God bless you in the exalted name of Jesus Christ, who stands at the head to lead (Hebrews 12:2).
We all go through different seasons in life, and some of the transitions may be more difficult than others. I’ve been doing Messengers For Christ for 13 years, and although it has been a magnificent opportunity for me and a tremendous blessing to those who participated, I think God wants me moving in another direction now.
Dr Bob Darnell and I started the Messengers For Christ training in October of 2110 with the teaching series we did on Our Father’s Business. The last Messengers For Christ adventure just finished on April 7th. There were a total of 38 Adventures. The first 6 years we did 24 Adventures and starting in 2016 we switched to only 2 a year, one in August and one in January. We have had a total of (2013) participants. The largest group we had was 159 and the average was slightly over 50. Some folks were regulars participating in every adventure.
For the first few years I did monthly follow ups to everyone for an entire year. All Adventures were 100 days except for a Summer Blitz on Ruth which was only a month long. I originally called MFC a “program,” but after the first few years having received an abundance of wonderful feedback from the messengers we started calling it an adventure which it truly turned out being for many of us.
Based on the believers 5 vital signs the 100 days allowed for the establishment of many valuable godly habits. Although originally designed with an emphasis on outreach, the three most appreciated and highlighted aspects were the curriculum, the prayer commitment, and the daily email messages.
When I started to realize it was time for me to shift gears, I began to expect a new glorious door to open. Of course, we had moved four times since leaving our wonderful home in Ohio. Each one was at God’s direction, and I anticipated each to be my last. However, that was not the case. Just as Ferne and I got comfortable, adapting to each new situation, we received further guidance that our time there was over and it was time for a change. God, as He always does, provided everything we needed, and we saw His wonderful providence in each transition.
We are not changing locations now, but God wants me to change my focus. As my manner is I went to the Word to see other examples of similar kinds of life transitions. I reflected on Paul in Acts 19.
And he [Paul] went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
When Paul initially arrived in Ephesus, he went to the synagogue. Acts 17:1-2 tell us that was what he was accustomed to do; it was his habit or tradition. Paul found similar success in Ephesus and fully moved the word for 3 months. However, things changed. Paul disputed and persuaded so compellingly that many were convinced and won over by the words he spoke. Yet others were not so receptive. When Paul perceived that they had harden their hearts he knew it was time to move on.
The unbelieving Jews’ malicious, cleverly designed words were intended to ruin the impact of Paul’s message and ministry. This wasn’t just gossip behind his back; they did it publicly “before the multitude” in the synagogue. That explains why Paul made the decision to leave the synagogue at the end of that three-month period. (A better explanation was that perhaps God bigger things in mind.)
Paul perceived that his season in the synagogue was coming to a close, and it was the right time for him to move on. That’s one thing that crystalized for me during my MFC Adventures. God will show us when to speak and when to be quiet — when to stay and when to move on. Paul’s direction was to depart and separate the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus (Acts 19:9).
These may be hallmark moments when we must choose to make a break with where we are in order to move into the new place where God is calling us. Those moments can be difficult, but if we follow our guidance we are always taken to a better place. It was only after Paul left the synagogue that God unleashed special miracles by his hands in the city of Ephesus (Acts 19:11).
The school of Tyrannus became an effective venue to continue to move the Word as he disputed daily. Although it looked like an important door was closing, God had already opened another, more effective place for Paul to minister. Once at the school of Tyrannus, Paul “…continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10).
Paul’s influence in Ephesus grew as he taught daily. He was able to teach and equip the believers for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). Then they went out to start churches in other regions of Asia. As a result, in a very short period of time, the province of Asia saw the word of God grow mightily and prevail.
Just as God prepared Paul for the better days ahead, I believe He does the same for us if we are willing to leave our comfort zone and do as He leads. Although it may be uncomfortable and difficult, if we trust Him, we’ll discover that He has been working behind the scenes to prepare that next adventure for us.
Be assured, God will show us when to stay and when to move on, also. God will lead us through quiet seas and a peaceful heart. To acknowledge Him in all our ways requires that we believe He is interested in all our ways. He will direct our paths if we acknowledge His ways are higher than our ways and His plans are the absolute best for us.
So, if one door closes, another door is getting ready to open. Expect it to be the most wonderful opportunity you could ever imagine! I’m expecting this one to be. Why not? We’re God’s best and certainly God blessed.