Thursday, June 11, 2009

DOING GOD'S WORK by Neil Anderson

Word for the Day

Isaiah 58:11
The LORD will continually guide you

An important concept of God's will is that God can only guide a moving ship. He is the rudder, but if the ship isn't under way, it can't be directed. Willingness to obey His will gets the ship moving.

In Acts 15:36, Paul had decided to revisit the churches he helped establish on his first missionary trip. The churches were being strengthened and increasing in number (Acts 16:5). Luke reports:

And they passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and when they had come to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us" (Acts 16:6-9).

Sometimes God's leading does not make sense. If God wanted Paul to go to Macedonia in the first place, why didn't He make it easier and faster by having Paul travel by land to Caesarea and sail to Macedonia? Because God starts us out on a life course to fulfill a certain purpose and then, only when we are ready, He gives us course corrections. Like a good river pilot, He steers us away from troubled waters, and like a good coach, He never puts us in the game until we are ready.

I believe in divine guidance as described in Isaiah 58:11. But the context reveals that there are prerequisites that have to be satisfied. We are sometimes like a person who seeks to be an athlete by simply suiting up for the race. That's not how the skills are gained. It's in the course of dedication, training, and the contest itself that one gains the skill of an athlete.

It's in the doing of God's work that His will becomes known.


alaiyo said...

"A good understanding has he who obeys."

Yours, Sincerely said...

The subject of being guided by the Lord has been all-consuming for me, of late. Thanks for your thoughts.