Tuesday, March 24, 2015
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Our youngest son was one week away from his sixteenth birthday, and we had surprised his older brother and sister. It was going to be tough to surprise this one for his sixteenth. So I picked him up from his friend's house and we went out to eat. I said, "Hey, you know what, we've got to go over to the next town." He asked why, and I said, "Well, I've got to check out this stable over there. We're thinking about having a Campus Life activity there and I need to find out what it will cost."
Well, that was all true. But there was a little more to it than that. See, his friends were waiting at the campfire at the stables. They were all dressed in western gear with cowboy hats, and bandanas and boots, and they were waiting to surprise him for a western party. It worked! My son thought I was taking him to the next town for one thing, but I had something much better in mind.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How the God of Surprises Leads You to His Will."
That takes us to our word for today from the Word of God in Acts 16:7. Paul and his companions are the people it's talking about. "When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to." Don't get all caught up in the unfamiliar geography here, the principle is what's important. "They passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."
Actually, this is the beginning of the invasion of the Gospel for the first time into Europe. But Paul hadn't planned on doing that. He went following the Holy Spirit's leading. He knew he was supposed to go to this area of Asia Minor that's across the Aegean Sea from Europe. And then he thought he was going to head East from there. God went, "Surprise! I want you to go West to Europe from here, not East into Asia Minor."
Basically, God was saying, "I got you to this point so I could send you in this surprising direction." Sounds kind of like my son on his birthday. I had to get him to a place where he wouldn't otherwise go so I could surprise him with things he never expected. That's probably like you and me. That's how our Father leads us. You know, I say, "I'm headed to point Y because I think God wants me to get to X." And God says, "No, I want you to go to point Y so you will get to Z." He's the God of surprises, and He'll lead you to a point and then He'll just take you off in a surprising direction.
What does this mean? It may seem like a risk, but you wholeheartedly follow in any direction that God seems to be leading you. Take a step, see a step; one step at a time. Go for it! All He asks you to do is do what you sense He is leading you to do this day. He'll make the days into God's will weeks, the God's will weeks into God's will months, and God's will months into God's will years. You don't have to worry about the macro will of God. It's made up of a thousand micro wills, obeying Him one thing at a time, one day at a time.
So you've got to stay flexible. Don't try to second guess all of the possible outcomes, "Oh boy, I wonder what will happen... Yeah, but..." No! Let God weave His tapestry however He wants on His schedule. And keep your fingerprints off your future. I've actually prayed, "Dear God, when I get to my future, may they find none of my fingerprints on my future." That's what you don't want to find on your future is your own fingerprints.
As a father, I understand bringing a child to the point where you can surprise him. We have a Heavenly Father who does that all the time. So would you just relax right now and enjoy the ride. Your life is being driven by a God you can totally trust who is the God of surprises.