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“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’”– Matthew 4:19 (NIV)
I can remember the day I decided to move to West Virginia like it was yesterday. I had just returned from Africa with a group of college students. We had gone to work with a church in Kenya and serve in different capacities with some of their different ministries. It was an amazing experience and one that brought major growth for my spiritual journey.
I met with my youth pastor, who became my mentor in ministry, to discuss my direction. He told me he might have an opportunity for me to serve as an intern. I thought he was going to send me back to Africa and I was pumped, but then he shared “World Vision in West Virginia might have an opening. We might be able to partner with them and have you go out to serve. What do you think?”
My response: “Uhm…that sounds interesting.”
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t thrilled, but I was willing to try something new.
We had some discussions with the director of World Vision-Appalachia and some other folks and I found out I would have to raise the majority of the finances to do the internship. If I remember correctly, I had to raise $3,000 in 6 months, which doesn’t seem like much, but I didn’t have a huge network of people to reach out to. So, I did what anyone faced with the challenge of raising money to go somewhere to serve God…wait, no I didn’t…I procrastinated.
I mean, I sold a few things to get started, I sent out some letters, and told a few people, but seriously, I was a little nervous and felt like I could delay the process a bit…I was wrong.
Within 3 weeks I had $1500 in! I didn’t even know I knew people with that kind of money, well, I did, but I didn’t think they would give it up that easily. I had all the money raised in time and I only had to sell a few small things to give me some pocket money. This was a call for me to go and I had no say really.
Why would I think I didn’t have a say? I accepted Christ’s call!
When I made the decision to follow Christ I made the decision to let Him guide my life. I made the decision that I would be willing to do whatever He called me to do. Yes, it would be difficult, but I would have to be willing to trust His direction.
I might have tried to delay the trip to West Virginia, but I knew I would go sooner or later (at the time I preferred later, but…).
Christ set the tone for adventure when He started calling His disciples. When He would look at them and just say “follow me.” They would drop their nets and go. Willing and ready to discover something new and possibly be a part of something great. Little did they know they would be a part of the greatest revolution in the history of mankind, led by the Creator of mankind. Awesome!
The Spirit of God is the very person that moves and directs us. He speaks to our hearts and drives us to do the will of our Creator. When the Spirit moves we are called to follow.
The Spirit leads us into a life of adventure. When we decide to follow Jesus, His Spirit guides us to walk with whimsy.
I could have stayed comfortable in California. I could have kept doing the work I was doing, living where I was living, finishing college, and hanging with my friends on the beach. Then, I would have to wonder what I would have experienced if I would have allowed myself to walk in adventure with Christ.
I took the journey. I took the internship, which led to my first youth pastor role in West Virginia, which led to me meeting my wife in college here, which led me to working with World Vision full-time, and now we have two beautiful kids, my beautiful wife, and in my new role as a Christian Education Director/Youth Pastor.
I followed His lead on an adventure and now I am experiencing something great in and through Christ.
May we all follow His lead with a sense of adventure. May we be willing to answer His call to wherever He may want us to go.
Who knows what we might be missing if we choose to avoid it? Only He knows what He has in store for you when you lay down your nets and go!
QUESTION: Where have you sensed Him calling you to go? What keeps you from going?