In part 1 of Come, Follow Me, I reflected on the different callings in my life – a call to trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior, a call to teach, a call to marry, a call to motherhood, and a call to share His Word. During all of these times in my life, I became sure of the leading from God, a directing to follow Him even when I didn’t consider it to be within the realm of possibility (like teaching). Over the years, during my walk with Christ, from my very first calling, He has shown Himself faithful to me and completely trustworthy. I have also discovered that just because God gives a new calling, it doesn’t mean I can’t continue to serve Him and fulfill prior callings. In fact, looking back, all of the callings have seemed to flow well together and have become intertwined (marriage, teaching, motherhood, and sharing His Word). I may grow weary at times as I start to attempt to serve Him in my own strength, but He is the One who gives me the grace and strength to do all that He has called me to do!
So, what is this new call that I feel God building in my heart and mind?
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
It is a call to missions. Really? Anyone who knows me in real life, may do a double take as they read this since I rank so very high on the introvert scale! To be honest, I have actually struggled with the thought as well. My own perception of what a ‘missionary’ is has hindered me from gladly accepting this call. I have always envisioned missionaries to be those who powerfully proclaim God’s Word verbally overseas, not an overly shy mommy who is busy teaching her children at home.
Our family has been in the application process with a sending organization that my husband and I very much respect and that is in line with our desire to see the Word of God spread. However, at first, I had to admit that I never imagined being involved personally with missions (other than through giving) and that I was being submissive to my husband, following his leadership over our home, and trusting God’s sovereignty as we explored this path. My husband felt pulled to use the gifts and talents God had given him to have an impact for Christ and I wholeheartedly supported him. This was all true. I was just missing hearing God speak directly to me!
So, my loving, faithful God, over the past few weeks, through reading His Word, through sermons on Sunday mornings, through verses that were in our children’s curriculum, and in a daily devotional, began to share with me glimpses of His call for our family.
To start with, our church just completed a two year verse by verse study of the book of Matthew. In the final passage, the great commission is addressed. Our pastor said that God’s Words are to be shared and spread –taking it anywhere it isn’t currently and especially where it has never been heard. He also said that God uses followers of His Son to accomplish His purposes and plan – just ordinary people! (He has even made roles for His followers that are more ‘behind the scenes’ , those who support the work out on the field.) Then, he gives them a promise that He will be with them always.
During the ending prayer, the pastor asked all those feeling as though they were being called to missions to stand. I was somewhat hesitant and embarrassed to stand, but I clearly felt God telling me to do so. (And, afterward, my husband told me that he had the same urging as well.) While standing, I was crying because God was speaking to me. He knows my fears of the finances, leaving home and family, and my inadequacies that I feel in verbal communications. He knows my need for details. Although I don’t know when, where, what, or how, He is going before us and preparing the way for something. We are to step out of our comfort zone, away from the trappings of this world and to trust and follow Him. For where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also. I don’t know what this is going to look like, but He reminded me that I am never alone. For my Lord is with me always.
Two weeks later, in a sermon on tithing (of all topics), God impressed upon me that it is easy for my husband and I to freely give our finances to God’s purposes. However, that is not what I sensed He was asking of us this time. He wants us, our lives completely devoted to Him. We are weak, but we humbly say, “Yes Lord.” May He take all of our failings and weaknesses and turn them into strengths. May our hearts and our lives follow after Him, for His glory.
The next day, during my daily reading of Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God Day By Day Devotional, I read,
When God speaks, it can scare you to death! He will lead you to do things that are absolutely impossible in your own strength. But God will grant you the victory, step by step, as you obey Him. How do you respond to assignments that seem impossible? Do you write them off as unattainable? Or do you immediately adjust your life to God’s revelation, watching with anticipation to see how He will accomplish His purposes through your obedience?
Then, in part two of the pastor’s sermon on tithing, I was just hearing a quiet questioning of where my allegiance lies …Do I love my Lord enough that I am willing to give up my home? my comforts? my security in possessions? Although it terrifies me, I feel myself saying yes. I want to be in the center of His will.
Then, on the following day, again from the Blackaby devotional, I read,
He…looks for those willing to have their own lives radically adjusted away from their self-centered activities and placed into the center of God’s activity around the world…What is God presently inviting you to do? How are you responding?
And, of course, all during this same time frame, as part of our homeschool curriculum, our family was meditating on and memorizing some of the verses in Matthew 6:19-33.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
It has been exciting to see how God has revealed His calling through different studies – something only He could cohesively coordinate. He has caught my attention and is gradually changing my heart. He is helping me to clearly see that this world is temporal and is focusing my eyes and trust solely on Him. I don’t pretend to know how this is all going to turn out. We’re just taking the next step of faith and waiting expectantly to see what He has in store. I know what He is asking won’t be easy, but we have a faithful, loving God who is worthy of our full devotion.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
What a reassuring verse from Proverbs 16:9! Yes, it is the Lord who determines our steps! We are praying that God will direct our steps to show us if this is truly His Will for our family in this season of our lives or if it is something He has planned for some point in the future. Would you please pray with us, too?
I feel that I also need to reiterate that, just as when I received my first call, I am imperfect, a sinner, saved by grace through faith. My call will always be to follow Him. The only difference is that I can now look back upon His past faithfulness and go forth in deeper trust.