Last week, I mentioned how leaders must sometimes make unpopular decisions. As the leader and under shepherd of Grove Church, I seek God in all matters, especially those related to His Kingdom so, even in the face of unpopular decisions, my trust, peace and faith in God strengthens me. Like everyone, I sometimes waver or wonder, but my love for and trust in God remains steadfast.
As we near completion of our Family Life Center, I eagerly anticipate its opening and our commitment to provide vital services to youth and families throughout the community. Along this journey of serving as Senior Pastor of Grove Church for almost 29 years, God has stretched me and given me some lessons about listening to and obeying God that I would like to share. These lessons can be applied to everyone – no matter what your station in life.
God’s ‘no’ is not a rejection, but rather a redirection.
The things we call detours are sometimes God’s strategic direction for our lives.
When God told me that 2008 was not the time to build a new facility, I may not have fully understood this, but I accepted it and waited because I trust Him. As we seek God and get to know Him, we can better understand and accept that His ways are not our ways. We know that He loves us and wants the best for us, so when His answer is ‘no,’ we should not take it personally. We should not allow our doubt to make us question God’s ability. Sometimes ‘no’ just means that He is redirecting us from harm, ourselves, or that He may even have something better for us. From Malachi to the gospels, God kept silent for 400 years.
God’s ‘no’ gives us new opportunities.
God’s ‘no’ gives us an opportunity to see just how strong we are and a chance to watch how He works. When God said ‘don’t build a sanctuary,’ it became clear to me that He wanted us to wait. I am grateful that Grove Church has earned a reputation for meeting the needs of people. This new facility enables us to better focus on meeting and serving people in the community. We will provide a positive place for youth and families to gather, partner with others in the community, provide much needed programs and resources, and engage with people in a positive manner so that we have opportunities to SHOW them the love of Christ, and not just talk about it.
The wait is over and we are excited to reignite God’s promise!
Peace and power.
© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner, Grove Church