This month, I sense the Holy Spirit encouraging me to exhort people to open their minds and hearts to do whatever God is asking them to do. So today I feel led to ask you: Do you find it easy to step out in faith to obey God, or is acting on what you know to do a challenge for you? Do you struggle to get in line with God’s will for your life — or are you sold out to do whatever He may ask you to do? Be honest as you ponder your answer, because locating yourself in these matters is the first step toward aligning yourself with God’s perfect plan and His dreams for your life.
Before I get into my teaching this month, I’d first like to tell you about an opportunity presented to us that we feel we need to act on. Right now, our TV outreach is growing, and we are touching people all over the world in both the Russian and English languages. The fact is, many people are responding to our TV broadcasts, and we need more space for staff to help us effectively minister to them. This means we need more space for expansion — and the land and building next door to our offices in Russia have just become available for purchase. We could use the property fairly quickly with a little fixing up. The cost for this property is about $500,000, which for Moscow is a very reasonable price. We sense a green light from the Lord to proceed, but we need the finances to take this step of faith.
We know that God is our Provider, and our eyes are on Him. But would you please pray to see if the Lord would have you do something extra right now to help us move on this opportunity? I am letting you know about this need because I believe you would want to be informed about it. If many people could do a little, it wouldn’t take much for us to get this project done — but it will require as many people as possible to make it happen. I rarely ask for help in this way, but because you are our partner, I felt I should present this in faith to you. Will you please pray and believe with us about this amazing opportunity and important step of faith?
Now I want to encourage you on the subject God has put on my heart to teach about this month. God has a specific plan and purpose for the life of every single person on the planet. And the Bible is filled with people who heard and knew the will of God, but who experienced a prolonged “in-between” time while everything came into alignment so His plan could be realized in their lives.
Abraham is an example of someone who experienced a prolonged time between his dream and its fulfillment. He had heard from God, but it took him decades to fully experience what God had promised him. Or how about Joseph, who had a dream from the Lord about rising to a place of great position and authority, but it took him more than a decade to step into and begin walking out that call on his life.
Likewise, David was anointed of God to be the king of Israel. But he spent many years first working for King Saul — and then running for his life from the king — before his calling to actually be the king became a reality. Each of these men — Abraham, Joseph, and David — experienced times of confusion, discouragement, and frustration as they went through the process of getting fully aligned with God’s will for their lives.
THE PATH TO YOUR DESIRED OUTCOME
The same can be true in each of our lives. Sometimes it takes a while to really understand what God is saying to us. We discern His leading in our hearts, but for various reasons, we don’t understand with our intellects what He’s actually saying to us. Sometimes the timing doesn’t seem right; at other times, our own selfish preferences can hinder our understanding or cause us to misinterpret what God is saying.
Perhaps we hear His voice in our hearts, but our emotions don’t want to accept what He is saying. As a result, we rationalize that God couldn’t really be saying what we think we’re hearing. At other times, there may be a blockage inside us that hinders our progress — a wrong mindset or a stubborn will — and before we can proceed, that hindrance has to be eliminated by the power of the Spirit.
Another reason it takes people time to fully connect with doing God’s will is the comfort factor in their lives. Most of us like to be where we feel comfortable, and our flesh naturally gravitates to what is easy. It seems so effortless to take the path of least resistance. We are drawn to what is familiar and will usually shy away from anything that will “rock our boat.”
But if God is asking you to do something that is totally out of your comfort zone and contrary to your way of thinking, He can change your thoughts to become agreeable to His will. You’ll find the path to this desired outcome in Proverbs 16:3 (AMPC):
Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.
What a powerful promise from God — He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and your plans shall succeed! But it isn’t automatic — there is something you must do first. You must commit your way wholly and completely to Him.
You may have found that settling into your divine calling is a process and even a struggle at times. I have struggled with it in the past — and so have many others. Don’t feel condemned or discouraged — just join the crowd! Our minds are finite, and sometimes it’s difficult for us to comprehend and assimilate what God is saying to us, even if we know it in our hearts.
The truth is, God may call you to a people, a place, or a job that you would not naturally choose. He may call you to a church filled with people of a different race and culture — an unfamiliar situation you would normally avoid. He may call you to a different city or a different part of the country or to another part of the world, as He called me. Regardless, you can rest assured of this truth: Wherever God calls you is the best place for you to be!
So I want to ask you:
- Do you have a dream that you know God has placed in your heart — a call or assignment that He desires to accomplish through you? Is it a struggle for you to accept and believe it? If you’re struggling, get quiet before the Lord and ask Him to show you why. Write what He reveals, and surrender it to Him in prayer.
- If you’ve gotten a glimpse of God’s will for your life, do you have a certain way of thinking that needs to change or a mindset that needs to be removed so that you can move forward to do God’s will? Have you asked Him to reveal any hindrance and give you His perspective on the matter?
- What is the “comfort zone” that is stopping you from moving forward? If there is such a comfort zone that is stopping you, why not pray and ask God to give you the strength and the desire to align yourself with what He has specifically called you to do in His great plan.
Today I want to encourage you to surrender yourself afresh to do the will of God, no matter what. If your will is strong and it is closed or opposed to God’s will, it may take time for you to come to a place of surrender and total understanding. If that’s true about you, just be real with Him and pray this from your heart:
“Lord, I ask You for Your grace to embrace the place where You have called me. As I do what You are asking me to do, I release my faith to believe I’ll experience joy and victory and that my steps will be fruitful for Your glory. Thank You, Father, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Never forget that God has a great plan for your life. He is just waiting for you to say yes and to jump in the race He has designed for you. Also, never forget that if you need someone to pray with you about anything, we are here for you, ready to go to God on your behalf. Simply write us a letter, email us, or call us, and Denise and I and our team will pray for you!
Oh, how I pray that this letter has been an encouragement to you this month. Please remember to pray for us too. And, as always, we want to say THANK YOU for your prayers and your gifts to our ministry. You are making a tremendous difference in so many lives!
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families