The Next Chapter
We are pioneers, you and I, and we get the choice to decide if we become settlers or pioneers pushing through to the promised land. It’s hard, so hard and many have given in to despair, loosing loved ones, or became sick along the way or they lost their vision and settled for where they were. They settled.
Oh, how I get that: how many times have I collapsed in a puddle screaming out to God “I want to go home, not this home “my home” my old home.” I listened to the silence that answered back and eventually I wiped my tears and got back up to continue where I was at, albeit all red and blotchy but keeping on going.
God calls us all, each and every one of us and He asks only that we trust Him.
Sounds noble, romantic but let me assure you it is not the way you think it will be. He will lead you on paths that your common sense (that He built into you) says “don’t do it.”
The path will be steep, rocky, sometimes flat and manageable but usually only for a short time. I have thought a lot about pioneers this year as we have moved from comfort to sustainable. I marvel at their hearts, their courage and their bravery. What kind of folks were these?
Pioneers have burned their bridges with the past. There is no going back for them. There is no going back for us, our house sold in 5 hours, God made sure that door was closed.
It reminds me of Elisha the student of the great prophet Elijah. When Elijah called him to come follow him, Elisha burnt his plow as an offering. He made sure there was nothing to go back to, he was committed to follow Elijah.
Elijah held nothing over him, he did not coerce or threaten him, he simply placed his cloak around him and let Elisha figure out the answer. Jesus called His disciples with the line, “come follow me” and let them make their own decision. God calls to each of us the same, "come follow me." He won’t force or threaten, He will wait for you to use your “yes,” to make your move to join Him.
But I bet that you read stories like mine and think “heck no I don’t want that” or the famous, “I don’t want to be a missionary in Africa,” and your fear holds you back.
But let me assure you that when you give your “yes” to God - He will move mountains on your behalf, He will show up when you need Him, He will do such amazing things that you would never get to experience it if you said, “no” or settled into your life of comfort.
This life, this “yes” life, is the abundant life that Jesus talked about in John 10:10, it is the adventure God has designed just for you. This is romance and noble but not because of you but because of who you serve. Oh, there is still danger lurking waiting to attack but you have joined an army now. You are not alone.
If you have ever watched the Chronicles of Narnia where 3 children escape into the back of a closet (wardrobe) into a land of adventure and intrigue. These children discovered the world of “yes” to God. They discovered they were royalty in the land just as we actually are in God’s kingdom, see 1 Peter 2:9. They discovered they were part of a huge army fighting the ever-present darkness, much like we do here on our earth.
It is a tale of old, very old, like thousands of years as outlined in the Bible, where God walked physically with Adam, talked personally with Noah, then told Abraham to move, not giving instructions as to where. This kind of living boggles the mind, definitely not for the faint of heart but in reality, it is who we are supposed to be.
I have watched God do the impossible this month getting our home set up. We thought He was too late; He had missed it. But He sent so many human angels to help us get ready in this ginormous process. I wish I could have seen how He sent the people who came creeping in with a truck/ trailer in the middle of the night up to no good, scouring back down the driveway with no harm to us. We had frozen pipes for the sewer but when a group of prayer warriors prayed “let the water flow”… the pipes flowed. And we have had sewer since.
We were able in frigid temperatures to get 5 loads of water into our dugout against all odds. When our brand-new generator broke in the middle of the night God woke me up in time to start the backup, it broke before we reached the minus 39 degrees so it was fixed when the artic weather hit. We have had strength to move our stuff several times, to shovel I don’t know how much dirt, to insulate and vapour barrier our trailer and water shed. I watched in wonder as God sold 3.5 sides of beef off the back of our truck and trailer in one day.
When Christmas got canceled at our house because of illness-it was okay. Jesus birth still happened, we still celebrated and perhaps it was the first restful Christmas we ever had.
God has so many good plans for you, He doesn’t want you to miss out.
Erwin McManus, author of “The Last Arrow” (a thumbs up read), says don’t hold back, don’t shy away in fear because you can’t figure it out or it takes you out from your comfort zone. He shouts a resounding, “say yes!”
Do not base your God decisions on your human vision. God sure doesn’t. If something is humanly possible then God is not needed. He loves to show up and show off - it’s kind of a specialty. Raising the dead, defeating huge armies with a handful of people, coming to earth in the form of a baby.
God planning and human planning are uniquely different, He will crush human logic every time. If we were that smart, we wouldn’t need Him, but need Him we do.
As we close this chapter of 2021 the book of your life is not over, it is not finished, we simply end a chapter. What will the next chapter reveal?
Honestly a lot depends on you. If you want same old, you will probably get it. If you want a life, of boldness, adventure and a front row seat of watching God show up over and over then say “yes” to God. Say yes to all that God asks of you whether you understand it or not.
Launch out as a pioneer, one who is ready to fight to reach the promised land. These were gutsy people, these were brave people and do not settle for less, you were not called to be a settler, you are called to be a pioneer.