What Is God Doing, Right Now?

I just recorded a quick video devotional for our elder team as we head into our monthly meeting this weekend. I had some things I wanted to share with them from my heart, from God’s Word, and from some recent experiences we’ve had as a team shepherding a local church. By the grace of God, I think it was helpful and I pray they will share my excitement for what I think God is saying to us through His Word.

There was only one thing wrong with the whole experience – it wasn’t anywhere on my list of things to do this morning!

I came into the day with a meticulously crafted plan for how I was going to use this morning and what I needed to get done. It was all good stuff (and I did get a decent amount of it done), however, this video wasn’t on the list. But as I sat here trying to work on other things, my mind kept coming back to this desire to share with our elders. I found myself putting a devotional together in my head. I found myself getting excited about recording something simply to bless and encourage a small team that means a great deal to me. Despite all that, I initially fought against all of this as a distraction from what I needed to be doing – it wasn’t on the list!! Sure, it was a good idea but it was something I could schedule for another time this week.

Ultimately, I felt this little prompting in my heart to abandon my plan and record the video. That prompting was followed by a deeper question – do you want to join God in what He’s doing this morning or do your own thing without God?

It was a pretty stark choice – plow through my list in my strength or cooperate with what God was intending to do in my life. Fortunately, in this instance I made the right choice and decided to go with God. But that’s not always the case. I can be really guilty of ignoring what the Spirit is doing in the moment because of my preconceived plans and ideas.

That’s such a mistake, particularly for those of us in spiritual leadership. When God invites us to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14), and keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), He envisions us living with sensitivity and submission to what the Spirit is doing in our lives moment by moment. The question isn’t just “what is God doing in the world today” but “what is God doing in my life, right now?” It turns out the Spirit is somewhat unpredictable and often does things I don’t expect. But life is found in getting on board with what He is actually doing, not what I thought He would be doing!

So, don’t miss out on the adventure of following God today because you’re so locked up in your plans that you miss His still, small voice.

Life’s Great Juggling Act

jugglingA friend texted me the other day to ask how I was doing.  My response was a pretty accurate summary of how I feel most days, “You know – just trying to be a good husband, father and pastor all at the same time. Feel like I usually get two of the three right any given day. Would love to figure out how to do all three!”  God has entrusted me with three main responsibilities in life: being Laura’s husband, Jack and Aidan’s dad and the Pastor of Restoration City Church.  It’s a constant juggling act and, truth be told, I only have the ability to keep two balls in the air at any one time.

That’s always bad news for at least one ball.  Some weeks, I neglect the church for the sake of my wife and kids.  Other weeks, I neglect my wife for the sake of the church and kids.  Some weeks, it’s the kids who get put on the back burner.  Trust me, I would love to serve all three groups well at the same time.  I just can’t.

Maybe you feel the same way?

What I need to be reminded of on a daily basis is that real power in life is found just on the other side of “I can’t.”  When I stop at “I can’t”, life seems hopeless.  My response to my friend should have included one more line. “But God can.”  It’s pride and self reliance that makes us think the answer is found in improving our juggling skills.  I realize now, more than any other time in my life, that only God can give me the power to live the life I want.  I dream of being a great husband, dad and pastor.  But I’ll never get there in my own strength.  It’s only through the power of God in my life that it’s possible.

God knows we can’t live this life without Him.  That’s why He’s given us the Holy Spirit to be our Helper, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” (Jn.14:16)  God has placed the Helper we need deep inside our souls.

Stop trying to keep all the balls in the air by yourself.  You can’t.  Balls drop.  People get hurt.  You end up defeated, frustrated and depressed.

But there’s more power in you than you can image.  “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rm. 8:11)  There’s a life giving, resurrection Spirit inside of you.  He’s the hope and strength you and I need for today.

What are the primary responsibilities and relationships God has entrusted to you?  Are you carrying them all well?  Are you willing to allow God to supply you with the power you need?