This was originally posted on 8/9/2009
Occasionally, God calls me to do things, and like He did with Abram, but He doesn’t always give me all the details. For example, He told me to go on a mission trip to Romania. He didn’t tell me what I would be doing, how He would use me, or what I would experience—He just told me to go.
I could have decided that the amount of money I had to raise was far too great for me to come up with and just backed out. But then I wouldn’t have seen God’s ability to provide the provisions for the callings He puts on our lives. I lacked faith in this area. I added some of my own money, and when it was time to go, what I added was the exact amount over what we needed. This taught me that it is God’s job to provide provisions and that it was not my job to do something He didn’t call me to do.
I could have folded under a fear of flying in a plane for 7-9 hours straight. Granted, I was no stranger to planes, being that I am from California and live in Alabama, and I have gone back and forth many times. However, the concept of being in a claustrophobic plane for that long wasn’t a pleasant thought. But God used that fear on the plane to captivate my attention and teach me how to focus on what’s going on around me, allowing me to really take in my surroundings. He was teaching me about sacrifice and preparation.
I could have freaked out being stuck in a foreign country with a bunch of people I didn’t know, lacking the ability to communicate with anyone. We got there and we didn’t have as many interpreters as I had anticipated, and a couple of the ones we did have were not very fluent in English. It is a very humbling experience to realize that you are miles from “home”, with strangers all around, and no way to talk to the people of a completely different culture than you are used to. Then God reminded me that I had experienced something like that already when I moved from San Diego to West Blocton. Then I saw that I had to endure that first experience to prepare me for this experience.
The first day we went out to minister, I looked around at everyone there. It was evident to me that they all had some purpose—something they could do. They had a calling on their lives, but I didn’t seem to have any purpose for being there. Then I became gripped with fear. I cried out to God, “God, what am I doing here? What am I supposed to do? I have no purpose! I can’t preach! I can’t work with kids! I can’t lead a group! God, I don’t even know Your Word!”
I could have succumbed to that fear and froze right where I was. But I didn’t. God answered me at that moment and gave me a peace that surpassed all understanding. If I had chosen to remain in that fear, I would have missed what happened next, for at that moment, God bestowed upon me a spiritual awakening.
Granted, I had one the day I professed Christ as Savior, but this one was different. Whereas then I was truly awakened spiritually, this time was like a filling and over-flowing of the Spirit. The only way I can explain it is like my conversion was an introduction to the Holy Spirit, whereas this experience was more of a marriage ceremony, for He become far more intimate to me. I became led by Him at that point as opposed to being led by doctrines, denominations, and ideas about God.
All these things, and far more, I had to walk through—I had to experience. These are not things I could have learned by mere observation or explanation. If God would have told me exactly what I was going to experience, even in light of the positive results, I would have run away scared, thinking He picked the wrong guy. But thank God He was vague. His indistinguishable request was exactly what I needed to do what He wanted me to do.
Since then, I have learned to trust Him in His unclear requests. In fact, I because joyful when He leaves out the details, for it excites me because I know He is going to do something awesome with, through, or for me. In all this I have learned the truth of Hebrews 11:6, which tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith. Faith is the change agent. Faith is the activating force for God to move in our lives. God is telling His Church, “Show Me your faith and I will show you My Glory.”