August 19, 2019
In Part 1, we talked about how we have been called by God to glorify Him. God will often use our weaknesses so that He is glorified. God has also equips us with different strengths, again, so that His name is glorified!
Now, the big question is: How do we know what assignments God is calling us to next? I believe that prayer is one of the key ways that we know if we are in step with our next assignment.
Before Rick and I started RAD JOY, I began praying that God would open the doors widely or shut them loudly. When God shut the door to Rick's old job, He slammed it so loudly...there was not question what He wanted us to do. We recently celebrated our 3 year anniversary with RAD JOY, and since then, we've had to take lots of next steps and take on new assignments. I continually pray for God to reveal my next best step and ask Him to align the desires of my heart to His will for my life.
Now, I’m going to be honest with you. This is the part that I don’t like it all. I like easy. I don’t like uncomfortable. God’s Word is clear though––in this life, we will have trouble, and I believe it's important to be upfront about the fact that following your calling may be messy!
1. It can be scary
God will often lead you into the unknown. In Genesis 12:1-3, God calls Abram to leave his country, his people, and his father’s house and go to the land that God will show him. After God calls Abram, verse 5 continues, by saying, "...and so Abram went". Have you ever thought about that? God doesn’t say to Abram, "Go to this location where friends or family will be waiting for you," or "Go to this place where you’ve been before"...this is COMPLETLEY unknown. And yet, Abram promptly obeyed.
In fact when you look at most stories in the Bible, God doesn’t give a 5 year plan.
He tells Abram to go to the unknown land...Noah to build an ark for when it starts to rain...Moses to talk to pharaoh despite his speech problems...Ruth to follow Naomi into the unknown...and the list just continues. The Lord doesn’t say go here and then this will happen, He just says GO!
Often we are asked to do things we don’t understand, so we will lean not on our own understanding, but learn how to trust God’s leading. In order to walk in the joy of the Lord, we have to leave our place of comfort.
2. It can be frustrating
God's timing and His will rarely sync with ours. Have you ever noticed that? When I prayed for God to open doors widely or shut them loudly, I didn’t want to have to wait for 6 months and then have my husband lose his job, but God had a better plan.
When we began RAD JOY, I was definitely ill-equipped. One specific example of this is marketing. I've never liked the whole sales-y stuff...I would rather just give things away. Well, I had to learn some marketing techniques, and I distinctly remember one morning after I spent a lot of time working on an advertising piece, and it did not prove to be successful at all!! I remember crying and surrendering to the Lord that I had no idea what I was doing and I needed Him to fight for me. Literally seconds, after I finished my prayer, my phone started beeping with new followers and new orders. A girl had shared about us, and God gave us His manna ––in His way and in His timing.
So, yes following His calling can be messy. It can be scary, it can be frustrating, and:
3. It can be lonely
I especially don’t like this part. I don’t like to rock the boat. I don’t like confrontation. I like kumbaya and everyone just getting along. Yet, the Bible commands that we are called to live a life different than those around us...and sometimes...that means we're doing it solo.
Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” We need community and people around us, but we are called to go to GOD and allow Him to transform us and let us know His will, His assignment for us as we take our next best steps.
Our assignments may not all look the same.
Some people may be assigned to travel oversees and be a missionary, some are assigned to lead a small group at your church, some may be called to be a mom or a steady influence in the life of a child, or (like us) to start a new business. Whatever your assignment is, we are called to do it to the glory of God. Nothing is too mundane for Him when we we have a heart of worship.
Wherever you've been called, remember that God has placed you there and He sees you and He’s with you.
With having 3 kids, there is often a lot of comparison in our house. My husband often prompts our children by saying, “Comparison is...” and one my kids will finish the statement with, “...the thief of joy.” We know this, but it’s so easy to drift down the path of comparison. I do it all the time. I look at others and think: How in the world am I not that established? Why don't we have as good of a marriage? Why don't my kids behave as well as_______?
These thoughts are the enemy’s way to discourage us. He doesn’t want us fulfilling our assignments for God and he seeks to destroy us in any way he can. Don’t believe the lie that you are alone. You may not look like the rest of the world, but you have your GOD ALMIGHTY leading you. There’s no better company to be in!
This brings us to our last point of the messiness, and that is that
4. It can be tormenting
The devil will mess with us!!! When we started RAD JOY, a wise friend shared these tactics of the devil with me, and it has helped me become aware of the ways that he wants to steal my joy and destroy. He aims to divide, distract, doubt, and discourage us. These are not from God. Like Moses, we might find ourselves pleading with God to find someone else or like Gideon, we may cry out to God, "Why is this so hard?!?" Remember that even our precious Savior called out to His Father asking Him to take the cup away from Him.
The enemy may try to mess with your family, your marriage or make you doubt that you didn’t really hear God correctly. He’ll try to distract you with all kinds of things—some bad and even some good things. He’ll make you want to say yes to everything so you are so exhausted that you can’t give your God-assignments, your full, "Yes!"
Y'all, obedience is not always fun. In fact, sometimes it’s outright horrible. But it’s worth it, because GOD gets the glory.
You may not encounter every one of those things...and I pray you don’t...but if you do...know you have someone you can reach out to!
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