There’s a difference between being where you want to be and where God told you to be. That’s the thought I woke up with ringing in my mind, and throughout my morning ritual of making coffee, cracking my Bible open, reading for some while, then sitting down and writing until the girls woke up, I kept returning to it. Where you want to be is easy. Where He wants you to be is often hard and, at other times, seemingly downright impossible.
Yes, I am well aware that some go where they are told to go joyfully and without complaint, but it’s usually the people who insist that God sent them to Fiji to do missions, or Hawaii, or the Bahamas. When you ask them why they’re only posting pictures of themselves with umbrella drinks the whole time, they rebuke you, insisting that they were just whetting their whistle before all the ministering, binding, loosing, and decreeing.
They would have likely won the island for Jesus had it not been for the dreaded sunstroke. It was a demonic attack, to be sure. The enemy lulled them to sleep on the beach, and they had to spend the rest of their ministry time rubbing aloe on their blistering skin. We’ll get them next time, though. The soil is fertile, and another couple of weeks of feeling the sand between their toes is just what the doctor ordered before all the seed sowing can commence.
I’m not saying island nations with picturesque white sand beaches don’t need missionaries, but so do countries like Pakistan, India, China, and Nigeria, not to mention America. You don’t even need a passport or to learn Swahili to be a missionary to America, and not the pretty parts either, but the ones where the smell is a little ripe, and the people have hurt etched on their faces as though they were wearing death masks. I don’t see a line forming for any of those nations.
Where God tells you to be will always challenge your flesh. It will always stretch you and force you to step out in faith. Those who insist otherwise might just have been in Tarshis all this time, thinking they were in Nineveh doing the hard work, so far removed from the voice of God that they assumed wherever they ended up is where they were meant to be, so might as well get to it, and get a suntan for Jesus.
God will usually send you where you are not wanted but where you are sorely needed. For the most part, the people you are to speak to and warn will not welcome you with parades, aplomb, or a horn section. You will be ignored until they can’t ignore you anymore, then they’ll attempt to silence you, and if you’re stubborn enough to say what God told you to speak despite their threats, then they’ll get physical.
Do you think Jonah would have been hesitant if he thought they’d take him out to the Golden Corral and pat him on the back after delivering a message whose central theme was their imminent destruction?
The people of Nineveh were the extremely rare exception and not the rule. People usually don’t heed warnings, they usually don’t repent in sackcloth and ash, and the messenger isn’t left to go on his merry way after telling a city it will be no more.
Jonah panicked because he considered the people’s reaction and placed fear for his own safety above God’s instructions. Don’t let fear of what could be keep you from walking in obedience. Even if it turns out your worst fears were true and those to whom you are called to speak reject the message and persecute the messenger, your obedience didn’t go unnoticed, and one day soon, the Master and His reward will appear in the clouds.
We don’t do what’s comfortable, we don’t do what’s easy, we don’t do what’s convenient, popular, or socially acceptable; we do what we are commanded to do, what we have to do.
I never was, nor ever wanted to be, a morning person either, but nowadays, if I’m still in bed by 4, I feel spoiled. Like it’s my birthday, and I got to sleep in. It wasn’t always this way. There’s a reason my bedroom had blackout curtains. It’s not something I set out to do or planned on; it just happened because it was necessary, and I could not think of any other chunk of time to carve out to do what needs doing.
Does my flesh like it? Absolutely not. I like to sleep as much as the next guy, and if I get five hours per night with everything I need to do on a given day, it’s an asterisk in the win column, and I count myself fortunate.
When God calls you to a work and tells you to go and do, preach, and warn, there’s never a caveat that it will be easy or that you won’t have any roadblocks along the way. It’s because of who told you to go that you overcome the fear and the doubt, you banish the uncertainty trying to worm its way into your heart, and you do what God told you to do.
Or, you don’t. That’s the thing. Sometimes, men hear the voice of God give clear instructions, and when the cabby asks where to, they say they want to go in the opposite direction from where God instructed them to go.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 16 September 2023 | 11:57 am
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