As with many of my posts, I don’t write them from a point of view of having achieved them, but more from a point of ‘let’s work on this together’. This post is no different, in fact, this is a word that God gave to me the other day. I think that it is probably relevant to many people out there, so I have decided to share it with you. I was asking God for direction, what I should do next as far as ministry is concerned. One of the ministries that I was involved in has come to an end, so I wanted to know where to next. What God told me is not really what I wanted to hear, but it makes sense, so I hope that it speaks to you.
God reminded me of a holiday that I went on, which I will now try and tell you about. I was about 18 years old, and my Grandad asked me to visit him for a week. He lived in Johannesburg (Now called Gauteng) and we lived in Cape Town, so we didn’t get to see him too often, so he paid for me to fly up and see him. Upon arrival, we went to a holiday house that he had on the Vaal dam. Now the Vaal dam was quite large, so we decided to spend 3 days out on my Grandfather’s yacht. I was not a sailor, and he was already getting on in age, so it would take a combined effort to sail for 3 days. We took the dingy out to the yacht, climbed aboard, and my Grandfather immediately started issuing instructions. I set up the sail, tightened all of the ropes and lifted the anchor, all under his instruction. We set off sailing. He was steering the boat, while I was following his instructions, changing tack when need be. We would head off to the starboard side and then the port side, all while maintaining a course. I quickly realised that you couldn’t just head in the direction that you wanted to go, you had to use the wind to get you there, and sometimes that meant heading in a slightly different direction and then changing tack. Now my Grandfather was a good sailor, so I listened to him and did what he said. I remember that holiday well, it was one of my favourite, but what am I telling you about it? Good question.
God showed me that He is like the wind in this story. He is the one who provides the power for you to get where you are going. The Holy Spirit is like my Grandad in the story, He will instruct you and steer your life, if you will let Him. Just like in the story, I had a job to do, and we have jobs to do in our lives. People often leave everything up to God, they say that they can’t do it in their strength, so they leave it up to God. This is not always right. Yes, sometimes we need to leave things completely up to God, but usually God wants to work with us. Or us with Him. It doesn’t matter how strong the wind was out on the lake, if I hadn’t lifted the sails and the anchor, we wouldn’t have gone anywhere. God will provide the power, He will provide all that we need to get to where we are going, and the Holy Spirit will guide us and steer us. Maybe we’ll go in a direction that we weren’t expecting from time to time, but He has a plan that we may not know, so we follow Him in faith. I believe that God wants to guide us and help us to achieve what He wants for us, but He wants us to be a part of the plan. We need to do something. We need to do what the Spirit calls us to do. I’m not taking away from God’s sovereignty, but what if God’s plan is to include us in His plan? Then if we sit doing nothing, will the plan still get done?
There is a danger in this plan though. Like on the boat, I could have tried to do too much myself without listening to my Grandad. This could have resulted in disaster. It is the same with us and God. If we start doing this on our own, and not listening to the Spirit or using God’s power, we will probably end up in trouble. Now I would never knowingly do this, however I sometimes get excited and rush off with my own plan. This is not idea, but I don’t want to go to the other extreme and not do anything. This is something that I need to work on constantly to get right. Don’t do too little, but don’t do too much in your own strength. How do you get this balance right? I don’t know, if you figure it out, let me know.
Go out there, listen to God’s instructions and then start moving. Even Paul tried different things until the Holy Spirit stopped blocking him and gave him direction (Acts 16:6-10). Paul was moving, trying what he thought he had to do, and the Holy Spirit guided him. He could have seen the other things as failures, but he didn’t. They were part of the journey. Paul was not just sitting down, waiting for the grand plan so that he could get going. I don’t want to do that either.
I hope that this story has been encouraging to you.