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If the Lord Wills –Thursday, March 29th, 2007

“If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
- James 4:15

This past week, my wife Laura and I had some good friends from Chicago visit us. What a blessing it was to laugh and have sweet fellowship with them! (This always includes Chic-Fil-a.) But this cherished time had to come to an end when I took them to the rental car company. They were off to visit family in Austin in their reserved, black Chevrolet Impala. So they thought As they were beginning to go over their paperwork, the person at the counter asked for a credit card. All our friends had was a debit card. And since they were from out of state, they wouldn’t accept the debit payment (even though they reserved the rental with this same card.) What to do? They had no other options. They were stuck with nothing. Here they had done all the appropriate planning and preparation, they even had a confirmation, yet they had no car.

Is the Lord trying to teach me something in this? Without a doubt, I believe so. Our friends had done everything they could possible do to plan and reserve that car. Yet, their “rental” plans changed. Therefore, they had to be flexible. We drove back home, unloaded some of the items from our car, and watched them drive off in our car.

You see, even when things don’t go the ways we always plan, God might have other plans. He might want us to take a different route. But how do we handle the situation? Do we get heated inside? Do we get upset? Do we get frustrated? What is our perspective? May I encourage each of us to live like my friends from Chicago. They just rolled with the situation. When it comes to renting a car and getting rejected, I hope I would remain calm and reserved just as they did. But what if something like this happens for the tent-revival? We have done much planning and preparation. Yet something could completely change. Well, last evening as I was sitting around a table teaching on the Sermon on the Mount, I became convicted of this very thought.

As usual, whenever I study the Scriptures in order to teach others, the Spirit convicts me. And this was no different. I was breaking down an approach we ought to take in our prayer life, just as Christ revealed in Matthew 7:7-12. And I came to the conclusion that sometimes my desires are always for my will, not necessarily the Lord’s will. It is not that I desire selfish gain, but I need to grow in my “eternal perspective” when praying. I want to want what God wants! Does that make sense? James wrote, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” In my mind, we need the remaining finances right NOW. In my mind, we need the 1,600 volunteers ASAP. In my mind, everything should be done NOW! But God might have other plans for my life that day. The Lord may “determine that at the present time patience through tribulation is a greater need than attaining our goals.” Romans 5:3 says, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character, and prove character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within out hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

I believe God will respond. I believe He will answer. It might look different than what we had envisioned; but by no means, does this mean we shouldn’t pray or believe the Lord will respond to our requests. Because in John 14:14, Christ said, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” God will respond to His people as we cry for revival in this city. We just need to trust the Lord will answer according to His will and not ours. And in His timing, He will reveal Himself in this 40-day tent revival.

" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan