Comfort is not the goal!
I’ve stated many times that it was difficult to step out and trust God’s leading when we moved to Tennessee to start the Ranch. But, we are so grateful for the privilege of moving here and watching what God has done. God is actively at work at Wears Valley Ranch. There is no earthly explanation for what is going on. Many leaders of other ministries have visited and said, “This is a miracle!” Though we’re not very big, the only explanation for what’s going on is that God is at work.
Children come to us who can’t read and write, and God changes minds by renewing them. Children who are emotionally disturbed are absolutely transformed by God’s grace. It’s not the people who work at the Ranch who accomplish this. We can’t teach others how to do what is being done through a seminar using techniques or formulas. While our students memorize lots of Scripture, receive unconditional love, therapeutic counseling and individualized education, the only real explanation for what’s going on is the Holy Spirit at work renewing hearts and minds. God does this, not people. The way that God has provided the land and facilities is a miracle, but the real work is what God is doing in the lives of people. God wants each life to be a testimony of His grace.
You don’t have to start a children’s home or become a preacher or evangelist to be in the center of God’s will. George Washington Carver is said to have prayed, “God, you don’t need to show me the secrets of the universe, but please show me the secrets of the peanut.” The answer to that simple prayer is one of the most remarkable stories in American history.
My older brother, John, is a very effective preacher and pastor. Our sister, Joan, is an artist, homemaker and schoolteacher. Our older brother, Bill, is a marvelous surgeon. While God did not reveal His plan to each of us in the same way, each of us is doing what we believe God wants us to do with our lives. When we do what we believe God has asked of us, He’ll take care of everything needed to accomplish His purposes with our lives.
Whatever we do, we must talk with God about it and listen for His leading. He will confirm His direction: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7 Our work is to be for God’s honor and glory, and He should receive all the praise.
If you aren’t sure what God wants you to do, you need to spend time in His word, letting it shape the way you think, and then allow His Holy Spirit to begin to stir in you and to impress upon you the things He would have you to do, starting with the little day-to-day disciplines. He loves you. His plan is good, pleasing and perfect. He will confirm your steps as you faithfully follow what you already know to be right and true: “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are God’s sons.” Romans 8:14
I remember when my boys were learning to walk. I didn’t laugh at them when they stumbled. I was just pleased they were trying.
Do you want to learn to walk? You may have to stumble, but that’s all right. You’ve got a daddy who loves you, who’ll be there to catch you. If your desire is to do His will, then you can learn to listen.
Test what you hear by the Scriptures. God will never contradict Himself. But, if you sense God leading you to step out in faith and do something that may be beyond your comfort zone, remembering that it must be consistent with His word, be obedient! Don’t run from God’s leading in your life. Act in faith. Trust your heavenly Father to be there for you, even when you make a mistake. As long as you are seeking to obey His leading, you won’t be sorry.