|God Who Initiates|
Have you ever had the following times or moments in your life? In the winter of 1998, my life as I saw it at that time was going no where. I had quit my job as a mental health counselor, was working at Dominos Pizza to make ends meet for my family, and was an elder at my church. I felt alone, discouraged, and wondering if God was ever going to fulfill my heart desires. I decided to take a sabbatical from eldership at my church and spend time seeking God on what His will was for my life. Three years earlier I had received a prophetic word over my life basically stating that I would receive “my identity before my function.” This sounded like a neat word at the time but I had no idea what it really meant until I entered my sabbatical 3 years later. As I was seeking the Lord, some friends gave me some tapes on prayer and fasting by a man named Jack Frost. I had never heard of this man and I had never had a desire to fast. Little did I know, God would use these tapes to change my life. As I look back, God took initiative through these friends, to lead me into His plans and purposes for my life.
All through scripture God takes initiative with His people. When the Lord comes to a person, He is revealing Himself to that person and is extending an invitation to that person to join Him. In the book, Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King they write, “The revelation that God takes the initiative is an invitation for the individual to adjust his life to God. None of the people God encountered could remain the same after the encounter. They had to make major adjustments in their lives in order to walk obediently with God.” God is always the one who takes the first step in our lives to accomplish what He wants to do. Philippians 2:13 states, “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
God always takes the initiative. He waits to see what our response to Him will be and how we will adjust our lives to Him and make ourselves available to Him. When the tapes came my way, I did not see that it was God’s initiative at the time, but now I see God was inviting me to join Him in what He wanted to do in my life. I started fasting as I listened to the tapes. I responded to God’s invitation and began to adjust my life through prayer and fasting. God continued to take initiative by having someone pay for my family and I to go to hear Jack Frost at a conference. It was at this conference that I received a revelation of the Love of God. The prophetic word from three years earlier came to pass. The revelation God gave me was that I now knew that my identity was in God’s love and what He thought about me and not in my function as being an elder in my church or by anything I did.
God knows that we will never be satisfied by just knowing about Him. He created us to experience Him and His love in ways that reveal who He really is in our lives. Living Hope Ministries is about people experiencing the love of God in such a way that their lives are changed forever. As God takes initiative in people’s lives, we desire to see people adjust their lives in such a way to see, hear, and experience Him in an intimate way.