Friday, January 30, 2009
This past Sunday's sermon made reference to a man whose faith I spoke of as reckless in that he heard God speak and then up and left everything, taking wife and children to Africa as a missionary family. Their departure from Africa was in the midst of a violent revolution and they barely escaped with their lives. I shared the sermon with this friend who wrote back saying, "Reckless is probably the best description, but then I was young. I don't think I would have the courage to do it now at 45, knowing what I know about the world." While I understand what he is saying, I can only see him going again if God spoke to him in this day with the same compelling voice that He spoke two decades ago. It never was his courage that took him to Africa, but his faith and the sense of God's call.
As I deal with certain things in ministry, I often think, "Had I known in the beginning that saying 'yes' to God would bring me to this moment, I think I would have said, 'no.'" I remember thinking that very thing the day a young man called me from the hospital asking me to come because his newborn son had died at birth. What takes us into those moments that are greater than our ability to manage is not our courage or our ability to use the right religious sounding words, but a sense that God's call is upon our life.
God's call does not just fall upon the missionary or the local pastor, but upon everyone of us. It is as if we say "yes" to Jesus and He almost immediately says, "Good. I am glad to hear it. Now here is what I want you to do." Once we hear His Word falling upon our life, shirking it becomes something we do at great spiritual peril. Being comfortable, or feeling qualified is never the issue when God speaks to us. When He calls, He also makes the way which is the only reason we would dare to move forward in obedience.