Filtering the Noise

How is it that God is able to speak so directly to us through things that aren’t intended to be exclusive to us?  Kimberly and I have been reading daily from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest for a while now, and it seems like lately more often than not we are seeing answers to very specific things we are dealing with.  Seriously…very specific.

Yesterday I was so busy preparing for our fundraiser this coming Saturday that I didn’t take time to stop and read this daily devotional.  I did, however, take time to have a micro-breakdown in the middle of the day.  For the most part, I am rock-solid when it comes to this leading God had given to us.  I feel unshakable.  Confident.  Certain.  But occasionally, like yesterday, my will fades and I start to question everything we’re doing.  A few times now, this has been brought on by conversations with other Believers.  Individuals I respect greatly.  Those to whom I turn for advice, prayer, counsel and moral support.  These friends always have the best of intentions and truly care for us.  Without them, we would be a mess right now.  So how could their words ever discourage?  Here are a few examples of what I’m hearing:

“It’s very unusual for someone to move from the corporate world to full-time missions without first dipping their feet into the ministry.”

 “I don’t think you realize how hard it will be to take four children over there.”

 “You’ve NEVER even been on a short-term mission trip?  You are in for a rude awakening.”

 “You know, a large percentage of new missionaries fail.”

 “You don’t understand the culture there.  You can’t just go in and act like an American and expect results.”

 “Shouldn’t you learn the language before you go?”

You get the idea.  All of these statements are really meant to help us.  To open our eyes to things we don’t know.  To prepare us for things to come.  But they can also create doubt in moments of weakness.

And some days, like yesterday, the buildup of all these challenges and questions and life changes catches up with me and I have to stop what I’m doing and reboot my faith.  But I didn’t read Oswald.  And I should have, because God had already prepared exactly what I needed.

 

Excerpts from My Utmost for His Highest, June 8:

When God gives me a vision of truth, there is never a question of what He will do, but only of what I will do. The Lord has been placing in front of each of us some big proposals and plans.

The proposal is between you and God— do not “confer with flesh and blood” about it (Galatians 1:16). With every new proposal, the people around us seem to become more and more isolated, and that is where the tension develops.

Don’t consult with other Christians, but simply and freely declare before Him, “I will serve You.”  Will to be faithful— and give other people credit for being faithful too.

(Read the full devotional for June 8th here:  http://utmost.org/will-to-be-faithful/)

 

Wow.  Right between the eyes.  I’m reminded that there’s a difference between seeking the wise counsel of other Believers, and seeking their approval for things God has called me to do.  And I wonder, how many times in the past have I been this voice of doubt to others?

In this, as in every situation, God is working all things together for our good.  Going through yesterday’s mini-crisis was a catalyst to understanding and appreciating the words of my brothers, while keeping them in the proper perspective.  God gave us this vision, not them.  They have a different vision.  We can no more fully understand what God has called them to do than they can understand what God has called us to do.

So if you’re reading this and thinking…oh great, I think I said some of those things…worry not, my friends.  You did exactly what you were supposed to do.  God used your words to grow my faith in an incredible way.  God must prepare us for what lies ahead, and this is how He does it.  He works all things together for good, to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

Now, has anyone seen today’s Utmost post?

2 Comments

  1. You’ll do just fine Wheelers! You guys are a power couple with an excellent family. Ethan and Kimberly, you love each other more than most and I am constantly impressed by the patience and love you have for everything you go through. I don’t have any doubts that you can do anything you set your minds to.

    Sure, it will be a challenge…but that’s what life is about. As far as the language and the culture, you’ll learn it as you go. In fact, there’s no better way to learn a language than by immersion. I am excited to hear of your adventures. You’ll be missed from home, but the journey you’ll have will no doubt be amazing.

    Love to you Wheelers!

  2. Amen guys, thanks for allowing God to use you to minister to us as well, keep up the posts it is a great way to stay connected, got it bookmarked!