I’m in Control.
When I started the Father Knows Best series a week ago, I didn’t really have a vision for it other than to allow myself to be led by the spirit. Since I’m learning more about the Holy Spirit in my book study at church, I thought that method would be apropos. Even before we had our first session, I had reservations about co-facilitating the study because I merely wanted to be a participant (as I mentioned in an earlier post about going deeper with my faith).
Last year my friend Muriel and I co-facilitated a book study by Dr. Tony Evans and really enjoyed the experience, but we were tethered to an agenda and weren’t free to add our essence to it. I didn’t want to do that this time. I wanted to have a little more control of my situation. True to form, every time I try to take the reins, God reminds me who is really in control. So, something in my spirit kept tugging at me to go deeper, to step out, and to step up. I ignored the tugging that started out as gentle nudging. Then Muriel called me to tell me about the new book study at church focused on Francis Chan’s New York Times Bestseller. Somehow I knew that God would speak through her, and he did. She told me that the Women’s Ministry leaders were having difficulty getting facilitators and asked if I would be interested in co-facilitating with her again. I had no real objection to it other than wanting to control my situation, but I looked at the benefits of serving with her again, and I knew that I had to say yes.
NOTE – You may have noticed a recurring theme in my recent posts about obedience and God speaking through others to get his message to me. I get the feeling that this will be the story of my life this year.
After agreeing to serve again, my friend and I went to brunch at Mimi’s Cafe to talk about our plan for the study. She and I are both learning to surrender the reins to God so that he can do his work without playing tug-of-war with us, but we tried to control things yet again by praying for a particular group of ladies with certain attributes. Yeah, we did that, but our hearts were sincere. What I’ve learned from my walk with him is that he will often times give us what we ask for because he cares for us, but ultimately, the Father knows best and will withhold no good thing from us (Psalm 84:11).
When the date of our first session arrived, we received our materials, our scripts, and our participants list. We couldn’t discern much about them from their names, so we just went into the sanctuary for praise and worship time. After several beautiful music selections and a few house keeping items, we transitioned to our classroom to start our study of the Holy Spirit.
Our group was diverse (as expected) since we attend a multicultural church, but what we prayed for didn’t match what we saw at first glance. We asked for ladies who truly wanted to know the so-called Forgotten God. Other than registering for the study and showing up, we didn’t know how these ladies felt about going deeper and getting to know the Spirit. I think we were expecting a group of young, impressionable women who would be dazzled by our sage advice since that was the make up of our last group — young and impressionable. Though we’ve experienced a lot, we were certainly not the wisest in the room this time. Our new group is comprised of a retired Army nurse, a flight attendant, a house wife, another retiree, a business owner, a project manager, an engineer, and a teacher. Upon learning this information, we knew that this study would be different. This group had a certain je ne sais quoi, so we felt comfortable adding a little Muriel and Michelle Sauce to the mix.
Today we had our second session, and the ladies were excited to chat about the homework as well as how they are growing in the spirit as evidenced through the spirit-filled lives they’re living as articulated in Galatians 5:16-25. We added a new member to the mix today, and we were all amazed at how our stories blended together so nicely. Muriel and I just allowed the Spirit to use His power to unearth those things that keep us bound, urge the ladies to pluck those things from their hearts, nail them to the cross, and crucify them before us all. Some of us admitted that we need to work on being more patient; others want to be kinder. Still others shared their testimonies of how they have experienced the fruits of the spirit since the last time we met.
For the first time in a long time, I enjoyed sitting in a circle with a bunch of ladies. That’s something I’d usually find an excuse not to do, but today was different. I had no objection to sitting and serving for an hour. The benefits of talking about God– knowing that he was there in the midst of our conversation, blew my mind. I had no desire to control any aspect of the study except possibly introducing a classroom management tool called talking chips for those who like to share a little too much. Other than that, I just wished for more time. And guess what? The Father has already answered that prayer because we get to do it all over again next month.