Weekly Insight: More than Expected

The prophet Isaiah received this word from God:

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness… ((43:19)

I thought about that verse this week when I decided, again, that well-run meetings should not be our goal.

Ken and I attend a couple of weekly prayer meetings. One is small—about five to seven people—and usually focuses on the needs of a specific ministry. Another is somewhat larger—about ten to twenty-five people—and the focus encompasses a region along with many ministries within the region.

(I don’t think the second is more important; I believe God often accomplishes His purposes when smaller segments hear His voice and respond to Him. Our goal should be responding to Him whenever or wherever He calls.)

But the point is allowing God access—and His goals might be different that our goals. His methods might be different than our methods.

In both prayer groups we’ve seen Him sovereignly interrupt to do something unexpected. This usually happend when the leaders didn’t know which way to turn—so they turned the meeting loose.

Several weeks ago, when the leader of one group couldn’t finish reading an obscure Scripture passage and broke into sobs several times, a man in the group volunteered to finish. And he did.

Then we sat in silence—mostly silence—until we began to pray in a rather halting manner.

The result did not fit most people’s image of a well-run meeting. I can’t quite remember everything we prayed or the subtle ways our prayers changed—but as we trusted God to lead us in this unfamiliar ciricumstance, we somehow transcended our usual inhibitions. God did a new thing by opening our hearts in new ways.

And this isn’t an isolated incident. It happens when people are thrust into unfamiliar and uncomfortable circumstances.

I’ve decided God has agendas we know nothing about.

Why should this surprise me?

Yes, people can and should plan. We should do our best to put things together in orderly fashion.

But God is GOD. And He knows things we don’t know.

Sometimes we think we’ve been successful, because we accomplished our goals. Empahsis on “our.”

But when God enters to do His thing—His “new thing”—we can only stand in awe.

We don’t wonder if He accomplished something—even if we aren’t sure of what that something was.

We know He did. We were simply along for the ride.

And it was so much more than we planned. So much more than we expected.


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