Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Pursuit - Test of Disapproval

"She could feel the pressure in her back.  Her ribs were aching with tension.  She has not moved yet... waiting... anxiously.  The conversation was aimlessly moving between the prices of groceries and most recent soap opera developments.  She was trying to be part of it, inserting random comments here and there.  Now she could not remember what she was saying before as her mind was racing on a whole different wavelength.

She exhaled... and finally blurted it out.  Her hopes, her desires, her mission in life.  It was out there... floating like heavy fog over the dinner table.  Knowing her family were not Christians, she was expecting them not to understand... 

... but she was unprepared for the intensity of their disapproval.  Weighty remarks like, "If you love us, you won't do it" slashed her heart and her emotions deeply.  She tried to explain... to reason... but all her efforts were in vain.  Her family just wouldn't have it.  Period."

Those of us who made it our mission to serve God will sooner or later find ourselves in this young lady's situation.  I surely have before... I am pretty sure so have many of you.  Even if you were blessed with a wonderful God-fearing family - somewhere in your Christian walk you will face disapproval of those close to you (if you haven't already).

I pray and believe that as the Lord moves on your heart to do something courageous and beautiful for Him, that He will surround you with people to encourage you and support you.

And yet... what if those people are NOT those closest to you?  What if your own family threatens to cut you off for your decision to go into full-time ministry?  or for your decision to give generously of your finances?  or for your desire to bring into your home a child that is not "your own"?  or for your choosing a different career path after they've paid for your tuition? or for a person you're setting out to marry?

Often as you journey towards you dream you will meet with disapproval.  When you do, you must examine your desires and attitudes prayerfully and carefully and consider if this disapproval is indeed God trying to get your attention and re-direct your steps.  If it is, the safest thing to do is to repent in humility and thank those people for keeping you from making mistakes.

But what if it isn't?  What if you know that you know that you know that God is indeed moving you in the direction you have chosen?  What if you have received a confirmation upon confirmation through the Word of God, in prayer, through elders in church, and even physical events that this is indeed the road the Lord wants you to travel? 

What do you do then?

I dare suggest that their disapproval in this case becomes a test of your obedience to God and His leading.

"Large crowds were traveling with Jesus. He turned to them and said, “If people come to me and are not ready to abandon their fathers, mothers, wives, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as their own lives, they cannot be my disciples. So those who do not carry their crosses and follow me cannot be my disciples."
(Luke 14:25-27)

The choice is yours...

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