by Pastor Tim Burt
34 Years ago when Renee and I were starting the Small Group ministry at our church, the Lord spoke something to my heart. He spoke it to me like a father giving his son godly advice. At that time, I had been laying out a master plan for our small groups system at church. I had spent six months seeking God, praying and thinking about it. It was unique from what other churches had been doing and there were no systems like it—no models to pattern it after. Most churches were following cell group systems which were the trend of that day. We had gone that route years earlier but didn’t feel it was the best fit for our church. We instead prayed over a small group system that was more compatible with our culture and goals.
When the time was drawing near to launch the vision of it, I began to pray over the leadership I would raise up for it. One morning while praying about it, I felt these words from the Lord impressed upon my heart. He said, You are not desperate! That’s all He said but when those words were spoken, I knew in my heart what He meant by them. He did not want me to get ahead of myself just to achieve goals and hurt my efforts by raising people up into leadership that weren’t prepared for it. The Lord was telling me, You are not desperate concerning your leadership so don’t act like it. Pray for me to give you the cream of the crop for leadership and over time, you will see that I will give you exactly that. And the Lord did exactly that. He gave me an amazing group of people that learned and grew and matured and were faithful. They became the leaders that served under me—many of them for the next 30 plus years. Many of them are still going strong today!
The Lord spoke one other thing to me that day. Since then, it has guided me through all my efforts in all I have done over the years, with amazing grace and patience. He spoke the words from Zechariah 4:10 (NLT) “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”
I learned that starting small gives you an opportunity to learn what you are doing, adjust your path and efforts as they need tweaking, and help you work through the mistakes everyone makes when attempting something new for the first time. In the small beginnings, there are fewer people to hurt or see you make those mistakes. That is a grace from God!
God had taught me at an earlier time in my life that He would equip me to do the things He wanted me to do. Hebrews 13:20 (NLT) says, “And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus… equip you with all you need for doing His will.” Over time, I knew that this did not just pertain to ministry, but to every area of my life. No matter what I had need of, God would equip me for the things He called me to do. I would seek Him for the equipping I needed. And from that point, if I ever felt anxious and less than confident about what I was attempting, I would remember that the Lord promised to equip me, and I would remember those words from the Lord, I am not desperate!
As we read God’s word, we see people in the Bible who are in desperate places or situations in their life—just like we do in the lives of those around us. We ourselves experience feelings and moments of desperation. I know in those times, the Lord wants us to shout, I am not desperate. We aren’t because the Lord is our provider. He is the one that shows us where our provision is. He is the one who equips us for every good thing!
When Abraham was called by God to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, Abraham knew God had promised Isaac as his heritage. So, even though this sacrifice did not make sense, he knew God would provide. Even though it was his own son, he would not allow himself to be desperate. And we know the ending. God provided at that very moment of sacrifice, Abraham’s provision—a ram in the thicket to take Issac’s place. And because of that, Abraham named that place accordingly as we read in Genesis 22:14. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh; The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” Those words Jehovah-jireh literally means, God who will show you were your provision is. Is trust in this fact important? Absolutely! Because because Abraham trusted God and was willing to offer Issac in obedience, God offered up Jesus for us!
We are not desperate! We may at times experience very real and difficult circumstances that attempt to terrorize our heart. But because our heart and life is focused on what God wants us to do, God is with us! He is our deliverer and He is our provider. It is He that shows us were our provision is and equips us for everything He has called us to do! Trust that and lean on that as you seek God in faith for your equipping and needs!
Hebrews 13:20 (NLT) “And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus… equip you with all you need for doing His will.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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