Pastor's Blog: Missions & the Providence of God!
It’s Christmas y’all! Love this time of the year and grateful that we as Southern Baptists can support thousands of missionaries through the annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Our church goal is $3,000, but I am convinced we can do much better than that. Remember that every dollar you give goes 100% to the mission field! Because of the LMCO and the Cooperative Program we can keep our missionaries on the field; they don’t have to come home and raise support. Consider this your opportunity to make a gift to King Jesus for His birthday!
I was powerfully reminded of a great spiritual truth this week. In my devotional time I was reading from one of the Puritans (something I highly commend to you). Here’s the truth – God’s providence is something that is in your favor. In others words, God’s direction for your life is better than anything you can come up with on your own. While most of us know this from an intellectual and theological standpoint, in practical reality most of us are running our own show, going our own direction, and that without much regard to God’s intervention.
In fact, it is true that often we don’t even pray about things, we just muddle along doing what we think is best. But sometimes we do (and we certainly always should) pray and ask for His direction. Recently I have been praying about something and specifically asking God to open or close a door. In fact, I prayed that God would give me the wisdom to realize it if He was closing the door. He did. But in my view, it was a door I wanted open so there I was pounding on it. Have you been here before? Read on.
Well, I continued to pray and God, in His marvelous sovereign grace, continued to say no. I submitted to His will and almost immediately He showed me where I should be going instead. I am not speaking here of considering sin or something like that. No, this was simply an effort to discern God’s will in a particular area. Don’t be stubborn and don’t waste your time asking God to give you clear direction if you have already made up your mind to do whatever you want to do.
When I was able to set aside my pride, yes that is usually the root of the sin when we are rejecting God’s will, I was able to see what God was doing. You may or may not realize this, but God is better at determining what’s best for you than you are. That’s simple and basic Christianity 101.
Then I came across this gem from John Flavel: “The providence of God often goes beyond our imagination, often crosses our desires and designs to our great advantage. He does not give us what we fancy, but what his infinite wisdom judges best and most beneficial. It often happens that probabilities are dashed, and things remote and utterly improbable are brought about in very strange and unaccountable methods of providence. Give God the glory for all the providential works that yield comfort to you.” Well, amen and amen.
This coming Sunday, December 13, we will start our study of Daniel chapter 9 and consider one of the most significant prayers of confession in the Bible. [If you miss a sermon please remember that all of our sermons can be accessed by audio here: https://www.tbcmacon.com/sermons]
As always, I am looking forward to what God will do at Tabernacle this coming Sunday. Please be present with your Bibles in hand as we worship the Lord together!
Blessings, YFJS, Bro. Tom