Before You Begin: Read Acts 14: 1-7
At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. But they found out about it and fled to Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued to preach the gospel.
Stop and Consider: There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. But they found out about it and fled to Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued to preach the gospel.
Questions Asked of Me: How should we determine when to trust God to protect us supernaturally and when to run for our lives?
Good question. I like to think that Jesus puts people in my life to help in making those decisions. But sometimes I pretend that Jesus wants me to stay put just a little bit longer; knowing it is my will and not His that I am catering to.
For instance; we lived in a 3,800 square foot house entirely too long. Jesus was giving us signals that we were in over our head but, in our defense, we weren’t Christians yet so we continued to go through the motions; acting as if our lifestyle hadn’t dramatically changed. We became Christians in October and we still heard Him leading us elsewhere; we stayed put…THEN telling ourselves that Jesus would take care of us; He wouldn’t let anything happen to us, right? I mean…after all, we are Christians now. That was not the case.
We continued to pray for Him to expand our territories and hoped that He would bring a job for Robbe but that didn’t happen. Another month would go by of barely making bills and staying somewhere we had no business staying. We finally figured out that it was time “to get outta here” and when we did; everything fell into place. It took us until the middle of February to follow where Jesus was trying to lead but we did it. A week later, a job was offered to Robbe just a mile from our new place; a place that was much more affordable at half the size and we moved just a month before our landlord had foreclosure proceedings brought onto the property we were living in. Whew…..
Still working on the discernment of knowing when it is Jesus and not our own way of thinking that gets us to places…but we are definitely more open to doing the footwork where He says “do the footwork.”
What causes us to doubt that this is equally God’s provision? Look deep enough to define some of the miraculous components involved in using our heads.
I was new to being a Christian when I first thought: “I’m a Christian now; Jesus won’t let anything bad happen to me. I am certain He will swoop in and save the day before I even realize my day needs saving.” And, even though I am certain that being a Christian does not make me invincible to bad things happening, I still somehow believe that Jesus wears a superhero cape and will show up in the nick of time to get me out of any situation. I know that He gave me a personality to do His will. It is harder to imagine that He gave me the smarts and know how to do His will too.
This may be a difficult concept to consider, especially if you have been attacked or injured and wonder why you weren’t delivered. Tomorrow’s reading will hopefully give you a measure of comfort in this regard. But for now, express your willingness to trust God even when you don’t understand.
Praying God’s Word Today: Your Word says, “The inexperienced believe anything, but the sensible watch their steps” (Proverbs 14:15) and are “crowned with knowledge” (Proverbs 14:18). May I not be afraid to use the wits and faculties You have created in me to be part of Your blessing in my life. I trust You wholeheartedly in whatever way You choose to keep Your promises, knowing that the God of old is my dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27).
I trust You completely; You know that. But You also know that I have issues with having continued faith when it comes to something I don’t want to do; i.e…moving to Nineveh. I was uncertain and knew that things would work out for Your benefit but I didn’t know or when and I wanted it exactly like home and I wanted it now if not sooner. Thank You for rescuing me from myself. Thank You for giving me the smarts to figure out that putting ALL of my faith in You ALL the time is what I have to do. Thank You for only letting me wallow in my own doubt so long and finally giving in to what You already knew; Nineveh is home and these Ninevites aren’t so bad; they’re pretty nice actually. Thanks for them too.
I trust You wholeheartedly in whatever way You choose to keep Your promises, knowing that the God of old is my dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Yeah…. What he said. =)