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If the Lord wills.....

The Vineyard

Dear Friends,

I’ve always had a hard time identifying with folks that always seem to know exactly what they are doing and precisely where they are going. It appears to me that God wants all good things in our life except this. My personal experience has been that sometimes there’s no real “map” for life’s adventure, but you nonetheless just have to keep on walking—blind at times. If you are waiting for God to give you a clear vision for where you will spend the rest of your life, you’ll never do anything!

At other times, even though I know that God has put the work before me and that the work has to be done, on occasion I still have to keep working, but all the time wondering if it makes a difference. I am not attempting to sound like what I do does not matter, but if I live my life expecting immediate gratification for what I am doing, I will soon lose heart and stop working. Sometimes we do the work because it has to be done—-and we’re able to do it.

Although it’s often been illustrated otherwise, working for a church or Christian ministry is mainly perspiration and very little inspiration. Yes, those serendipities do come and there are epiphanies and they make all the difference in the world. But you can’t live for those rare occurrences of revelation and God-sent surprises…you have to force yourself, at times, to not give up even though you have no vision or you feel that you are losing your passion.

I don’t ever recall hearing about this in the university or graduate school. I wrongly assumed that everything would make sense and I would be constantly reminded by God of how pleased He was with me if I went into a full-time Christian vocation. In fact, however, a lot of what I do is based upon waiting, and waiting and waiting for God to act and intervene, and being patient (and trusting) that though He is quiet and does not seem to be moving fast enough, He still is bringing all things together at the proper time.

Responding to what God brings to (or allows to enter into) my life is simply not something that I can prepare for, organize or plan. He blows away all my ideas of where I will be and what I will be doing in five years, or even next week with the wave of His hand! So do I plan and prepare to execute tasks each day, month, year? Absolutely. But I do so knowing that God will be God and intervene and upset the apple cart whenever it suits Him. It’s best to say, as Saint James admonished us, “……. you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that”. THAT’S safe ground—-if it is the Lord’s will! Therefore I have no map for my life, my family or my ministry that is specific at all, except to say, “Whatever He wants me… wherever He places me… and in His own time”.


Dean Barley

The Vineyard

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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