The guys and I had the privilege of leading worship this week at the Youth Pastors Summit that is hosted by SLU. Around 1500 student pastors, leaders & teachers gathering to be encouraged & equipped for the life calling God has placed on them. As a worship leader, this is a sweet time because as soon as the first note is hit, everyone is all in. Hearts are in unity, seeking after the very thing we are…
– the presence of God to rest in that place… and it is sweet. Did I say that already?
As we lead at these events, one of my favorite things to do is listen and encourage these that are on the front lines. The guys do such a great job of that as well. They are light hearted & attentive, and really help break the ice for us to find out how we can pray for each one.
A pastor friend of mine from the central Florida area sent us a text letting us know that he had to miss the week, but wanted us to know he was praying… This guy we have known for quite a while. The last event we led for him was so great. He’s a pastor that pours into his students; he uses fun & creativity to share the Gospel with them constantly. He also is a little OCD about his coffee, but that’s another story for another day…
Several weeks ago, this pastor lost two leaders in a vehicle accident in which the leaders were busing the students to camp… On the way to camp. How does that happen? On the way to learn more, lead better, grow, serve… how does this happen? Where was God’s hand on this group ‘doing His work’?
The sovereignty of God far outweighs the attacks of the enemy. Romans 8:28 is the evidence of that:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
KEY WORD: EVERYTHING. Let’s not give the enemy any foothold, any freedom where he can rummage through our hearts tearing down faith & building up walls of ‘God doesn’t see’ & ‘God doesn’t care’. Being completely vulnerable is the perfect place for God to build on to the foundation of Christ in your heart, if you’ve accepted Him.
The story of Joseph in Genesis paints such a clear picture of God’s sovereignty in difficult times. He was left for dead by his own brothers, sold into slavery, tricked by Potiphar’s wife, thrown in jail, but eventually became the second in command for the entire nation & saved that nation and his family (the one’s who sold him into slavery) from starvation. How about that for an ending?
We don’t see the big picture. We don’t know the ultimate end result of what God is always trying to do. All of our lives are intertwined, weaving a tapestry of light and dark… the hope in this is that we are seen, and we are loved by the Maker, the Creator of all. He takes these times of darkness and turns them into treasures (Isa.45:3) that lead into new seasons. The promise isn’t that the seasons are easy, but that they sharpen us, they escort us into a deeper understanding of grace and redemption.
Where are you being led? Have you been still long enough lately to see where the hand of God is on your life? Maybe you need to stop and look around to see where the enemy is trying to steal, kill and destroy in your heart and mind.
Take some time today and lift up my friends in New Port Richey, Fl. They are amazing people, & we are believing with all of our hearts that God is moving mountains in their community and will change the world through the sovereign chain of events a few weeks ago. God is good, no matter the circumstance. I’ll never tire of saying that. That goodness is not just reserved for pastors & leaders, it’s for the children of God.