1 Kings 19:12-13
The year was 2008, my wife and I had been sensing that God was asking us to leave blissful Colorado and obediently follow him into a new chapter of planting a church. The looming question that we couldn’t seem to get a clear answer on was… Where?
There were two areas that we sensed God might be leading us toward. So my wife and I set out on a quest. A quest to hear the confirming voice of God, a quest for a burning bush if you will. Our plan was to spend one week in each area walking, praying, and seeking Gods direction and confirmation. We fully anticipated a burning bush experience. An experience where God would meet us with some obvious supernatural neon sign that read “Plant Here!”.
We headed out with hearts full of excitement and expectation. We arrived at our first destination, spent the week praying, walking the streets, discussing ministry in this area, and looking for the burning bush. It never came. As we boarded the plane to destination number two, we assumed God’s answer. Well, guess what? No burning bush there either. God didn’t show up in a burning bush, however, he did show up in the wise counsel of a pastor.
While in the second area I seized the opportunity to meet with a pastor friend of mine who planted a church a number of years prior. I explained to him this journey we were on and I will never forget the words he spoke over me. He said, “Ken, I think you might be over-spiritualizing this endeavor. God will use you no matter where you go. My friend, pray, read His Word, seek counsel, then act out of obedience in faith and God will surely honor that.”
I can’t tell you how much pressure this removed from my wife and I. We were so fearful of “missing” God’s plan.
As we returning to our home in CO we began to identify the whispers of God. They first came clear through His Word, then they came through consistent words of knowledge through trusted friends, and finally, we sensed the confirmation in our hearts.
We had peace and we moved forward. A new church was planted, people came to know Jesus who were once far from him. We saw many miraculous moves of God, my wife and I grew closer to Him, our faith exploded, and we were refined and pruned more into the image of Jesus.
You see, it really was never about finding the right place to plant a church, it was never about getting in the right location so God could do something profound through us. It was and is always about posturing ourselves in faithful obedience so God can lead and grow us into the image of Jesus.
By the way, while He is doing this he will probably do some awesome things through you.