After doing part 1 of this section, I couldn’t just wait until next week for part 2, so here I am doing it today!
An excerpt from Lisa’s text:
Can I encourage you in the fact if God can accomplish the cross-country relocation of 2 million people by the obedience of one man [Moses], then He is SO ABLE to work out the details of your calling to a good end! The most important thing to remember is even if it is Not Like We Planned, there is never to be a doubt that our outcomes are exactly Like He Planned. We can rest knowing that our God has it covered.
…Sisters, when things do not work out like we planned, when the diagnosis is not what we wanted, when the child is in trouble, when the bills are not paid, when the job is just too stressful, when the loved one continues to reject the Lord, the only way we can endure is following hard after the One who is Unseen. Trust in the One who is refining and preparing you to either be delivered or to be a deliverer. On any given day, you will always fall on one side of that line or the other. No matter which it is on this day, the only way to endure is by Faith.
1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP? (Not Like I Planned?)
In July I felt God revealing to me His [future] call for me in something relating to worship ministry, though I knew not any of the details. Almost five months later now, our worship pastor shared with me the news of his calling to another church, & my own move to a more direct leading position at least temporarily.
2. How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain.
At first, I couldn’t see God’s will as a whole in this. It wasn’t at all like I’d dreamed it as I embark on a new chapter in God’s will for both myself & for our church. I’m both baffled by it, saddened by our worship leader’s coming move, & also happy that God is doing something [more obvious] in His will for my life, even if it isn’t what I might have hoped for or expected. No matter how unprepared I feel right now (or maybe I’m just afraid of even temporary growing responsibility!), I know that God is definitely up to something!!
3. Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling?
Not areas of ministry, but in my prayers just months before for God to guide me into the next move I might need to make, & when God made me just wait without no other answer. I still remember getting advice from a mentor when I was praying about it telling me to stay put unless God made it clear. In retrospect I see that God was using her to make sure I didn’t leave Him & His will for me for something else!
4. Do you harbor any bitterness towards any individual or situation which you believe waylaid your best laid plans?
Not really, because even though I’m experiencing some unknowns & worries even now, God is quelling many of them through my need to just give Him all control & trust Him in this, merely because there is nothing I can do to change anything. If all this wasn’t happening, I’d merely continue doing what I’m already doing… but God’s given me a peace in that He is definitely at work in all situations!
5. Have you had a life experience or trial that left you with a shaken faith because it ended in an NLIP? Please share if you feel free.
Until God revealed some of His will for me, my whole life was feeling this way. Things didn’t originally turn out like I had hoped. But at two different points, first when I was saved, & then when God made His will for me known, I was given hope for the future in two separate doses! Knowing that, I can more easily deal with what I’ve called my desert place as I await His call on my life, even though exercising patience is by far the most difficult fruit to bear!
6. Based on Moses’ response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself?
At most, I want to remember at any NLIP time that God is in control & at work in it, even when I don’t see every step coming along the way or understand why I’m going through something until much later. The walk of faith & trust is something that is a continual challenge for all of us in certain situations, & I am thankful that God loves me so much that He is working to increase my trust & faith in Him & His perfect will & timing for everything.