Has there ever been a time in your life when you just didn’t know what to do next? I’m not talking about last week when you woke up with a cough and didn’t know whether you should go to work or school. Nor am I talking about the other day when you ate a huge supper and didn’t know whether or not to have dessert.
No, I’m talking about those times in life when you’re faced with bigger life decisions and don’t know which direction God is leading. I’m talking about those times when your finances have run out and your next car payment or house payment comes a week before your next paycheck. I’m talking about those times when you’re deciding where to live or go to college.
Yes, I’m talking about those times when you’ve finished one ministry and don’t know which ministry to do next. Those times when you can’t find a new pastor for your church. Those times when your church has to close. Those times when God does things that appear to be contrary to His will but you know deep down they are perfectly in line with His will.
So to answer my opening question, yes, I know there has been a time like that in your life. Probably several.
Last Saturday I had the privilege of attending the Fall Bible Conference of the Nebraska Association of Regular Baptist Churches. It was held just over the Missouri River at a church in Council Bluffs, IA, so I had less than a 20-minute drive from my house in Omaha to get there.
This year’s theme was “Co-missioned: Refreshing the Great Commission.” Pastor Bob Sauser spoke several times, and there was also an “Outreach Round Table” where we discussed practical ways for our churches to become re-energized about sharing the Good News. It helped me think through my own personal witness as well as what I should desire to see in the churches that I attend.
There were other great things about the conference, but one of the things I enjoyed most was meeting a church planter named Jerry Miller. He is working in South Dakota in a town of 1,000 people, and he talked to me for awhile after I expressed to him my interest in church planting.
He had many helpful things to share from his own experience, but what I appreciated the most was what he said to the whole group during a brief presentation of his ministry during one of the sessions. He told us that although he’s doing God’s work, he doesn’t always know what to do and how to do it. He then shared his life verse, and God encouraged and challenged me greatly from that passage: “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12).
Wow! What a fantastic passage! A huge army has come up against Israel, and King Jehoshaphat doesn’t know what to do next. So along with all the people he prays to God, and admits that there is literally nothing he can do. He admits that they are powerless in the face of this trial and that they do not even know what to do.
But there was one thing they did know how to do, and it was the only thing they did: They focused on God. They fixed their eyes upon Him.
Jerry Miller feels the same way in his ministry. He doesn’t always know what to do, and there are times when he can do nothing. But when his eyes are upon God, his inadequacy is irrelevant.
I read through rest of the passage, and it was so exciting for me that I want to write about it some more later. Actually, I want to preach a sermon about it, and I probably will soon.
But for now, what a great reminder. May my eyes, oh God, be upon you.