“God Didn’t Release Me to Say ‘No'” (E)
This is the response I gave to someone who asked me how I knew God was leading me to go to Dubai, UAE last Spring. I prayed about it. I asked God to direct me and to keep me in His will. I never got a “Yes, Matt, I am calling you to go to Dubai for a week in April.” But I also never heard a “No, Matt, do NOT go to Dubai.” I got a…well…nothing. God never released me to say no. I knew God had called me (as He has every believer) to make disciples of all nations. The opportunity presented itself for me to go. My wife was totally supportive. It looked as if our adoption was going to be in the distant future (thus I wouldn’t be traveling to Ethiopia anytime soon). The church was supportive. The team needed a leader. Nothing was preventing me to go. So, even though I didn’t necessarily get a definite ‘word from God,’ I went. And boy am I glad I did.
Last night in my sermon on the Holy Spirit leading us sometimes even when our Bible’s aren’t open (for those reading this who just got nervous, please go listen to the sermon before casting judgment 🙂 . . . Click here) I mentioned that sometimes God may NOT specifically lead you when you have options before you. I fear far too many believers (and I myself have been guilty of this!) blame God for not ‘leading’ us to do something and use Him as an excuse for doing NOTHING. As with the case of going to Dubai, I honestly did not get an affirmative word that God was calling Matt Pearson to go to Dubai. But I didn’t hear a ‘no’ either. I went, trusting that God would bless my motives to do what was right and what I believed He would want me to do.
Thus, my point last night to “JUST DO SOMETHING!” Sometimes God will lead by His Spirit to do specific things at specific times for specific circumstances. Other times it may seem that He is silent. When opportunites for making disciples are before us, we don’t have an option to do NOTHING. Rather, we pray and seek the direction of the Lord and – if we don’t get a definitive ‘word’ – we do SOMETHING. We are never excused to do NOTHING when it comes to making disciples of all nations. Never. So, when God leads specifically – follow! When you aren’t sure – do something, granted your desire is to bring Him glory as you intentionally seek to make disciples of all nations. He will bless your motives and intentions.
What is it you need to get up and DO right now?
A great resource that explores this further is Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will OR How to Make a Decision without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, Etc.