Once we had made the decision to obey God’s call to move to Trevethin with a vision to plant a church up here, all of a sudden I started getting incredibly excited. It felt like God had handed us a blank sheet of paper upon which the epic Hill City Church story was going to be written. The problem was, I thought I was the one who got to write the script.
How wrong was I?
One of the scriptures that God had given us regarding the call to go was Jesus’ command to Saul when he got converted: “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9v6) In other words God was simply asking us to be obedient and go, but the finer details of the script were going to be written by Him in His own perfect timing. Unfortunately, however, I have a problem – I’m a bloke. Therefore my default position is arrogance, pig-headedness, impetuousness, stupidity and an illogical tendency to think I’m always right! It’s not my fault – it’s genetic (at least that’s my excuse!)
So anyway when things with the church-plant weren’t happening as quickly or as smoothly as I wanted I was all too quick to try and force God’s hand (which is both foolish and impossible!) and try to make things happen my way. In other words I didn’t trust God to write the script, so I felt obliged to take over.
What a pleb!
Because I’m a grade A idiot I tried (unsuccessfully) to book meetings in a centre on the estate before we’d even moved there, tried organising outreach events before we knew a single person, and sought to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s of the church’s vision having spent minimal time praying to, let alone waiting on God for inspiration! If I’d had my way we would have been meeting in a building 18 months before we eventually did, with no contacts in the community, no strategy, no people to serve alongside us, and no foundations in place. In other words I scribbled a whole load of rubbish all over my nice fresh piece of paper.
So I thank God for His sovereign tippex!
In His divine wisdom and patience, God graciously thwarted my vain attempts to call the shots and gently enforced His good, pleasing and perfect will for the building of His church on His hill. It’s like the scripture says “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19v21) The doors God opened were the right ones at the right time. The contacts we have in the community were divinely ordained by Him. The church has grown at just the right rate in just the right ways for us as a family. Basically, God knows best!
Earlier this week I was chatting with my mate James about how ridiculous it is to try and write God’s script for Him. He laughed in agreement and said “I know mate. And my script’s just bunk as well innit?” How true that is!
I am learning (slowly) though I’m still a bloke. However, I’m a lot happier for God to hold the pen now!