Throughout Scripture we see examples of people who broke the mold of culture and tradition to reach out for a touch from the Savior. By tradition, Mary should have been in the kitchen with Martha, but she sat at the feet of Jesus, and He commended her for it. The woman with the issue of blood shouldn’t have even been in the crowd, much less pressing her way to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment. But she, like many others in Scripture, broke the rules to get to the next level in God. For the next five readings we’re going to look into the lives of five Old and New Testament characters who pushed past the limitations placed on them by doing something “unthinkable.” The old saying is true: you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to get different results. I did the unthinkable when I left a six-figure job in the pharmaceutical industry to co-pastor a growing congregation in Texas with my husband. That was eighteen years ago. Today we’re a twenty-thousand-plus member, God-loving church.
If you’re feeling stagnant and your dreams aren’t being fulfilled or your goals aren’t being met, you may need to break out of the mold so you can reach that next level of faith, power, and service in the kingdom. You must do the unthinkable!
DAY 1: Unthinkable Commitment
Have you ever been so hurt by circumstances that you blamed God for the pain? It’s easy to point the finger at Him, especially since He’s all powerful and could easily speak a word and make it all go away. You think God must be angry with you or that He doesn’t care. These thoughts may seem logical, but they are not true. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all” (NKJV). The story of Ruth provides a perfect portrait of God’s commitment to us, especially in times of heartache.
The Book of Ruth begins with a famine in Bethlehem, and Elimelech and his wife, Naomi, moved to Moab with their two sons. Starting over can be a good thing, but Naomi’s life would dramatically change—and not in a good way. Within ten years her husband and both sons died, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah. Both women loved Naomi, but it was Ruth’s commitment to never leave her mother-in-law that transformed both of their lives.
Commitment isn’t popular. People change jobs, spouses, interests, and attentions whenever the situation stops “working” for them. Commitment isn’t popular because it isn’t easy. When Naomi insisted on returning to Bethlehem alone, Ruth was devastated and responded with those now famous words: “For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God (Ruth 1:16, NKJV). But Orpah had a different perspective. She kissed Naomi and left. It’s not that Orpah didn’t love Naomi, it was that she didn’t love God. Our love for the Lord causes us to commit to Him and to trust Him even when it seems unthinkable.
It was God who put it in Ruth’s heart to follow Naomi because He knew Ruth would meet and marry Boaz and give birth to Obed, who was the grandfather of King David and a descendant of Jesus. So don’t wait. Do the unthinkable and invite God into the painful moments of your life. You will see Him work everything out for your good. He wants you to trust Him with every area of your life so He can bring His will for you to pass.