How should you respond when it feels like Jesus puts the brakes on adventure and seemingly leaves you behind in the mundane, ordinary, predictable patterns of life?
One can not help becoming the adventurous type once they encounter God.
Jesus even said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24 NIV)
Sounds like a life-threatening hike to say the least.
When I gave my life to God I told Him I would go anywhere and I would do anything.
And no doubt throughout my new life in Christ I have had opportunity to experience amazing travels and have been able to do some great things following God’s lead.
But how should you respond when it feels like Jesus puts the brakes on adventure and seemingly left you behind in the mundane, ordinary, predictable patterns of life?
You may not like the answer: Sometimes following God means staying put.
Disagree? Read the following text:
38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:38-39 NIV)
Imagine the excitement of this new believer, he was ready for anything! Following God throughout the region quickly rose to the top of his to do list, yet Jesus sent him home.
Does that word sound boring to you? Have you ever wanted out of “home“?
If so, then you may be able to relate to the following thoughts:
- Did Jesus send the guy away because He was no longer accepting applications for potential disciples?
- Do you think Jesus thought the guy wasn’t ready for that “type” of ministry?
- Maybe Jesus ran out of exciting plans when this guy was born and now he was forced to stick around his hometown with the same people, same views, same talk, same job, and dare I say… the same church.
I don’t think any of the above thoughts are true and we should guard our hearts from wondering the same about our own lives too.
Don’t mishear me, God may and does remove us from familiar settings but I challenge you to consider that the change in you could be the change that your “home” needs to completely turn things around.
Sometimes we mask self-promotion, impatience, and immaturity with words and phrases like, “I’m called”, “it’s a step of faith”, and “mission” when all the while it is nothing more than an attempt to leave “home”.
The following three principles will help you to determine if following God means that you should stay where you are:
1. Listen To The “Grey Heads”.
Notice that the man who was freed from demons “begged” Jesus to go with Him but obeyed when Jesus had other plans for him.
God has established authority within our lives and it will always serve us best to submit our aspirations and plans to those who are in authority over us, be that a parent, a pastor, or an employer. How often do we “head out” without adhering to counsel from those who care about us the most?
Tim Dilena refers to these types of authorities in our life as “grey heads”. People who have already been where we want to go. Older, wiser, more experienced people that we can seek counsel and godly advice from. If you do not have a couple grey heads in your life begin to seek them out.
2. Be Obedient.
Obedience is a sign of maturity because it is not always the easiest or most appealing choice to make.
Be faithful where God has put you and wait for Him to send you in your calling. Just because you are called does not mean that you should go today.
A calling is confirmation that you need to be prepared. The sending is confirmation that God has empowered you to do go. Often times the sending will take place after you have been faithful and trustworthy with what God has entrusted to you now.
How can you distinguish between the calling and the sending? Here are a couple of guidelines that will help you:
1. What do the grey heads in your life think?
2. Have you been faithful with what has already been entrusted to you?
3. Is there the slightest hint of guilt, boredom, or impatience within you? If so, you may need to check your heart again as to why you really want to go.
Concerning the man in the above passage, he did just what Jesus told him to do and it proved to be very productive. Which leads us to the next point…
3. Examine The Fruit
Are you producing fruit where you are? The man in Luke 8 went home and simply told how much God had done for him. In Mark 5:20 the same story is detailed and it says that the people of his hometown were amazed!
I challenge you to look at home in a new and fresh way. God may move you from what is now home, but without the right attitude “home” will always be unsatifying and predictable.
Let God send you home with a new perspective and things will change, even if it’s just you.
So, how does God help you to keep a fresh perspective on “home”, wherever that might be?
For more on this subject check out the post Gods Will For Your Life
God bless you!
Do you like what you’ve read?
If so, join a number of others who receive my free newsletter that provides encouragement, hope, and perspective for church and ministry leaders. To do so just enter your name and email below!