This week I’m going through the lessons of Group’s PandaMania VBS and considering how they apply to more than just kids!
God Watches Over You
“Even in darkness I cannot hide from You”
We’ll be singing that tonight at Vacation Bible School and I know it’ll be a favorite of the kids. Not my favorite perhaps, but theirs, so we’ll likely sing it often during these last few days of VBS.
They may like the song because it’s catchy or the video that goes with it is in a roller skating rink (flashback to the 80’s). Some of them like the motions that accompany the words.
But there’s something here that I do love—“My life is in your hands . . He’s got great big plans.”
God has a plan for you and He desires that you respond in obedience to His call. We can even prepare our hearts in advance for His directives. Oswald Chambers wrote that we should “make the determination to abide in Jesus wherever you are now or wherever you may be placed in the future.”
Before we even know what He will ask of us, we say in radical faith, “No matter what, God, I want to obey you. I’m willing to follow where you lead. I want the plans that You have prepared for me.”
Then, when God directs our steps and asks us to follow Him, we should leap up like Matthew the tax-collecting disciple, who abandoned his paper and pen to follow after Jesus in instantaneous obedience. There’s power when we abandon our plans and instead follow after God. Oswald Chambers also wrote: “I must realize that my obedience even in the smallest detail of life has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it.”
That’s the amazing thing about obedience. It’s all God requires of us. He doesn’t expect that we come up with the results. His “great big plans” don’t depend on our ability or know-how. The success of God’s plans rely solely on our submission and His omnipotent power.
Have you obeyed God? Don’t worry if you are in darkness right now or if the results haven’t been the glorious success you envisioned. Your responsibility is to obey. God can handle everything else.
When we worry and fret over God’s will in that way, we are saying that God is fickle and demanding, that He removes His love and favor at whim if we fail to choose the right answer in the multiple choice test of life.
As long as our hearts are set on obedience and the desire of our heart is to be in God’s will, we can trust the God who created communication to communicate His desires to us. It is then our choice whether to obey or disobey those “great big plans” that the VBS song talks about.
Even if we choose disobedience, though, and go our own way, God doesn’t turn His back and shut His eyes to what we endure. Jonah knowingly boarded a boat headed in the opposite direction of God’s command. It may not have looked like it at the time, but even then God was with him.
It was God that shook the ship Jonah was on with a storm that made even experienced sailors panic and look for a supernatural cause for the tempest.
It was God that set him on a ship of pagan sailors whose hearts were prepared to respond in faith to God. God even used Jonah, the runaway, disobedient prophet to evangelize them: “At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him” Jonah 1:16.
It was God that sent a giant fish up from the depths of the ocean to swallow Jonah whole and carry him safely to land.
Jonah could indeed echo the words of Psalm 139:7-12″
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Sometimes the darkness and the storm and the big fish are grace in disguise. They are God’s way of guiding us and holding us fast when we have traveled away from His side.
Even when we’ve remained in His will, though, and responded in obedience at every call, even then we sometimes face darkness.
But, God is watching over you, every moment of every day. His back was not turned when you faced tragedy. His eyes were not shut tight when you were hurt. Sometimes in this evil world full of sin we face the ugliest circumstances possible, but “even the darkness will not be dark to (God); the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to (Him)” (Psalm 139:12).
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.