Ignoring a Call—what it might cost you…

 

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.

Acts 9:18

 

What a huge moment in history that was.

In this moment, Paul chose to follow God’s call and become His instrument. He chose to become a disciple of Jesus, to go and tell the world about Him, making arguably the biggest impact for Christ ever made.

In this moment, Paul also chose a hard life. A life of persecution and prison. His former friends wanted him dead. His power and prestige in the Jewish faith and community instantly vanished. A question occurred to me:

In this huge moment, what if Paul had chosen differently?

Not only what would have happened to the young, growing Christian faith… what would have happened to Paul?

What if he had decided that following Jesus was too hard, too much to ask… perhaps a delusion or a sign of illness… yes, that must have been it. He could’ve returned home to Jerusalem, given an excuse to bow out of the Christian hunt, and doubled down on his Jewish studies. I heard recently that he was probably on the track to be the Jewish high priest. Certainly a guy this smart and dedicated would have been a tremendous leader…

A Leader of Lies.

The King of Wrong.

And deep down he would have known it. In the end, The Ruler of Nothing. The Head of Discontent. The Emperor of What-if. Because he would have left the call unanswered.

 

When I heard God’s call to write a book, I was very, very happy being a stay-at-home mom with all of my plans and dreams for my family, home projects, hobbies, and serving at church and the kids’ schools. I’m the kind of person who’s never bored because I love to learn and read and do so many things!

God’s call on me was a miniscule request compared to what God asked of Paul, but as I look back over the last six years, I recognize that my life is far different from what it would have been if I’d ignored Him.

If I would’ve thought, “Surely that couldn’t have been the actual voice of God, just something weird in my head,” I would have had hundreds, perhaps even thousands of hours more to complete wonderful projects, like Oliver’s baby scrapbook (how I swore I wouldn’t be “that mom” whose third kid doesn’t have what the other two did!).

If I would’ve thought, “Surely this can wait until Oliver’s in school… or sometime after that,” the call might have faded and died in my delay. My house would have been cleaner and better decorated.

If I would’ve thought, “Surely someone else will write about spiritual clutter and help other moms get organized far better than I ever could,” I would have spent more time with my kids. In some ways, I would have been a better mom and wife.

But I would have been the Queen of Wrong. The Ruler of Nothing. The Head of Discontent. The Empress of What-if. I’d be trying to teach my kids to follow God’s call, but inside I’d know that I was the Leader of Lies. My spirit would have been subtly but painfully cluttered, like that big pile of papers of the kitchen counter that’s so hard to get to.

How blessed by God I am to have a non-perfect house, a non-perfect mothering track record, a stack of projects ahead, and the perfect ministry for me.

 

How about you?

Have you heard God’s call recently? Big or small in your life? Did you answer it, or have you heard your own excuses and chosen the easier road, on your way to becoming the Head of Discontent?

 

Take the Challenge:  This week, listen for any excuses you’ve been making to God. Perhaps you’re…

Dragging your feet about inviting your neighbor to church, because it will be awkward.

Skipping Bible reading or prayer time, because you’ve been so busy.

Or even avoiding a “bigger” call, because it will be hard.

Ferret out God’s call, and say “Yes, Lord.” Then get organized. Decide on your first step, and write it in your planner or on your to-do list.

It will be hard. Ask Paul. And ask me: completely honestly, this ministry has been so very, very hard. God doesn’t call us to be comfortable, He calls us to do good work for Him.

And when we do, we recognize that it’s so good to serve the Leader of Truth. The King of Right. The Ruler of Everything. The Head of Contentment. The Emperor of “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

 

Have you felt a call on your heart lately?  How hard has it been to answer it?  I’d love to hear from you here or on Facebook.

And if you’d like to read more about Paul, check out this Bible Study Series in Acts called Being Instrumental with Paul.

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