It’s Not In The Contract
The notion of living and working overseas can be thrilling, and it is thrilling. There’s nothing like living in a foreign land and seeing God start something from nothing. I’ve seen churches planted, leaders trained, schools established, children fed, many miracles too numerous to recount. As the years have gone by, I’ve watched my own family grow and change.
When I first stepped off the plane in 1987, I imagined my life would turn out one way: that we would see miracles and our work would take off like the Space Shuttle from Cape Canaveral. While dreaming for an amazing takeoff was what we had hoped for, it wasn’t what we experienced.
No one told me that it would take years to learn languages and culture.
No one told me that it would take years to see 14 churches planted.
No one told me that this call would require me to surrender everything I had.
Little of what I experienced was part of the actual plan I had formulated in my head.
It seems that this life that we have chosen, that many have chosen before us, never comes with any “fine print” to read. There is no full disclosure, no rigid job description, nor is there any guarantee of what this world would consider to be success. The only promise we have is that God will be with us.
I’ve been reading of the exodus of Israel from Egypt the past few days during my morning devotions; I’ve noticed there’s a common thread woven among those who accept “God assignments.” Moses was originally sent on a mission to deliver God’s people from Egypt, his original assignment was to deliver God’s people from Pharoah’s rule (see Acts 7:35). There was nothing in the fine print of Moses’ call that said he would, subsequent to delivering God’s people, have to not only lead them beyond the exodus but also into a relationship with God. Moses simply began with what he knew and then the doors of God’s will kept opening before him and he walked through them one by one.
While he was far from perfect, the one thing that qualified Moses is the same thing that qualifies anyone who dares to say “yes” when God calls: fierce obedience. This kind of obedience moved Moses to leaving life as he knew it behind and into a walk of the unknown. He saw God work miracles, part waters, and speak with Him face-to-face as a friend (Exodus 33:11). He also experienced many trials: leading an unruly people, separation from his wife and children, jealousy, strife, and even attempted takeovers. The only condition Moses had was for God’s presence accompany them. He knew that if God was with them, they would make it to whatever destination God had in mind.
Exodus 33:14,15 NKJV “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Then he said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.'”
All of us long to see the extreme blessings that we hear others have experienced. We want to see the dead raised and miraculous provision, but dare we live in the way required to see the seas part? Are we really that radical?