Providence is God's guidance and protection in our lives.
Pastor, I know we teach about God's providence to His people regularly. We counsel people with a deep belief and conviction about God's guidance and protection through life. Yet, when it comes to our own lives and ministries, do we believe it with the same level of conviction and operate our lives accordingly?
God Knows What Is Best for Me
I have often struggled with understanding many things in my own life and ministry. I have wondered why certain doors have closed when I thought their opening would be the will of God. Conversely, I have often been overwhelmed with God's gracious blessing of opening doors for me that I knew I did not deserve. After all these years, it is still hard to write them in confession to you. But I understand that God knows what is best for me, even when I do not know what is best for myself. Yes, He protects me from things I may want or believe, when in reality, they are not best for me.
Trusting the Providence of God
The Lord is always working around us. He desires to work through us. People, places, provisions and experiences are all under His guidance and care. When He desires to intersect them in your life, you will see His sovereign will fulfilled. Therefore, by faith we must trust God's sovereign will. We want to join Him in all He is doing. As He invites us to join Him, trust Him. He is worthy to be trusted.
Therefore, how do we trust the providence of God in ministry?
1. Trust in His providence even when things are not going well. Ministry is not an easy calling or job. Most pastors I know are under the scrutiny of people continually. They are weary from constant criticism and cutting cynicism. Many wonder if their future is in jeopardy. Oftentimes, they live on the edge from one month to the next, hoping and praying for revival or deliverance!
Pastor, God has not forgotten you. He is with you. He wants to teach you.
I will never forget one of the most challenging times I ever faced in ministry. Through that experience, God showed me that He had me in that particular place in life to teach me. He had me there more for me than for the church! This overwhelmed me with conviction from the Spirit of God. I learned through that experience, and many times since, that He guides, protects and provides even when things are not going well. Trust in God's sovereign will for your life.
2. Trust in His providence even when you do not want to. Too many times in life, we want to take our life and ministry in our own hands. We want to manipulate the circumstances or spin our own reality. If we want to be honest with one another, there are times when we struggle with anger about what we are experiencing and even with where we may be serving. In the ministry, jealousy can even override our judgment at times because others are receiving recognition that we believe we are more worthy of receiving. In reality, all may line up on our sheet of unfairness.
Yet, we must trust in God's sovereign will. At times, trusting Him and His will may be far more difficult than trying to take matters into our own hands. Trusting God in ministry involves surrendering our entire life and future to Him! We have to take our hands off of our own future, leaving all of our future in His hands. Pastor, trust in God's sovereign will for your life.
3. Trust in His providence for your future. Pastor, trust in God's providence for your future in life and ministry. He knows what is best for you even when you do not. He is more involved with you personally than you realize. He is moving in the world of today in order to prepare you for the world of tomorrow.
I believe God has big plans for your life and future. No, you may not see it right now, but He is preparing you for them. Do not try to dumb-down God into your perspective of the world. He sees the end from the beginning. He knows every gift in your life that He Himself gifted you with. At the right time, He will raise you up and trust you with your future. Pastor, practice what you teach and preach.
It all begins with you:
- Being available to God without placing any restrictions on your life
- Surrendering yourself and all you are to Him, holding nothing back
- Trusting in God's sovereign, providential will for your life and ministry
Trust God's providential guidance and care for your life and ministry!
Dr. Ronnie Floyd has been a pastor for over 37 years. Since 1986, Pastor Floyd has served as the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas, which has baptized over 17,000 people during his tenure. Cross Church was one of the first churches in America to go multi-site. In June 2014, Pastor Floyd was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has authored over 20 books including FORWARD: 7 Distinguishing Marks for Future Leaders, released 2015.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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