In September 1996, a friend and I did a workbook together. It changed my life, and my understanding in myriad ways. It is called “Experiencing God” by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King. I highly recommend it. I want to recap one of the units for you. I will paraphrase so I don’t violate any copyright laws. Their church tried to start Bible studies at a college campus in the dorms.
They tried for over a year but nothing worked. One Sunday the pastor pulled his students together and said something like: this week I want you to watch and see what God is doing and join Him. He explained that no one seeks God on their own. Let me add a few verses to cement this truth. Ephesians 4:18 says, “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God…” Romans 3:11 says that no one seeks God.
He told them to watch and to be attentive. God is at work when someone starts asking spiritual questions. When that happens, cancel what you are doing. Here is what happened. One of the girls said that a girl she had been in class with for two years approached her. She said that she needed to talk to her. Eleven girls had been studying the Bible together, but none of them were Christians. Here was her question: do you know anyone who can lead us in a Bible study? We often try to start something, but fail to see where the Lord is already at work.
For two years the church tried to do something for God and failed. For three days they looked to see what the Lord was doing and joined Him. The result was three Bible studies in the women’s dorm and two in the men’s dorm. This lesson stuck to me like glue and I have implemented it as a life skill. I moved and am in a whole new neighborhood. In my senior mobile park I met my neighbors as I would walk daily. As I met each one I would add them to my prayer list and prayed for them by name.
Day one here the only neighbor I met was a dog. Its bark strongly opposed my presence. Day three it stood and watched me. My eyes are drawn to a neighbor two doors down and across the street where I now live. I’m looking for an opportunity to initiate friendly overtures. The Lord is always at work. As we gain sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s moving, we will be able to readily see what He is doing so we can join Him. I’m asking Him now to show me because I know I will not see it on my own.
Here is Jesus’ example for us. John 5:17 says, “…My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Verse 19 says, “…Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” Jesus saw what the Father was doing and did it. Verse 20 says, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show greater works than these, that you may marvel.”
Here is an example of how Jesus worked. John 4:4 says that He needed to go through Samaria. In my mind, I see the whole scene played out first as an exchange between the Father and the Son. The woman came to the well. As Jesus conversed with her, we read how her questions revealed that God was at work.
Verse 9 says, “…How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealing with Samaritans.” Jesus engaged her with words of truth that drew her further into conversation. Verse 11 says, “…Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?” You can read the rest of the encounter for yourself. It was all designed, just like our good works are designed before time began. Let us be about our Father’s business.