This week has been one of the most revolutionary weeks of my life so far. I was sitting in Starbucks on Tuesday working on an assignment for class that involved searching through the Gospels. I was repeatedly struck with the love that Christ embodied to everyone He came in contact with, even the Pharisees who continually set themselves against Him. Chris Thomas (International Director of Torchbearers) is teaching through Romans with us right now, and Tuesday morning in class he said that if you don’t feel obligated to share the Gospel with others, as Paul talks about in Romans, there is something wrong. Psalm 116:12 says, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits towards me?” This is Paul’s driving force in his ministry. He is proclaiming the gospel and planting churches all over Asia (besides the fact that Jesus flat out told him to) to repay God for all of the blessings that He has given Paul.
After thinking about it, I realized that I didn’t have the desire to share the gospel, and that really convicted me. It got me thinking about my life and how comfortable I’ve made it. Besides coming to Ravencrest, every major decision I have made since high school has been based on how comfortable it would make me. I have been choosing comfort over God’s plan almost every time. I finished the assignment I was working on and began to pray, asking God to instill in me a passion for the gospel. For the first time, I felt the joy of the Lord in me. I don’t really know how to explain it exactly, but I felt that for the first time I was now 100% focused on Christ. I started thinking of all the ways I could do that, which included starting this blog. I would make posts and share Christ through them, and, through Facebook, allow my friends to read it. As I started signing up for a blog, it was almost audibly that I heard God say “Is this really all you are willing to do for me? I felt God saying to me, “Seek me, and I will teach you how to share the Gospel”.
I feel like God might be calling me towards the pastorate…which terrifies me. This Fall I am going to start progressing towards a degree online through Oregon State and get a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. I didn’t really want to do it, it just seemed like the easiest thing to do. I kept trying to justify my decision by saying “it’s interesting to me, and if I feel like going into ministry later, it will come in handy.” The problem with that is that I was focusing on what I want to do, not what God wants me to do. I realize now that God can use any decisions I make (good or bad) to complete His will. At first I was only going to get this degree because it was easy and comfortable, but now I am confident that God is going to use the knowledge I gain in whatever ministry He has planned for my future, whether that’s a pastor, or something else.
I emailed my parents and sister because I value their opinion more than anyone else’s. The response I got was amazing. My dad greatly encouraged me! He suggested that I get involved in ministry in my church in some capacity to find out what my strengths are, and to let God direct me to the branch of ministry where He wants me. I found myself in tears, standing on the deck of my dorm, not knowing exactly why I was crying. I realized the next day that they were tears of JOY! I was finally connected to Christ in a real, powerful, and life-changing way, and I was moved to tears. There are a lot of changes happening in my life, but I know that whatever decisions I make won’t be made outside of Christ. I can’t explain it, but it’s as if nothing is as important as my new found relationship with Christ. So whatever God asks me to do, my answer will be yes.
Our guest lecturer this week was Richard Dahlstrom, pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle. He was leading us through Genesis giving us life lesson after life lesson, and even though I had read Genesis multiple times, I finally connected with it. Through my experience on Tuesday, I became terrified. I kept thinking “I couldn’t be a pastor, or teach…I don’t even know where to start. He couldn’t possibly be asking me to do that.” Richard kept emphasizing how God calls the weak again and again through Scripture. And that it isn’t about what I can and can’t do, because Christ lives in me, and He can do all things. Philippians 4:13 reads, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Only now have I come to understand the true meaning of that verse. When I am living my life for Christ, he will equip me to do the things He calls me to. That, to me, is one of the most amazing things that God does for us.
I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years, or if I’ll even be here at all. But I am confident that God’s will is going to be done, and that I don’t have to worry, because He is in control, and I’m not. And I love it.