Dear Passion and Fire family,
This last month was very different one for Brian and I. We’d set aside three weeks to catch up on things at home, but as you know, things don’t always go as planned. The scripture actually says in James 4:14,
“You don’t have a clue what tomorrow may bring.”
The Father’s plans and our plans often differ from each other. If you want God to laugh, just tell Him your plans! Jeremiah 10:23 says,
“I know Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.”
God has a plan for us and He has a way of getting us on it. So, Instead of doing catchup during our time home we ended up taking care of breakdowns. Most of our electronics (computers and phones) went on the blink. And we ended up purchasing new ones. And then we spent countless hours setting them up. Of course, we’d forgotten most of our passwords for our apps and had to reset them all.
Just before all of our computers and phones crashed, I had a dream. In the dream the Lord said that He was going to give us a new operating system. So, I can’t say that He didn’t warn me. I just didn’t know how literal the dream was. And in the middle of setting them all up I heard the Lord say, “Surprise! What may seem to you like a setback is really my setup! I am setting you up for what I have ahead. You may like the old operating system because it was familiar and comfortable. And maybe you don’t enjoy all this work right now, but you’ll be pleased with the outcome. Everything will run much better. And you will happy in the end. So, you have a choice. You can murmur and complain or you can do the work and thank me. Because when you finish, you’ll be better off.
You may be facing huge setbacks today in your business, in your job, in your family, in your life, but I say to you, what seems like a setback today is actually God setting you up for something better!
While all of this was going on for us, I had a vision of hay-wire. Hay-wire is a well-known word here in Kansas. It’s a very thin wire used in baling hay. And if the baler doesn’t work properly or the baling wire snaps while in the process of baling, you’ll have a tangled mess on your hands. The term actually means to go out of control or to go berserk. Maybe you’re feeling this way; your patience is wearing thin and you feel like you’re about to snap. But God! God is here to assure you that things are working together for good! He has your back. He has a plan, and even though you may not see Him or you aren’t experiencing Him right this moment, it doesn’t mean He’s not here for you. On the contrary, He’s laughing at your enemy right now.
Ps. 2:4 “God enthroned merely laughs at them; the Sovereign One mocks their madness.”
Any setback the enemy has planned for you God is going to use to set you up for something much better than you’ve experienced in the past! You’re are in the midst of a God setup!
Psalm 29:10 “Above the furious flood, the enthroned One reigns, the King-God rules with eternity at His side. This is the one who gives His strength and might to His people. This is the Lord giving us His kiss of peace.”
I’m hearing the Lord say right now, “Fall into My grace!”
“Jo. 1:16 says, “And from Him we receive grace heaped upon grace!”
He’s here for you pouring out His grace. It’s a grace that gets us through every difficulty…. a grace that causes us to persevere in faith. You may feel like your tangled in that baling wire. Or maybe your tangled in circumstances beyond your control and it seems overwhelming, but God!
Ps 16:8 says, “Lord, because You are close to us and always available, our confidence will never be shaken, for we experience your wrap-around presence every moment.”
I can remember very clearly a day in our lives that seemed like a major setback to us. We were in missionary training at the time. We had completed Bible School and missionary training school. We had been released to move on to language school, except for one small problem. We had no money. In fact, all we had was one dime, to be exact. And so, we prayed and believed that God would show up on our behalf. We packed up our apartment and began taking things out to our car. The entire time we were crying out to God for help while trusting Him to answer. There was nowhere else to turn.
Psalm 46:1 “God you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge! You’re a proven help in time of trouble- more than enough and always available whenever I need you. So, we will never fear even if every structure of support were to crumble away.”
And as Brian was putting the last of our things in the car one of the staff members came over to say his good bye. Nonchalantly he said, “Well, you have plenty of money to get to language school, don’t you?” And Brian answered him, “Honestly we don’t. But we’re believing for the money. So, he said to us, “Why don’t you come over to the office and we’ll talk about it.
And so, for the next three hours we prayed together and discussed our situation. Our end conclusion was that we should go back home, get a job, and raise some support. Wow! What a low blow! We felt like the wind was knocked right out of our sails. From the very beginning of all of our training we had tried to rush through. And now here we were facing a setback.
We felt totally defeated! But little did we know that this was actually a setup. When we left the staff meeting, students started stuffing our pockets with money. Some even put money over the visor of our car. And then, totally unexpected we received a phone call from some old friends back home. They were moving out of their rental and thought of us. They had no idea that we would be coming home, but they called as they felt the leading of the Lord to offer us their place to live if we needed it. And they wanted to leave their car there for us to use. Next, we decided to check our mailbox one last time. And in the mail was a letter from our old church. They had been having problems when we were last with them and so we quit the church but now they had a new pastor and things were going well. They were inviting us to come back. This is when we finally realized that the Father had gone before us. When we get back on track things begin to fall into place. We had been setup!
