Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the desert of Southern California!
Have you ever been surprised by God’s sovereignty?
Early in my writing and speaking ministry in the 1980’s, I felt the need to make things happen. It felt like I needed to force things to happen. I even seemed to hear from the publishing world that it was up to me to make things happen. And within a decade or two, I began to learn that I needed a platform and it was all up to me.
I felt tense.
But my favorite characteristic of God began to give me peace. That characteristic is God’s sovereignty. Pastor and author Chuck Swindoll defines sovereignty as “our all-wise, all-knowing God reigning in realms beyond our comprehension to bring about a plan beyond our ability to alter, hinder, or stop.”
Wow! What wisdom! And what a comfort to know that God knows exactly what He’s doing and will accomplish what He desires. Daniel 2:20-21 tells us,
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to the wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.” (NASB).
That’s only one of many passages that refer to God’s sovereignty. And in many ways, the whole Bible is a description of God’s sovereignty because it tells “His story” and history is the story of God’s control in His plan coming to fruition.
I’ve seen these truths played out in many ways in my ministry over the years. In the beginning, though, I felt comfortable writing Christian living books but not Bible studies. There was something about the idea of writing a Bible study that was totally intimidating. After all, I didn’t even finish college and I had never gone to seminary. Although I led different Bible studies, to write one seemed like it should take some sort of super Christian who had special knowledge. Who would want to have their group gather to go over Bible material penned by me?
So I avoided the idea but deep in my heart, I longed to write Bible studies for Christian women.
When I was trying to find a publisher for my third book in the late 1980’s, I sent the proposal to David C. Cook. (Yes, Virginia, in those days you could send a proposal or manuscript to whoever you wanted! Santa Claus still existed.) Within a fairly short time, I received a letter from the editor, Mary. (Yes, Virginia, in those days we sent letters through the mail and got answers! E-mail didn’t exist.)
Mary wrote that Cook didn’t need a book with the topic I had submitted, but they were looking for an author who could develop a series of Bible study books for women. Would I be interested in submitting a proposal listing several topics I would want to cover in such a series and what I envisioned for the format.
Would I? You better believe it. It was like a dream come true. And I saw God’s sovereign hand upon something beyond what I could have ever imagined.
In the end, they not only promised to publish the first two Bible study books, but over three years, put out a total of twelve books in my series, called “Daughters of the King Bible Study Series.” And they sold well. Even though all those studies have been out of print for years, I still get inquiries as to where one can be bought.
When I begin to feel tense thinking, “I’ve got to make something happen,” I remember that demonstration of God’s sovereign power. Yes, I need, as do you, to do our marketing work and to build a platform. But when I start taking on responsibility for making things happen, I know I must step back and remind myself of the truth. God can make all that He desires to happen. I’m merely cooperating with Him and He opens the doors and produces the fruit He desires.
What challenge are you facing in your ministry and it feels like you need to take the bull by the horns and make it happen? Have no fear. God is in control. If He can move kings and establish kings, He can certainly provide the opportunities He wants for you.