Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
(continued from Part 3) I've preached many times since that first time. In fact, I preach every Wednesday night at our mid-week service, and fill in regularly on Sunday mornings. One thing that changed is I don't get nervous anymore. That is gone completely.
I'm not suggesting God gave me a wink that first morning when I preached, but what I do know is that coincidence caught my attention and shifted my perspective. It certainly made me wonder. It made me question whose decision it really was what kind of ministry I was going to be involved in--it's not my ministry at all, it belongs to God. It reminded me that I've spent far too much time in my life depending on my own understanding. I've spent far too much time planning out my own life, and what I was missing was truly understanding and accepting that my life is just a very small part of God's larger plan.
When I got the call to ministry, I'd made the promise that if God opened a door, I'd walk through it. I'd tried to push a few doors open on my own that remained stubbornly closed. But the door that finally opened first, and completely on its own, was that first opportunity to preach. The last door I would have chosen for myself. And since it was painfully obvious to me that wasn't my plan, I realized in that moment it must be God's plan for me.
I'd been looking for that path. What does God want me to do? Where does God want me to go? How does God want me to serve? But I hadn't found those answers or even seen a glimpse of that path, because I was looking for a path heading in the direction I wanted to go. When I finally saw the path ahead clearly, and knew it was the path God intended for me to take, I recognized it because it was the path I would have never chosen myself.
Sometimes the things we push back against the hardest are the things God intends for us to do. Sometimes God will force us to face our fears, deal with challenges we want to ignore, and do the things we really don't want to do. But God has a plan for us, and through all these challenges he builds us for His purpose. We grow stronger as we face those things that frighten us the most. Our Christian character grows when we do what we know God would have us do whether we want to do them or not.
What you should never say . . . is never!
~Todd E. Creason
This is the last installment of this series. You can read the entire series by following this link: Never Say Never Series