Tag : following
Tag : following
Sometimes God might ask you the question, “Would you give it all up for me?”
I was just asked to apply for a job with a nationally-known ministry, but it’s not based in the Dallas area where I live. If I was offered this position, I would most likely have to give up the bulk of my ministry work with Pearls of Promise and the doctoral studies that I felt called to last year.
My first thought was Absolutely not! I love my home state of Texas and I am satisfied by the media ministry work I am currently doing. I was slated to start doctoral studies in the fall. This abrupt directional change did not make sense.
But then I talked to my husband, Jeff, and I prayed. Jeff was surprisingly open to the idea of relocating to this major metropolitan area, and through prayer, verses like this one came to mind: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24–25).
Jeff said, “Maybe this is a test.” After giving the decision over to the LORD, I decided that I wanted to pass the test, so I told the executive recruiter that I was open to applying.
Realistically, while I am qualified for the position, I find it highly doubtful that I will be their candidate, for several reasons, but it is a compliment to be asked to put my name in the hat. However, this possibility made me say to God, “If you want me to go, I will. My life, and everything in it, belongs to you.”
Today, I want to ask you if God called you to leave the comfort of your home and the niche you’ve created for yourself, would you be willing? Would you pass the test?
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).
I have written about where I am at this current time in my life—a kind of in- between stage—an empty nester whose daughters continue to come and go for weekends, between semesters, and during college breaks. With my career as a college professor on hold and my work as a speaker, writer, and ministry volunteer growing, yet stalled due to the virus, I am still trying to learn what the Lord has for me next.
My latest obsession has been watching videos from the late Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias and the amazingly articulate, clinical psychologist, Jordan Peterson. As I listen to these two uniquely qualified men talk about life, happiness, faith, and wisdom my head begins to spin. I am inspired to dig deeper, to watch more interviews and read more books. Just yesterday, I heard one of them say that the answers were not hard to find, but that the answers are sometimes hard to embrace. He was talking about the answers of the Bible, but I took it as the all the questions of life we have.
There are so many times when I have asked/prayed to God but I didn’t like the answer. The answers I did not want were either “not yet,” “wait more,
“be patient,” “learn more,” “do it any way,” or just plain “no.” Sometimes the answers were even worse because it was a combination of all of these! In Mark 10: 17-31, Jesus talks with a man about how to get eternal life. The man kept all the laws, yet Jesus wanted him to give up what he prided himself on—his wealth. For me, it is security. Can I give up security and follow Jesus without knowing where I’m going or what’s in store? Jesus didn’t pressure the man, He let him go.
It was the awesome gift of free will, but there are consequences of believing. There can be discomfort, stress, hard work, or even pain, but what I’ve learned from Jordan is that there cannot be any good without work. Marriage, child raising, building a career, families, friendships, and a life worth living all require work and the work is HARD. Jordan talks about compromise and sacrifice as integral parts of any relationship. My compromise and sacrifice with my relationship with the Lord is losing my security. I have to let myself be open to new ideas, opinions, methods, and opportunities that are not coming to me in my timeframe, but in His perfectly planned timeframe.
Trust, is another consequence of believing. I have to give up my control and trust God. I am learning to be secure in God’s promises for me and trust that His plan is the best plan possible for me.
Finally, for me, losing control is another consequence of believing. I am powerless without His love. God’s love gives me hope, strength, and peace in all the things in my life I cannot control. After much reflection, these consequences are easily turned into blessings. I get to give up my narrow idea of security for the security of God’s perfect timing. I get to trust in His impeccable, divine plan for my life versus my shortsighted, insecure plan. And most of all, I get to lean on His unconditional, blissful, peaceful love for me.
Consequences or blessings. It just takes changing your perspective.
It’s not too late to sign up for tomorrow night’s POP Chat on Zoom. Pearls of Promise founder has a great and unique message on “TMI: Why God Doesn’t Give Us Too Much Information.” Joining Lisa will be gifted Worship Leader, Renee Rollins, and the entire Pearls of Promise Team: Rosemary Legrand, Aurora Ortega Geis and Dr. Lynnette Simm. Join us for one hour of Worship, Teaching and Discussion. Here’s the link to register: