When God Says "Go"
By Shannon Kubiak Primicerio
CBN.com There are many times in our lives when God calls us to go somewhere or do something. He wants us to step out in faith in a situation that seems extremely ridiculous so He can amaze us with what He does. Most of the time we miss out on these exciting opportunities because we are unwilling to move--or let Him move through us. When He asks us to move, He never asks us to go alone. He asks us to move because He wants to go somewhere and He wants us to move with Him!
You've Gotta Know Where to Go Before You Can Get There
We need to learn to faithfully listen to God if we want to become faithful servants of Him. In each of our lives there will come a time--and most likely many times--when the Lord will come to us and simply say, "Go." There are specific places God wants us to be at certain times so that He can use us--and even bless us--in ways that are specific to that particular location.
But that is no reason to freak out over every little detail of life. It is simply a reminder that we need to listen. Before we can ever know how we are to serve God, we must first come to learn where we are to serve God. Sometimes the answer is not a place, but a process. Like a soldier who attends boot camp in one place, gets stationed in another, and then gets deployed to yet another location, God likes to move His troops around too. Even when we know where we are going, God can change our direction in a split second.
Sure, we can have a general calling--like knowing we are called to work with kids. But we cannot know how that calling is going to be fulfilled until we know where it is we are called to go. And the truth is, fulfilling that calling to its fullest might require that we go and serve God in many different places throughout our lifetime. We gain more experience in every place we go and in every way we serve. Sometimes God calls us to certain places to educate and prepare us for the place He wants us to ultimately end up.
God could tell you to go to one of countless places. Nothing is impossible for Him. It could be as simple as attending a Christian club or going to a school event you weren't planning on attending and meeting someone you wouldn't have otherwise met. It might be sitting in a certain seat on the school bus and getting to know someone who desperately needs Jesus. There are times, though, when the command to go is just a little bigger than that.
Sometimes He tells His children to go out into the mission field. Perhaps that is a calling you believe God has on your life. Other times, God tells His children to go home from the mission field because their time of service there is done. At times God's call to go, or come home, isn't followed by a clear reason for why the call came. But the biblical accounts of God telling His children to go are countless.
In Joshua 1:2 He tells Joshua: "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel."
Where to Go in the Everyday Decisions
Maybe you are currently debating over where to go to college, or you are seeking God's will about where to go on a mission trip. Perhaps your parents are divorced and you are considering moving in with your other parent. I know girls who have recently been in all three of those situations.
When they came to me for advice, I told them to listen for the voice of the Lord. Slowly, one by one, they began to receive their answers--their marching orders--to pack up their bags and go. The practice of listening to the voice of the Lord created an intimacy and trust that made the difficult parts of their moves easier than they would have been had they ventured out without hearing God's voice. When we know God is calling us to go somewhere, we never feel like we are going alone.
God's command to go does not always involve physically moving. Sometimes it may mean stepping up and not going somewhere. It might mean refusing to go to a party where drugs, drinking, and other forms of compromise will be taking place. Maybe it means not going on a date with a guy who is unsaved or isn't that strong in his walk with the Lord. It might even mean declining acceptance into a college that would transplant you right into party central itself.
For Esther, God's command to go meant risking her life and going before the king so that her people might be saved from death. Her walk of obedience was a short one--down the palace hallways--but it could have been quite costly to her.
For my friend Megan it meant taking a step of faith during her senior year, inviting other Christians she knew on her public high school campus to have worship in the back of her truck in the school parking lot before school started each morning.
Megan brought her guitar, and before she and her friends knew it, there was a group of unsaved kids crowding around Megan's truck "just to listen." What an incredible way to make an impact on those around her. She didn't have to go very far from home to make a difference.
We sell ourselves short when we believe only missionaries can make a huge impact for Christ. My friend "Kaitlyn" (not her real name) has been so focused on becoming a foreign missionary like Amy Carmichael that she has completely missed opportunities in the mission field around her! So many of us make this costly mistake without even realizing it.
Can I Be Hearing This Right?
Where is God telling you to go (or maybe stay) right now? What is He telling you to do? How is He asking you to serve Him with your life at this moment? Sometimes God's calls to us are seemingly simple. Yes, Lord, I can teach a Sunday school class or go on a summer mission trip with the youth group, we think. Those are things I can handle.
Other times He calls us to do things that sound ridiculous. And more often than not, when He calls us to do something ridiculous, we begin to worry about what people are going to think. Most of the time our fears are justifiable. We don't want to be the girl who stands up and tells some of the popular people at school that their lifestyles of compromise are slowly bringing their souls to ruin.
And we most certainly don't want to be the girl who has to explain why she cannot go out with Mr. Hot-and-Popular just because he isn't a Christian. But secretly, deep down inside, we always admire the other girls who do stand up for what is right, and we desperately wish we had that courage. In this moment, that courage is yours for the taking. God promises to go with you--you just have to be willing to step up and go when He sends you out.
True service to the Lord is a combination of two things: faith and submission. And they work together. If we don't have enough of one, we often don't have enough of the other either. It takes an incredible amount of faith to serve the Lord because most of the time when He says to go, we have no idea what will happen along the way.
We Don't Always Get What We Want -- Sometimes We Get More
If you obey when God says go, your life will become more than you could have ever dreamed it would be. Sure, in the end it may not always reflect the life you would have chosen for yourself, but it will be one that counted for more than you ever thought possible. We all want to be significant. We all want to live for more than we are living for right now. And we all desire to be real. We don't want to be fake or to wear a mask.
Where could your presence make the most difference?
If we're honest, we'll all admit that we'd like to live lives of epic proportions. If only we weren't so afraid! If only we would go when God said to go.
What is the one thing you have dreamed of doing for almost as long as you can remember? What is the one thing that you know you absolutely must do before you die? What is the one thing you have to offer the Lord that will greatly impact His kingdom here on earth? Where could your presence make the most difference?
Many times we make the mistake of thinking we have to have it all figured out before we can start serving God. We assume we must graduate from college--or at least high school--before we are in a position to be used.
But that's simply not true. Many times the people that God uses most are not those who are comfortably settled in a stable lifestyle. Often, God uses those who are out there searching--and moving--because they are willing to go wherever He tells them to go; they don't have plans and agendas of their own.
Serve Him on the Way
Serving God does not begin when you get to wherever you want to be (established as a teacher, an engineer, a wife and a mother). It begins when you make the conscious decision to go wherever God tells you to go and to minister to those He shows you in that place.
Find the direction God is calling you to go--and begin to serve Him as you are on your way. Don't wait until you get there. In Genesis 24:27 (nkjv) Abraham's servant says, "... being on the way, the Lord led me." If you let Him, He will lead you on your way too.
Servanthood is faith and submission. And if you cannot serve God on the way to where He has called you to go, you will never be able to serve Him when you get there. Jonah said no to God's call, and he found himself floating in a bunch of vomit in the belly of a big fish. God will go to great lengths to get the attention of His children. And sometimes when He says go and they refuse, He chases them until they change their minds.
Is God chasing you right now? Where is He telling you to go (or stay)? Where is your place of service? Why aren't you there?
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Excerpted fromBeing a Girl Who Serves by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio, copyright © 2006; ISBN 0764200909.
Published by Bethany House Publishers.
Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.
1.. John Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water You've Got to Get Out of the Boat (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 91–93.
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