Like Abraham, we too are called in a unique way; but in our obedience, do we truly trust God through the unknowns, or do we take matters into our own hands? “When we detour or delay our obedience, we forget God and the promises we’ve made, and we start looking at circumstances.” (Michael Catt).
Abraham was not perfect and neither are we. Neither Sarai (soon to be Sarah) nor Abram (soon to be Abraham) fully understood or trusted how God’s promise for a child was to be fulfilled. In their desire for the promised outcome, they decided to take matters into their own hands. We all know the rest of the story, but suffice it to say, we all make mistakes, and most of the time it seems we chose to rely on ourselves instead of relying on God. When we decide to do things our way, yes we may be able to get things done, and do them well, but we are using our finite minds and bodies, instead of relying on the infinite wisdom, creativity, and ability of Jehovah. Trust and INTER-dependence on someone, much less someone not seen is so counterintuitive to our culture. We want to be safe and productive, and the only way it seems to get things done is to rely on ourselves. Detour!
During our time of developing relationships and finding partners, there have been several occasions when we have tried to take things into our own hands. We spend a lot of time and effort, and we don’t see the fruits of our labor. Our prayer life gets distracted, our emotions get too involved, and our faith gets left behind. Finally it ends with all of the plans WE made crashing down in failure. BUT, once we abandon our way of doing things and return to seeking the Kingdom of God first (a very good analogy of repentance), things seem to smooth out and become more stable. Does this mean we sit back and let God do everything? Absolutely not! It takes dedication, time, and effort into uncovering and following the will of God. Luke 14:26-33 reminds to daily take up our cross to follow him; otherwise, our lives will be one detour after another on the path to obedience.
As Kevin and I reflect on our calling, we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us in Africa. However, we realize that our ministry with MAF might not actually be our final destination, but a necessary stepping stone to the place where God is bringing us. Because we cannot see the future, we do not know where our journey will take us, we only know this is the beginning of the road God has set before us. Could the Father have called us to a permanent career with MAF? Please let it be! But His will be done, not ours. We need to realize our calling belongs to the Lord. We have been privileged to join a wonderful organization, however we don't work for-but THROUGH MAF, a tool of His which helps share the Good News of Jesus Christ.