The Adventure of Working with God

Being led by the Spirit is an exciting adventure. When Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”, his disciples may not have realized what they were getting themselves into (see Matthew 4:18-22). Certainly, none of them could say following Jesus was ever boring. The miracles they saw, the incredible teachings they heard, Jesus walking on water, the dead raised, demons fleeing, the Mount of Transfiguration – they were probably always on their toes wondering what was going to happen next. They were part of a great adventure of doing God’s work.

Several years ago, a friend and I took a trip to Florida. I was looking forward to enjoying a nice vacation. Admittedly, my thoughts were not on doing God’s work. But my friend was focused on being an evangelist. Before we left, however, there were a couple of people who said something to me about our trip or prayed for me. There was a certain quality to their words and prayer that made me feel like God was up to something more than us just having a fun vacation.

We drove across Louisiana, slept one night in our car in Alabama, camped at a beautiful beach near Pensacola, Florida, and continued our journey southeast through Florida. On the fourth day, we made it to Hollywood, Florida, a suburb of Miami. My friend wanted to visit the apartment where he had lived a few years back and where, as I remember, he had rededicated his life to Christ.

A girl named Shay was living in his old apartment. For about an hour and a half we sat by the pool and talked with her about the Lord. She was very open to talking about Christianity but wanted to debate a lot of different things. My friend did almost all of the talking as I sat quietly. As we got up to leave, I felt in my heart God wanted me to say something to her. 

I hesitated because I wasn’t 100% certain that I was hearing from God, but I felt like I had to say it, so I did. The Lord told me that she had been abused by a man and that God wanted to heal her heart and be a father to her. I assumed God meant she had been abused by her father (wrong assumption), but when I gave the word to her, she confirmed she had been abused by her uncle. It was evident that God was touching her heart. She said to me, “You’re quiet, but you’re powerful.”

Then, we visited another apartment where a man named Tony lived. He had recently suffered a stroke and we felt led to pray for his healing. As we prayed, something powerful began to rise up inside of me as I felt the Holy Spirit. It was so strong, I had to move. I couldn’t stay in the apartment. I walked into the street and began to pray loudly, interceding for the apartment complex and declaring salvation to the city.

I’d not had such an experience like this before, to this intensity, it was like electricity was flowing through my body as God’s anointing was strong. I don’t recall anyone in my sight, but if anyone was nearby, they certainly would have heard me praying. It was an awesome moment. I believe God was using my prayers to bring about change in the heavenly realms.

There were other times during the trip that my friend reached out to others to share the gospel, but this was the high point of the trip for me. After our short time in Hollywood, we drove down to the Florida Keys and camped in a state park. We went snorkeling from a sailboat on the Atlantic Ocean and had an overall good time. One morning in the tent, my friend and I woke up to this incredible sense of peace. It was like we were lying in a pool of supernatural peace. It seemed like God was saying to us, “You did what I brought you here to do, I’m pleased with you.” We felt God’s pleasure.

Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” When we follow Jesus, we should expect God to lead us by His Spirit, especially when we are doing His work. We can expect signs and miracles to follow us (see Mark 16:17-18).

Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17, NIV). Even as a young man, Jesus said, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). We are all called to partner with Father God in the family business of advancing God’s kingdom, gathering in a harvest of souls and showing compassion to those in need.

You don’t necessarily have to travel to Florida or another country to do the Father’s work. You don’t necessarily have to stand in the middle of the street and pray loudly. The important thing is that we each do what God has called us to do and go where He has called us to go. Each of us is equipped to do the Father’s work. He does the heavy lifting; we simply join with Him in what He is already doing. Step out in faith and believe God to do mighty things through you!

What I’ve Learned in My Adventure with God

“A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9

In this article, I will share some of the lessons I have learned as I have journeyed with the Lord in my “adventure” with God. These truths are not earth-shattering revelations. They really are simple truths found in the Bible, but they have become more real to me as God’s word and timing has tested me and proved true in my life (see Psalm 105:19).

God is Faithful Even When I am Not

Sometimes the darkest moment is right before the dawn of the light of God’s fulfilled promise. There was a season in my life where I began to doubt God’s faithfulness because it seemed like He was not coming through on His promises to me. I got angry with God. After a few years of what was probably the darkest period of my life, I reaffirmed my faith in God in a moment of intense emotion. As I recall, it was not long after that when God began to bring about the fulfillment of some of His promises. My life began to change for the better. God was faithful even when I struggled in my faith. In my weakness, He showed Himself strong. God does not demand from us perfect faith, we only need to not give up. If we will not give up, we will see the harvest.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” -Galatians 6:9

God is More Patient, Gracious and Longsuffering than Am I

At times I have really struggled with a sense of condemnation, feeling guilty a lot. I don’t nearly struggle with this as much as I used to. As I have walked with the Lord, I have certainly made my share of mistakes and dealt with temptations. These struggles have actually helped me to accept and receive God’s grace. When we feel overwhelmed by guilt, we can cry out or we can cave in. I have had times of doubt and indecision and I have struggled to overcome temptations, but God has never given up on me. He’s been merciful when I have felt most unworthy. He has never counted me unworthy. In fact, there have been a couple of distinct moments in my life where God made it clear to me that I passed the test. I might not have given myself a passing grade, but He did! Thank God, His mercies are new every morning and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

God Knows More Than I Do

This one should seem obvious, right? There have been many times in my life where I have questioned God’s timing. I still question it sometimes, it does not always make sense. Why does God seem to wait so long for some things? When I was about 25 years old I began to have a strong desire to be married. But I didn’t marry until I was 34, about 9 years later. That was not my plan! Then, we waited another 5 years to have children and Leslie had 2 miscarriages during that time. I was 39 when our first boy was born. Again, not my plan. When I was younger, I pictured myself married by at least age 30 with 4 or 5 kids. But God had a different plan.

When I reflect, I am grateful for God’s plan. The delays have worked to refine my character and deepen my walk with Him. I am a blessed man, not because I got everything I wanted when I wanted it, but because I have allowed the Lord to add to my life in His timing. His blessings have enriched my life. I am learning to lean not on my own understanding, but rather to trust Him with all my heart, knowing He will direct my steps (see Proverbs 3:5-6). He will bring His purposes to pass in my life (see Psalm 37:5-6).

God’s Perfect Plan includes Setbacks and Disappointments

Setbacks, disappointments, personal struggles, even failures, are not an enemy of God’s plan. They may in fact be set-ups for better things. God wants to use these experiences to propel us into greater things. I imagine Peter in his boat, fishing all night. Jesus does a miracle and Peter hauls in a huge catch. Peter feels so unworthy, but Jesus says, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men” (see Luke 5:1-11). Peter might have settled for the life of a fisherman, but Jesus called him to be something greater. God will use setbacks to propel us into greater places of influence, authority and purpose for His Kingdom. But to reach that destiny, we may need to walk through some valleys.

In my next article, I’ll share more of what God has taught me as I have lived out my “adventure” with Him. Blessings!