“But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year."Deuteronomy 11:11-12 (NASB)
Have you ever found yourself on an unexpected journey? My husband and I are there right now. He is working on his first doctor of ministry course and diligently seeking God’s next ministry assignment (he has been a pastor for over 25 years), and I am attempting to build a speaking, writing, and counseling business.
Unexpected journeys can be scary things, but as Holley Gerth says above: “When you are always taking the next step of obedience, fear of the future diminishes.” Praise God we don’t have to invent His will! We work hard, pray hard, and take the next step of obedience. We don’t always know the final destination, but we are called to be obedient and enjoy the journey.
You may have heard of the “one word” challenge. Instead of writing out a long list of new years resolutions, you ask the Holy Spirit to give you one word to focus on for the year. My one word for 2015 is “journey”.
I think of the words of Bilbo Baggins from the movie, “An Unexpected Journey”:
Hobbit: You! Mr. Bilbo, where are you off to?
Bilbo Baggins: I'm already late.
Hobbit: Late for what?
Bilbo Baggins: I'm going on an adventure.
My husband and I are choosing to view this season of study and transition in ministry as an adventure!
Moses spoke to Old Testament Israel about the Promised Land and God’s watchcare for it. Similarly, God has a spiritual “land” for us to possess. It will have deep valleys and steep hills. We must fight the good fight of faith and persevere to dwell in it. We can apply the promise to ourselves that the eyes of the Lord are upon us, from the beginning even to the end of the year.
Friends I’m going to be gut honest. The deeper the Lord calls us to trust in Him and follow Him in loving obedience, the more firey darts Satan shoots at us. For me especially, the enticements of the world seek to draw me to old patterns of sin. Please pray for me, that my faith will not fail. I don’t want to be late for this adventure!
I close with the words of an awe-inspiring hymn:
‘He Leadeth Me’
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
Refrain: He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters calm, o’er troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me. (Refrain)
Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me. (Refrain)
And when my task on earth is done,
When, by Thy grace, the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me. (Refrain)
Joseph H. Gilmore, 1862.