Being on mission with Jesus matters immensely because God is pleased to providentially arrange any number of things to connect with our obedience! After Jesus and His disciples crossed the stormy sea and landed on the shores of Gadara, the nexus of the exact moment is amazing. Christ’s foot touches the beach as the tormented man is at that specific place!
The convergence of so many contingencies…could NOT be coincidence.
A skeptic once said to the famous German evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, “What you Christians call answers to prayer I call coincidences.” Bonnke replied, “Well, that may be so. But when we Christians stop praying, coincidences stop happening.” (But I would add: “when Christians stop praying and being on mission.”)
From the moment of departure from the shores of Galilee, to the timing and details of the terrible storm, to the exact location of where their boat made a landing on the coastline of Gadara…. Jesus was exactly ON TIME to AMBUSH the devil!
Jesus knew the activity and location of the demons…before they knew His!!! Divine surprise!
I love the countless places where we read of the “suddenly” and “immediately” of God’s supernatural involvement!
FAITHFUL AND PROMPT OBEDIENCE is a key to miraculous timing! (On a quick side note: Mind you that I am not saying that we can presumptuously “obligate” God to act anytime and anywhere we want Him to, through some kind of self-styled “law of faith.” That’s more akin to animism or shamanism. Sadly, there’s a lot of “faith” teaching out there that’s closer to witchcraft than biblical Christianity.)
EXAMPLES of God’s supernatural involvement connected with our obedience:
1 Kings 17 Elijah is sent by God to the brook Cherith…and then to the Gentile widow…during the severe drought. God’s provision met him in each place, as he moved in God’s mission! “Go to the brook Cherith…for I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.” (v.4) “Go to Zarephath…for I have commanded a widow there to provide for you…” (v.9 ) There is a place called “there” for the saints of God. Many times we wonder why some people always seem to see supernatural provision from God. But we may fail to see the simple truth: they are His obedient servants who go where He sends them!
Instead, many times Christians are making up their plans and then begging God to send support. That’s a classic example of, “the tail wagging the dog.” Think of how differently Elijah’s story would have been if he had said, “Well God, I’m not really a guy who likes hanging out in lonely places like the brook Cherith. And I’ve done some demographical studies, and there’s a lot more potential in this other place. I’m going to plant over there.”
God would probably would have allowed Elijah to move to a different address. But He probably wouldn’t forward the address change to the ravens. They’d still be doing the food drop at the brook Cherith! Yes, there’s a place called “there” for the saints of God. We need to be good soldiers and stay at our posts. Or like good farmers and tend the plot of ground God has assigned to us.
Acts 8:26-27 Philip leaves an amazing revival in Samaria (that God had initiated through his obedience, by the way) and goes to the next place God directs…and there was an important governmental leader from a foreign nation waiting in that exact location. The Ethiopian was reading a Bible and trying to understand the gospel! He asked Philip to explain it to him. Talk about no-sweat evangelism. Philip left a city-wide revival to reach one man. But he didn’t realize that a nation was inside of him!
Being on mission matters immensely because God’s timing is coordinated with our obedience!
Still More next time.