Is this thing on? Elisha had it easy. He knew God had called him to leave the dull behind when the great prophet Elijah showed up at his plow. What about you? Share a time when God spoke clearly into your life. Big or small, how did you discern His calling in your life?One of my most recent experiences with God speaking into my life came about 15 months ago, during the annual missions celebration at my church. During one of the services of this series, a video played of teenage prostitutes in Kenya, selling their bodies just to survive. These were children--one of the girls who had been rescued was 14. She had stopped being a prostitute by the age of 14. Can you imagine?
As the video kept playing, I saw faces of these sweet girls, learning to sew. An African pastor has made it his mission to try to save as many of these girls from this lifestyle as he can, by showing them the love of Christ, and teaching them new life skills so they never have to return to that way of life.
I had never been on a mission trip in my life, or even traveled outside of the country. My closest thing to a missions experience was serving at the soup kitchen. But just as clearly as if He had spoken right to my face from the next seat over, God told me to go to Kenya.
That in itself isn't amazing. God calls people every day to missions, to serve, to preach...but me? Never even close. I like comfort. I like indoor plumbing, and staying clean, and sticking with my normal life.
The amazing part was that I didn't doubt, didn't question, didn't waver. As I sat there in my seat with God telling me to go, I simply said, "OK." And I did.
If only it were always that simple. If whenever I sensed direction from God, I just said, "OK." But I don't always. Actually, I usually don't. And as a result, I'm in a place where I need a book like "Greater" and a Bible study like this one to give me a wake-up call and be different this time.
Coming back from that trip, as evidenced on this blog, just wrecked me. I know that I am called to greater things as a result, but I just don't know what those greater things are yet. And then came Chapter Four...
I am facing one of the most difficult times in my life, as hospice has just told us that my 84 year old father likely has only a few weeks to live. As I think about his life and his legacy, it makes it even more apparent that I need to be greater. My dad has the ultimate testimony, as an alcoholic that was saved in his forties and never looked back. The second part of his life was spent redeeming the mistakes he made in the first part, by doing good whenever he had the chance.
But it isn't just about doing the right thing, or trying to gain the approval of man, or out of guilt or shame. My dad's life was changed because of Jesus. And he lived every day as an example to others of what that redeeming grace can do. Dad's motivation was simple--he was doing his best to live a godly life because God had given him a second chance. The Lord blessed both daddy and countless others through him. All because of Jesus.
And that brings me to another calling of God. When I first picked up this book, I thought it sounded interesting, maybe to get me motivated. But the more I read, I know that God is calling me again--to be greater.