Hi Rock Family,
Sometimes the day gets away from us and we find ourselves at its end realizing that we have spent practically no time at all acknowledging God's presence or direction in our lives. This is a part of what it means to be finite as we are unable to focus our hearts and attention in two places at once. But even if other things got the best of you earlier in the day, you can still take some precious moments with the Lord right now and bring to Him your love, admitting your utter dependence on His grace. Because the truth is, we are all dependent upon His direction and leading if we are to accomplish anything of eternal value.
So, today we come to Him and lay before Him the plans we have for a Children's Discipleship Wing. There are so many options with so many varying costs: one-story, two-story, south side, north side. How do we decide? How do we ever come to a consensus? While you have gotten lots of information and will get even more in the coming days, is that information going to be enough to bring us to an agreement? I believe the answer is "no". Not that information doesn't help, it does. But consensus is formed as we bring all this information we have before the Lord and leave it in His care. We give him our pros and cons, our logic and wisdom, our gut feelings. And then we silence ourselves before Him and seek to release all of these preconceived notions to Him. We try to let go of our preferences or even our logical conclusions and practice what might be called a "divine indifference", where we don't go to God to tell Him what we want, but rather sit quietly in His presence and "listen" for His voice in the matter. This is a prayer where you allow Him to change your mind or affirm it. But in either case, we need to sit there until we have a sense of "consolation" or "desolation" for the options before us. Consolation is a feeling of peace that related to some particular direction. Desolation, on the other hand, is when you feel discomfort or unease with an option, even if it is not easily or logically explained. Still, listen to it. It may well be the voice of God telling you that this is not His way. On the other hand, His consolations may take flight in a different direction. This process is what we call "discernment" and it only works as a community of faith if everyone who is seeking God is willing to let Him lead in a direction different than what he/she might have originally thought.
As I finish for today, I would like to ask you to go through this process concerning our plans for the Children's Discipleship Wing. At this point, don't concern yourselves with the question of provision. We will seek to discern God's leading on the question of how we will pay for this plan in a separate time of prayer. These are two separate votes and we are asking God two separate questions. So, for now, separate your prayers concerning plans and provision. Today, just seek Him concerning our plans and trust that He will lead you. Then come back to it in a few days. Maybe there will be new information or maybe you will have spoken with others who brought up things you hadn't thought about. I would encourage you to walk through this process again next week as the meeting draws near to confirm where you sense the Lord leading. And you may discover that God really does desire to reveal His heart to you, and will do so as you wait for Him. May your time with the Lord be insightful and ultimately peaceful, for it is a blessed thing to enter into the presence of our gracious God.
- Pastor Shawn