Have you ever had the sense that God is calling you to “go?” Go and talk with the handicapped woman in the wheelchair at the farmers market, go and introduce yourself to the new neighbor across the street, go and buy a lunch for the homeless man on the corner. Today at church, John Ortberg talked about this divine “go” and call on our lives. When God calls us to go, it’s usually to go from a place where we’re comfortable to a place that’s unknown.
In Genesis 12, God called Abram to go – to leave the comfortable land of Ur and to venture into the unfamiliar land of Canaan. God didn’t show Abram a pretty brochure of Canaan, with a list of all of the possibilities. All God gave him was a promise. “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:1-2).
So Abram went. Huh? Did Abram not question God or put together a pros-cons list? He just… went? I wish I could say that I’ve answered God’s call to “go” that easily. It seems like most often, when I feel that tug on my heart to go, my initial response is “no.” No-go, no-way, no-how. When I was asked to be on a prayer team at church, this was my immediate response. My prayers are often fumbling messes when I pray in public, and now I’m being asked to pray out loud with people at church? Aack! But right at that moment when I was saying “no,” God spoke to my heart and I knew that because I felt inadequate, that’s why I should serve. You see, I’ve learned throughout the years that when I feel the most weak in my abilities, that is when God can be the most strong. I ended up saying “yes” to the prayer team, and I was blessed to enter into other’s pain and intercede on their behalf. God even used my fumbling prayers.
It’s too bad I need to keep learning this lesson to say “yes.” There will always be an excuse to say “no.” But as John Ortberg shared over and over again in the sermon, “if you’re not dead, you’re not done.” God wants to use me. God wants me to get out of the comfortable bubble that I’ve created for myself. God wants me to listen to his call and to “go.”
Lately, I’ve been filling my head with excuses. “I’m a new Mom.” “I’m exhausted.” “The kitchen is a disaster-area.” I can take a break from the divine “go” at this time in my life, right? But why do I keep getting this tug on my heart to introduce myself to the newly divorced mom four houses to my left, or to reach out to the mom of a newborn and 3 other toddlers who lives right across the street? God has been so patient with me, but he continues to call me to “go” with this same tug. It’s time for me to say “yes” and to trust that even though it’s unsettling to move out of the comfortable and into the unknown, Jesus has given me a promise, “surely I am with you always” (Matt 28:20).
Where you go, I’ll go
Where you stay, I’ll stay
When you move, I’ll move
I will follow you
– Chris Tomlin