When I began my faith walk, I remember reading about the Great Commission and how Jesus spoke so clearly that “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” –Matthew 28:18-20 KJV
But how do we respond to such a mandate? Do we move forward in obedience? Are we hesitant at stepping out? Are we more concerned about what others will think?
When I first came into the knowledge of Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us, and after accepting Him as my Lord and Savior, I was ready to share with the world what He’d done. I remember sending out text messages and calling those close to me. My message could be summed up in three words—I. Did. It.! I’d finally come to the end of myself and received Jesus into my heart. I wanted to do everything God had called me to do. I told the Lord, “I submit to your will. Whatever you’d have me to do, I’ll do it—no matter what it consists of. I surrender!”
The assignments that God calls us to are bigger than us and sometimes that can be frightening. We may examine ourselves and point out our imperfections, flaws, lack of knowledge, just so many things that we think could disqualify us for such a calling. But we have to constantly remind ourselves that God is with us, His Spirit lives in us and we have been given everything we need to complete every assignment given to us. If He is calling us to do something, He sees beyond what we see and sometimes what we see limits us, not only that, it hinders us from believing in God, and even in ourselves, and it causes us to not move forward. As I mentioned previously, the assignments are bigger than us and how we respond is very important.
We all possess gifts and talents that will aid in fulfilling God’s calling. What if God has called you to be a songwriter? But what if you’re fearful that your songs aren’t going to be received by many. That’s fine. But God knows who needs to hear them and by you not moving forward in obedience could impact people’s lives greatly. Your songs could be the very thing that causes them to believe in God. They could be the very thing that delivers them out of their current state. What about that book? What about that conference? What about that mission trip? What about that blog? What about that job that doesn’t pay much, but the Lord has an assignment there for you?
God loves all people and He desires for everyone to come into the knowledge of His love and His sacrifice for us all. He desires for all to be saved. Second Peter 3:9 gives us that assurance: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” And He even uses us to be His servants in the earth to reach those that are lost. We aren’t saved just to say we are saved. We are saved to show others the way and to let them know that salvation is available to ALL!
How we respond to the assignments given to us by the Lord is so imperative. It could save generations. It could save people we have never met. We have to be willing to submit unto the lordship of our Father and carry out His plans and purpose in the earth.
If you look at it, there may have been someone assigned to pray for you. What if that person would’ve refused to do so? Do you think you’d be where you are today?
I want to highlight a few people from the Bible and how they responded to God.
First up, we have Noah. Noah was told to build an ark to save him and his family. God told him he was going to bring a flood of water upon the earth. Funny thing is, it had not rained before. Just imagine how people ridiculed him when they saw him building on the ark. Yet he moved forward in doing exactly that God had told him to do, and that saved him and his family along with the animals the Lord told him to bring onto the ark.
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth… And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female… Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. —Genesis 6:13, 17-19, 22
Now, let’s take a look at Moses! In the book of Exodus, we see that Moses’ parents saw that there was something unique about him, so instead of following the orders of the Pharaoh at the time, they hid him for three months and when they couldn’t hide him anymore, they put his fate in the Lord’s hands. He was sent down the Nile River and was saved by Pharaoh’s daughter. Here’s the amazing thing about that—Moses was saved at such a time for a reason. He would be the one assigned to deliver God’s people out of Egypt.
And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? –Exodus 3:7-11 KJV
Here are some others I have listed and the scriptures that reference their obedience, or lack thereof, of what the Lord was calling them to do. Focus in on how they responded.
Esther—Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. (Esther 5)
Isaiah—“Here am I; send me!” (Isaiah 6)
Jonah—“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD…” (Jonah 1)
Jesus—“Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42)
Scriptures for Encouragement:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, –2 Timothy 1:7-9
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. –Romans 12:1-2
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” —Galatians 1:10 KJV
Reminder: God wants our obedience! You have a place in His plan to reach others and I want to encourage you today to step out in obedience and do what the Lord has assigned you to do. Don’t look at yourself and think you aren’t capable. Look at the God in you and know with Him, all things are possible and that He will give you the strength to carry out the assignments. Be reminded that there are many who are awaiting your obedience! You can do it! I believe in you!