Go or Stay, Here Am I

I have spent the last decade seeking God and wrestling with Him over my disappointments and unmet desires. It has been a process of learning to depend on His sufficient grace, one day at a time. As a result, I am more content than I have ever been. Yet, lately, I have felt a new longing, a restlessness for something more from life. It may be the influence of the Christian biographies I have been reading. I am not sure if the desire is to serve God in a bigger way, or to have more of an impact on the world around me. It could be God working in my heart, or it could be my pride, wanting to be significant in the eyes of other people.

I mentioned last week that I was reading Bob Pierce, This One Thing I Do. This week, I have been reading a portion of the book that includes Bob’s remembrances of different missionaries and servants of God that he encountered in his travels. The service of these saints seems extraordinary. Some were called by God to foreign countries, while others served Him in the nation of their birth. In my restlessness, it is a good reminder that some aren’t called to go, but to stay.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10

As I have been helping someone close to me look for a new job, I have given extra thought to what allows a person to be content in her work. I discovered Ken Coleman on the radio and listened more on YouTube to get help with this job search. His aim is to help people get their ‘dream job.’ His premise is that people are most successful and happiest doing work which is at the intersection of their individual talents and passions. Really, it is about doing the work that God created us to do. I believe that God created me with a talent for writing, which I have begun to combine with a passion for Him and His Word. I suppose my ‘dream job’ is to be a Christian writer, which is why I write this blog. But I am also so well suited to my ‘day job’ that it gives me joy, and I know that I am where God wants me to be, for now. I need to be content and humble to serve where He has placed me, while keeping myself open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life.

I was writing a letter to my sponsor child, and mentioning that God created each of us to be good at different things. I always encourage her to do her best in everything, but I told her that I was praying that God would guide her to know what work He had created her for. I was led to Ephesians 2:10, and as I read it in context, I began to wonder what came first, the works or the person? The verse seems to tell us that the ‘good works’ were ‘prepared beforehand’ for us to ‘walk in.’ So, God has created each of us with unique talents and gifts, but before this, He created the good works.

So, I was thinking to myself that I shouldn’t be seeking out some extraordinary task of service to God, but rather I should be listening for Him to call me to a specific work that is needed. When the prophet Isaiah was before the throne of God, he heard God say, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8) God didn’t ask, “Will Isaiah do this work we created for Him?” Rather, there was a work to be done, and God asked who should be sent. Of course, God knows all things, and knew exactly whom He would send. We all live in this tension between God’s sovereignty and our free will. We need to have Isaiah’s heart that said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah offered himself for the job after God’s call and not before.

Now concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. . .But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

1 Thessalonians 4:9, 10b-12

I don’t need to look for some greater mission in life. God’s job is to identify the mission; my job is to listen and answer when He calls. I am sure this is best done by immersing myself in Scripture and prayer. I can’t worry that my life feels devoid of kingdom purpose. I am not in the place of God to know what kingdom impact my life is actually having. What matters is that I am walking in obedience, which makes it vitally important that I am seeking God and letting the Holy Spirit be my compass.

My conclusion, after pondering these things this week, is that God is looking for me to be willing. He wants me at the ready to answer His call. Right now, His call is to go to work each day and serve my employer to the best of my ability. I also feel He has called me to write this blog each week. Someday, this may all change. Each day, I need to bow before Him and say, “Here am I! Send me where You will.”

 

P.S. This does remind me of the Coast Guard motto and song, Semper Paratus: “We’re always ready for the call. . .”

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