Just a few days ago we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus. What an amazing day! I am constantly baffled at the sacrifice that Jesus made for us just so that we could have a relationship with Father God. Wow!
At Revival Life Church we just recently ended a time of prayer, fasting, and personal devotion. During this time, God kept bringing up this question to me: “Who do you want to be?” In the beginning of the fast, this seemed like such a loaded question. By the end of the fast though, it was challenging, empowering, and an exciting question that I felt ready to answer.
Throughout scripture there’s a pattern of three different kinds of people:
- People who hide from God
- People who refuse to listen or do nothing at all
- People who obey and take action
Who do you want to be?
The people who first hid from God were the obvious Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). Their eyes were opened to the knowledge of good and evil, and thus recognized their sin and were afraid to be in the presence of God, so they hid. Jonah also hid from God, which resulted in him being swallowed up by a “great fish” (Jonah 1:17). Peter hid from Jesus by denying that he even knew Him after Judas betrayed Him (Luke 22:54-62). And then there is you and me. I know there have been many times I have hidden from God. That never got me anywhere! Life is so much more enjoyable following God and radically obeying in every season, whether I feel like it or not.
Then there are the people who don’t listen or do nothing with what God gave them. Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to God through Moses (Exodus 5) and so Egypt was struck by the multiple plagues. The Israelite people seemed to have a hard time with this one and often did not listen to God (Jeremiah 13, Numbers 32, Deuteronomy 28, etc) and they were stuck wandering the desert 40 years. There’s also the man from the parable of the talents who received only 1 talent from his master. His master wasn’t pleased to hear that when he returned this slave did nothing with the money he’d given to him (Matthew 25). Then we have the women who were with Mary Magdalene when they found the empty tomb after the resurrection. Mark 16:8 says, “They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” Now at this point, Mary decided to obey God and go tell the disciples as Jesus instructed her too. But then Mark 16:11 says, “When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.” The disciples didn’t even obey! And again, after Jesus appeared to two of the disciples in a different form, Mark 16:13 says, “They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.” So then Jesus appears to them again and rebukes them for their unbelief, and they finally believed.
I know I can relate to this category of people as well. There have been far too many times where I have blatantly disobeyed God, or did nothing at all with what He showed me or spoke to me. It is easy to get lazy or set false guidelines on obeying God like, “Once I am in full-time ministry I’ll start doing _________”, or, “If God does _________, then I’ll do _________.” Don’t fall into that trap! Yes, it’s hard getting uncomfortable, but use it as an offering to God in what you do instead of letting the discomfort of obeying consume you. I have found that, in the end, obeying has always worked out better for me. It’s as if God really does have our best interests in mind.
Here are the people who I am trying to be more like in this season of deciding who I will be in God, instead of just letting life, or my comfort, decide for me. The people who not only obey God, but follow through and take action with what He has shown them or spoken to them. Noah found favor with God and obeyed Him in building the infamous Ark (Genesis 5). I bet everyone else wished they obeyed and listened to God when it started raining that day. Abraham obeyed God and through that God promised him: “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:6-8) I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t mind God telling me all these things because of my obedience and favor with Him! The disciples who obeyed Jesus’ command to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16: 15) They obeyed regardless of what would come of it- the beatings, imprisonments, and even deaths. And then there is Paul, who obeyed God in traveling thousands of miles preaching the word of Jesus.
My desire is to fearlessly run after God and radically obey Him, no matter how it looks. Comfort can no longer be what drives us. Being a person of action to what God is speaking takes precedent.
It may not be an easy question for you to answer but it does need to be answered. Who do you want to be? God is so, so good. He gives us the freedom to choose to follow Him, to love Him, to obey Him. You can obey and follow through with the call of God on your life afraid. Sometimes we think we need to have it all together first, but that just isn’t true. Step out, do something different, and God will meet you where you are at.
Decide who you want to be, and don’t let anything stop you from walking in your God-given identity and purpose. He won’t let you down!