June 13, 2021

When God Derails Our Plans for the Better

As Solano looks forward to Vision Sunday on  September 25th, Aria Lee writes about learning to be a disciple who makes disciples.

By Aria Lee

This is Aria!
Aria Lee!

This summer was not what I had planned, but that wasn’t surprising considering the fact that God has derailed my plans multiple times, and always for the better. After returning home from college, I expected to spend my summer working at kids’ camp. I had a month before I was to start, so I decided I would take that time to relax, but when I relaxed, I dropped everything – including my daily fellowship with God. It wasn’t till about two weeks before I was supposed to start my summer job that God gave me a wakeup call, literally in the form of a phone call. The camp director called and told me that my job fell through, so in the course of five minutes, what I had envisioned for my summer completely changed.

Of course that’s the way God had intended it to be, because right after, Pastor Jun Lee (who also spoke at the Home Group Leaders Retreat) contacted me and a week later, we started meeting so that he could disciple me. Spiritually, I was not in a great place upon entering this discipleship. I was questioning my value and my worth and struggling with severe discouragement. That’s when Pastor Andrew’s sermon about the shield of faith made me realize that I had let my shield down. Recognizing my sin, I was motivated to restore my fellowship with God and with P. Jun’s constant encouragement, I began to seek God once again. That was when God planted the idea for me to start a college fellowship for SCC. Entering into this, I had no idea how he would reshape my view of discipleship and the power of his Spirit.

Regardless of how much I wanted to shove the idea away because of feelings of inadequacy, there was no denying that starting this fellowship was the plan that God had for my summer. After a gentle push from P. Jun and a week spent wrestling with God in prayer, I decided to follow God’s direction to start the fellowship. Within two days, all the logistics came together, – further confirmation that this was all part of God’s plan.

With the Lord’s strength and wisdom, as well as P. Jun’s teaching and guidance, I was able to organize and lead a group of about 20 people each week. I saw God work in tangible ways within those five weeks. What was originally a group of strangers, turned into a close-knit community of brothers and sisters in Christ that encouraged one another to pursue Christ more deeply. Conversations became more vulnerable and transparent, people in the group shared more openly about their spiritual walks, and I saw people reignite their passion for the Lord. Of course, leading was not easy, but it definitely allowed me to see what could happen if I just asked the Lord to fill me with the Spirit. My insecurities, sins, and flaws became insignificant as he reminded me that his grace and power were more than enough. And what was once a stressful task became a surrender to the Spirit as I allowed him to take the lead.

God didn’t stop there. Every lesson that I learned through initiating and leading the fellowship seeped into the rest of my life. I began to call upon the Spirit daily, using the tangible growth of the fellowship as the evidence I needed to believe that I was filled each time I asked. And oh man, did God do some crazy things, one of which happened last week:

Coming back to campus, I already had someone on my heart. I had become friends with this girl my first semester of college and we had met here and there throughout the school year. It wasn’t till the week before finals that I realized how much God was already opening her heart to him. She had struggled with the transition to college and it was apparent by the end of the year that it had taken a toll on her. When I met with her that last time before heading home for the summer, God prompted me to pray for her and I saw after opening my eyes that she was crying. Because of that emotional encounter, God constantly placed her on my mind throughout the summer. It was so frequent that I eventually told P. Jun about her and he challenged me to set a time to give my testimony and then share the Gospel with her when I got back to campus.

After many failed attempts to meet up, we finally had the opportunity to have dinner last week. Beforehand, I prayed desperately for God to fill me with his Spirit so that I would have the courage to share my testimony and the Gospel with her. God reminded me of 1 Corinthians 1:17: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power”. Immediately, an overwhelming sense of peace washed over me and I knew that regardless of what I said, the truth would be enough to transform her heart. That night she accepted Jesus Christ into her heart as her Lord and Savior.

As I disciple her for the next six weeks, it is my prayer that the Lord will continue to speak through me and that we would both grow more in love with him every day. Needless to say, God has shown me this summer and this past week what he can do as long as I am obedient to his call and act in faith. I hope that this allows you to see how God is able to multiply his Kingdom through discipleship. I challenge you to pursue spiritual multiplication with the aid of his unlimited power because there is nothing our God can’t do, which is so evident through his ability to call people back to him through us.  I’m so excited to see what this next year holds because I know that he is not finished.

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