Surprising Elements

Acts 9:10-21

Surprises are always part of God’s leading. In Saul’s case, the surprise came in the form of a light from heaven, marking a life-changing transformation. For Ananias, it was a seemingly unreasonable and illogical command from the Lord, delivered in a vision.

If you’re waiting on God to fill in all the shading in your picture, you will never take the first step in obeying His will. You must be prepared to trust His plan, knowing it will be full of surprises. Surprises are always a part of God’s leading.

Surprises always intensify our need for faith. When you encounter the surprising element of God’s will, your faith must engage full throttle. Otherwise, you’ll turn and run in the opposite direction. At times God’s plan will frighten you. Or you’ll be intimidated by its demands. Other times you’ll be disappointed. For instance, when God tells you no, to wait, or to sit tight, you’ll want to argue. You may decide to fight. You might attempt to negotiate. You may become angry. But when your faith kicks into gear, none of those impulses will control you. Faith says, “I can do this. I trust you, Lord. I don’t understand everything, but I trust you completely. Let’s do it.”

Quite possibly God has a major move in store for you in the near future. After almost seventy years on this earth, and having spent fifty of those years studying and learning more about the ways of God, I can tell you His will for our lives is full of surprises. He has more moves in mind for us than we could possibly anticipate. And they’re not all geographical.

Many are attitude adjustments. Some mean moving us out of our comfort zones to touch the lives of people we’ve never met. Or we might be in for a cross-country or cross-cultural journey that requires a level of faith we’ve not exercised in the past. Be careful about feeling too settled where you are—physically, emotionally, spiritually, or geographically. If the Lord wants you to move, I strongly suggest you cooperate, regardless of the risks. If He leads you to change, then change, even if it’s difficult. Surprises from God always intensify our need for faith.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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