Sunday, February 1, 2009

I’ll Be What You Want Me To Be, Dear Lord

“Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God” (1 Corinthians 7:24).

What do you want to be when you grow up? What are your plans now that you’ve graduated from high school? Are you going to go to college? Do you think you might go back to Russia? or Taiwan? or Mexico? Are you making plans to return to Indonesia any time soon? So, you want to be a missionary??? What’s your objective? your destination? your goal? In other words, “What exactly are you figuring on doing with your life—and when exactly do you plan on getting started?” Believe me, it would be very satisfying for all parties involved (myself especially included) if answering such questions were as easy as choosing what you wanted for dinner and then making it! And then eating it! Period. Planned, purchased, prepared, pastured! But, it is not! And so, many conversations—starting out with an ordinary question—end awkwardly. How does one explain the deep, deep desires of one's heart, the earnest longing to serve one's God, and yet the decision to wait upon His timing to fulfill both, to those who just want a simple answer? One doesn’t!

Many years ago my need for Christ became a burning desire to know Him more. I knew that knowing Christ would mean full surrender. Although the pride in my life seemed to work overtime to barricade such defeat, God in His faithfulness was the Conqueror! I knew for certain God’s hand was on me and that He was selecting me for service—but what exactly did He have in mind? The fact that God had called me was evident! But what was I to do…where was I to aim...where should I place my focus?

Because I knew the Lord wanted to be personally involved when it came down to answering the question—“What do you want to do with your life?”—I began to want to do only those things that would glorify Him. It was easy to choose what I wanted—harder to then choose to put those things in His hands, and leave them there!

“I’ll be what You want me to be, dear Lord,” I had told Him. I meant it! I mean, I thought I meant it, that is, until He gave me an answer I wasn’t quite willing to accept! It didn't look like the answer I was expecting. It required a lot of work—and yet it was not recognized. It was difficult to explain. It was hidden. It was secret. It was lonely. But the rubber needed to meet the road—my talk needed to become practical application. Our Savior doesn’t much care for words or sentiment—unless they are faithfully practiced. He wanted my willingness for sure, but even more than that, He wanted ME!

God declared just exactly what He had called me to be—not in a loud voice and not in an actual “thus saith the Lord” voice—but down deep, down in the recesses of my heart—and I knew that He was giving me my orders. As I took the time to find Him working within every circumstance He allowed to enter my life, I found Him—and there, in the midst of whatever was going on, He would draw me aside and whisper, “I want you to be a servant!” I desired to be a wife, a mother, a missionary, and one who would disciple many…He desired me to be HIS! His completely! The results are still unfolding—but the reality of my calling is sure! Whether I liked the answer was not the point. Would I be willing to obey?

How grateful I was, and am, for that word! I need clarification. My personality thrives on confirmation! He is faithful to continue to supply both!

Every past experience and every present situation has been affected. Not to say that I have behaved correctly within each one—but my attitude and, therefore my response, has definitely been altered within each one. The task is to serve all who are involved. Period! That reality, in itself, completely clears the air. When that assignment is applied, my way is visible. I have something to aim for. My focus is sure! My goal is reachable!

He has led me to serve my family, my church, the body of Christ, friends, strangers, children, and even those who are hard to get along with—especially those who are hard to get along with! The beauty of fulfilling this call?—well, I was able to fully commit to it when I was 16, 18, and 28—and yes, it means I am still able to commit to it today! I can do it when I am single or if I am married, no matter my profession or where I live, if I am in America or across the ocean! And working according to God’s will is what brings utter freedom and satisfaction.

This is exactly what Christ has called me to be...to do…and as I wait for the fulfillment of all my dreams, this is exactly what He wants me to continue to do! As His perfect plan unfolds, changing my name or my position or my geographical location, He never wants me to waver in this task!

Christ leads me by His own example: “taking the form of servant, He humbled Himself” even to death (Philippians 2:8). Paul, therefore, exhorts me to “lead a life worthy of [my] calling, for [I] have been called by God” (Ephesians 4:1-2)—called by God to be like God!

What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, my simple answer—I want to be like Jesus.

“Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God” (1 Corinthians 7:24).

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing these words today. It is always good to be reminded that no matter our circumstances, the Lord ultimately desires us to be His servants. He wants our whole hearts to be His and His alone in all that we do!! Keep on keeping on, dear sister!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "It didn't look like the answer I was expecting. It required a lot of work—and yet it was not recognized. It was difficult to explain. It was hidden. It was secret. It was lonely. But the rubber needed to meet the road—my talk needed to become practical application..."

    That is so true - I also love how the steps of obedience turn into fulfilled dreams...maybe. =)

    ReplyDelete