January 25, 2011

God Is Full Of Surprises

"As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him- to give God “elbow room.” We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never expected Him to come? Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way."  
- Oswald Chambers/ My Utmost For His Highest

One of the things we have learned about God since we have been serving in Brazil is that there is nothing "normal" or "traditional" about God when He is at work. He is always full of surprises. We work with many churches here to help them to share Jesus with others, and many times the churches are very traditional in their thinking and in their ways. They do not seem to "think outside the box", and they try things that have been tried before, or they try to duplicate another church or ministry's success and methods.

One of God's surprises in our lives was His call for us to join Him in His work in Brazil. We knew that since 2004 God had been speaking to us about serving Him full-time one day, but we had no idea where it would be, when it would be, and what we would be doing. We prayed and fasted and sought Him for well over a year before we knew the details of His plan. We had never thought much about being missionaries, nor had we thought about Brazil before we went on a mission trip to Sao Paulo in July 2005. On that mission trip we experienced God's great power in a surprising and great way, and we also were surprised that His call was for us to sell my business & everything else we had and move to Sao Paulo to join Him (which we did in 2006).

We were surprised again when God started speaking to us and leading us to move from Sao Paulo to Santos 3 years later. For us the move completely came out of the blue. We never thought about Santos before he started revealing His surprising plan. And there have been other surprises along the way too; sometimes it was when God led us to certain areas to minister in when we had different places in mind. Sometimes it was the church God led us to work with, when in our thinking we were going to work with a different church in that particular area.

This is an important lesson to learn. We must let God be God, and let Him make the vision and the plans. We are simply here to be His instruments & servants, for His glory. We need to allow God to make the plans and the vision, and we need to earnestly seek Him and have Him reveal His vision and plans to us. For this to happen we must walk closely with Him in fellowship, and we must learn to hear His voice. Once we hear His voice, then we need to simply obey and follow, even when His plans do not seem to make sense. And as Oswald Chambers states, we need to always expect God, but not in any certain way. Learn to let go of what is considered "normal" or "traditional" in today's churches and ministries, and find out what God wants to do, how He wants to do it, and when & where He wants to do it. There is absolutely nothing "normal" or "traditional" about God or His work.


1 comment:

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