Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Decision-less Update

I get the question a lot from people, "what now?" As it nears the end of summer I ask myself this one daily. But what do you say when you don't have a plan, or a next step, or anything concrete to offer? I usually say I am waiting to see what God provides. These past couple weeks however, I have changed my tactics. I have looked at the doors before me that appear to be open... and I am walking through them.

What this means is that I have seen God provide places for me to step out in faith and I am now prayerfully taking those steps. So far I have had a no, a maybe, and a go for it. So I am not returning to Mexico, I am applying to Global Recordings Network, and I am flying out to Florida on Sunday to check out I-TEC. As I go on these faith journeys I am realizing that there is a lot to be learned from letting the Lord lead in the midst of action. I spent a great two months of summer seeking God's plans with no sure answers. I don't feel those months were wasted. Now I am in a month of actively seeking the things that God revealed to me in that time and even with the uncertainty still at play, I don't feel my actions are wasted either.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers this next week as I venture to the other end of the US of A to see if the Florida door is open or closed. Either way, I am excited to be able to experience a part of missions history by visiting I-TEC. I am also curious to see how this Southern Californian reacts to the humidity. And I am very much encouraged by the support I have received to get there. Thank you for buying apple pies everyone!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Impacted by the Word: Part 3

By the end of looking at David and Samuel's stories I figured I was done for the day. But then I started reading my usual book of the Bible and opened to Luke 22. God had one more example for me, it was easily the most powerful.

Here, Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, brings home the idea of trust in the more modern context of the New Testament. He reminds us of the New Covenant of Salvation in Luke 22:20, giving us the chance to see His love and perfect sacrifice for us. Then he goes on to show us, that on top of giving us life eternal, we are also given everything else. Verse 23 reveals the disciples' answer that they have lacked nothing in their service to God. Sent out with nothing, they lacked nothing.

All of this shows me that we are more than well provided for. And my only response to being reminded that all of my needs, desires, and eternal life are provided for is... peace.

What a trustworthy God we serve!

Impacted by the Word: Part 2

After being floored by Samuel's trust in God, in circumstances where God was giving information only as needed, I became hungry for more examples of faith challenges. David was the logical next step and God quickly showed me how David demonstrated trust in God even more!

It would be fourteen years, after being anointed by Samuel as King, before he would actually step into that office. Fourteen years of sheepherding, being persecuted by his brothers, working for a deadly bi-polar monarch, running for his life, and living in exile fighting bands of warriors. (And these are just the well-known events.) I would have doubted the Lord's calling many times in those years if not permanently rejected my anointing as King. In my case, missions would be a thought of the past if it took fourteen years for the Lord to place me in the field. Instead, David continued to seek the Lord the entire time and in doing so killed Goliath, defeated armies, attracted the beaten and bruised to himself (1 Samuel 22), had the world's best bromance, saved cities, showed mercy to his #1 enemy (twice), and became King of God's chosen people.

Fourteen years of verses of David inquiring faithfully after the Lord for His plans and God's guidance. David was faithful, just as he understood God was continually faithful. David never asked God when he would be crowned, nor if he would ever be. He lived presently, asking after the Lord for every step.
"David inquired of the Lord..."
{1 Samuel 23:2+4; 30:8}
[2 Samuel 2:1; 5:19+23]
(1 Chronicles 14:10)

How much I wish this was me! I want to inquire of the Lord in all things. Big and small. For even more than fourteen years. God is worthy of that level of trust too.

Impacted by The Word: Part 1

The other morning was one of those times when God drew me into His Word and continued to bring me further and deeper through the stories of the Bible. It was exhilarating, as it always is, to see these ancient words come alive in my life.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12
The first story I was lead to was that of Samuel. This was a man who could literally go on coffee dates with God and speak to Him clearly. They had an incredibly special relationship.
"And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground... for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord."
1 Samuel 3:19-21
Yet, when sent to anoint a new King of Israel the Lord told him nothing other than "go and do it." (1 Samuel 16) The prophet of God had to go into a family, with the whole town watching, without a clue what or who he was looking for. Can you imagine getting to the end of the line, not knowing David exists, having rejected all of the sons set before you? I would doubt that I ever heard the voice of the Lord at all, much less correctly. I would question if I should have come and would feel directionless.

But the passage reveals none of those thoughts. Samuel instead pressed on, and in verse 11 asks for the son he trusts in the Lord to provide. Another son has to exist. Samuel trusts in God's direction enough to know His plans will come to pass as He had said. Verse 12 shows God giving Samuel an answer; a King to anoint, to fulfill the calling God gave him.

There is so much to be seen here:
how Samuel could have decided on many brothers based on pretty convincing details (vs 6),
how God's plans played out perfectly (He knew David was there),
how Samuel never seemed to doubt that God had chosen someone not immediately before him,
and how even a chosen prophet of God has something to learn about how God chooses people and what matters to him (vs7).

But, of all that, I see most readily the trust of Samuel in the Lord's timing, provision, and voice. Where I would fail, and am failing, Samuel shows that the only way to succeed is to persevere in trusting the Lord. In all that He is and all that He does.

I am in transition in life, with little idea of where God is leading me. The question is, Do I trust like Samuel?