David Marshall Kealy
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12
Pray, a lot; Listen, (wait); God leads: We follow; God blesses.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12
Here I am walking in the light in Liberia, West Africa:
It’s an example how you can walk in the light of Jesus day-by-day.
This is part four of a five part series about leading a lifestyle that is focused on paying attention to what God wants from us. This month ~ We follow.
We followed God to my being at a church missions conference in Florida and I really did not want to go; to go alone without Sharon. God had other plans for us stressing the importance of following when he leads.
Because I was alone and not a missionary couple attending the Missions Conference at a supporting church in South Florida, I was housed in a local hotel, not in a private home that was more traditional. After registering and going to my room I met a man in the elevator going to his room. He was a pastor from South Africa attending the same conference. My ministry assignment was helping to establish locally owned and operated Christian format community fm radio stations in developing countries. He was at the conference seeking help to set up a station in Fish Hoek, South Africa.
WOW, I started to realize why God wanted me there. I was glad already I was not bullheaded and going my way and not His way.
Pastor John Thomas needed help because they held an annual evangelistic week of meetings each year and had offered to buy time on the local government radio station for several years; and were denied each time. All radio stations at the time were government. There were no private radio stations at all.
Their persistence was rewarded because they had just received an offer to run a one month test radio station for one month, 24 hours a day and they knew nothing about how to actually set up and operate a radio station. They just wanted to provide a one week evening radio program from their church. God certainly had other plans. I introduced John to our Engineering Center in Elkhart, Indiana and he traveled to Colorado to meet with the International Board of our mission that was in session at the time.
We stepped up to help them in 30 short days to put a private test station on the air that had been authorized by Parliament. Following the 30 days a statement in Parliament proceedings indicated the effort was a success; “we should allow private community radio stations and Fish Hoek is the best example to follow.”
What is now formed as Radio Africa Network (RAN) started as this single Christian Radio station in Fish Hoek, South Africa. RAN is a non-denominational, multicultural, Pan African effort with stations across Africa.
RAN has adopted the Lausanne Covenant as its Statement of Faith.
God Leading and our following are intertwined terms.
Following God—two words that sound easy but in actuality can be very difficult to live out. In the Old Testament, God gave the law as a roadmap to help mankind come to Him. His desire was always to show humanity the route to pursue Him.
Why do we follow knowing God leads us? Well, it is because we know that Jesus came to share the incredible love of God his heavenly Father. In case this is news to you consider these verses found in the Bible.
Abram followed God’s leading from Haran when he was seventy-five years old. “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-4
Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16
“. . . fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Jesus said follow me and I will give you rest. The exact verse in Matthew 11:28 is, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The Bible states that God is love (1 John 4:7-11) so when we follow the way of love we are actually choosing God’s laws and ways. Jesus, His son, led by example, and He lived out loud the law that was given by His father. There was the written word before Jesus came, but then He was born and became the living law. Loving and developing a relationship with the triune God, will bring us indescribable joy, blessings and “life” that comes from going where God leads us. Consider what following decisions will you make today?
1 Timothy 1:12 is a life verse that led to our creating Reaching People far from God
David M. Kealy