Currently I am meeting with a former student on Friday mornings and we’re qorking through Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God. It is a phenomenal study that I have gone through many times since High School (albeit the first 3-4 times I took the class I didn’t finish because it’s 13 weeks and I don’t finish things well). Each time I go through it I’m challenged with something different. This week we’re in Unit 7 and are discussing the 5threality: God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action. It has made me examine and question the faith I have in following God and the willingness I have to step out on the “big things.” I have always believed that God calls each of His believers to do things that are outside of our comfort and ability. I cringe at the phrase, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Job, Moses, Noah, Elijah, Abraham, Jesus, the disciples, Stephen, Balthasar Hubmaier, Adoniram Judson, and countless other believers over the past 2,000 years would disagree. I think God intentionally gives us more than we can handle to increase our dependency on Him. He also calls us to do more than we can do with our own abilities and resources because He wants to work in and through our lives.
I typically make decisions based on resources, risks, and reward. If I have the resources and the reward is worth the risk, then it typically is a logical decision. There are times in life that this is not the equation.
I want to be at a place where I hear God calling me to something and I don’t need to calculate and run the numbers. I want to be at a place where God leads me to something and I say YES. Then I watch Him work out the details (and I make good-steward decisions to not be an idiot). I feel like my planning often times moves God out of the equation and it limits the opportunities He has to truly work. He is capable of so much more than what I am, why do I put all my trust in myself?
When God works in miraculous ways, it points people to Him. They may not choose to follow Him, but they must definitely see Him at work. Do I want people to see me and say, “he loves his God and does great things for His kingdom”? Or do I want them to see me and recognize God working? I just want to be following Him and available for what he calls me to.
What is God calling me to do? What is God calling our church to do? Do I want to look back and say, “I’ve busted my tail for the Lord and He has blessed me greatly”? Or do I want to say, “I was faithful and obedient and God did miracles in my life”? Does our church want to say, “we busted our tail and God blessed our work”? Or do we want to say, “we were faithful and obedient and God has done amazing things through our faithful obedience”?
I so want to see God do miraculous things. I want to plan, be calculated and wise… but more than I that I don’t want to put God in a box boundaries defined by my human resources and limit what He will do. May I be obedient, no matter how impossible and God-sized the calling is or how much it doesn’t make sense.
Balthasar Hubmaier is my favorite of the Anabaptists. He was burned to death in 1528 where they rubbed gunpowder and sulphur into his long beard as he called out, “Oh salt me well, salt me well.”
Adoniram Judson is my favorite of the early missionaries. Served in Burma for almost 40 years. It was six years before his first convert. This and many more amazing things God led him to do were at the cost of the lives of 2 wives and several children.