Following Only the Father’s Commands
A few years back we had serious discussions with family and friends about pioneering a church in rural New York. There was keen interest by several families to explore the possibilities. We actually found a few reasonably priced empty church facilities available for sale. Many things would have to happen for us to do this, but it’s been our experience that if the Lord wants it and you are willing, then everything falls in place.
Our discussions started in late August early September. I expected it to take a year, maybe less for us to work through all of the particulars of selling our home in Georgia and moving north. My prayer was, “Lord show us what You would have us do.”
As the weeks turned into months, the plans started to come together in our minds. Since we had moved many times during our military career, this was not a hard thing to figure out. The mechanics of the move really was easy, weed through your stuff, give away, throw away or put away items, get the house cleaned up and ready to sell, start planning for the move and pioneering of the church. Our prayers for guidance continued.
As the new year dawned, the Lord started to open doors. It was not what we expected. Instead of us shutting down our business, the Lord ripped the door open wide for us to expand. The phone started to ring and has literally not stopped for over a year. We would see our business double from the prior year and it looks like it will double again this year.
Pioneering a church in an area we all believe needs something new is a very good thing. However, not every good thing is a God thing. Is the Lord directing your steps today? If you’re not sure, then go to Him and ask what He would have you do. He may want you to do something radical through church, an outside ministry or business venture. You won’t know until you ask.
Following Only the Father’s Commands
by Os Hillman
“Jesus gave them this answer: ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’” – John 5:19
Have you ever thought about a typical day in Jesus’ life? Perhaps He might have had questions like these, “Who am I going to heal today? Who will I visit today? Which person will I deliver from demons this day?” etc. The demands on Jesus’ time were great. Yet we see that Jesus allocated His time very deliberately. We don’t get the idea that Jesus was flustered or stressed from the activity He was involved in. He often sought times of prayer and reflection away from the disciples. His life appeared to have a balance of quiet moments and active ministry into the lives He came in contact with.
How do we determine what we will be involved in each day of our lives? What keeps us in sync with the will of our heavenly Father for the daily tasks He calls us to? Jesus tells us that He was only involved in those things the Father was involved in. Nothing more, nothing less. So often we determine our participation in an activity based on whether we have the time to do it or whether we desire to participate. The real question we should ask is, “Does the Father want me to participate in this activity?”
“Lord, should I add this Bible study to my schedule? Should I spend an extra night out on this committee this week? Should I take on new business that will take me away from home more? Should my daughter be involved in music lessons?” These are the daily challenges for the world we now live in. We are an activity-based society that often encourages more and more activity, often in the name of Christian virtue.
Our lives will become less cluttered, less stressful, and more fulfilling when we follow the model Jesus provided. It may not always please everyone. Jesus never sought to please everyone. Ask the Lord each day this week how you and He are to spend your time. Yield your schedule to Him. Let Jesus direct your every activity. You may discover that He desires you to cut back some things in order to spend more time alone with Him. He will be faithful to show you. And you will become more fulfilled because you are centered in His will for you.