Monday, March 31, 2014

But What?

God's call usually comes before the "but".

Let me explain. Over and over and over I watch believers wrestle and struggle and fight with their self over what God may or may not be calling them to do. I've seen people be in a snotty teary mess, literally sick over wanting to know God's will. (Myself included, no doubt.) God often, if not always, calls us WAY out of a comfort zone- Out of the safety we've put ourselves in, and out of the tiny box we have put Him in. He calls us out for His glory and for our good. Sometimes we think He is crazy, and what we hear makes no sense. But He calls us out nonetheless. And John 10 promises that followers of Christ know His voice and that He knows them. It takes time and investment in His Word and prayer, but ultimately, believer, you know His voice.
When I went to Africa, I knew the minute I heard what I was supposed to do. I knew! Then the Enemy came in:
"But that's so far away"
"But you have no money"
"But your parents won't let you"
"But you are alone"
"But that's scary"
The list went on and on. God's call said "go to Africa." I knew that I had to go, yet I let the enemy's lies become my own thoughts. It became a constant inner monologue. Constantly battling back and forth about it. "I think God may want me to go to Africa, BUT I'm not sure if I heard him correctly." I wrestled for several weeks. Obviously, I went, and it was the most incredible summer of my life, in which I surrendered to one day being a full time missionary.
A similar inner monologue has happened multiple other times in my life, and in the lives of so many people I know (and I'm sure some of you). We think about it on our own for a long time, then we go talk to someone. They don't have an answer, so we talk to another and another and another- until we now have so many opinions running through our heads that we actually might go nuts. You get the picture.
Another time, I heard God telling me to walk away from something unhealthy in my life. This time, I literally fought for MONTHS. "I think God is telling me to walk away, BUT that doesn't make sense...
- "but it hurts "
    -"but I'm probably hearing God wrong"
       -"but the timing isn't right"
         -"but I can't. It's too hard"
Again, I heard the call and again listened to the enemy. I entertained the "but" and actually just confused myself to the max. I wrestled and fought and kicked and screamed, and it sucked. But I ultimately knew.


Believer, you know God's voice. You know in your heart what He has called You to. The enemy is going to do every. single. thing. in his power to get you to do something different.

"I need to quit my job BUT... "
"I need to go to this country BUT...."
"For a while this has been on my heart, BUT..."
"Something should change BUT..."
" I would love to do this for the Kingdom, BUT...."
"I see this need, BUT"
"I heard a sermon today about ____, BUT"

Do you get it?? Is something specific starting to echo in your heart? Let's look at what usually comes after the "but" and why it's usually the enemy.

"I'm afraid"
- "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.-Isaiah 41:10

"I may be crazy. This doesn't make sense"
-"For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we have a sound mind, it is for you." 2 Corinthians 5:13
-"Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God."-1 Corinthians 2:12 [and the entire chapter]

" I don't have time."-"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."-2 Peter 3:8
-"Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."-James 4:14
-"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."-Proverbs 16:3

"I don't know what to say"
-But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."-Acts 1:8 (NIV)

"I can't."
- "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."-Philippians 4:13(NIV)
-"Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."-Mark 10:27

"What will___think?"
-"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."-Galatians 1:10

"It hurts."
-"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand."-Deuteronomy 32:39
-"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope."-Romans 5:3-4(NIV)

"I could be wrong."
-And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."-Philippians 1:6 (HCSB)

Oh, be encouraged dear friends!! He is worth it. So worth it. Rest, dear heart. You know His voice. If you know the Savior and you know the Scripture, you know Him. He's worth it. Whatever it is, do it. He's got you.

**Now, I realize there are some exceptions to my statement. Sometimes the "but" is actually a spirit of caution an discernment. Don't just take my word for it.

Worship. Pray. Sing songs. Speak Scripture. Then, when You think you know what God wants, be courageous and do it. That's it. Be courageous and DO IT.

1 comment:

Cindy Mathieson said...

What an awesome and amazing word!!! I'm so very proud of the young woman of God that He has and is forming you to be!!!