Set the sail and watch God do what only He can do.
Set the Sail
Our home sits on two acres in the middle of an 11-acre woods. We have 127 trees on our two acres alone. The seclusion is wonderful, but the leaf raking is a challenge to say the least. Last year my fall schedule and travels prevented me from getting the leaves off my yard in a timely fashion. I have been concerned because we are losing our grass! The canopy of shade blocks the sun and the abundance of leaves is keeping the light from the grass; thus, it is thinning. I have a plan in motion to remove some trees, but you can see the leaves must be dealt with.
Now keep in mind, it is now January. I actually have been praying about this because I want to be a good steward of our property and at the same time be a steward of kingdom mysteries.
Yesterday, I experienced an amazing provision from the Lord—a fairly warm day and a 40 mph northwest wind. It was incredible. So yesterday afternoon, after calling and meeting with pastors, I went home and in my dress clothes started my little leaf blower and blew leaves. All I had to do was use my “small wind” to lift the leaves a bit and God’s “big wind” sent them flying off my grass into the woods!
I know it sounds crazy, but this 72 year-old-grandpa was somewhere between laughing with the fun of it and crying in worship to God for His laser-beam provision, as I watched those leaves rise and fly—like a covey of quails from a gunshot.
As the leaves were blowing yesterday, I was reminded of my mentors who told me, “Joe, we need to set the sail to catch the wind rather than drop the oars trying to row up stream.” Of course, they were talking about cooperating with the Spirit in order for God do His work.
Like my leaf blowing, God wants to work with us. Notice, “So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them…” (Mark 16:19,20, emphasis added).
He did not leave us as orphans but rather sent us His Spirit to convince, comfort, teach, guide, bring to remembrance, enable, convert, etc.
So how do pastors and churches “set the sail?”
Be biblical—This is a given for some; for others, it is not. We cannot expect the Spirit of God to endorse what the Word of God does not say. “Preach the Word,” (II Tim. 4:2).
Be humble—We cannot expect God to promote anything of self-promotion. In fact, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
Be dependent—and talk amongst yourselves about total dependency. Be reminded always of Jesus’ words, “For without Me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5).
Be filled—Believe the Holy Spirit to enable each individual and the collective group to operate with their God-given capacity (Eph. 5:18). Ask and believe.
Stay together and stay accountable—Individualism will kill a church. God made us to function as a body with each one providing his or her part. (Rom. 12:5)
Set the sail and watch God do what only He can do. In doing so, we can rest, enjoy, and worship in awe—He gets the glory through Jesus.