God’s plan for you is for Him, Garcia tells Chapel
“When God seems silent, He is not absent. Just because you can’t see Him, hear Him or know of His workings doesn’t mean He’s not there.” – Noe Garcia
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
It might be difficult to fathom where God is in 2020’s wave of challenges. Noe Garcia knows the feeling. He’s been to the depths.
In the second of three weeks of online Chapel talks before Grand Canyon University students return to campus for in-person classes, the Pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church recounted his despair years ago as he was growing up into a life of debauchery.
Then he heard God’s call to turn away from all that and become a pastor … and found himself cleaning toilets while trying to earn his theology degree. It didn’t feel like progress.
“I didn’t know what God was doing, to be honest with you,” he said. “But as I look back, I recognize that God was breaking me of me.
“The truth is, if God would have given me what I wanted at that age, my character probably wasn’t even ready for it. I would have messed it up. And God knew it, so He protected me.”
Garcia’s favorite biblical passage is the Genesis story of Joseph, who was thrown into a pit when he incurred the wrath of his brothers for sharing the lofty plans God had for him, revealed in two dreams.
It’s an example of a special revelation, also demonstrated in the Bible by messages from clouds or burning bushes or by the parting of the Red Sea. But living out a dream’s vision can become a nightmare.
“A dream can mean a plan, a desire, but I want to define it this way,” Garcia said. “A dream is something God reveals, affirms and uses for our good and for His glory.
“… A dream is given by God for God. The dream is never just for the dreamer. The dream is never just for the dreamer.”
It took a lot of heartache for Garcia to realize that.
“The greatest thing that could have happened to me,” he said, “is God not giving me what I wanted and Him making me wait and Him breaking me and Him humbling me and Him maturing me so that I would understand what God was going to do through me was for Him.”
Don’t be surprised if you encounter opposition, even from people close to you, when you try to follow through on God’s plan.
“It’s almost as if this pain is part of the process. This pain is part of the plan. This pain is part of the purpose. The pain is part of the promise,” he said.
Garcia ran through all the issues that have arisen this year and all the depression and anxiety those issues have caused, then pointed to the Bible in his hand and noted that it happens over and over to people in Scripture.
People like Joseph.
“Joseph didn’t ask for the dream. The dream chased Joseph,” Garcia said.
Joseph was so distraught, the Bible says his soul cried out to God. Some listeners might feel as if they’re in a similar pit, Garcia said:
“Let me just tell you, God hears the crying of your soul. And little do you know, this all may be part of God’s plan.”
Garcia’s message fit well with the video that began the online Chapel — of Amanda Riffe’s “Be Alright,” the first song on the new Canyon Worship 2020 album. He told one final story about his journey, about how he was abandoned by his father at an early age and how it sent him spiraling down that intemperate path.
There is nothing worse, Garcia said, than being betrayed by someone close to you. But Joseph put it all in perspective in Genesis 50:20 when he told his brothers:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
“What I have seen in my life and what you will see in your life one day,” Garcia said, “is that when you keep pursuing God, when you stay faithful – even when you fall, get back up because I haven’t been perfect – you will find one day that Genesis 50:20 moment.”
● Chapel replay.
● Next week’s speaker: Terry Mackey, Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].
GCU Today: Garcia keeps it real with Chapel message