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What God Ordains

A few years ago, I participated in an author signing event. Peggy joined me for the day, mingling with the crowd and casually sending people my way. At some point, I noticed her sitting and conversing with another author—admittedly a more interesting one. Sue Thomas had become profoundly deaf at 18 months, yet through persevering parents and continual speech therapy, Sue learned to speak well. After graduating from college, she joined the FBI as a fingerprint examiner, but when the Bureau discovered Sue’s lip-reading expertise, they assigned her to an undercover surveillance team pursuing high-profile crime cases. Sue became the inspiration for the television series: Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye. On our way home, Peggy shared a pearl of wisdom she gained from this woman of great faith. Sometime after suffering a stroke, Sue had been invited to speak to a group. When her concerned assistant questioned whether she was strong enough to endure the event, Sue replied, “What God ordains He will sustain.” She accepted the invitation and kept the appointment.

It is easy and normal to consider the enormity of God’s call through the lens of our natural limitations. When God commissioned Moses to demand that Pharaoh release the Israelites, Moses objected, citing his ineloquence. Answered God, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?”1 What God ordains He will sustain. When the angel of the Lord called Gideon to go and save Israel from their oppressors, he also objected, for his clan was the weakest in their tribe, and he was the “least” in his family. “I will be with you,” replied the Lord, “and you will strike down all the Midianites.”2 What God ordains He will sustain. Still today, God sends us, His people, into intimidating circumstances—“like sheep among wolves”3—with the message of life in Christ and in humble service in His name. When tempted to balk at our commission and to reason why not to go forward in faith, we must remember this: What God ordains He will sustain.

In Sit, Walk, Stand, Watchman Nee’s timeless teaching on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, the twentieth-century Chinese church planter wrote, “The greatness of [the Lord’s] demands upon us only shows how confident he is that the resources he has put within us are fully enough to meet them. God does not command what he will not perform, but we must throw ourselves back on him for the performance.”4 Yes, God calls us to adventures beyond our ability, for they exist fully within His. Are you up to it today?

Father, You desire to work Kingdom wonders through Your Kingdom people. Inspire us to stand in Your strength and to remember that what You ordain You will sustain. In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 Exodus 4:11
2 Judges 6:16
3 Matthew 10:16
4 Nee, W. (1977). Sit, Walk, Stand (Repkg). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale Entertainment, 29.

4 replies on “What God Ordains”

Paul, thank you for your writing and reminding us that what God “ordain, he sustains.” We need more of the love and power of Jesus Christ and his Spirit in our lives to do the miraculous and shine like lights against the darkness in a wicked and perverse generation such as ours (Phil. 2:15). Bless you, brother. Keep up the great writing and blogging!

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Paul

How timely; I am so positively encouraged and challenged by your post today as I am in Gambella Ethiopia navigating uncomfortable new situations…yet I know of God ordained me to be here. Thank you for your encouraging & timely word. It reminds me how God holds all these things in his hands & why we need the body of Christ to stay on track!

Donna Locher

On Wed, Jan 27, 2021, 8:02 AM Paul Nordman—Author wrote:

> Paul Nordman posted: ” A few years ago, I participated in an author > signing event. Peggy joined me for the day, mingling with the crowd and > casually sending people my way. At some point, I noticed her sitting and > conversing with another author—admittedly a more interesting one” >

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