“Our own apathy and fear keep us from presenting the Word.” – Curt Walters
So often we become caught up in obsessing over our “Calling” in this world. We spend hours upon hours, and dollars upon dollars, trying to discern what we are supposed to do with our lives. We think a clear path is waiting for us. We think we need to see the ‘end result’ before we see the path to travel on the way.
Yesterday (Sunday, May 11, 2014) I listened while my pastor blew this notion out of the water.
The title for the morning sermon was “The World’s First Mission Trip.” It wasn’t what we usually think of when we hear the words “mission trip.” This was about Paul and Barnabas being sent out from the church in Antioch. The only plan they had was to share the gospel with those they met on their journey. They went where the Holy Spirit led, with no specific destination in mind.
When was the last time your church sent out a missionary this way? Most likely, never.
God had a plan for this particular sermon on this particular day. (As I suspect is always the case.)
The day before, Pastor Jerry Van Oyen passed away. Pastor Van Oyen was the minister at my church when I was young. From the earliest I can remember, until Middle School, he was the man on the pulpit.
Since then, about a 30 year time frame, he left to pastor and lead churches in a variety of places and a variety of ways. Eventually, as ‘retirement’ settled in, he and his wife Ellen, returned to my church. But he never stopped being a pastor. More importantly, he never stopped being a true evangelist. From Mexico to Cutlerville, and every point in between, he was truly an evangelist. His wife even quipped that he wouldn’t be of any use in Heaven. I’ll have to tell her I disagree.
Even as I sat in the pew yesterday morning, Pastor Van Oyen was evangelizing and leading. He was leading me.
Combined with the sermon, I became more than ever confident of my calling from God.
So often we are afraid to truly give ourselves to the leading of the Lord. We’re afraid he will send us to the most uncomfortable place in the world. We pray for leading. We pray for proper preparation. Do we truly embrace and release ourselves to what he has in store for us? Do we give in and let fear hold us back?
I know I’ve been pushing back a bit. Out of fear of the unknown I decide to hold back. No more.
I am confident in my current calling. God wants me to write. God wants me to speak. God wants me to share my story with you. Whatever I have to give, I will give. Whatever trust issues I had, I will toss aside. I will listen to his speaking. I will go where he wants me to go. I will write and speak the words he gives me. I will share.
Once I decided to let go of my fear, God provided.
I have a speaking engagement on my calendar. The third weekend in June I will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it happen. Once I released my fear, and placed my full trust in God’s plan for me, it became clear. God provided a way for me to be in Tulsa.
I look forward to sharing my calling and God’s plan with all of you.
So, toss off your own fear. Listen intently. Follow and go where you are called. Trust. Truly trust in his plan. He knows what he is doing.
Have you been holding back because of fear? Where have you pushed fear aside to follow God’s plan?