to the faith, who is just learning to stand on His foundation, so that the shifting sands don’t damage or destroy the ground he is standing on. I believe that is why the Lord wanted me to share this situation because we all are navigating something, and regardless of how important you think that situation may be, it’s never too small for Jesus! He wants to be in charge of EVERY part of our lives. But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” (James 4:6) If I had refused to turn my thoughts to Christ, it would have become a great stumbling block for me to follow my flesh because I would then have stepped out of the covering of God! I believe humility is a life long walk to achieve, but I believe that God’s will is for us to strive for humility in every area of our lives.
So the question is, have you turned it over, truly turned it over to God? Verbal declaration is great, but we need to be careful that it isn’t only that, verbal. “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” (John 6:27) (emphasis mine)
Let’s tie that in with something else Jesus spoke to His disciples: Jesus *said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34) What is our work? TO DO THE WILL OF GOD! On that we will be sealed for the day of eternity!
Unless the Word is in us and has become a part of us, we are walking in our flesh. Notice that John 6:27 tells us we need to work for the food that endures to eternal life. How do we do that? We eat of the Word! We meditate on His Word. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Joshua 1:8) That same Word that God spoke to Joshua, He speaks to you and me today. Do you believe it? It’s never too late to take that step, I pray that if you struggle in this area, you will look up and see Jesus looking upon you with His arms outstretched, calling you to Himself. If you need help in knowing where to start, please don’t hesitate to click on the Contact button above and we will be happy to lead you to some resources that will be a great encouragement to you and lead you on a journey of a lifetime!
Father God, I thank You that I can share what You have shown me, taught me and delivered me from in this journey on earth. Oh how I long for that glorious day when I shall see You face to face! I pray for those reading this devotion today. Touch their hearts and speak into them to look up to You. Place within them the truth that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set them free from the law of sin and death! (Romans 8:1-2). In these last days it seems that the enemy has gathered all of hell to come against those who are called by Your name. But I know that greater are You in us than he who is in the world, (I John 4:4). Lord, thank You that You cry every tear with us and one day we will have no more tears as we reside in eternity. Until that day, thank You for holding our hand and leading us in the direction of Your plan for each of us. You alone know that struggle within us, even better than I can understand in my own life. (Psalm 139:1-4) You think of me more times a day than the number of grains of sand in the universe, (Psalm 139:17-18), so I know beyond a doubt that You are for me and not against me, so I look up and praise You! Take my life and let it be a testimony of Your grace and forgiveness! Amen.