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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But He needed to go through Samaria."—John 4:4 (NKJV)
If you’ve been a believer for any length of time, you have probably come to the conclusion that your plans and God’s plans often don’t line up and that your schedule and His schedule often conflict. Why does this happen? Because He has something better in mind. He has something great He wants to accomplish in and through us.
As disciples, it should be our desire and mission to be used by God, to be the vessels through which He accomplishes His plan and carries out His great work. What does that mean? It means being open to His work and making yourself available to be used by Him. If we’re distracted and busy, we can’t hear the Spirit moving and guiding. If we’re always preoccupied, we won’t be attuned to His leading. If we’re always on the go, we won’t know to stop and respond to God’s call . . . we may not even hear the call.
Consider this: Jesus constantly stopped what He was doing to accomplish His Father’s will, to help people in need, to change people’s lives. He responded to their—and our—needs. To the outsider, these moments, these “interruptions,” may seem like inconvenient compassion, but to God, they’re divine appointments.
Remember the story of the woman at the well in John 4. In verse 4 (NIV), it says, “Now he had to go through Samaria.” Technically, Jesus did not have to go through Samaria. Because of the relationship between Jews and Samaritans, most Jews would have avoided the Samaritan route. Jesus; however, knew he NEEDED to take the direct route because He knew there was work to be done.
If we truly want to be generous with our time, we need to make ourselves available to the Spirit to guide us toward these divine appointments. Many times, we wonder why God isn’t using us, but we never stop to consider that we aren’t making ourselves available for Him to work. We’re not leaving room for the Spirit to direct our steps. We’re too busy.
Being generous with our time means leaving room in our schedules for the Spirit to work, to move us to action, to direct us to fulfill His purpose. As strange as that sounds, we need to write in our schedules in pencil, not pen . . . and we need to be okay with that. Why? Because we never know when the Spirit will move and lead, so we can’t be so rigid and immovable with our time.
Look at your schedule today. Is there any margin—any room at all for the Spirit to move you where you need to go?
DIG: Read John 4:1–42.
DISCOVER: When was the last time someone’s need interrupted your plans? How did you respond? Did you respond like Jesus? Or did you see it as an inconvenience to your plans and an interruption to your schedule? In contrast, when have you interrupted others with your needs? How did they respond? How did their response make you feel?
DISPLAY: Pray the Spirit will move you where you need to go to reach the people He’s calling you to reach. Pray the Lord would use you to accomplish His great plan and purpose, and then let Him work. Find times throughout the day to quiet your mind, to cut out distractions, and to tune your frequency to the Spirit’s so you can hear from Him. The more you do this, the easier it will be to recognize when the Lord is leading you to your “Jacob’s Well” moments.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.