In the past few months my mind has been stretched in so many ways.  When the Lord chooses to put us in a place of isolation (dry dock) it forces us to realize how much our salvation is bound to God's power, and not to our plans of executing the call of God on our life through well thought out strategies based in human activity and well executed marketing plans. 

The Great Commission and its results are up to God, but our wiliness to submit God's training regiment plays a key role in fulfillment of our gospel dreams. 

Delibrately and determinately Our Father, by means of His Spirit, puts us through seasons of confusion. Even to the point where we are actually dumbfounded and left scratching our heads.  

We are forced by our circumstances to ask the question, “why this way – Father”?  

We live in a society where choices are granted to us every day. Most of us are not under a master so powerful that they are able to dictate our every move.


We have the conditional freedom to go to work or to stay home. We can decide to marry or we can play the field. We can go off to college and continue our education or we can get a job at Walmart. We can party or we can study. We can keep going and finish our project early or we can put it off for later.

Spiritually speaking we can pray or we can whine and act like we don't know how to pray. We can cry out to God in real sincerity or we can be religious. We can study and meditate on the Word of God or we can live on our past knowledge of God's word.

Most of the time our everyday choices are made without the realization that we play an active role in our destiny simply by the decisions we make day by day. 

For some of us, we believe we are entitled to our freedom of choice. Some of us, mostly young people, want this conditional freedom so badly that they oftentimes end up destroying themselves.  

How do we incorporate our natural freedom of choice in our American society and at the same time connect to our calling as slaves of the cross we decided, by choice, to carry in our pursuit of the kingdom of God? We chose the path of eternal life, but to inherit life we have to make the right life-changing choices.

The Lord Jesus gave us His example and His words. He set before his disciples and continues to set before all of us today the basics of what it means to follow Him and inherit the Kingdom of heaven.

Mt. 16:24-25 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” 

So we lovers of Jesus have heeded the call of His Spirit to follow Him. We have chosen to carry our specific “cross” issues that separate us from our past life. 

We have a new master.  We have a new life plan. We have a new way and manner of life. We have a new blueprint on how to build our life.  Because we have submitted to His Cross and calling on our life we get life, and we belong to Him forever.  

We live in His hands, whether we like our current set of circumstances or not!

We are called and commissioned to follow Jesus by prompting of His Spirit every day. Even the difficult ones. Especially the days when we are asked to wait for our next assignment. 

We have to be honest with new believers. The Lord Jesus, through the promptings of His Spirit, leads His sheep into difficult places “yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death Thou are with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.”  

He leads us to times of extreme joy and power that bring us into a heavenly places. But also we must also learn that the Lord brings us, very deliberately, into strange places that leave us scratching our heads. 

But why? 


Don't we many times finding ourselves asking Jesus over and over again, “why are you doing this to me?” 

I can so relate to this struggle. As leader of a large clan of young children, who ask their daddy every day, what's going on? Where are we headed? 

They know the struggle their family has been through. They hear their fathers prayers. They know instinctively that I have been laboring to find the exact mind of God for me and for my family for the last 2 years.  

So why does God make it so hard to know His mind? 

If I knew the exact answer to this very difficult question then I could probably find someone to pay me a lot of money to write a book, “How the know the mind of God!” 

If I could write a book like that, would it really help those earnest men and women of God unlock the keys on the “whys” of God?   

Does Our Father really want us to know everything? 

Deut. 29:29, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."



With the very real challenge of raising a large family of soon-to-be eight children, and at the same time, living under the reality of a very real call on my life to “go” and “do” whatever He leads me to do, as a father, husband, and preacher. And as a man who has been sustained in a business ownership lifestyle for the last 8 years. 

In the past the Lord blessed my ability to find work to make just enough to keep paying the bills. But once I had a very real encounter with Jesus Christ in early part of 2005, my life has gradually made less and less sense. 

In the years following my encounter with the Lord, my sales success and business acumen were above normal, but in the past couple of years I look like a guy who can't find his way.

