God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you….so Abram left just as God said, and Lot left with him.” Genesis 12:1,4
We all have had an ‘Abram’ moment in our lives. Where God called us – He spoke to us. Whether it was through someone, or during a worship set, or in a college class. He gave us direction on the fact that we – his sons and daughters – were created to not just walk on earth, but claim the authority to lead it.
This first happened to me when I was 16. God called me to “evangelism.” At the time, I didn’t even know what that was – minus the image of Billy Graham in my head, which I knew wasn’t me – I didn’t really know what to do with that “call.” And growing up in a very Southern Baptist tradition, I didn’t know what the gifts of the Holy Spirit were – nor did I know I could hear from God. Over the course of the next few years, I began to journal and write everything. I wrote and I wrote, and entering college – God made it clear that the writing I was doing, was hearing Him speak – otherwise known as the gift of prophecy. And in that time, God made it more and more clear how direct and purposeful that call at 16 was. It wasn’t to be ‘Billy Graham’ and it wasn’t to become a preacher/speaker overnight – it was a life-calling, not on a career or lifestyle choice – but a daily directive on how to live my life. To be a bold, passionate, and grace-giving light for the Kingdom; and to daily, lead out of His love and identity in me (verbally and non-verbally) to a world searching for love and identity.
The first call of leadership we read about in the bible is Adam and Eve. They were given ‘dominion over‘ the garden. They had the power given to them to name the animals, to rule the land, and live eternally in peace. Eve didn’t think what God had given her was enough. (Wow, Lord forgive me when I have done the same.) In the middle of their paradise – the perfect, spotless place on earth – they chose the fleshly desire to know more instead of resting in the unknown. Why is the unknown so hard for us? I know why for me – deep down the root is that I still doubt whether or not God is going to do what He says He will do. I know – intense, Lord help.
Then, just chapters later you have Abraham – a man called to leave EVERYTHING he knew, so that God could eventually show him where he was going. Lovely, again the unknown. And you know what Abram did?
“So, Abram left just as God said.”
It didn’t say “And Abram questioned God?” or “And Abram waited for 100 more signs.” or the best one, “And Abram waited until He was ready.” No, Abram didn’t question, nor wait for ‘extra trust and signs’, or even until he was comfortable enough to leave his family and friends – He just did as God said and left.
In less than a week I turn 27. And more than ever, God’s call on my life is more than clear and the next step is more than foggy. I have no idea what is next, nor what road He wants me to take. All I hear is…
“Go. Lead. Leave it All.”
Over the past two years, stability has been the antonym of my life. But as I have prayed over the past few months, and going through this leadership bible study group, I realize that the calling matches the growth process. Think of being recruited in the army – you have to go through levels of training, starting with ‘basics,’ to learn the ins and outs of your call – your position. And none of that sounds stable – it just sounds like strengthening.
So, going into 27, I’m a little scared, to be honest. I know the “basics,” and I even know a few levels after – I’m used to the pruning, growing, and even strengthening – I’m just not used to the walking across the dry sea floor. (Cue the faith of Moses) I’m not saying 27 will be my year to fulfill the ‘Red Sea’ destiny of my life – maybe it’s just a pond-parting – but I do feel it will be a year to stand in faith, pick up the staff given to me, and boldly choose to put it in the air and move forward onto the dry sea floor and wait for the fog to lift to see what may lie ahead.
So, today, I stand up – I stand in thankfulness that what I leave behind in this season isn’t something terrible, but something monumental in part of my journey. The people, the church, the community, the jobs, this entire journey holds within it very precious chapters of my life.
I pick up my staff – of faith and choose to trust that God will do what He says. That He will fulfill His promises, He will deliver, He will provide, and He will make a way where there seems to be no way.
I step out – on the dry (pond) floor into the destiny and calling on my life. I will not look back at who follows or who doesn’t, but I will move onward towards the moments that will be “better than the former” of my life. (Isaiah 42)
And one day I will write a blog about what is waiting on the other side of this ‘pond-parting’ season of my life. For now, I stand within the parted seas and I pray for the faith to choose trust over fear, hope over despair, and thankfulness over discontentment.
This is the unknown – the time between what was and what will be. And for now, I wait. And I turn another year older with the hope and promise of the other side being immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine. And I choose to never lose hope, because #TheGoldenOne never has lost His hope in me.
- What areas of your life do you need to let go of so that God can give you the staff to step into His calling for your life?
- What are the priorities in your life in this season? Are those the same priorities God desires for you?
- Where is the sea in your life – is it in family, in relationships, in career moves, etc?
- What are the fears that present themselves when you face the question to leave it all – have you presented them to God?