Listen, trust and follow God’s direction. That sounds simple enough, but why then is it so difficult. It seems we can do one or maybe even two, but often not all three at the same time.
We tend to bounce between following a passion, and ignoring it. We put time and effort into following this passion, only to pull away. We hear God calling us in a particular direction, but it really feels like an inconvenient time. Often, the busyness of life simply gets in the way. Perhaps it is our lack of belief that something we are this passionate about can be an everyday part of our lives….as if we don’t deserve it. We forget to listen.
I think we often feel God calling us to the mission field, but we can’t imagine how it could be possible. We think of the mission field as only somewhere in Africa, Japan, Brazil, Mexico or some other foreign country. But the truth is, the mission field we are called to could be in a nearby state, city, or even in the town we currently live in. God’s mission field is everywhere, and if we feel God calling us to serve, He can make it not just a possibility, but a reality. We forget to trust.
It may mean that we need to remain where we are planted, and make time to burn a whole new path – even if it is on night or weekends. For example, if we have a passion to mold the impressionable minds of junior high students, then maybe we should volunteer to teach Awana at our church. If we have a passion to help the homeless, then maybe volunteer a couple days a week at your local food pantry. If we have a passion to serve as a missionary, then maybe consider taking vacation time to serve on short-term mission trips. Activities such as these will fuel our passion and help us serve our purpose.
There are times in life when we as Christians will have a passion for something, and so we spend time praying to God for guidance. It can be a very exciting time in our lives, but it can also be a time when we can quickly lose our way. It’s not that we lose that passion, its more that we begin to run ahead, presuming that we know where we are going. We become energized, we grow impatient and move forward without God’s guidance. Soon that once vibrant flame begins to burn out. We forget to follow.
In Luke 5, Simon was called to follow Jesus. The fisherman, including Simon, had fished all day, caught nothing, and were finishing up the exhausting day by cleaning their nets. Except Jesus had other plans. Jesus said to Simon “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch;” and Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” – Simon listened to Jesus and trusted him. Soon after, they caught so much fish that the nets began to break and the boats began to sink. Jesus not only showed them who He was, but he also provided for Simon’s family. Jesus then said to Simon, “’Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ So, they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” Simon obediently followed.
I’m not saying we should quit our job to blindly pursue a passion. What I am saying is that we should listen to the passion and purpose God has placed on our hearts, trust that He will provide, and follow Him every step of the way. It is then that we can have the greatest impact on this world. A world that is in desperate need of seeing God’s love through His children.