My Lord has brought me to this place, and no matter what I try to do to alleviate the pain of my personal confusion, my struggle hasn't disappeared. Just because I decide one day to shed a few tears in frustration, or pray with intense passion and fervency, which really matters to Our Father. Or I just let all my confusion and go and worship the Father with song and dance.

This work of holy venting is constructive, if not the most effective way to keep sane, and as the psalmist says in chapter 56:8, "You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?"

We know our Father adds great value to each tear and to each cry and incorporates them into His beautiful and perfect resolution to our struggle. 
Or if I decide to preach to every single tree and rock that surrounds our family on this beautiful spread of 21 acres of pasture and forest land we have been blessed to live on the past 5 ½ years.  My "stuck" circumstances continue to stare at me and make me feel like all of my effort to reach the next place of service in the Lord's Kingdom Expansion Plan is going to happen

No, all of my daily ups and downs seem make no difference... but an encouraging nudge within suggests... maybe tomorrow?

The waiting and the questions also yield more purity in our venting and heart cries. After lengthy delays we start to pray right, in line with the Word of God and the Prescribed will of God

And no matter what I do, the Lord forces me, daily, to release my thoughts, rationale, reason, past knowledge, and even my knowledge of scripture back to Him.  This is good practice for all of God's precious children. In this, we show our trust in the Father's guiding hand.

In so doing, He leaves me with only one recourse, and that, is quite clearly His Call to turn to the scriptures. A word recorded just for me. So many times, these are the words that connected to me when I was a new convert to the way of Christ.    

This one of my favorites --  Ps. 103: 13-17 

As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's those who keep His covenant.”

As I read these verses I have learned one basic lesson. God knows my weak human frame and that's all I need to know right now. But if I choose to look at my peers, my neighbors, fellow ministers, I will have no peace. 

If instead, I release my thoughts and anxiety to Him, it makes me feel better.  

It can be as simple as that, but then there are times when I still just seem to lose it! My mind plays tricks on me, I allow some measure of doubt to ruin the simplicity of walking by a simple childlike faith.

Many times, I wish I could press a button that automatically forces me to “trust” and stay focused on the truth of Our Father's eternal love for me. 

It seems that the power of my “real” faith in the unknown realities, completely under the Father's control, keep leaking out of me. So I must constantly remind my worried mind to obey the God's call to walk by faith and obey My Father's will for me and my family --- for “that” day, not tomorrow – just today!

Mt. 6:25, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” 


My family and I are learning over and over again that a real rub exists in this kind of walk and experience. A tremendous friction rages between my natural mind and my spiritual mind. 

Rom 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be,” 

 This real tension releases wave after wave of anxiety that forces you and me to retreat back to the basics of walking in the way of faith. 

The basics. Abraham. Isaac. And Jacob.

When the Lord chooses to delay our deliverances, as did with David before He was installed as King of Israel. In these times of excruciating delay, He accomplishes some of His greatest work of maturing us in the work of faith.

Mature saints of God learn how to wait on God. They know how to sit and trust God no matter what is going on around them. I have come to respect my faithful grandparents who survived the Great Depression so much more because of the God-ordained delays I have experienced these past few years. 


Baby believers can't do this, just look at the pathetic sight of your little 3 yr old boy when he starts a horrible hissy fit over not getting what he wants. And the choice they are trying to make is so obvious to us, but to them it is perfectly obvious that candy is better for him then real food. 


So we must learn that waiting on God's timing and ultimate will for us is essential in the process of becoming a man or woman of God.

To discern the mind of God then requires a basic understanding that we are not going to figure out why God does what He does. This is hard for us to admit that a God who loves us so much decides in His inscrutable wisdom to lead us into places of isolation and restriction, many times, immediately after we have experienced great deliverances.

Look at the way the Lord birthed Israel. After they were delivered miraculously in Red Sea crossing and their enemy was destroyed and they sang the song of Moses, just 3 days later they were ready to go back to Egypt.  

