Some days, it just seems so surreal. When we stop and take a step back to look at the big picture, we can get knocked to our knees with the wonder of what happens when we finally resolved to let God totally lead our lives. One year ago, Brad and I were here in Ecuador, taking a “vision trip” of sorts. There were a number of reasons for the trip – seeking out ministry opportunities, searching for a tangible peace to all of the ideas and thoughts that we felt God had placed upon our hearts, and seeking discernment on final decisions to actually move forward with selling all of our accumulated goods to go “all in” and give up “worldly” security for eternal pursuits. Now, a year later, we find ourselves in the same scenario as a year ago, here now in Ecuador, reviewing ministry opportunities, seeking peace and discernment for final decisions on our upcoming year. Amazing how God has brought us full circle.
Last year, when we were here in Ecuador, Brad and I found ourselves struggling with our thoughts about mid-week. We had met with so many people who had great opportunities. We were torn about how God wanted us to proceed. We felt pulled in many directions, all of them good, but yet we were so hoping that God would give us that specific peace about one area so we would at least know how to proceed. So far, he had led us so specifically in our decision making – selling the house, selling the business…it was disconcerting to be in the middle of the place we felt God wanted us to be with no peace about what we were to do. So, after praying for guidance, we made a list of why we felt led to follow this crazy path. We brainstormed item after item, consolidating all the praying, seeking, and guidance that had brought us to this point. As a result, we wrote down twenty-nine items that we felt were the vital reasons for changing our life and being more intentional about following Christ. It affirmed to us what we both had been thinking, but, more importantly, it gave us a starting point along with a foundation for determining ministry direction.
We have been blessed to again have a number of amazing opportunities in front of us. So, as we have been continually seeking direction for the next year, we pulled out the original list. It was validating to look at something we wrote last May and see how God has been at work in so many different areas. It challenged us to keep pushing and growing in the spots that we didn’t do so well in. It helped us to regroup and see if our priorities have remained focused, matching them to the possibilities in front of us, providing further support for upcoming decisions that need to be made. Finally, we could discern if we are continuing to strive to seek his way with the life verse he has placed before us as a family:
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. – Colossians 2:6-7
So, we continue to let God lead. We are trusting Him to set course in whatever decision is made. We realize, when determining the will of God, it is not so much a turn from one path to another, or changing course, but, instead, it is to walk in God’s will on a moment-by-moment, day-by-day, hour-by-hour basis. As Oswald Chambers writes,
When you are rightly related to God, it is a life of freedom and liberty and delight, you are God’s will, and all your common-sense decisions are His will for you unless He checks. You decide things in perfect delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will always check; when He checks, stop at once. – My Utmost For His Highest
We continue to seek Him, to learn more about Him, to commune with Him through His Word, to live in total surrender to Him. We fail, and we fail miserably. We want things, we want comforts, we want the easy way. But, we remain convicted that, by saying to God that we will go wherever he leads and do whatever he asks, He, as our Father, will do what is best for us 100% of the time.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
– Matthew 7:11 ESV
In Him, we continue to move forward. Armed with the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we seek to be purposeful and intentional with sharing the gospel. God is preparing the way so we have no reason to fear. Instead, we have reason for our faith, and, in turn, a necessity to share it with others. Shouldn’t that be our natural reaction to his best gift to us? Yet it is not, at least in my own life. I pray we will continue to turn from the entrapments of this world and seek God with our whole heart.
Let it begin with me.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20 ESV