I’ve been struck lately at how following Jesus, we are called to go. This shouldn’t come as such a great surprise to me as Jesus’ last words to His disciples were about going. It’s referred to as the Great Commission and goes like this:
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'” -Matthew 28:18-20
Lately, that word is taking on a bit of a new meaning to me. In college, I truly believed that those who were called to “go” overseas, specifically a place life Rwanda or Sudan were more noble or their going was more holy. I thought it was such a sacrifice to do something like that. But lately, I’ve seen going in a new light – that any going is holy.
Currently, my church is in the process of possibly expanding to a multi-campus site. My pastor spoke eloquently about another area in Pensacola that our church wanted to do a better job of reaching and how important it is for us to go. If I’m being totally honest, when I first heard the idea, I was a bit resistant because, as I’ve mentioned before, I like being comfortable and I’m currently comfortable with the way Hillcrest is. But my pastor reminded us of what God has called us to do and that is to go and make disciples. So, we are going to Southeast Pensacola to do that.
Just last night I was a part of a video chat with IF:Gathering, a group that is dedicated to empowering and equipping women right where they are so they can come alongside the church to make disciples in their own community. I love that the heartbeat of this organization is to go – to as many small towns, cities, states and countries that they can. They encourage women to embrace their place, their location, and use that to God’s glory. Whether that is reaching out to their next door neighbor, their co-workers or other moms, the goal is still the same – to go and make disciples.
I also just learned that a pastor from my home church in Oklahoma City who had left to pastor a church in Arizona is now heading back to Crossings. I watched one of his last messages at his Arizona church and saw how hard it was for him to leave as he and his family had poured their heart into that church. But God was calling him and his family to go. So they are.
Going can mean a lot of different things. Walking across the street to your neighbor, starting that conversation with a co-worker, moving across the country or even trekking overseas. It can also feel a lot of different ways. Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s scary, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. But most of those feelings pale in comparison to when you are obedient and get to be used by God. To be his instrument is a powerful thing.
“…offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” -Romans 6:13b
If you’re debating today about whether or not to go or are scared of where God is calling you, don’t be. His plan and His glory are far better than anything we could accomplish if we simply stayed.
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,’
declares the Lord.
‘As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts’…
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.” -Isaiah 55:8-9, 12