Last week, I started reading the book of Galatians and the Lord really prepared me for some things that He knew I was going to deal with in coming days. From His word, the He spoke directly to my calling, which He has been moving me to really step into in a new way lately. There are functions in my role that I have been quite reluctant to fill. Speaking and preaching is one of the areas.
After I returned from Africa a few weeks ago, God showed me that it was time to step up and quit standing in the background. It’s not a prideful thing – God forbid - it is simply taking on the mantle which He has set aside for me. In Galatians 1 Paul writes:
“My call is from Jesus Christ himself and from God the Father…”
I was reminded that I didn’t decide that I should be a pastor and missionary, that was Jesus who set me aside for that task – even before I was conceived.
“For it pleased God in his kindness to choose me and call me, even before I was born! What undeserved mercy!” (Gal 1:15)
I could almost hear the Lord telling me “What are you worried about, step up, I have created you for this!”
Immediately after coming back from Africa, several different speaking opportunities have arose – among these, the TEAR Banquet (over 520 folks in attendance, the most I have ever spoken to at one time!), our Awana missions night (talked to the kids about Africa), and most recently I have been invited to preach at a local Russian church. The first 2 I have completed (quite fun actually), the last one I am most hesitant about. Preaching is not a boat floater for me right now. However, I know that I am being pushed into another role that I should have already taken on. The Lord is stretching me. I can feel a move of the Holy Spirit in my life right now and I can almost see that this season is going to be one of those milestone times in my life that I will look back upon, with 20/20 hindsight, and see the great things that the Lord did in my life and ministry.
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, and to obey the Lord’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good. The highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God. Yet the Lord chose your ancestors as the objects of his love.” (Deut 10:12-15a)