Ministry Resources

Are You Kidding?

Author: Howard and Nancy Stevens

“Honey, the colonel suggested that you join the Army Reserve and serve as my chaplain’s assistant. I promised him that I would tell you.”

My husband tried to refrain from laughing as he conveyed the colonel’s message. After all, most people who knew me would have to admit that I did not seem to be the ‘soldier type.’

“That sounds like a great idea!” I replied. “While you were on active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I was praying for God’s guidance. I think this is His answer.”

When my husband recovered from the shock, he replied, “Well, if that’s what God wants you to do, I will be delighted to have you serve with me.”

The Lord had to work a couple of miracles to put me in the right place at the right time, but that was no problem for Him. While I went through basic training at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama, Howard was fervently praying for me back home in Missouri.

We spent the next four years as a team, assisting and counseling the soldiers.

It was a wonderfully fulfilling time for us.

(I enjoyed an opportunity to drive the armored personnel carrier, which looks like a tank. Having grown up in New York City, I could have used one of those in the frequent traffic jams.)

Recognizing the gifts God has given each of us and deciding what we enjoy doing are important steps in finding His will for our lives. But sometimes we can become so rigid in planning our lives that we miss the surprises God has for us.

When God told Samuel to go to Bethlehem and anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel, Samuel immediately obeyed. Jesse introduced him to each of his sons, beginning with the oldest, Eliab.

Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here, Samuel thought. But the Lord told him, “I have rejected him. . . . Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).[1]

Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But the Lord told Samuel that He had not chosen any of them. Finally, Jesse sent for his youngest son, David. And the Lord said, “Anoint him; he is the one” (16:12).

Tall, handsome Saul had looked like a good choice to be king, but he had failed miserably. Now God selected David, a very unlikely choice, to replace Saul.

Who would have guessed that while David was playing his harp and tending his father’s sheep, God had been preparing him to lead the nation!

That’s hardly the typical preparation for royalty.

David could have said, “I don’t feel qualified to be a king. I haven’t been trained for the job.” Instead, David recognized God’s will and humbly accepted Samuel’s anointing him with oil, “and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” (16:13).

Has God called you to do something that you never expected? When you pray about it, do you feel His Spirit nudging you to accept His will and say yes to the opportunity?

Trust that He will be right beside you, enabling you to do whatever He asks you to do. Don’t miss out on God’s best for you, just because you didn’t see it coming and you could never have imagined yourself in the role He has chosen for you.

[1] All Scripture verses are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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