Follow The Leader

follow-the-leader-bwcom-480x320-300x200As many of you know, Connie and I made another trip to the Dominican Republic a couple of weeks ago. The purpose of this trip was to make additional preparations and to work out some logistics for our upcoming move. The past 6 months have been nothing short of amazing as God has guided us each step of the way. We have now set a move date for the first part of September and are trusting that God will work out the last remaining details. He is showing us daily that He is worthy of our trust and that totally depending on Him is the only way to accomplish His will.

I must admit that I harbored some reservations going into this trip. We arrived back in the U.S. in February of this year with a clear understanding that God is calling us to drop everything and follow Him in a very specific way. Since that time we’ve been working feverishly towards that goal. However, as I boarded the plane to return I couldn’t help but wonder: What if this doesn’t feel right? What if I get there and things have changed? What if I was wrong? I’m just being transparent here. However, as I turned these doubts over to God, He once again provided assurance and confirmation like He’s done so many times over the past few months. Once again I am reminded that “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer” [Proverbs 16:1]. Following Jesus is an awesome thing, and the closer I get to Him the more I begin to truly understand this.

As we’ve shared our story with folks I’ve heard people describe our journey as commendable, courageous, brave, and the like. While I enjoy the encouragement that friends have doled out, the reality is that I am none of those things. By nature I am a very analytical person. I look at things from every possible angle and quite frequently this causes me to miss opportunities or to hesitate when I should go. I have doubts, reservations, and am much more likely to back down than to be brave or courageous. However, the good news is that I serve a God that IS all those things. God, the creator of the Universe, sent His Son, Jesus, to Earth to live a perfect life and to suffer a horrendous death so that we could all spend eternity with Him. He paid our ransom, and then adopted us as His sons and daughters! This would have been sufficient, but He wasn’t done. He then provided us with the Holy Spirit with the sole purpose of showing us how to spread this awesome message. All we need to do is to accept and follow Him. You see, He knew that we were weak. He knew we would have doubts and without constant guidance we wouldn’t know how to proceed. My inclination is to seek my version of comfort rather than to seek His will on a daily basis. However, I’m learning the more I rely on Jesus that His way is so much better and much more comforting.

I realize that what I’m saying is probably not new information to you. Chances are you’ve heard all this before or even said it yourself…”God’s way is better than my way”. But consider this: do we really believe it and does our life show evidence that we really believe it? If you are anything like me, while you profess to agree with this truth, you may still have a hard time relinquishing control. I still don’t always get it right but I have come to realize how silly it is for me to think the outcome can be better under my direction. God created the Earth, God created me, He knows my past, present, and future, He has unlimited resources,  and He loves me in a way that I will never understand and wants the best for me. Taking all that into consideration, why would I ever think that giving Him anything less than full control over my life is sufficient?

Admittedly I’m still working on this but I am finding that the more I depend on Him the more satisfaction, peace, and comfort I draw.  I am also finding this is not a one time act. Following Jesus is a daily decision and requires consistency on my part. Jesus himself said: If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me [Luke 9:23]. We can NOT ignore the daily part! This is a life-long process that requires constant seeking on our part. The awesome thing that I’m finding is that the more I trust in Him and seek His way the more I desire it. I’m also finding that His path looks much different than mine and I am becoming increasingly ok with that. If you had told Connie or I in January that within the year we would walk away from our jobs, house, vehicles, etc and move to a foreign country to share Jesus while fully depending on him for our every need we would have more than likely laughed in your face. And yet here we are doing just that…not because we are courageous or brave or anything else…because God said to go…and when God, who has: paid a huge price to adopt us as His own, knows what’s best for us, and wants nothing but the best for us asks for such a thing…what else can we do but be obedient?

Let me leave you with this verse: And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news! [Romans 10:15] It is clear that God has called both “goers” and “senders”. Both are important and both are necessary to carry out His will of carrying the gospel to every nation. Please consider partnering with us and becoming a “sender” today –> Join our team