June 22, 2021 Charlotte, North Carolina USA
“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14, NASB
In the fall of 2019 the Lord once again came and said He wanted me to bring together the local churches, even if just for one day, as a sign of unity and strength. My first reaction and response was, “I tried that before. It didn’t happen. I am not going to try again.”
He wouldn’t let up. Another few times He impressed upon me that He wanted to bring together, gather together, His people in this area, and He asked that I head it up. After much hesitancy, I agreed.
He had spoken this word to me before, over 17 years earlier at that time, in 2002, of bringing five ministries together in work and administration, as a show of unity and combined effort for His purposes. That word I then shared to each was either immediately rejected or left with no response. No one would believe it could or would happen. Each was content to do their own thing, be about their own assignment, and not consider partnering in anyway with other ministries or churches.
Thus, my extreme hesitancy to try it again. But I did. The month of March 2020 was determined to have the day event.
With the help of three other local ministers, we met, planned, and got the word out of the event, inviting the people to come and share what each had as members of the Body of Christ. It would be a one-day, full day event, and I was budgeting a total cost of $7,000 – venue rental, advertising costs, materials, honorariums, food, and more.
Six months earlier I had scheduled a ministry trip to India, for February 2020, with the purpose of teaching over 90 pastors in two separate conferences the spiritual and practical teaching of why Christians should support Israel. The meetings went well. I met several new pastors and renewed friendships with others I had met 10 years ago on my first India trip.
My expectations were high for the Lord to be doing the same thing back home, gathering together many in much the same way.
When I returned home, registrations for the “Gathering Together” event numbered only 11. To say the least, I was devasted. No way did I have the faith nor courage to proceed, anticipating the high cost I would have to finance with little to show for it. After consulting with the other three leaders, we canceled the event.
Each of us has those times when we are called upon, by the Lord, to do something. Typically, it is far greater than what we could do in our own natural and spiritual strength. It comes with a price, as the Lord will test our faith, our trust, our commitment in Him and His plans.
Abraham was tested with Isaac. Joseph was tested with a multicolored dream. David was tested as he ran from King Saul, after being anointed to be the next king of Israel.
We all have tests. We all are given opportunities to walk out our faith even when we have little to base it on except the promise of God the Father and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
So, we step out. We may fall down. We might even tell ourselves we will not do this again, recalling what happened “last time” when we attempted to obey the Lord.
But we must keep going, allowing our faith to build, believing that the Lord will reveal later on what all He sees, what He knows, what He wants done as we walk with Him. Though what seems to be defeat, disappointment, and bring discouragement at the time, we will know in time what He was after in us and show to us that it was for not for naught as we obey.
Even now I don’t know what He fully had for me and others in that planned event, but I do know that by obeying Him, He will yet bring about His plans and purposes, and even use you and me for His perfect will.
When He calls you to do something, you may hesitate, be unwilling, or ask, “why” as I did, but you can rest in His Word that He is all-knowing and doesn’t waste or overlook your obedience and faith in the walk He takes you on.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6, NASB
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Love For His People founder
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Message #50 – in the year of our Lord 06.22.21 – “Still Trust Me” – Tuesday, 9:00 am in Charlotte, NC USA