Summary: This message is a testimony of how God guides our life as ministers of the Gospel.
The Christian Life—An Exciting Adventure
Jesus gives the invitation: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
Where God Guides He provides
The Christian life is an exciting adventure. I have learned over the years that ”Where God guides He provides.”
When you open a road map to plan a trip you quickly see there are multiple ways to reach your destination. The map shows all the possibilities because the mapmaker has access to the big picture.
Without a map you lack the big picture.
People look at many ways to reach their destination in life: palm reader, horoscope, fate, emotions, and scientific investigation. A story is told of a person seeking God’s guidance. He shut his eyes, opened his bible and put his finger on a verse. (Matthew 27:5) He didn’t think that verse had anything to do with his problem so he tried it again and read this time Luke 10:37, “Go and do likewise.” He didn’t like that either so he tried it once more and read John 2:5 “Do whatever He tells you.”
The bible is not a crystal ball.
God does guide through the Holy Spirit. Acts 16:6-10… The Holy Spirit guided Paul to Macedonia to preach the gospel.
“When you have that Spirit confidence, you don’t care what the circumstances are. You don’t care how many people say you can’t do it. You don’t care how many people say it has never been done before. When the Spirit has spoken to you, you have that inner confidence that you are in God’s will.
We know that the Holy Spirit never guides contrary to the Word of God.
God does guide through prayer, circumstances, and the church.
Acts 13:1-2: God gave clear guidance to those who are serving the Him. (Church in Antioch)
When we live in intimacy with Christ, we experience the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance.
God guides through prayer, circumstances and the church (people of God).
As of May, 1997, six months ago I was not even considering a move to California.
I was considering a move to a new ministry challenge somewhere.
April 24th, I wrote in my prayer journal: “I pray for guidance in knowing what I should give my time and energy to during the next ten years. Show me dear Lord the way You would have me to go.” After nine years I was feeling a sense of release from my current position.
May 12th, 1997, Supt. Forest Bush, Jr. called and asked me if I would consider moving to the Silicon Valley and planting a FM church. I told him that I was open to a new challenge and would be available July 1998.
May 21st Forest called back and asked me to consider a new opportunity in ministry—to become Senior Pastor of the Willow Vale FMC in San Jose and serve as Director of church planting and church growth in the Bay Area. I told him I would consider the opportunity and he said he would send me a proposal in the mail. He E-Mailed me the proposal and then send me a hard copy.
May 23rd I wrote in my prayer journal. “The opening in the Sierra Pacific Conference—Pastor of Willow Vale and Director of Church Planting and Church Growth in the Bay Area is challenging and a viable possibility.
May 24th “You have opened the door to San Jose and the Silicon Valley Mission Field. I will pursue it until I sense the check of the Holy Spirit. The combination of serving as Pastor and Director of Bay Area church Planting and Church Growth does have appeal to me.”
All this time I was thinking about making a move July, 1998 and with the new opportunity I was thinking January, 1998. My calendar was very active through the end of December.
Forest called and said he was going to be in Indianapolis May 27 and 28th for a denominational Insurance meeting and wondered if we could meet to talk about Willow Vale and Bay Area church planting. We were going to be out of town during those two days but would be back on Thursday, May 29th. Forest stayed over and met with us on Thursday morning. Forest encouraged us to consider working with him in the Sierra Pacific Conference. With the sudden departure of Pastor Neeley he needed help sooner than we had planned. We looked at our calendar and said we could get away following the denominational Board of Administration meeting the end of October. He asked us to come and meet with the Leadership Team at Willow Vale and the Conference Ministerial Education and Guidance Board prior to the Annual Conference June 12-13-14. We rearranged our schedules and make flight plans to meet with the Willow Vale Leadership team on Tuesday evening, June 10th.