Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Chapter but the Same Direction

I've bee somewhat absent from my regular blog ZachThinksDeep and have been seriously contemplating kind of ending that blog and picking up on this one. You see, this blog was entirely set up to inform and inspire missionaries and detail my journey to the missions. I am standing on the welcome mat of the door to the first leg of training for my role as a missionary. From here on, this conversation isn't ethereal, it's real. I am about to jump off the preverbal cliff into a realm of what I hesitate to call uncertainty. It makes no sense to many, that I can just leave my job and pursue an extremely expensive education with no plan to pay for it or how to support my family. I've hammered out as much of the details as I can such as how we are going to pay our mortgage and other bills but tuition and other living expenses (like groceries) that's kinda up in the air right now. One thing I know, that has been affirmed, is that this IS God's plan. I do not know how He plans to get us through, but I KNOW He will. I know, now that God permits us and even encourages us to take risks, promising to abound in mercy an grace (2 Corinthian 9:6-15). Of course, it seems to be agreed upon that I need not consider this a risk. Letting money slip through my fingers, trading financial security for a life ruled by faith, these things must seem like foolishness to the faithless reader, and I must admit, I struggle with these things too. I cannot live a life of secure monotony because I'm too afraid to take a chance and do what seems to be what I have been designed to do. My missionary story started half a decade ago, but is really the first time I've made that leap. I refuse to live like a coward or settle too easily for the mediocrity of a dream unfulfilled. I like Kevin DeYoung's words in his book "Just Do Something" in which he writes:
We don't take risks for God because we are obsessed with safety, security, and most of, with the future. That's why most of our prayers fall into one of two categories. Either we ask that everything would be fine or we ask to know that everything will be fine. We pray for health, travel, jobs -- and we should pray for those things. But a lot of prayers boil down to, "God, don't let anything unpleasant happen to anyone. Make everything in the world nice for everyone." And when we aren't praying this kind of prayer, we are praying for God to tell us that everything will turn out fine. That's often what we are asking for when we pray to know the will of God. We aren't asking for holiness, or righteousness, or an awareness of sin. We want God to tell us what to do so everything will turn out pleasant for us. "Tell me who to marry, where to live, what school to go to, what job to take. Show me the future so i won't have to take any risks." ... Obsessing over the future is not how God wants us to live, because showing us the future is not God's way. His way is to speak to us in the Scriptures and transform us by the renewing of our minds. His way is not a crystal ball. His way is wisdom. We should stop looking for God to reveal the future to us and remove all risk from our lives. We should start looking to God--His character and His promises--and thereby have confidence to take risks for His name's sake. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He has planned out and works out every detail of our lives--the joyous days and the difficult--all for our good (Ecclesiastes 7:14). Because we have confidence in God's will of decree, we can radically commit ourselves to His will of desire, without fretting over a hidden will of direction.
Now pay close attention to this final paragraph.
In other words, God doesnt take risks, so we can. For some this means trusting God enough to let your money slip through your fingers. For others it means holding fast to the Word of God in some difficult circumstances or an unpopular situation. For others it means cross-cultural missions, or more evangelism, or a new dream, or confession of sin, or confrontation of sin, or new vulnerability in a relationship. And for some it means getting off your duff an getting a job, or overcoming your fear of rejection and pursuing a lovely Christian woman. For all of us it means putting aside our insatiable desire to have every aspect of our lives, or even the most important aspects of our lives, nailed down before our eyes before we get there.
(emphasis mine) This or soemthign like it needs to be our battle cry. There is no more room for timidity.