In the same way, the Father is setting you up too. He’s setting you up for success! I hear the enemy trying to get you to listen to him. He’s saying, “Look, You’re God is letting you go through all this stuff. What a mean God! How could He let this mess happen! Why would you trust Him? It’s too hard! Why don’t you throw in the towel and give up! Who would notice anyway? This is too difficult! Seriously! What are you thinking?
But if you will listen closely you will hear the Lord say, “Don’t listen to the enemy. I hold the steps in my hand and I have the foresight to see what you’re unable to see right now. Everything is working good for you. It may look like a mess now, but in the long run you will look back and thank me. You need this to make that work. Listen to me and you will not be setback!
Hebrews 10:35 “So don’t lose your bold, courageous faith, for you are destined for a great reward!”
I like the title of a book I heard about, “A Setback is a Setup for a Comeback”.
Disappointments, setbacks and hardships can leave holes in your life that can cause your divinely creative juices to flow. And oftentimes they cause us to try and figure out what on earth we’re going to do now. For it’s when we get too comfortable and familiar with things that we need to be updated. Our old way of doing things can officially become outdated. We can get stuck in a rut. And a rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out, going nowhere. Everything around us is constantly flowing and changing day after day. And in the midst of our impasse we begin to consider ideas that we would never ever have entertained before otherwise. *
And here’s another little thing that I read, “If God showed you all that He has planned for you, it would boggle your mind. If you could see the doors He’s going to open, the opportunities that will cross your path, and the people who will show up, you’d be so amazed, excited and passionate. It would be easy to set your mind for victory.
This is what faith is all about. You’ve got to believe it before you see it. God’s favor is surrounding you like a shield. An everyday setback is a setup for a comeback! Every bad break, every disappointment, and every person who does you wrong is part of the plan to get you to where you’re supposed to be. **
James 1: 2-4 “My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into very part of you being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.”
The rest of the story (a continuation from the story above)
So, we went home after boot camp. Reluctantly! And even though we could see God going before us we still wondered why. It seemed as though the enemy was holding us back. It was during this time that Brian began to have severe heart problems and ended up in the hospital.
The doctor did test after test and couldn’t find anything. He could only tell us that Brian’s heart looked like a 70-year-old heart of someone that had smoked all of his life. And because they didn’t know what to do, they gave him some Nitroglycerine and sent him home.
The week before the hospital visit one of Brian’s old friends came by and we invited him to come back for dinner sometime. And we had given him an easy reading book on Romans. And after Brian was released from the hospital, we called him and asked he and his wife to come over.
The night before our dinner the friend remembered the little book that we’d given him. And decided that he needed to read it just in case we were to ask him about. He read it once, he read it again and he read it through three times. And he was radically saved that night. Thank you Jesus!
Not only was our friend saved, but he led his wife to the Lord. At that time, he was a professional race car driver and owned a Corvette and a rail (one of those long thin cars with a small tire on the front and two bigger tires on the back with a parachute). And the Lord spoke to him and asked Him to sell them. So, he sold both of his race cars and gave us all of the money to settle our hospital debt (we had no insurance) and to send us on to language school. And that’s not all. Our friend and his wife went on into missionary training as well. They lead an unreached tribal group to the Lord in Papua New Guinea and now they serve as mission representatives on their mission board.
Little did we know that when God sent us home that He had a plan greater than any plan we could have concocted. Who would have thought our friend would come to the Lord? And who would have thought that he and his wife would pay off our debts and help us? And who would have thought that they would go into missions, lead a tribe to the Lord and eventually become field leaders? And wait for it! Who would have thought that through this whole situation Brian would be healed of his heart problem? We don’t know when it happened. We only know that sometime during this whole situation he was healed! Praise God, His ways are mysterious, but oh so wonderful! Little did we know that what looked like a set-back our Father God would use as a setup, a greater comeback! Adversity can be the very thing that will promote you and those associated with you!
You are setup for success! You can kick or you can thank the Lord and rejoice! And again, I say rejoice!
Ps. 18:28, 30 & 31“God all at once You turned on a flood-light for me! You are the revelation-light in my darkness and in Your brightness, I can see the path ahead!” “What a God You are! Your path for me has been perfect! All Your promises have proven true. What a secure shelter for all those who turn to hide themselves in You! You are the wrap-around God giving grace to me. Could there be any other god like You!
*Bev Small, Word Press