As you may imagine my mind has been in many different places lately since we returned from our trip. I am probably still digesting everything we saw and heard as we traveled through Florida, Louisiana, Mexico, Nicaragua, New Jersey, and North Carolina. I have also just recently finished up six college courses and have been steadily working on things pertaining to our upcoming move to Thailand. We only have six weeks until we leave the US and there is still much to be done! I appreciate your prayers and support for our family.
One of the other things that I’ve been thinking about is how our decision to do this type of work for God has affected other people in our lives; from friends, to relatives,and even to people we meet with for the first time and share our story with.
As I was reading Oswald Chambers this morning, this devotional caught my eye. I talked about, how in some mysterious way, God uses our obedience to Him to deal with other people’s lives. Our human sympathies want to relieve that sometimes difficult work, but God will not have it. “Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing ourselves. We cannot.” God calls others to bear the burden of our obedience…
“They laid hold upon one Simon . . . and on him they laid the cross.” Luke 23:26
If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal. If we obey God it will mean that other people’s plans are upset, and they will gibe us with it – “You call this Christianity?” We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.
Our human pride entrenches itself on this point, and we say – I will never accept anything from anyone. We shall have to, or disobey God. We have no right to expect to be in any other relation than our Lord Himself was in (see Luke 8:2-3).
Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing ourselves. We cannot. We are so involved in the universal purposes of God that immediately we obey God, others are affected. Are we going to remain loyal in our obedience to God and go through the humiliation of refusing to be independent, or are we going to take the other line and say – I will not cost other people suffering? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.
Beware of the inclination to dictate to God as to what you will allow to happen if you obey Him.