As the new year begins, God reminded me of something that I know I needed to hear as I lead and I believe it will also encourage you as you serve. The reminder came to me as I was completing the final week of Missing Pieces by Jennifer Rothcshild.
Jennifer reminded us of the truths of God’s will and His unchanging standards. At the same time, He sometimes changes His responses depending on the actions of the persons involved. She alludes to the story of Noah and how God didn’t change his standards or will when he destroyed all those besides Noah and his family due to their wickedness and unrepentant hearts. We see in the story of Jonah that God changed His mind when the people repented and chose not to destroy Ninevah. So we have a dilemma: if we know God is unchanging (Jennifer uses the word immutable), why the different responses?
Even though each story had different answers, God did not change his standards. What we learn is that even though we see two different outcomes (due to two different heart choices—one that repented and one that rebelled), we see a God whose way is perfect and whose Word is perfect.
Now, I don’t fully understand God’s choices or many other things about this perfect God, but I can trust WHO He is…perfect and flawless.
I want to challenge you as you begin 2013 and seek to serve Christ fully as you lead women, to trust WHO He is especially when you don’t understand what He is doing. Something Jennifer said at the 2011 Women’s Leadership Forum here at LifeWay, was that “we do not have to understand His ways to trust His heart.”
What can you do in 2013 to follow Him even when you don’t fully understand Him and what He is doing?
Here are 6 suggestions:
- Make sure He is your priority DAILY by asking His guidance at the beginning of every day. “God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.” HCSB (Psalm 63:1) In the NKJV, the word earnestly is “early”!
- If you face a challenge during the day, ask God what He wants to teach you through that struggle.
- Claim a scripture that speaks to that very issue, or a principle that applies to the issue.
- Ask for an accountability partner or a prayer warrior to pray that you will walk faithfully through the situation.
- Choose to trust God’s unfailing character of love, goodness, righteousness, and perfection even if you do not understand what He is doing in the midst of the challenge.
- Do not give up, not matter what, because you know He is sovereign and that whatever He allows into your life He will use for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28).
No doubt you will face challenges of one kind or another this year…financial, ministry struggles, relationships among women in your church, personal family issues, job challenges, health. In each one, even if you do not understand WHAT God is doing, model to the women you serve that you trust WHO He is…a gracious, loving God who always knows what is best.