“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
― Deitrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
I’ve been giving some thought to “calling” lately. As a young girl, I was terrified of missing out on God’s will? What did God want me to do? What if I messed up and missed it? Fear ruled my thoughts in my teenage years and honestly kept God at a distance in my heart. I viewed Him more as a dictator than a loving Father.
It took me a long time to understand that calling really wasn’t about a job or task God had me to do. Actually, I learned it was all about a relationship I’d been called to. While I was a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans 5:8). He wanted me to be part of His family eternally and made sure nothing would separate me from God’s love (Romans 8:39). He saved me and called me to a holy life—not because of anything I had done but because of His own purpose and grace (2 Timothy 1:9).
I was called into fellowship with Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:9)! That’s beautiful! He didn’t call me unto Himself because of what I could do for Him. He simply loved me and wanted fellowship with me. 😌
However I have also learned that calling does come with a price: all of me for all of Him. God won’t settle for less. He wants my heart. He wants my mind. He wants my will. He wants my emotions. He wants my body. He wants ME.
I’ve been thinking lately on one of the last dialogue’s Peter had with Jesus. Peter is questioned three times whether he loved Jesus, and he’s told three times to care for God’s sheep, which would be the way that love is expressed. Jesus then goes on to tell Peter what the future will hold. It’s going to be hard and as a result of his commitment to Jesus, Peter would die, but Jesus emphasizes this will glorify the Lord. Finally, Jesus says two words that grip my heart, “Follow Me!”
Peter’s calling was to follow Jesus. Period. It really wasn’t about his gifting, talents, abilities, appointed tasks, dreams, or desires. Jesus just wanted Peter to love Him and follow Him. It wasn’t important what would happen to others either. After hearing the difficult news of his own death, Peter wants to understand what might happen to John, but Jesus again emphasizes what’s most important, “Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.”
You must follow Me! That’s what calling really boils down to. When our eyes are on Jesus and our hearts are fully surrendered to Him, it’s impossible to miss out on what He has for us.
When I first came to YWAM Tyler, I had heard of the need for someone to help in communications with writing and editing. I emphatically and immaturely insisted to Richard, “I will not be YWAM Tyler’s writer. ” Needless to say, that didn’t cut it with Jesus because that’s exactly what He wanted me to do. Yet, I had a hard time seeing how that fit into the call God had on my life.
Hadn’t God called me to teach all that He commanded? Didn’t He want me to shepherd the least of these? Wasn’t His plans for me to disciple the next generations? What about equipping the church to follow Him? All of these were important desires God had birthed in my heart over the years. Why in the world did He have me overseeing YWAM Tyler’s blogs and working in the communications area of this ministry? It just didn’t make sense.
Then it hit me. God hadn’t called me to marketing or writing or even leading …. He had called me to Himself ~ “Follow Me!”
Following Jesus has led my family and I to YWAM Tyler. We know that without a doubt. He’s put the various task I’m currently doing before me too. Actually, He specifically told me to do it willingly and not begrudgingly (1 Peter 5:2 NLT). So with His help, I am.
I’ve actually grown to love and appreciate what I do here, and guess what …. I AM getting to teach, shepherd, disciple, and equip. It just looks different than I thought it would. Isn’t that always the case? 😉 Too often I put dreams in a box instead of just trusting Him with them.
So ultimately our calling is simply to follow Jesus. All of me and all of you for all of Him. This truth makes me smile. Jesus doesn’t hold anything back when we put our faith in Him. We are equipped and empowered with the Holy Spirit Himself. ALL of Him is in us. So why not lay down our lives and give all of ourselves to Him?! Regardless of what He asks us to do, when our eyes are fixed on Him, we can and will be able to do it for His glory!
Blessings dear friends. Thank you for continuing to partner with us! Couldn’t do this without you! ❤️