Monday, February 9, 2009

Do as God says “do” – He will take care of the rest.

I'm going to take a quick break from the "Baby Stuff Series" I've been writing about to post this - it's been heavy on my heart, and I wanted to share with everyone on the blog. Thanks for reading.

Mark 1:16-20
“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Wow, to have faith like that!

Notice – these guys just up and left what they were doing at the call of God! They left it all, to follow Jesus. They didn’t go home and check their budget or savings to see if they had enough money to be able to “afford” to follow Jesus. I'm sure if they would have analyzed the cost/benefit of doing so fiscally that they would've decided it was a poor business decision! Praise God for giving these men the faith that they had!

I love these next verses:

Luke 12:22-34
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what will you wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is there today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

What peace and freedom from worry our heavenly Father has given us in these potentially scary economic times! We don’t have to worry! He has promised to feed us and clothe us and take care of us, what more can we ask?

Is God calling you to do something that you are afraid is beyond your budget or current income? How do you know if it’s God’s voice calling you, or some other distraction of this world? Sometimes it can seem frightening to fully follow God’s will (trust me, I know and still struggle with this) but the reward is great!

Some things that can help you to decide if the thing in question is truly God’s will for you:

Prayer. Pray to God asking Him to show you his will for you. If you earnestly seek his face, he will show you. Of course, this is often on God’s time, not ours. It helps to remember that he did, after all, create the universe and he knows the history of everything even before it happens. He will guide you if you let him.

Read the Bible. Have you taken the opportunity yet to read from God’s Word on a regular basis on your own? There is power in his word – sometimes rereading verses I’ve read many times new insights can really jump out. There is the reason the Bible is called the “Living Word” of God. He speaks to us through it. Give it a try if you haven't yet.

Personal Evaluation: What harm to you or others could come? Remember opportunity costs of time spent away from family. What kingdom benefits are potentially there if you do? Is this something that has repeatedly been on your mind? Is it for selfish ambition or is it something God is calling you towards in order to show others His love through you?

These decisions can be tough. I’ll give you a few examples from my life: starting a Young Adult bible study (something I never did, but have felt like I “should” do, thankfully someone else in my church stepped up and started one), spending time working with my horses (something that has always been fun for me to do, yet takes me away from my family but still yet puts me in the presence of others who I could potentially be a witness to) and starting a parent’s bible study (something I felt was important and that there was a need for, yet has not been well-attended by other parents – was it really something I was supposed to do?). None of these things is necessarily “Right” or “Wrong” (rarely is something so black and white!) but if God wants me to do it, he will provide what I need to get the job done!

When God calls us to do or change something, it is important to act on it! So you’ve come to the conclusion that God is calling you to do something that you think is beyond you for some reason. This could be finances, this could be personal skills, this could be anything that you feel would hold you back from being able to do whatever it is God is asking of you.

One phrase that I have come to love but can’t remember where it came from is this: “Do what God says “do” – and He will take care of the rest” Why on earth would God ask someone to do something they could not do by themselves and let them fail trying? I firmly believe that if we are genuinely after God’s own heart and seek to bring others to know him personally, that he will help us along the way to do what he has asked of us. Remember Moses? Remember Joseph? (the one with the colorful coat) Remember Daniel? Remember the apostles? These guys didn’t necessarily have it easy, but they did what God asked of them, and he came through and provided them what they needed when they needed it most.

God will always be faithful to his children. I pray that you and I can be faithful to him and trust that he will always provide for us, and then boldly go and do what he asks of us!