Now I will come to you…And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go…if the Lord permits. 1 Corinthians 16:5-7
“Wherever I go…if the Lord permits,” is a powerful statement.
In seven words Paul effectively establishes that God is in control of all things. However, recognizing that fact and being submitted to it are two entirely different things. Paul’s consistent behavior demonstrated that he not only knew the Truth, but that he was surrendered to Jesus as well. This is evident throughout the Pauline Epistles. Despite adversity, Paul’s life screamed, “Peace and joy come with submission!”
Having said that, please note that the Christian life is more than just about the blessings He bestows upon us. There’s a huge picture being created, intricate beyond our capacity to imagine. Fibers so perfectly complex, so expertly intertwined, each one affecting the other regardless of their location within the tapestry. I suspect that when completed, it will be to us as if this masterpiece had been woven with one enormous single thread.
In awe, the Church will have but little choice to collectively proclaim, “Only God could have made this! Glory be to God!”
And that’s a significant point: it’s all about God.
Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
Did you see it?
I underlined it so it would be easier to find, but don’t miss the implication.
Why did Paul write the Letter to the Romans? Because he was hindered! In other words, we would not have this magnificent, God-breathed composition if Paul’s plans had not been interrupted. Could Paul have imagined that his letter would one day be a part of this thing we call the New Testament? That doesn’t seem likely. However, his conduct is a testimony to God that he perceived something greater was going on.
Do we trust God?
Stuck in traffic? Lost your job? Arrested?
Embrace the situation–God can still use you. Never assume you have been given the day off because you woke to a flat tire or the power has gone out. God is still doing something and like it or not Christian, you are still a part of it. Our choice when adversity strikes is simple: faith or failure; function or dysfunction. Remember, we don’t have to see the big picture to know that it’s there. By faith we assume that it is and we act accordingly.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
Life is a vapor. We appear for a short time and then we vanish. Incredibly, we serve a God who can do marvelous things with vapor. Just look at what He has done so far.
Are you seeing it?
- This Week’s Sermon From The Ranch – Knowing That In ALL Things God Works For Your Good (terri0729.wordpress.com)
- The God of All Comfort! (psalmsofpraisewomensministries.wordpress.com)