If I had said “no”, my life would be very different now. I would not have moved. I would have died on an interstate with my 2 year old son. I would be a a bitterly divorced single mother suspicious of every man. I would have every day filled with my own agenda. I would have been lost.
You see, God was the one who prompted my family to move to a different state 14 years ago. Within a few weeks of moving, we met the mother and daughter whose influence led us to Christ. It took years of them pouring truth into our lives before we finally responded. If we had not been in a new place, without knowing anyone and making that friendship I don’t know that we would have even accepted the invitation to church let alone the invitation to the cross. Providence!
On our way home from my father’s funeral, my husband and I were driving 2 different cars, I had our son and he had our daughter. We had just gotten back on the interstate after gassing up and had no intention to stop until we got home. Less than 5 miles later, I heard a voice sternly tell me to “get off now!”. It freaked me out, and without thinking I crossed 4 lanes of traffic in Atlanta and got off the exit with my confused husband following. We sat in a parking lot as I composed myself. When we got back on the interstate to continue the drive home, we saw the tractor trailer that had been right next to us in an accident right past the exit we got off on. The semi had taken out at least 4 vehicles, and the passengers in every vehicle involved died on impact. Providence!
After a bitter separation with my husband that resulted from 17 years of deception I had resolved to divorce and never trust another man. Everything in my life had fallen apart and taking a breathe was more than I could bear at times. Through the grace of God, I was able to forgive and see the man I had been wounded by as a soul who was lost. When God started to reveal that there was hope for our marriage and that we could rebuild on a solid rock foundation, I was reluctant to say the least. Slowly, as I prayed for confirmation about the path He would have me choose, it became clear that I could trust God to resurrect our dead marriage … and He did! Providence!
As God restored our marriage and we learned the fundamental principles to having a Christ-centered marriage, we were called into marriage ministry. Over the years that has become a part of our DNA – reaching out to those who are suffering like we did to share our testimony and offer them hope through Christ. What used to drive me was born of selfishness, only participating in things when I had something to gain. In stark contrast, I now choose to serve others and put their needs in front of my own. That change was not made by me, it was made by Christ in me. Providence!
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Peter and John boldly proclaimed the name of Jesus, and they stood on the promises that were made to them. Others mocked, discounted and even threatened them with imprisonment because of the commitment they had to Christ. Every time I have listed to Him guiding me, it has been the best possible path I could have chosen. But I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen that path on my own, in fact, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it. As I continue to seek God’s direction for my life, I pray that my responses will be eager and my commitment will be steady.Read Day 20 Devotion by Scott