Note to self: remember the “with love” part

So, this is a post that I’ve been trying to write for a long time.  It has taken many forms and all have been trashed when they start moving in the wrong direction.  This one might get trashed, too, but I hope not because I really need to get this out there.  It is about something specific, but I’m going to try to avoid the details, for so many reasons I can’t even count them all.

The thing that has been weighing on my heart is this: what happens when you don’t follow God’s plan?  We know from Jeremiah 29:11 that God has plans for us (I fully accept that some people believe that this message was only meant for Israel, but it doesn’t change what I have to say, so I’l keep it).  Good plans.  I believe the “us” in that statement includes individuals, families, churches, organizations, communities, businesses, etc.  Sometimes He reveals those plans to us and sometimes He doesn’t, but there is always a plan.

Has He ever revealed part of His plan to you?  If God has given you a clear vision for what He wants to do through you, it is extremely empowering.  Maybe He wants you as an individual to share the Good News with somebody specific.  Maybe He wants your family to become missionaries in another country.  Maybe your church is supposed to minister to a specific community or start a specific ministry.  That is all great and I hope that we all desire to be used by God.  Sometimes He uses us in ways that He doesn’t reveal to us until afterward.  That’s great, too.

What happens, though, if God tells you a specific way that He wants to use you or your family, your church, organization, whatever, and you don’t do it?  What if you start moving in that direction, but you get distracted (possibly by something else that is also good, or possibly by sin)?  What if you are too afraid to even start?

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but one passage from Revelation comes to mind:

Revelation 3:15-16–I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!

Yikes!  I don’t know about you, but I think vomit is pretty gross and I don’t want to be anyone’s vomit.  I especially don’t want to be God’s vomit because of what that means.  If you remember Jonah, and a lot of other prophets, you know that God gives you lots of chances to change your mind if you decide not to do what He wants.  I think this passage in Revelation, though, indicates that at a certain point He will just give up and look for somebody else to do what He asked you to do.

I think that God has been showing me this lately.  Is God not blessing your ministry (individually or as a body of believers working together)?  I’m not saying that you will always have blessings (because the Bible is pretty clear about the fact that we will have trials).  I’m also not trying to say that if you do what God asks you to do then you will instantly see the results (or ever see them), which I am aware can be disheartening.  What I am saying is this: if your ministry at whatever level is not experiencing blessings, do yourself a favor and make sure you are on track with what God wants from you.

Remember this: God will accomplish His will.  He will do what He sets out to do.  If He asks you to do something and you don’t, then He will just take the job and give it to somebody else.  That is what He has been showing me through all of this.  His will will be done, even if He has to use different tools to do it.

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