Thursday, February 4, 2016
Thoughtful About . . . When He Calls
Last weekend my husband, dad, and I went to visit a local church and speak about the missions trip they had taken in October, and of the service organization we've begun. After speaking of the trip for so long, the mike got handed to me to cover the org--though I'd said I was just there for moral support, LOL.
As I stood up there in front a group of strangers who are my family in Christ, as I tried to convey why this was important, a truth settled in my mind.
We're not all called to foreign missions.
We're not all called to domestic missions.
We're not all called to adopt.
We're not all called to minister to refugees.
We're not all called to any one thing.
But we're all called.
We're not all asked to sacrifice our riches.
We're not all asked to sacrifice our houses.
We're not all asked to sacrifice our days.
We're not all asked to sacrifice our hold on our children.
We're not all asked to sacrifice our dreams.
But we're all asked to sacrifice.
And if we don't think we've heard a call or been asked to sacrifice...then it's not because God hasn't spoken. It's because we're not listening. And if we're not listening, how long before He asks someone else to do, in our place, what He'd intended for us?
My husband put it like this on Saturday, and it's so good an analogy that it's stuck in my mind. Let's look at our relationship with God like a romantic one. We're told, over and over, that we need to learn to listen to God's voice.
So maybe we sit around on the phone with him. We pray, we read the Bible. We concentrate on that voice.
Then one day, God says, "Hey, wanna catch a movie?"
We say, "Well...not tonight. I've got all this other stuff going on."
So the next week, God says, "How about dinner?"
And we say, "Well...I'm kinda busy."
If this plays out time and again, how long is it before you can't honestly call yourself "dating" anymore? If you have the opportunity to DO and choose not to, is that an active relationship?
God doesn't call us to an inactive faith. The Great Commission doesn't say, "Stay ye at home and pray." Jesus doesn't answer the rich young ruler's question about what he needs to do to be saved with, "Give a nice offering every week and pray you use your wealth wisely."
He calls us all to GO.
He asks us all to GIVE.
Where to go? What to give?
That's where we're all different. But I say this: the example of the rich young ruler is a good one. Because He doesn't ask for the easy way. He doesn't ask for a sacrifice that costs him little. He asks for complete dedication. He asks for the removal of the thing that the man valued most.
What do you value most?
What if He asks you to sacrifice that? What do you do? Do you give it all up? Let your family members go? Give up the steady job and good insurance? Leave the comfortable confines of the denomination you know best? Give up your home?
Or do you just stop picking up the phone when God calls?
Because here's the thing. He always calls. And if we don't hear that phone ringing...maybe it's because we ignored it too long.
American Christians are very good at talking. We value hearing His voice. And honestly, we're good at throwing money at things...so long as it's not enough that we'll notice it missing when we're at Walmart or browsing Amazon.
But when it comes to sacrificing...when it comes to going...when it comes to doing...
Are we really Christ-like? Or are we content with a mask of Christianity that costs us nothing?