Today’s Passage – Genesis 10 – 12
“And Abraham journeyed, going on still toward the south” (Genesis 12:9)
There has only been two times in my life that God has clearly revealed His perfect will to me. I am not referring to the will of God that is revealed to all of us in the Word. What I am referring to is when God miraculously showed me where He wanted me to go and what He wanted me to do. The first time was when God showed me where to go to Bible College. I had been searching for His will regarding my training for the ministry and frankly I was not sure what to do. I won’t go into to all of the details, but after spending a lot of time in prayer, God made it crystal clear to me where He wanted me to go.
I will tell you a little bit more about the second time. I was in my last year of Bible College and the day of my graduation was at hand. I did not know at that time what God had planned for me after I finished. I had some thoughts about what I wanted to do, but I wanted to make sure that I was following God, not trying to get Him to follow me. I was out on my bus route in Texarkana one Saturday, and again I was praying about what to do. All of a sudden I thought about Pastor Charlie Clark, a preacher that I had known back in New Jersey. I decided to give him a call and ask his advice. I remember that he had once told me that he wanted to help start twenty new churches in south Jersey. Maybe God would allow me to be the pastor of one of them. I called 411, got his number, and then called him, and surprisingly Pastor Clark picked up the phone. I shared with him my dilemma, and after a long conversation, he agreed to help me start a church when I returned home. I later found out that as soon as he hung up the phone with me, the phone rang again. This time it was Pastor Dan Owens, the pastor of Jersey Shore Baptist Church. Pastor Dan had been called by God to become a chaplain in the military, and he needed somebody to take the church that he had started in Galloway. God used Pastor Clark to connect me with Dan Owens, and the rest, as they say, is history. I never candidated anywhere else, and I didn’t really candidate here at Jersey Shore. I just met with the pastor, and preached a couple of times for him; and upon his recommendation, the church voted me in. I believe with all of my heart that God, through those circumstances, revealed His perfect will regarding where He wanted me to go after I graduated from college.
Now I told you all of that to tell you this: it was thirteen years ago this week that the people of Jersey Shore Baptist Church voted me in to be their pastor. But before they chose me, God did. Now through these years there have been many good days, but there have also been many times of trial and testing. However, because I knew that I was where God wanted me to be, I did not quit. Though I have been tempted to do so many times, I did not move away.
In Genesis 12:6 – 8, Abraham entered into the land of Canaan, and God appeared to him and told him this was the place where He was going to bless him. X marks the spot. You don’t need to go anywhere else, Abraham, because this is the place of God’s blessing. How sad it is that in verse 9, Abraham is leaving the place of God’s calling. Verse 10 reveals that when a famine comes, he moves further away into Egypt. Do you know that God does not speak to Abraham again until he gets back to the place where God had told him to stay? (Genesis 13:14)
Christian, be very careful about the decisions you make in life. Things like where you live, whom you marry, what school you go to. All of the major decisions should be carefully prayed over, and counsel needs to be sought after. Don’t move unless you are sure you are in the perfect will of God. All of these decisions have long-term consequences. Make sure you get it right. And once you find God’s perfect plan for your life, don’t move, unless you are absolutely sure that God is moving you.
Posted in Thoughts from Genesis by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.