Responding to God’s call to Go
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”] 4 So Abram went.
As a child, I remember sitting in Sunday School. Often missionaries would come visit our church and come into the children’s classes to share the most wonderful stories of faraway adventures. I always sat there listening to these stories captivated, struggling with emotions that ran from awe to fear and back again. Awe over what they were doing all over the world. Fear in wondering if I really lived for God was he going to make me go somewhere I didn’t want to go? Was he going to ask me to leave my family and friends and go to some country with no running water, with no communication, and with weird food? In my mind I was sure God was going to ask me to do something I didn’t want to. And I was going to have to do it. And I was going to be miserable. Not necessarily a logical or biblical thought process, but a very real one as a child.
I often think about Abraham in the Old Testament. Genesis 12 tells us of God calling him to go. There he was, in Haran, with his family. Living with his wife Sarah, seventy-five years old: settled. And then God tells him to go. And he does. No questions asked. No discussion on why he shouldn’t have to. The Bible tells us “so he went.”
Later, in Exodus, we read of God calling Moses. Unlike Abraham, Moses had a few more questions and concerns. God tells him in Exodus 3:10, “Now I am sending you to the king of Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country.” In verse 11, Moses responds, “I am nobody. How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” As the conversation between God and Moses continues we see Moses continually question God calling him to go, “But suppose the Israelites do not believe me and will not listen to what I say.” Moses argues, “Lord, I’ve never been a good speaker.“ And finally Moses straight out asks God, “Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
If you read further into the Bible, in the book of Judges 4, we read of another situation where God asks one of his own to go. The Israelites at this time are under the control of Sisera and have once again cried out to God for help. God sends Deborah, a prophet and a judge, to help the Israelites. Deborah tells Barak, “The Lord, the God of Israel, is giving you a command. He says, ‘Go!” Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I’ll go. But if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” Unlike Abraham, who went when God said go, and unlike Moses, who went after his questions were answered, Barak refused to go unless his terms were met.
All three of these men were called by God to go. All three of these men responded in quite different ways. How do you respond to God’s call to go in your life? Can you think of situations where you have been called to do something to further His kingdom? Did you do it? Did you question God and then do it? Did you only do it on your terms? Maybe you just didn’t do it?
What is God calling you to do today? It might not be something as drastic as Abraham, but he’s calling us all to something. Maybe it’s a career change so you can focus more on Him. Maybe it’s putting aside your pride and fixing a relationship that is in disarray. Maybe it’s being bolder in sharing Him with others. Maybe it’s taking yourself out of your comfort zone to do something to further His kingdom. Maybe it’s simply changing where your money is going or reevaluating how your time is spent. What is God calling you to do?
How will you respond?
When I wrote this I was on staff at a church and my task had been to write a week of devotionals. My goal had been to challenge others. To speak truth from God's word in hopes that God would use it to encourage others out there. Key word there: OTHERS!
And then God used my own words against me. :) Well not against me, but as a nice subtle reminder perhaps? Am I really willing to practice what i so readily say and share? God very clearly put the green light on my life. To leave the security of my job and the comfort of my home and the people I loved and move to Haiti for part of the year.
And so I did. And it was a year that changed me and taught me.
And now a year later, here I am. And what I wouldn't give for a go right about now on what to do with life.
Guess it's time to write that blog on Responding to God's call to Wait, huh?!