We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps – Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)
Last week I blogged about having moved along a pathway exploring future ministry options, when suddenly it was stripped away. So, this week I spent time reflecting, trying to understand what happened.
The reflection took me back to over three years ago. It was at the time when my public ministry was taken away from me. Without any reason or explanation, the door was closed shut.
Since that time, I had sought the Lord to find out where my ministry fit was in the future. Recently I had felt that I was getting closer to God’s call and assignment in the current season and into the future. Little did I know what was in store.
Once everything was stripped away the Lord bought to my attention the promise he gave me in 2015. ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland’ – Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
What I had not realised in this verse that there was to be nothing from my past that was to remain. As I looked back I saw previous prophetic words, revelations, mission opportunities still influenced my current thoughts and decisions. Yet His prompting suggested that I had misinterpreted the former things in ministry as being part of my future. But it was greater than that. The inward journey revealed that every area of previous ministry would be stripped away. That is that all of my past call has been decommissioned! I had been stumbling along believing in my heart that I was walking in His steps.
I would say that during this time I had become much closer to God as I daily sought His unfailing love and grace and faithfulness. So, my desire to know Him more flourished into pure joy. Everything has not been bad.
It was to be a complete new start and I did not perceive it. I had not recognised that. The LORD then revealed a window in time where He had spoken. As I looked at my journal written during this time it appeared to be a disjointed array of thoughts and ideas. With fresh spiritual eyes they now began to take on a whole new shape. I now believe I had all the components for the next season given to me at that time.
Unfortunately, in spite of being guided to this realisation, which I reminded as I read from my journal again, I had continued to add areas that I thought formed part of the framework. But as I looked at them again they were all former things.
So here I was stripped of my plan and now been humbled and surrendered by the promises that God was unfolding before me. Slowly I began sifting through the rubble of my notes and began picking up the pieces that God only ever wanted me to have from the beginning.
This is what came out of the rubble. A revelation I received from God on 31 March 2015
There is a particular work that the Lord wants to do through you. You must now go to God in humility and with an open mind because what the Lord wants to accomplish through you is uncommon and not what you are used to. Come out from among them and be separated so that I can speak to you, says Lord.
Much of this revelation I had been obedient to, but now I knew this stripping away was complete and that God had answered my prayer. In that moment, my frustration and confusion gave way to quiet confidence. My spirit became like a sea of glass because I knew it was out of my hands. The natural that had been thwarting me turned into supernatural momentum that now propels me.
It was in that instant that I knew the peace that only God can give. The moments of absolute brokenness before God are too few and far between. Usually self-consciousness gets in the way, but not this day.
So I have now a number of pieces scattered randomly before me, like a jigsaw and I have intentionally began to put each of the pieces together.
God’s call on our life is not all mystery. For better or for worse, our call is the result of our daily decisions and His defining decisions. Never underestimate the potential of one resolution to change your life. For me it was found in that moment.