A couple of days before Easter 2012, one of the members of the auxiliary at my work recommended Grace Notes by Jim Stephens as one of those books that really helps you connect with God in a meaningful way. I bought the book and from time to time I’ve read that instead of my Mom’s Devotional Bible. It’s got dated pages with a reading & a theme and a prayer (similar to the Mom’s Devotional Bible)
Yesterday it was the perfect reminder & reassurance that saying “thanks, but no thanks; I’m staying put” was the right path for my feet. It sure blessed my socks off; I hope it blesses yours off, too!
Finished My Work
But now I have finished my work in these regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you. (Romans 15:23)
It caught my attention that Paul said his work “in these regions” was finished. He refers to his ministry from Jerusalem to Illyricum (Northeast of Italy) and he said his work there was finished! This didn’t mean that everyone in the region was saved. It didn’t mean that all the churches were perfect or had the perfect leadership in place. It also didn’t mean that he was through with hard work, with facing challenges, with taking steps of faith. It simply meant that his specific assignment there was completed.
It’s so important to know and be committed to God’s specific assignment for our lives. It’s equally important to be aware of the seasons of our lives and of God’s assignment – to recognize when a season is finished and an assignment is completed.
I believe it’s healthy for us to have sincere and deeply held desires for our future. It’s healthy and good to be willing and ready to move toward fulfilling those desires when a current season and a present assignment is finished. But it’s foolish to expect that those desires will be fulfilled in just the way we determined and on the schedule we set.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Father, There’s so much for me to learn from the honest account of the adventures of Paul. Thanks for taking the time to teach me. Thanks for your patience with me when I’m slow to get it. This morning I’m thinking about the importance of knowing your specific assignment for me, and of recognizing the seasons of life and ministry. I’m learning to be honest with you about my deeply held desires. I’m learning about making plans, and about trustingly placing the outcome in your faithful and capable hands. Be it unto me according to your will and your word. Amen!.