Monday, March 26, 2012

what if you were to give God a year of your life...

... right where you are?

At church this week, we had an opportunity to hear from a young woman who's giving a year of her life to go overseas on a missions trip.  She was motivated to do this because, when she was struggling to find out what to do with her life after school, our pastor challenged her to give a year of her life to God.  This led to a summer missions trip last year, and now, she's heading overseas.  It was awesome and encouraging to see someone who's simply willing to walk by faith and go where God is leading her.

As a pastor's kid and a missionary kid, and then an adult missionary, I had a lot of people look at me over the years and say things like, "I could never do that."  Whether it was the thought of picking up and moving overseas or living in the most dangerous part of the city, people looked at it and had the impression that it takes something special to go there and to do that.  And I bet a lot of people at my church were thinking the same thing about this girl this weekend.

I don't know where we got the idea that pastors and missionaries were special, elevated, something more than a normal, everyday follower of Christ.  Because I can tell you from the other side that we're not.  We're just regular people who have encountered Christ and have surrendered our lives to him.  We get up in the morning, most days, and we ask God to speak into what we're doing, who we're talking to, and where we're going in the future.  We make the choice, day by day to trust him, just like Abraham, Noah, or any of those other champions of faith.  We are absolutely ordinary, but we've offered up our five loaves and our two fish to the One who can create something from nothing.  We are just as selfish, just as broken, just as uncertain as everyone else.  But we are trusting the One who can transform our hearts to work through even that brokenness.

So what's holding you back?  What's holding you back from giving a year of your life to God, right where you are?  What's stopping you from getting up in the morning and asking God to give you his vision for the people around you, from asking him to show you where he's working so that you can join him there, from making the choice to love and pursue those who don't know Christ who are living and working beside you?  What's preventing you from making his mission and his kingdom your priority this year?

What do you think God could do with a year of your life, where your only priority was to hear his voice and do what he asks you to, right where you are?  How do you think your world might change as you walk with Jesus and learn to be Jesus to those around you?

So that's my challenge to you for this week.  Even if you're not ready to hop on the next plane to travel around the world to share the message of Christ with the unreached there, I challenge you to give this year to God--right here, right now.  One day at a time.

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