Advice For “The Surrendered”
Well, here I am in the middle of the summer camp, conference, and mission season, and I find myself physically drained but my soul curiously refreshed. I’m not only energized by the salvation I’ve seen “spring up from the ground” this summer, but also the amazing number of conversations I’ve had with people who feel they have been called by God to surrender to full-time ministry. (Over 20 and one altar call last week!) In fact, I feel as though I’m in the movie “Groundhog Day” because I’ve repeated the same dialogue with so many people in the past few weeks.
“How I’m I supposed to get started?”
“How do I know God’s will or if it’s His voice or my desire?”
Now there are no experts in the kingdom of God. That would imply that Christianity is a destination and not a journey. But, for the sake of time, and a horse voice, I submit the following thoughts gleaned from the many failures and a few successes in my own ministry:
1. God told Abraham, “go… To the land that I will show you.” This means you don’t have to know the final destination before you get started on the journey. Just do what He’s telling you now. He’s never in a hurry. You’ll know the details at the moment you need to know them.
2. Don’t get stuck in “analysis paralysis”. if you have to know the answer to every question along the journey you will not need faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
3. Remember that God is a “good Shepherd”. A shepherd leads his flock into a good pasture. He does not, then, tell the sheep which blade of grass to eat or which tree to sleep under. Many times God will lead you to a particular people group or country. Then God says: “What do you want to do here? The needs are many.” When you discover your own burden and your passion these will lead you to your vocation within that “pasture”. Then you’ll see that God gave you these and weaved them together with the rest of the body of Christ to fulfill His purposes. It’s amazing to watch that unfold.
4. If you want to hear Gods voice you have to remember His voice is “still” and “small”. You’ll have to get really close to hear it. Lean in. Snuggle up for the whispers. As you listen, you’ll not only know the good from the bad but you begin to discern the “better” from the “best”.
5. Build God’s kingdom… Not your own. (Enough said.)
6. Risk everything for your calling. “I will not offer to God that which cost me nothing”
I hope this helps. Maybe I should put this in a pamphlet or just print it on a T-shirt. It would save a lot of time. 🙂
Please pray for our ministries the rest of the summer. It will take a lot of strength and wisdom to get there… wisdom that we don’t have ourselves.