We are instructed in Psa 105, to “O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto him; talk ye of all His wondrous works.” When we pray asking the Lord to guide us, that is what we are suppose to do. To allow Him to guide us, not walk ahead of Him; but that is exactly what I have been doing.
When we moved to Arizona, we had spent many hours in prayer asking the Lord to lead us to the church home that He wanted us to be in service to Him. After visiting churches around the area, we found a church that had amazing preaching and people who were so very easy to love. Even though it was very different from the churches we have been members in both Texas and California, we felt that this church had great folks and great preaching, so we decided that this would become our church home. Each week, we would leave the service and get in the car and I would get teary eyed. Randy would take my hand and say, “I know this is not what we are used to, but churches out here are very different and I guess this is the best it’s going to be.” I know this is not the attitude that we should have, but I began to think that if we joined, maybe it would feel more like our “home church” and being a member would make us feel better about things. So I began to tell Randy that we should begin the church membership process. This is certainly not something that I am proud of, and is exactly why we are encouraged to allow the husband to be the head of the household. I could tell he was not feeling the same about joining, but after me continuing to say that “we need to do this”, he agreed and we went forward in preparing the church membership videos. The appointment was set to meet with one of the pastors and we went. The entire hour we met with this sweet young man, I felt a check in my spirit, but just decided that maybe it was because I was still trying to “make it happen”. So we joined. The two Sundays after joining, each week, we would leave the service and get in the car. Tears would fill my eyes, and we both knew that we had indeed got ahead of the Lord and was not in the place where we should be.
The week after joining, a friend called me to tell me that they felt that they had found their church home. She began to tell me about it and let me know that it had a traditional service and had Sunday School and a Women’s Ministry, which is something that has always been such a passion of mine. As she spoke, I remembered the whole past year of both Randy and I praying and asking the Lord to allow us to find a church which had Sunday School and a traditional service and a Women’s Ministry. Randy had heard the whole conversation because I had my phone on speaker phone. This was on a Thursday. Right then I decided that for once, (yes I do get ahead of God so many times) I would not even mention this to Randy, but to let him be the one who suggested that we attend Grace Community Church. Calling my BFF in Dallas, I began to relay the whole story to her when she spoke up and said, “Trudy do you not remember me mentioning Grace Community to you when you first moved there?” No I didn’t remember. She had heard about it from her daughter who lives in Scottsdale and had friends who attended Grace. The next Sunday morning, we got up and began to get ready for church when he quietly said, “what do you think about going to visit Grace Community this morning?” Quickly I responded, YES! So off we went. After the service, we walked out and got in the car and just looked at each other. As he looked over to me, I said, “what did you think? He told me that he loved it and we both said that it was a church we could see ourselves growing old in and serving” The next 3 weeks, we went back and have begun visiting Sunday School classes. But now the burden of telling our sweet friends who have been not only our small group leaders, but my ladies Bible study leader who invited us into their small group. We left for a couple of weeks for vacation and we ask friends in California to pray for us as we felt badly for now telling these folks who had become such sweet friends to us, that we would be leaving the church. But God….He truly goes way beyond our needs and answers prayers which still amaze! When I talked to Marilyn, she was just so sweet and kind and told me she totally understood. Then she told me a story. She said that as soon as she got my email explaining our story, she went in to tell her husband. It was then that he revealed to her that he had just received an email from a couple who had tried once before to get in their small group, but there wasn’t room. The man had written to Bob and had ask him if there was still no opening in their group, as their small group had disbanded and they were desperate to be in a small group. So us leaving allowed them to be able to invite this couple into theirs. All that happened on the very same day. A confirmation from the Lord that we were being called to a new place. So from this circumstance, several things were learned.
1. Do not try to “make things happen”. Allow God to lead in His timing, not mine.
2. Don’t settle for something less that what God has intended to give you. We had been praying for a year for a church that was more like our home church in Texas and California. We didn’t wait, but took it upon ourselves to get ahead of the Lord, thinking that this was as good as it was going to get. God never gives you anything but His best. Why can I not learn that?
3.When we don’t wait on God and lead ourselves, instead of allowing God to lead, there are consequences. Yes, He forgives our trying to control situations, but my consequences were that I had to go back then and tell precious friends that we had made a mistake and acknowledge that this was just not the place for us.
4. Quit trying to be the spiritual leader of our home. Randy was not ready to join, and had I listened to him, we would not have signed a church membership covenant.
Lord, there are so many times when I try to get ahead of you and think that I know better than you how to live my life. Forgive me Lord and may I learn to trust You more and more and may my faith in You grow no matter the circumstances.
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24
2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.