Devotional by Jason & Heidi DeVerna
Consider the story of Ruth from the Old Testament. Ruth was a Moabite who married an Israelite when his family came to live in Moab during a famine. Unfortunately, her husband, father-in-law-and brother-in-law all died, and she was left with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. When her mother-in-law, Naomi, decided to return to the land of Judah, Ruth was determined to go with her. (This is the famous passage of, “Where you go, I will go and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God”). So Ruth set out with her mother-in-law to a land that was foreign to her. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the barley harvest was just beginning. Ruth made a decision to simply do what was in front of her to do: she voluntarily started to glean in the fields after the harvesters.
Now Ruth didn’t know it, but she was part of a MUCH larger story playing out in history! It ended up that the field’s owner became her kinsman redeemer, her husband… and they had a son named Obed, who fathered Jesse, who fathered David…and a family lineage that led to the birth of Christ. Think about Ruth as she woke up early all those days— her back aching and feet blistered from working in the fields; she had NO IDEA what was at stake or that her great grandson would be the King of Israel! She simply stayed faithful to the daily task in front of her.
As Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” What if Ruth had decided to just stay in Moab like her sister in law? What if she had changed her mind when they reached Judah, too overcome by culture shock? What if she had stayed bitter about the loss of her husband, vowing never to love again? What if she was too lazy or prideful to go and work in the fields? Her story would have turned out completely different. The same is true for you …your choices today are marking the path of your destiny in ways that you cannot even imagine. You never know why you are seated next to that talkative co-worker or why your neighbor feels the need to tell you her life story—but there’s ALWAYS a greater plan in the making! Stay faithful to what is in front of you and do a thorough job as God’s servant. After enduring great hardship in Moab, God brought Ruth out of obscurity and into the very lineage of His Son…yet it all hinged on her decision to start working in the fields one day.
The truth of the matter is that our “limitless” God still needs our cooperation and obedience if we want to see His best. It is our faithfulness in the day-to-day, mundane or obscure tasks or responsibilities of life, that can determine a whole lot more. There’s always more at stake than what you think in the moment. I would encourage you to look at the fields ready for harvest in your world today. It might be at your workplace, your kid’s school, or your neighborhood, maybe a need you see at church…but destiny is at stake in your decision of whether to go “work the field” and get your hands dirty. You never know what is waiting on the other side of your obedience. As we gather in just a few short weeks for Wave Conference 2019, let’s have open hearts to receive AND willing hands to respond to everything God has for us!