Throughout the years, God has allowed me to be a part of various studies that have impacted my life. Through both formal training and informal reflection, I have been challenged by God’s Word and shaped by its application. But I must admit that one of the most significant studies I have ever undertaken was Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God. I was in high school myself as I launched out to lead the student version of the study with a group of my peers. I had heard about the work for some time; and with the encouragement of some seasoned saints, I felt that it would be a great study for my fellow “youth.” Never did I realize that the leader of the study would be most gripped by its truth. (By the way, I am still reminded of how the biblical teacher often gets more out of study than the student does!) As I mulled over the Scripture presented by Blackaby and as I sought to process his “Seven Realities of Experiencing God,” I began to walk intentionally in His will. To me, it was powerful and liberating! And of course, it all began with recognizing the first reality: “God is always at work around you.”
The truth of God’s ongoing work around us sets the context for understanding His will for our lives. No matter our feelings of disappointment or discouragement, we must believe God is at work. He has a plan! And as Moses himself found out, the Lord is hearing His people’s cries even when we begin to question His concern and effort. Not only does He care for His people, He is working on their behalf for their good and His glory. What’s more? He even invites us to join Him in that plan! His will for His people intersects with His will for us personally. In other words, God has a plan bigger than us individually, but He calls to us in an intimate way to be a part of His larger agenda. To quote Blackaby, “We look where God is working, and we join Him in the work.”
What an awesome responsibility and opportunity we have! In truth, God is active all around us. Take our LoveLincoln event this past Saturday. We ministered to over 155 families as we blessed them with some meal cards, gas, and Christian resources. More importantly, we were able to meet spiritual needs through gospel conversations and personal ministry. One of our volunteers commented, “God opened my eyes to the many needs of and heartbreaks of our community. I saw God use this outreach to encourage single parents by the outpouring of love from the church and the power of prayer.” Another volunteer stated, “I was able to pray with almost everyone who received gas at my pump. I prayed for J— who is addicted to drugs, with a heartbroken mom whose son is in jail, with C— who is taking care of her two little girls as well as her aging mom, with L— whose three-year-old son had his leg amputated, and with A— who is raising his three kids and a grandchild.” Friends, that is God at work!!
As we move to next week, I also see God working in our Staycation Bible School efforts. Already, we have many children signed up to participate . . . many whose families are not members of Temple. In other words, these Bible study efforts are spreading across communities and incorporating families that we might not have reached here on our campus. And isn’t that our intent? To me, God is demonstrating how He can rearrange our plans even through difficult times and redeem our efforts for something different and powerful. He is at work! My prayer is that you and your family will join Him in this opportunity this week. And what is also incredible? Two other churches are partnering with us to expand our collective ministry. In particular, we are working with our brothers and sisters at Mineral Springs Baptist Church to assist them in their Bible School this year. Many of you know that their building was devastated by a fire recently, and we wanted to come alongside of them in this ministry moment. After all, we are all on the same team!
Every week, I have more difficulty limiting the length of this article because I want to tell you about so many areas in which I see God working. There are so many more stories I could tell. But for now, let’s just pause and give Him thanks for His faithfulness! And let’s ask Him to open our eyes so that we can see His work clearly so that we can join Him!
I’m looking forward to seeing you this Father’s Day as we worship the Heavenly Father above! We will praise Him together, take our annual special offering for the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, and study His Word! What a day Sunday will be! See you then!