Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” ~ Acts 8:26
READING: Acts 8:4-8; 26-40
OK, now let’s look at this topic from another perspective. Yes, normally it’s much wiser to wait patiently on God as He gradually unfolds His will about moving on to our next ministry position. But, of course, we can all think of times when God moved someone suddenly and without any hint of warning. Those sudden moves may be just as God-ordained.
It reminds me of our experience in Iowa. When denominational upheaval shut down our church planting project in California, we transitioned using just such an unfolding timetable as I’ve described. God unmistakably led us to Iowa, as we supposed, to set up a state-wide church-planting program and to plant the first of several churches in the Des Moines area.
But Jim hit one road block after another completely beyond his control. Within a year, flexible to God’s Plan B, Jim joined the staff of a thriving young church with a like-minded pastor who shared Jim’s vision for regional church planting. Suddenly, that pastor had a moral failure. Because God had just placed Jim on that church staff, God used him to lead that shell-shocked church through their difficult ordeal. Jim seamlessly served as their stabilizing interim pastor until they found a permanent pastor.
Our experience gave us greater empathy for the sense of whiplash Philip must have felt when God plucked him out of his thriving ministry in Samaria, dropped him into a strategic encounter with one man and then whisked him away afterwards.
Take comfort if God moves you suddenly, whether by illness, family or political crisis, or career change. Nothing happens to the yielded servant of God by accident.
Father, Help me to trust Your unseen sovereignty even over abrupt changes. Amen.
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