Why? Because they were led by the cloud into a waterless and vegatationless wilderness. But isn't this is standard behavior between God and His leadership people? 

David receives the anointing oil on his head to kill Goliath, but soon after he is running for his life to the Wilderness of Ziph in fear for his life from the very leader who allowed him to kill Goliath?  Go figure.

From 2006 - 2008, our family was making major headway in bringing a real revolution among the people of our region. We had a beautiful cafe growing in public acceptance. Our outreach to the region's youth was growing beyond our area. We even launched a regional event that drew people from all over the east coast. But after this very event we fell into deep distress. 

In the end we had to succumb to the pressure that we didn't have enough money or local support to continue on the path of doing the 'cool' things that were a direct confrontation with the works of satan... why do good things lose and bad things triumph – see more at this site  

We had resisted all the close-minded people who were seeking to preserve the status quo in our area at the cost of the greater good of our youth. The youth were so hungry for something new and positive. Our area was in so much need for a breakthrough in the status quo thinking that was holding many of these youth in bondage. In the end, we did not realize the end of our dream here in Pilot Mountain, but we believe the work of revival is in us, by grace, and will be used by God in a different place. This was our wilderness experience.


Since those days of setback we have been taught that God's ways are not our ways. His timetable operates on a grander scale. Ours is so limited.


How can we understand our way when Our God rules the universe?  A universe we are discovering by virtue of high powered telescopes is so much bigger and vaster than any other generation of humans has ever understood it to be?  


Discerning the mind of God is not trying to figure God out, no, it is knowing that you don't know. As our Lord Jesus modeled to us; Our Lord knew much more then any of us every will of God's power and glory, yet He decided to submit His perfect will and drink the cup of God's wrath for us.

This decision led Our King to be slaughtered and publicly humiliated. Who then can discern the mind of God? 

It is work of fools to try to understand the ways of God, we must learn like  our forefathers the art and skill of pressing on... to the unknowable future we all have to face. 

To keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith. 

Like Abraham we must continue to walk forward to city who builder and maker is God.

Prov. 20:24 “A man's steps are of the LORD; How then can a man understand his own way?”


So we learn that the quest to understand the “why's” of God is a very high mountain to climb and it could cost us our peace, our joy, and even our place in the Body of Christ. 


So today, let us put our weary minds to rest. Let us stop trying to be the best among our peers, let's stop trying to be perfect before our congregations, let's stop trying to have all the right answers. 


One day our honesty will promote us. Even if that day reaches as far as the day of Jesus Christ.


Let's acknowledge our frailty, our confusion, our struggles, our honest dislike for waiting. Let's be real today.  


Let us ask for grace to endure!


Notice with me the real struggle the very experienced apostle Paul had toward the end of his life:


I Cor 16:6 “...and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my waywherever I may go.”


Isn't that last statement incredible? Paul didn't know where he was gonna be in just a few months. 


Paul, a man who had been the 3rd heaven and heard unutterable words he could not share with us. A man who heard directly the incredibly powerful voice of the Resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus, and who personally was the conduit of countless numbers of powerful life-altering miracles. And a man who prayed constantly. 


He did not know where and when??


Yes this very same man was unsure the location of his next ministry stop. 


One final thought, if we know too much, we might mess up the next thing God has for us. 


If we know, then Satan knows too, and he can organize a campaign to throttle our effectiveness.


Read again from the same chapter we just quoted previously:


I Cor. 16:8 “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”


Paul lived day by day, in the theatre of an epic war, with the knowledge that his response to the Spirit's leading was essential to the effective forward movement of the kingdom of God he was called to suffer to see extended. 

Gospel doors were opening and closing on a daily basis. Prayers from God's people were a critical part of the expansion of Paul's ministry. The prayers of God's people also dictated the location of Paul's ministry as well as its effectiveness.

Pause on that thought with me... let's keep seeking and trusting together,