So, here’s the thing. In a recent post, we were talking about God’s calling and I mentioned Benjamin and his future job. Now, on top of that, we are wondering about the future of the Wicket Gate, classes, adding minors, semester jobs…
We want to be following God in all of these things, but figuring out God’s calling is really, really, really hard sometimes. And I know you all face this sort of thing too!
Anyway, in the process of all of this, we have found another important step in seeking what God wants from us (the first is talked about here.) While we keep obeying God, we have to be open to anything! Completely, actually, in-all-honesty, ready for and open to ANYTHING. Because we are not God, God is not us, and there are more possibilities floating around the universe than we ever could have dreamed of.
But this step involves some fear.
Fear is a great spin doctor. It’s a really strong emotion that seems to make logical sense in the garish way it paints situations, but it isn’t always right. God reminds us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that we have been changed by Him and that He “has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.”
Stop and think. How many decisions in your life have you made without really consulting God because it just seemed like you knew the logical choice? Was that, in real honesty, based on fear rather than calling?
Benjamin was talking the other day about college and jobs, about how he never prayed about whether God wanted him to go to college or not, he just assumed. It seemed scary not to choose college, so he did, just like it now seems scary not to choose a normal career. Not that he needs to. He is sure now that his choice for college was God’s calling. And he has no idea how God will direct his career. Maybe it will be a mainstream job, maybe it won’t. The point is that he has learned the importance of prayerfulness and dependence on God.
Because the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will. No matter what that is.
I have to remind myself over and over again that this life isn’t about this life. It isn’t about having good things or knowing good people or even being happy. Those are all blessings God has added, but in this sin-filled version of the world, our purpose is to bring glory to God through the darkness. For some people, that means giving up a whole lot of safety and comfort zone-age.
Look at Mary in the Bible. God called her to do something huge: to be unmarried and pregnant, miraculously carrying the Savior of the world. The stigma that must have been placed on her in that society is more weight than I can imagine. Then, when that was through, she had to somehow raise the perfect Son of God along with her own children. I’m sure that is not how she had imagined for her life. It must have seemed crazy and scary, but this is what she said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.”
Then there was Paul. Paul gave himself up to God with no fear and no boundaries and God used him in big ways. He led thousands of people to Christ, and wrote a good chunk of the Bible, but he was always traveling and on the move. Plus, he was regularly thrown into prison and beaten. Yet, he considered it a blessing to be serving Christ so fully. He said:
“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ”
And to name a few more:
- The disciples left their family and everything they had ever known to follow Jesus. (Matthew 4:19-20)
- Esther became a queen and risked her life to follow God and save the Israelites. (Esther 4-5)
- Moses left the peace and quiet of shepherding to stand up to a Pharaoh and lead a nation through the wilderness. (Exodus 3)
So what can we learn from all of those people who left themselves open for God to use… however?
I’m so glad you asked! : )
We can remember that God has created us for a purpose of some kind or another. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them.” God, who created us to be exactly who we are, also created times and places in which we can use the gifts He has given us for His glory. There are already good works planned for us to do in life.
Then, we know that God will give us wisdom when we ask for it. In James 1:5 it says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him,” and in Psalm 32:8 it says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (NASB). We don’t have to figure all of this out on our own. God promises to give us wisdom when we need it.
Also, those people all recognized that they were doing what they were doing for God. They had that healthy fear of Him that recognizes that God is holy, righteous, perfect, and powerful and that He deserves our obedience. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5 says, and Psalm 111:10 reminds us that, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” When we seek His wisdom, it needs to be with an attitude of humble servants.
Plus, like both Mary and Paul did, we can praise God for the fact that He chooses to use us to reach our friends or in our homes or wherever He calls us to serve! He chooses to let us be a part of the great work, and He doesn’t just leave us hanging about what to do. God sees the big picture and He promises to give us the wisdom about the best routes! (Imagine trying to figure life out without His guidance!)
So if God is calling you, me, or Benjamin away from the well-beaten, sunny path and onto the rock-filled, twisty path, let’s trust God with that and be willing to take the steps there. Because, in the end, obeying God will be so much better than anything we could have dreamed up for ourselves.