Paul Scanlon

He was taking his dog for a walk one day, praying about whether to proceed with the potential bus ministry, when he found a piece of paper

Job 15:1-35

Reference:  v.2 Would the wise answer with empty notions or fill their bellies with the hot east wind? (TNIV Bible)

Explore:  Paul Scanlon is the senior pastor of Abundant Life Church in Bradford, England.  I heard him speak about starting a bus ministry in their church.  This is where the church organises buses to drive around local areas – usually the poorer communities that couldn't afford their own transport – to pick up children and families to bring them to church.  As the idea had started in Paul's mind he started praying about it and seeking God's wisdom.  He was taking his dog for a walk one day, praying about whether to proceed with the potential bus ministry, when he found a piece of paper from a child's text book.  It had this information on it:
• Transportation was important
• That it made prosperity increase
• And then it made the population explode
That was such a significant sign from God that Paul laminated that piece of paper and put it in a prominent place.  And from then on he and his team started the bus ministry and have since transported so many people into their church, into their community but more importantly into a relationship with God.

Application:  Now I can assure you that there were trials along the way.  Just because he felt God communicate to him through this piece of paper, Paul would have had to work hard, and contribute a great deal of the churches resources, to make the bus ministry happen.  I wonder whether there were days that were so challenging that he thought, 'Maybe this actually wasn't such a good idea.'  I know that happens to me.  I really feel that God has called me to a particular task but when it all gets too difficult I have to wonder whether it really was a 'God idea' to begin with.  When God opens a door for us it doesn't mean that the road is cushioned along the way.  If we find ourselves doubting and wondering whether we had heard God right we need to remind ourselves that God opened the door to begin with.  When Job experienced the pain of having everything taken away from him he needed to remind himself of God's promises to His people.  When Paul Scanlon doubted the possibility of the bus ministry he needed to look at that laminated piece of text book again.  When we start to doubt God's presence in our lives we need to remind ourselves of when we felt His presence strongly and know that He's the same God today as He was at that time.

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for showing us significant signs when we need them.  Help us in the times of doubt.  Even though life can be challenging may we not forget Your promises to us.  Amen.

When is a time that you've felt God has spoken clearly to you?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.