Yesterday, I had brunch with a pastor-friend of mine. Since the last time I saw him three years ago, he was able to lead a team in planting a church in the city of Manila. Naturally, I asked how the Lord led him to this church planting assignment. He told me,
Pastor, when the Lord calls you, you have two options. You could go voluntarily like Isaiah who said, “Here I am. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Or you could go screaming and shouting like Jonah (Jonah 1:1-3; 4:1-3). At first, I went screaming and shouting. I was afraid of so many things. But God has been merciful to me. His grace has been sufficient. Now, I am right at the center of God’s assignment for me.
We know that God is good, right? He is all-wise and all-knowing. When he tells us to do something, it is always for our eternal good. We know all these things, right? Then why does he sometimes find us screaming and shouting and kicking (like the incredible Hulk!) when he tells us to do something? How is it that we sometimes have the audacity to say “No” to our Lord? Well, let me list a few reasons:
- Fear. When we are forced out of our comfort zones to venture to the unknown, when we think that the risks are too great, when we feel that the price of obeying God is too high–we are terrified.
- Unbelief. Like Jonah, there are times when we think that God’s commands are inconceivable. We think we know better; therefore, we object and/or disobey.
- Impatience. Sometimes we take matters into our hands because we think that God’s timing is off.
- Wrong advice. It is always good to seek counsel; just make sure that your advisers are people who seek after the heart of God. Otherwise, you might be led to a decision that is contrary to God’s will.
There are many other reasons, so please add to this list on the comments section below.
I am glad that my friend chose to obey God, and to obey God joyfully. He made costly adjustments, but he could not imagine a life of disobedience to God. Henry Blackaby said it well: “Obedience to God is costly; but disobedience is more costly.”
<Advertisements that may appear below are not mine. – Lloyd>