God’s Guidance; December 28, 2017

Matthew 2:2 “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

The Magi are definitely a mystery. Today we are tempted to dismiss them as astrologers, and probably a lot of what they believed was a total crock, but there was enough truth in it all for them to figure out that God’s Messiah had been born to the Jews. The point to me is that when they felt they had heard from God, they acted on it, and that is something we all need to emulate. What they did was at considerable inconvenience and expense and even danger, but they were convinced they had heard from God, and that was enough. The Bible is filled with examples of people hearing from God in various ways – almost as many ways as there are people. As I keep being reminded, God indeed speaks to us all, and we need to learn to listen. The most common ways for God to speak to individuals are through the Bible and through impressions in the heart and mind. Those are often combined, and supplement and confirm each other. However, when we hear from God and then fail to act on what He has told us, it not only does us no good, it trains us in disobedience, and that is a terrible thing. (James 1:22) We have no way of knowing exactly how the Magi heard from God or how many confirmations they received, but we do know they acted on what they heard, and so played a vital part in God’s plan of salvation for all mankind.

I am very much in the place of acting on what I feel God has told me, without knowing at all how things are going to turn out. Yesterday the contract was signed and the money transferred to purchase a building plot next to the church, at considerable personal expense to me. However, that plot by itself isn’t sufficient for the elder-care facility Cathy and I have felt the Lord was leading us to build. The person who had promised funds to purchase a much larger tract of land backed out, for reasons known fully only to God, but we felt we had to do as much as God made possible, regardless. The other two building plots in the total tract remain unsold at this point. My personal prayer and even expectation is that God is going to provide the funds to purchase those as well, before anyone else does, but that is in His hands. Right now we are in a situation of people having left the church over this issue, even though there is no direct cost to the church itself, and we are exhausted. However, we have done as we were convinced God was leading, and our reward is in His hands. What the road ahead holds is at this point a mystery. We are learning things about some things He has planned for us in the year ahead, but we need clear guidance about the immediate future course as well. However He guides us, we need to be committed to obedience even before we know what His will is, so that we won’t hang back for any reason. His plans are for our blessing and His glory. (Jeremiah 29:11) That is enough to know.

Father, thank You that the paperwork for the one building plot is indeed completed. Help me know and follow Your plan for today and tomorrow. I pray Your presence, guidance, and anointing for the remaining time our younger daughter and her family will be here, and I ask for clear guidance about whether we are to attend the ministers conference in February, since the registration deadline is this Sunday. May we look at what You want us to do, rather than at what resources we think we have to do it, so that You will be free to do in and through us what You desire, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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