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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Following God’s Will

These past months have been anything but easy!  On more than one occasion I have found myself questioning this call to ministry in France to which my wife and I believe we have been called.  The house that I had expected to sell within weeks, if not days (this was to be the Lord's final confirmation of the call!), is still on the market months later - in spite of two price reductions.  Our car has had one problem after another - and always in France where charges are much higher than what my local mechanic charges me.  Problems with the gas supply to the static have only been finally resolved today.  To cap it all, our younger daughter (37) has just had an operation to remove a cancerous tumour from her left breast, and had just been informed that the chemo-therapy she had been informed would not be necessary, now is a definite requirement.  
 
That's why I was so encouraged by an article in Church Leaders - an 'e-zine' (online magazine) that I receive regularly.  It is by Steven Furtick to whom I happily give the credit.
 
"Being in God’s will doesn’t guarantee a tension-free job, a conflict-free marriage or a trouble-free life.
"We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large … we can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are. All the people we saw there are of great size."
Numbers 13:27-28

The Israelites had finally reached the Promised Land. But it wasn’t what everybody thought it would be.  There was a reward. But there was also opposition.  There were grapes. But there were also giants.

So they came to the conclusion that this couldn’t be what God was calling them to do. This couldn’t be God’s will, because God’s will had to be easier than this.

We tend to think the same way. Many people consider opposition a sign that they must not be in the will of God.  We think the Promised Land is where the blessings are going to be. Being in God’s will is where life is supposed to be easy. Therefore, battle, opposition, struggle and enemies must be a sign that we aren’t in the right place.  But apparently a sign of God’s will is not the ease with which you obtain it. Apparently, the very sign of the Promised Land is giants.

Conflict.
Opposition.

In other words, being in God’s will doesn’t guarantee a tension-free job. Or a conflict-free marriage. Or a trouble-free life.  In fact, the very presence of tension, conflict and trouble could be a sign that you’re right where you need to be.

You might be thinking that you’re not in God’s will right now. You’re going through all this fighting, and it shouldn’t be like this. It must mean you’re in the wrong place.  Not necessarily. It might mean that you’re in exactly the right place. I doubt satan is going to put up a fight to keep you from doing what you shouldn’t be doing.

What if you changed your perspective and saw what you’re facing as a sign that you’re exactly where God wants you to be, because giants live in the Promised Land?  That doesn’t make it easy. But remember:
There was opposition for the Israelites. But there was also a reward.
There were giants. But there were also grapes.

A sign of God’s will isn’t just the opposition you’re facing. It’s also the fact that with God you can actually overcome it. And the reward that you will get for sticking it out will far outshine any opposition that you’re facing."

I trust that others will be likewise encouraged - and that we will all give the glory to our amazing God.

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