“I know the plans I have for You…” – Jeremiah 29:11
It is breathtaking to fathom that the Creator who spoke billions of galaxies into existence has a very specific plan He is actively orchestrating for each of our lives. It’s comforting beyond measure to know His plans “are for our good and not for evil to give us a hope and a future.”
To be sure, we have a significant role in God’s plan – “the mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) But what are we to do when our “best plans” and God’s clear direction are at odds?
5 Anchors When God Rocks Your Boat
1. Remember God’s PROMISE – Jeremiah 29:11
In recent weeks, God’s timing and direction for my life took some unexpected turns. My 12-15 month transition plan from Senior Pastor to focus full-time on Living on the Edge turned into a 12-15 week plan from start to finish. (I share all the details in this month’s Coffee Break recording.)
The outcome is amazingly positive; but the speed caught me off guard. I had it all clearly lined out in my mind and God pushed the fast-forward button into warp speed. As my emotions sought to “catch up” with God’s timing, I purposely reflected on all the GOOD God has brought into my life in ways and at times I hadn’t planned. Below is a picture of God’s amazing goodness through circumstances and timing that wasn’t even on my radar 40 years ago. As I sat with my grown children and grandchildren on vacation this summer, I was reminded of how often “my plans” have been changed by my Heavenly Father to give me something better.
2. Remember God’s PROCESS – Psalm 32:8
For the last 2½ years, God has been “instructing me and teaching me in the way I should go”; He has been counseling me with His eye upon me. When your plans get “rocked,” it helps to take a slow, reflective look in the rearview mirror. As I did, I realized the Lord has given me a deep burden for the Church in America with a passion to help Pastors. He has miraculously opened doors in China and the Middle East, and has consistently spoken clearly to me through His Word and Spirit to set this new direction for my life. (Again, please listen to the Coffee Break recording for specifics.)
3. Remember God’s PLAN – Ephesians 2:10
God’s plan for me is not vanilla, generic, or “one-size-fits-all.” I am “His workmanship (masterpiece) created in Christ Jesus for a good work” that I am uniquely designed to fulfill; and so are you. I am created by God to teach His Word, inspire leaders, and provide practical tools for God’s people. That is my unique contribution in Christ’s Church; it is the “good work” I was created by God to do. This step into national and global ministry with Living on the Edge allows me to focus almost solely on those gifts and to be free from the organizational demands of being a Senior Pastor. It means margin to create more teaching for broadcast and podcasts, small group materials, online courses, and books. It will allow me to increase my investment in pastors and leaders in the US, China, and the Middle East.
4. Remember God’s PEOPLE – Hebrews 3:15
I am especially grateful for the anchor of godly, wise, counselors and friends in my life when God’s plans differ from mine. The Venture Church Elders, Living on the Edge Board members, and key staff and friends have been instrumental in providing perspective and support. The Elders’ “Kingdom attitude” encouraged me to make the greatest impact possible even if it meant losing their Senior Pastor. The people at Venture Church have been hugely supportive, and I would never have taken such bold steps of faith in China apart from the strong encouragement of the Living on the Edge Board. Most of all, Theresa has “encouraged me day” after day to make this next season our best ever.
5. Remember God’s PROVISION – Philippians 4:19
Change, transitions, new challenges, and unexpected opportunities all create big questions about the future. They usually start with “What about…?” and end with concerns about needed people, time, or money to respond to God’s unforeseen direction. It’s in these moments that I take a deep breath and remember “My God will supply all our needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.”
So often God affirms His direction by His supernatural provision; and I am rejoicing that such is the case right now.
- For Venture Church:
God has already provided a new Senior Pastor. Tim Lundy, a long-time friend and former Teaching Pastor at Venture (2011-2014) will take the reins October 1, 2018. (Listen to the Coffee Break recording to hear the amazing story.)
- For Living on the Edge:
The $819,200.76 match was not only met last month but exceeded! The resources needed to “seize the opportunities” God has opened are available because of the generosity and commitment of Living on the Edge partners like you.
As you, or those you love, face the predictable waves of change, transitions and challenges, I hope these 5 Anchors will be a helpful guide in your journey.
Your love, financial support, and prayers are an immense encouragement to me and the team at Living on the Edge. Thank you for stepping out with us as we seek to fulfill God’s clear calling to help Christians live like Christians here and around the world.
To Him be the Glory,
CEO and Teaching Pastor
Living on the Edge