Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not By Chance

It has now been two years since I worked at the church in full-time vocational ministry. I weigh less - God has chipped off more baggage and growths than I could possibly count and certainly more than I knew I had. I am also holding less water because the tears I cried were endless. If you say "ministry" to me, my heart still races and my pulse increases. The very thought of it makes my blood pump. I love Jesus and I love His church and all the broken, messy pieces that go with it.

When God told me it was time to move on, I was certain he was placing me in another vocational full-time ministry. Not so. He put me behind a desk where He humbled me daily. This picture sits on my desk because it is a reminder to me that God has a purpose for me right where I am, even if I don't understand it.

After I got over myself, God began to bring the most amazing people and opportunities into my life. My favorite song is "You Said" by Hillsong and the cry of my heart is asking for the nations. So God answered. I now have friends from Russia, Argentina, China, Kenya, Cambodia and Thailand. I have made new friends that are burning with passion for the Lord and come from all over the United States. I was never going to meet these people staying where I was.

God has also opened my eyes greatly as He has taught me about various denominations, traditions, and archeological facts. He plopped me smack down in the middle of the most amazing library full of commentaries and research books. God opened the doors for me to do retreats, worship events and bible studies. All things that I would never had pursued had I stayed where I was.

A few months ago, a friend walked up to me and handed me Anne Jackson's book "Mad Church Disease". She told me she didn't know why, but felt God wanted me to have it. I thanked her and said I would read it. I just now got to page 88. This is what it says:

The circumstances of a saint's life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by his providence brings you into circumstances that you can't understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you . . .
Once you have the right relationship with God through salvation and sanctification, remember that whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. And God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill his purpose, as long as you continue to "walk in the light as he is in the light" (1 John 1:7)
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.

I don't know what circumstances or experiences lie ahead. I don't know what God has planned for me tomorrow. But I know He knows my heart. I know He has a plan and a purpose for my life. I know He has placed an insatiable passion in my heart for His Word, His church, His people. I know I love Him more than life. Wherever God places me is exactly where I am supposed to be. It may be for a short season or many years, but it will never be by chance for God has a purpose to fulfill.


Sandy said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. This is very good and true.

Vicki said...

Thank you for the reminder. The knowledge that He has a purpose, gets me through so many days - and seasons.

Even when I forget it for a time, the subsequent remembering of that truth still washes a peace over me like waves on the beach - cool, refreshing, cleansing...and part of something so huge I can barely comprehend it.

It is such a delight to watch what God is doing in and through you. I praise Him for calling you from your prior job to a new one which feeds your mind, produces new and varied relationships, and gives you the time and energy to take all that and do something bigger with it.

And I applaud you for being obedient when He called. Even though you didn't know where He was taking you - you trusted Him. That just about says it all, doesn't it?

Have a blessed day, my friend

anne jackson said...

I am glad your friend handed you the book. Thank you for taking the time to read it and I hope that it serves you!