Excerpted from DON'T BE DISCOURAGED! 12/87--Keep the Faith & Trust the Lord! #2386, by David Brandt Berg
Whenever a situation is uncertain and I'm not exactly sure if a thing is God's perfect Will and whether He's going to work it out or not, I always fall back on this one shock cushion: I always pray, "Nevertheless, Lord, You're still the Boss and You're still God, and if things don't work out just the way I expected or the way I hoped or the way I was driving or pushing for, if that's not what You want me to do, if You have some other idea and You're going to accomplish something maybe even better, or maybe teach me a lesson I need to learn, or whatever Your purpose is, Lord help me to just do what You want me to do!--'Not my will but Thine be done!'"--Luke 22:42.
We may sometimes have all kinds of ideas of what we think ought to be done.--But what if it turns out that our ideas are not exactly what the Lord wants? The classic example I always think about is that time when He absolutely turned us around when we had our reservations made, tickets bought and were packed and even had the taxi booked and everything else, and were almost on our way! We even had the house rented in Uruguay and had sent someone all the way over there to work with Juan to get the house rented and everything ready!
But I couldn't sleep all that night, the Lord really worked me over! He said, "You're going the wrong direction, you're going back to the past! You call that the New World, but that's the Old World! I want to send you to the New World, the Lands of the Rising Sun!" "But Lord," I argued, "I don't speak any language out there!" He answered, "But they speak yours!"
I think that was one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my whole life! I could agree with the Lord, He gave me every answer, that was the easy part, the Lord telling me that He didn't want me to go to South America, but to go the complete opposite direction.--The very night before we were supposed to leave, all packed and ready to go! That was the easy part, yielding to the Lord and saying, "Okay, Lord, You're the Boss, whatever You say goes! If You say so, I know it's right and it'll be all right and everything will work out! PYL!"
The hard part was, "But Lord, please help me when I have to go in now and tell Peter! He is surely going to think I have cracked this time! I have asked him to do some pretty difficult things before and he's had to take my word for it and the Lord's Word for it, but so far he's survived and he's done'm and they worked.--But Lord, this one is just almost too much for the poor guy!"
The Devil puts all kinds of doubts and fears in your mind about what other people might think or do. I thought, "Oh Lord!--What if Mama and Peter get together and decide that I've really finally cracked up! After all, I've done enough things already to make'm think I'm crazy, maybe sometimes they worry about me a little bit.--But this is it!" Peter could have thought, "I've had a hard time believing and doing all these other things, but this is really too much!--After all this trouble I've been through to buy these tickets, get the reservations, get the money changed, do all this, that and the other, and now he expects me to go down and tell those travel agent girls that we're not going to go after all!"--I was sympathising with him!
How did you feel going back to that woman and telling her that you're now going to go the exact opposite direction, that instead of South America now you wanted a flight to Sri Lanka! It must not have been easy! (Peter: It was OK! At least I knew we were doing the right thing!) It must have been embarrassing. She must have shaken her head.--Anybody with confirmed tickets and reservations, to suddenly come down and decide they don't want to go to South America but they want to go to Sri Lanka, of all places! It must not have been easy!--She must have thought we were crazy!
So don't be too surprised if what you plan is not always exactly what the Lord is planning or what He's going to do! My brother used to say, "If you don't expect anything you'll never be disappointed!" Well, that's rather extreme. But if you're not absolutely sure and the Lord hasn't given some absolute word on it, don't be too surprised if you find He has some surprises in store for you!
We will do what God has ordained us to do and commissioned us to do, whatever it is! But what if it's not exactly what we thought it should be?--As the one series was labelled, "What If"? What if things don't work out just that way or the way we hoped or the way we were thinking?--What if God changes plans? What if He does something else? What if He leads another way?
But what God has appointed us for and anointed us to do and given us the faith to do, sooner or later you'll find out that it works, if you continue in the calling wherein you are called and do what you're supposed to do and let others do what they're supposed to do! PTL? Can you trust God for that? Can you trust God even if you have to sometimes go right into the fiery furnace? "But if not, we'll still not bow down before your filthy idol, we'll still trust our God no matter what!"--Dan. 3:17,18.--Even if He doesn't do things exactly the way we expect or the way we pray or what we thought He would!
I've even had the Lord trick me into situations sometimes, deliberately get me into a situation for reasons that I thought were His Will, but He had something entirely different in mind!--Like that time He told us to go East: He got us all packed, He got all of our forsake-all taken care of--we had given it to the local Homes to sell and whatnot--and He had us thinking we were going to Latin America! And the leaders there were thrilled we were coming to help them, and we thought we were going to land where they spoke a language which we could speak and understand.
It was all very logical, very reasonable, understandable, of course it was the place we should go, there was no doubt or question in our minds about it! So the Lord let us keep thinking that so we'd get all packed and get rid of the forsake-all and be all ready and have the money and be prepared to go.--But not where we thought we were going! Do you get the point?
God is frequently full of surprises! He loves to do things which are not according to natural expectation! Are you willing to trust Him no matter what, even if He seems to change His mind?--Even if you thought it was this but it turned out to be that, are you still going to trust Him and follow God even if He didn't do it the way you wanted Him to?
I'll never forget that morning when I had to go tell Peter! I even argued with the Lord, I said, "Lord, couldn't we at least go there first? We've got money put down on the house and all of this preparation made and these poor boys have gone to all this trouble to find it and rent it, the deal was closed with the owner and he's now gone off to God knows where!--How can I tell Peter?" I even thought, "Lord, maybe we could go by way of Latin America!" I tried everything I could think of to rationalise going on to Latin America first! But the Lord told me, "Don't try to get around it, don't try to hedge on it, don't try to rationalise it, don't try to excuse yourself!--Just admit you were going the wrong direction, you made a mistake! You've got to admit it, confess it!"
Well, at least we were all ready to go, all packed and ready! So dear Peter, he went down and worked it out with the girl and she had to cash in our tickets and re-issue a whole bunch of new tickets and change all the reservations and do everything that had to be done! She must still be thinking, "That's the craziest bunch of people I ever dealt with! One day they're going to South America and the next day they're going to Sri Lanka!--What kind of nuts were those guys, anyway?" Well, it worked! It was God's Will!
So PTL! In spite of all the nights when the Devil throws all those doubts at me and tries to discourage me and get me to quit, the Lord always gets the victory! The Enemy says, "What are you trying to do this impossible job for? Who are you?--Look what a mess you are! How can you lead this Family? How can you do this?" Well, I don't know how we can do it, we just obey the Lord and let Him do it!--And He's done it! Hallelujah! So for God's sake, follow God! For God's sake, trust the Lord that He knows what He's doing!
I don't know what I'm doing, except I know that right here tonight with you I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing! So in that I know what I'm doing, even if I don't know what I'm going to say! I'm just doing what I'm supposed to be doing, and I've now done it!--And it's time for me to quit! The only thing I don't know how to do sometimes is to quit talking, that's my problem! So let's pray!
Hallelujah! Thank You Lord for what You've given us tonight. Thank You for leading and guiding. We know that You've given what was needed, what we all need! TYL! Now we need sleep. Help us, Lord, most of all, just to yield and follow Thee, let go and let You do it, to just follow Thee, Lord! Whichever way You lead, even if it's the opposite direction from which we've been going. TYL!
Lord, we know not what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future! So we just put our hands in Thine, Lord, and we follow Thee! In Jesus' name. PTL! Thank You for keeping us!
Copyright © 1998 by The Family
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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