In Blog

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

Luke 9:23


We as people have a great capacity to take something that is very simple and clear and make it complex and difficult. What the Bible may reveal as a clear and direct way for us to live can be twisted and muddied. The above verse is God’s decree in how we best serve Him and stay faithful to Him; namely, don’t try to be in charge and call the shots in life, but rather let God lead us as we follow Him no matter what the cost; this is the template for serving God all through the Bible, from Old Testament to New Testament. Noah, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, the prophets of God, Jesus and the apostles were given things to do that they did not dream up on their own. Jesus Himself stated that He did what His Father in Heaven directed Him to do as He was led by the Holy Spirit (John 5:19).  All things in the Bible that have been of eternal consequence were first presented by God, and then He led people step-by-step in getting things done. Our job is to simply trust and obey the Lord and not tell Him what we want to see done! Following God’s leadership will almost always involve hardships as each of the people I listed above faced very challenging times in their lives as they obeyed the Lord; this is why we must walk/live by faith.


Let me stop here and confess that I am personally impressed by men and women who have great vision and an ability to bring “big” things to pass. I do not have an entrepreneur spirit; I am a “stay in your lane” and “do what you know is right” kind of guy. I do not think about or dream of  big new things in life; I admire people who have that capacity! That being said, we now live in a time of the religious business here in America where pastors/shepherds are told they must “cast vision” and “dream big things” for God’s Kingdom in order to be faithful in ministry. I do not see this anywhere in God’s Word. Pastors in the New Testament were called to shepherd the people of God in His Word, love them as Jesus loved them, and live a pure life of faith before the Lord. Nowhere in the New Testament are pastors/elders instructed to create “big” things for God’s Kingdom. As a matter of fact, my observation has been over 37 years of serving the Lord that powerful and influential men have indeed done “big” things, but what has lasted was brought about slowly and “step-by-step” in faith as the Lord led. Some of the “big things” I have seen that were dreamt up and driven by men have certainly grown large in influence, property and even finances, but then collapsed in short time in a heap of scandal and damage to God’s reputation. The Lord has all the best plans and He knows how to get things done, usually in the slow and sure way. God certainly can do things quickly, but scripture teaches He usually develops things over decades to make them last. Perhaps you have grown impatient in your life with Jesus in that you want to see “big things” in your life that draw the respect and admiration of others. Very few of the many faithful servants of God in history are listed by name in the Bible, most remained unknown. Those who did do much for God certainly carried their cross and suffered for serving Him faithfully.  God’s way is more often than not the humble, slow, unrecognized, faithful path of suffering to bring Him glory. Don’t lose heart in following and serving the Lord Jesus Christ, He told us this is the way of a disciple. Trust in Him for not only salvation, but to lead you in your daily decisions, and then rest in Him to guide you in whatever He has for you. Don’t try to come up with your own plans, dreams or desires and jump into them thinking God has to fulfill them. Rest in Jesus and His ability to lead you and then be sure to obey His directives as they come.


Love in Christ,

Pastor Gary Houdek