Mission 1:8 WIN NOW Devotional | 2022 - Day 5
Did I Make a Wrong Turn?
By Jim Haines
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
As we were walking out the door of our church for the last time, my wife said to me, “I don’t believe our work is finished here.” I just resigned from the church staff, where I had served for seven years, to serve in a similar capacity in a church in another state. The words she spoke were not the words I wanted to hear. I had a definite sense that I’d gotten out of step with God’s plan. But being the spiritual leader of the family, I blew off her words for the moment and pressed ahead into the work in the new position.
Her words kept haunting me as I began serving in the new church. Life was busy, and I knew God was at work in this place, but I couldn’t shake my feelings from my wife’s words that afternoon as we left the former church.
After a year at the new church, the pastor announced God was leading him to preach in another state. The news of his departure came as a total surprise, and again I had the sense that I had missed God’s direction and was out of step with His plan. Why would God lead me to this church and allow the pastor to be called to another?
There was a period of uncertainty within the church during the interim of searching for a new pastor. The weeks became months, and almost four years later, the new pastor arrived. During the interim, God allowed an opportunity for us to leave and serve in the same position at another church.
Serving in this new position brought another level of activity and responsibility. I was busier than ever, but the words my wife had previously spoken would occasionally come to my mind. I would dismiss them and continue to focus on the current position and all that it required. All the while, God was at work. He was working in the ministries of the church, the lives of my wife and children, and my heart. God is always working!
As it turns out, God did make a way for us to return to the church we had left several years earlier. It is not because we were looking or hoping to return to that church. Their representative contacted us and asked us to pray about coming back. We believed we should at least pray about his request. Through the process of praying together, God brought us to the place of agreement that we should return to the former church.
My wife was right; there was still more work at that church. God led us back there to serve Him and His people for a few more years. During that time, we established relationships and ministry opportunities that we would not otherwise have been able to enjoy.
The song, “Through It All” by Andraé Crouch, came to my mind as I was writing this devotional:
I thank God for the mountains, and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem, I wouldn’t know God could solve them, I’d never know what faith in God could do.
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.
There has been the question in my mind over the years as to whether or not I missed God’s leading by leaving the church to which we later returned. I have come to understand that God is faithful in every circumstance. We can make a “wrong” decision regarding the choices we face, but God has promised to faithfully lead us in the midst of all of our choices.
In Isaiah 25:1, the prophet says, “O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.” God is always at work in our lives through the circumstances and decisions we face. He has a plan and purpose for each of us. He is never surprised by our choices and is not wondering how He will get us out of the mess we have made of things. God continually is writing His will, His plan for us.
Questions for Thought
1. Is there a decision you are facing today for which you are anxious about making a wrong turn? Take a deep breath. Pray and read God’s Word with an open heart and mind as you trust Him to lead you.
2 . Have you made a decision in the past which haunts you because you believe you may have missed God’s leading? He can give you peace as you trust Him with your life going forward.
As we look forward to the next two years of Mission 1:8 WIN NOW, remember that God is working, is faithful, and loves, cares for, and provides for us at every turn in our lives. A.W. Tozer says, “No one will make progress with God until our eyes are lifted to the faithfulness of God, and we stop looking at ourselves!” Place this quote on your bathroom mirror, on your car’s dash—somewhere you can see it daily to be reminded of God’s faithfulness at every turn.
Learn more about Mission 1:8 WIN NOW here!
Minister to Senior Adults
Jim is passionate about working with adults 60 and older because they are the best! He is encouraged by their energy and hearts for the Lord and reaching others for Christ. When Jim isn’t working, he enjoys being with his family—preferably at the beach! He also enjoys musical theater, the symphony, golf, and the gun range. Jim is married to his wife, Nan, and they have four adult children, a son-in-law, and a daughter-in-law.