My Way, Not Yours
November 7, 2023
“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you…” (Mark 5:18-19, NIV).
I’ve been discouraged over my “effectiveness” for Christ recently. It seems that, though I love Him, I am not accomplishing the work for Him that I imagine. At 10 a.m. this morning I took a 15-minute break and kneeled in the hospital chapel, just asking for Him to do what He wanted with me for His service. I returned to clinic and was led by God’s Spirit in a natural and beautiful way to pray with two patients who had profound decisions ahead of them. I felt that God had honored my own prayers and set me right where He wishes in my role as a physician.
Do you know what it’s like to settle into God’s mission for your life?
Truly devoted followers of Christ seek to serve Him. Most of us imagine how God might use us. Sometimes our imagination envisions the heroic. When I left for international missions, years ago, I sought counsel with my pastor to be sure I was not just seeking the heroic.
Oswald Chambers said, “The sense of sacrifice appeals readily to a young Christian. Humanly speaking, the one thing that attracts to Jesus Christ is our sense of the heroic, and the scrutiny of our Lord’s words suddenly brings this tide of enthusiasm to the test…. the sense of heroic sacrifice is not good enough. The thing the Holy Spirit is detecting in you is a disposition that will never work in His service.”
Sometimes we are drawn by great need in the world.
And from Chambers again, “If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is not the same as the call— the need is the opportunity to exercise the call. The call is to be faithful to the ministry you receive when you are in true fellowship with Him.”
As Chambers says over and over in his writings, that God’s call is to Christ Himself and to the direction He sends us, which may or may not fit our imagination for service. But all is grace. We can sometimes be mistaken in our imagination of God’s call; but, if we truly want His will, He will set us right. Much worse would be if we ignore the call we hear—or miss it altogether because we fail to listen.
Your will, your call, not my imagination.