One of the biggest ideas that impacted me during our pilgrimage was the concept of seeking God’s will first. We heard about it in sermons, from the nationals, partners and exiles that we met. Many times we assume that the good things, reasonable things, practical things that we want are what God wants, but God’s will works in God’s timing. Seeking his will (and letting go of our plans) brings us closer to him.
In worship, we learned about Saul who was impatient and decided that what he perceived as the need of the group (starting battle before the warriors wandered off) was more important than waiting on God’s prophet to come bless them. When they went ahead of God, things didn’t go so well and Saul’s reign as king started going downhill.
One exile we met, said that after having to flee his home country he was very worried about how he would continue to serve God. He had a good ministry in a dangerous country, but when he had to move to a safer place for the sake of his family he worried that he had lost his opportunity to serve God. God provided a new opportunity in the new place to share Jesus with people who would have been otherwise very difficult reach.
Seeking God’s will first relies on a firm knowledge that God will take care of our needs and that he loves us, even when it's hard to see where he is taking us.