– You cannot stay the way you are and go with God –
When God is about to do something through you, He has to get you from where you are to where He is, and so He tells you what He is doing. When you know what God is doing, then you know what you need to do; you need to join Him. – Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God
This study from Blackaby is one of the key tools for our leadership development at Oak Grove. Any person who is leading any ministry or teaching should have worked through this tool or is working through this tool as part of our disciplemaking leadership development. I love the concept that he pulls from John 5:17 which tells us that the Father is presently and actively working for His own purpose.
When God called Moses to go down into Egypt to lead Israel out of their imprisonment to find freedom under God’s authority. The central issue was not God’s will for Moses but God’s will for Israel (Blackaby, pg. 23). God always has a bigger picture than just me. The issue was not that God has a whole bunch of individual purposes for every person as much as God invites individuals to join Him in His greater purpose. It is certainly true that God has a place for all of us but the way we think about how we know God’s will can either be very self-centered or God-centered. Moses was to be God’s instrument in a greater redemptive purpose. God was not trying to fit into Moses plan (which is pretty obvious) but God invited Moses to join God in His.
This is one of the greatest tensions for us. We are much more individualized in our culture and it is very easy to think that God has to fit into our plans. His purpose is to make my goals come together and my objectives successful. But that is a world view that places us at the center of the universe and God is simply a concierge to make my life work the way I envision it. But the reality is that God has redeemed us and purchased us by the blood of His Son; we are to glorify God with our lives. There is a huge mindset shift to realize that we need to fit God’s plans and not the other way around.
But what pressure is taken off our shoulders when we stop trying to get God to conform to our idea of a successful life and we begin following His plan. The question is not what is God’s will for my life? The question is what is God’s will? (Blackaby, pg. 15). Blackaby talks about a professor he had in seminary, Dr. Gaines S. Dobbins, who used to say, “If you ask the wrong question, you will get the wrong answer.” Not every question is legitimate or the right one to ask. The real question is what is God’s will? If we are committed to walking with God on a daily basis we can do everything that God desires we do, each and every day, if we do just what He is leading us to do… today. We don’t have to figure out a five year plan or His will for my life. We simply need to embrace that we are in a relationship where we have to listen.
I want to finish with two quotes: one is from Henry Varley and the second is from Henry Blackaby:
“The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man (or woman) who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.” Henry Varley
“When you believe nothing significant can happen through you, you have said more about your belief in God than you have declared about yourself.” – Henry Blackaby
Do you truly believe God is actively at work around you? Do you believe that God can use you to do exactly what His purpose and will if you are willing to trust and follow Him?
Pastor Brad Little