When God Says Go

Procrastination.  It’s not a pretty word.  To procrastinate means to delay.  It is the act of delaying something we know we are supposed to do.  We know what life looks like when we delay.  Around the house it looks like a sink full of dishes and a pile of dirty clothes.  At work, delaying what we are to do leads to assignments that lack punctuality and excellence.  Delaying in our relationships leads to half-hearted friendships and empty spaces.

But what does it look like when we procrastinate with God?  What does it look like when we delay doing what He has called us to do?

Rebekah’s story begins in Genesis 24.  A beautiful young woman, she has been to the well too many times to count. Her assignment has always been to get water for her family and on this day, she was doing just that.

At the very same time Rebekah approached the well, so did a servant. This servant had traveled a great distance on assignment to find a wife for his master’s son.  Prior to his trip, the master had given the servant instructions for the journey telling him that when he finds the bride for the son, if she will not come back with him, the servant was to leave her there and come back alone.

After a brief encounter with Rebekah, the Lord revealed to the servant that she was the one.  Rebekah agreed to begin this new adventure and hurried to tell her family the amazing thing that God had done at the well that day!  With much excitement and support, her family celebrated and encouraged Rebekah’s new road ahead!  It was clear to them that this was the next thing for Rebekah and surely God had purposed it all!

The next day it was time for the journey to begin.  As the servant prepared for their departure, Rebekah’s family entered the picture again.  Overnight their thoughts had changed.  They began a conversation with the servant suggesting that perhaps it was best, rather than leaving quite so soon, to delay their departure.  Perhaps Rebecca should remain with them just a few more days.

You can almost hear their conversation with the servant.   One by one they would voice their concerns, ‘We really do know that Rebekah is called to this.  We know that God has a plan for her life that includes departing from here, but really, she doesn’t even know where she is going…  Is she sure?  We are confident that God is completely in control, that He has great things for Rebekah, but she has no idea what is ahead…  Maybe she just needs a little more time here, before this new thing begins thereDoes the new thing really have to start so soon? Can’t it wait just a little bit longer? Maybe ten more days…or so?’

But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so….”  Genesis 24:55

Ten more days, it wasn’t really that much longer, but the two small words they added on to their request revealed the true intent of their hearts.  ‘Or so.’ That was the clincher.  If those around her could get Rebekah to settle back into where she had always been, where she was comfortable, where she knew the people and life was predictable, if they could just get her to delay just ten more days…or so…, then maybe she would never leave at all.

Rebekah was called into the conversation.   Her family asked her if she was willing to go with the servant into the great unknown.   She confidently declared three words that changed the course of her life forever.  In the face of all that was trying to hold her back, without regard to another ten days or any further delay, Rebekah took a stand and boldly declared,

‘I will go.’  Genesis 24:58b

Only three words.  Ten more days or so was not part of the plan for this woman set on a course by God Himself. With those three words she put to rest any doubt that she lacked the determination to do what God had called her to do.   These three words set the course for her purpose, put her in position for a great move of God and started her path forward.  She spoke it, believed God, and the journey began!

What a price we pay when we delay!   Remember what the master told the servant prior to his journey?  When you identify the woman, if she will not come with you, then you are to come back alone.  If the woman that I have called for this position chooses to stay back, to remain where she is, even if she delays for just ten more days or so, then she has made her choice.  Leave her behind and come back to me.

Rebekah chose to go.  It was time go forward.  Remaining there any longer would have been completely against what God had for her. Staying where she had always been would have prevented her from going on.

Has God told you to go?  Has He called you to do something that you have never done before?   What is holding you back?  What is telling you to remain, tempting you to delay?  It could be the voices of well-intentioned people in your life, it could be the voice of fear, insecurity or the voice of doubt.  It could be memories of past failures or the uncertainty of the great unknown.  If Rebekah had said I will stay just a few more days, the opportunity would have passed her by.  Rebekah chose to go.  Going immediately put her in position for her breakthrough.

This story is not so much the story of a woman finding her husband as it the story of a woman finding her purpose.  Once Rebekah heard the call, she went after it with all she had.   Believing that God could and would do what He said and acting on it in faith placed her in the greatest story of all time.

There is a place in this story for you and me, too.  God continues to call us from where we have always been into our next.  God calls us to GO!  Will we go? Will we follow Him?  Bold decisions of faith followed by intentional steps of obedience put us in position for the great beyond!   When God says go, there is no time to delay!  Let’s boldly say, just like Rebekah, ‘I will go!’ following Jesus without delay, not even ten days or so!

‘…they left everything and followed Jesus.’  Luke 5:11

Warning: Monkeys Ahead

monkeys ahead-3Ever had a run in with a monkey?

Not too long ago, my husband and I traveled with friends to Bali, Indonesia to escape the cold and enjoy the sun!  After a few days of rest and relaxation, we decided it was time to see the sites so we hired a guide to take us to one of Bali’s most historic spots.

As we neared our destination, our guide shared with us some of what we could expect.  He said there would be a very long walk, about a half hour uphill and then a half hour down.  He told us that the view of the Indian Ocean was amazing on the path and he shared with us the cultural events that are held at this place.  He went on and on, speaking about the history and the beauty, but as we neared the path, his tone changed.  He held up his finger as if pointing out a warning.

Our guide began to speak in a more serious tone, and looking at us, he said, ‘There are monkeys ahead. Watch out for the monkeys.  Continue reading “Warning: Monkeys Ahead”

Seen and Loved

I tell this story often.  It’s a love story.  It may be a different kind of love story than what you might think when you hear that phrase, but I think you will understand.

For years, my husband, Dan and I struggled to have a family.  If you have lived through the valley of infertility, you know the pain, the loss, the emptiness that road can take, the stress it can put on a marriage. It was a valley, a very long, empty valley.  After several years of trying to make it happen on our own, we did what we so often do when we can do nothing else.  Continue reading “Seen and Loved”

Do it Different

Dunkin Donuts was always our destination on Sunday evenings when I was a young girl visiting my grandfather.  After evening church service, we would excitedly pile into the car on our way to what I had anticipated all day!

I remember so clearly the many times my grandfather and I stood in line as I tried to decide which donut would be mine!  Waiting patiently for our turn to order, my eyes were fixed ahead, taking in the colorful sprinkles and icings in front of me.   My grandfather, however, wasn’t looking ahead at the selection of sweets.  He was looking behind.  Continue reading “Do it Different”

The Ugly Christmas Sweater

Ugly Christmas SweaterIt was a Christmas morning in the early 80’s.  Together as a family, we were sitting around the tree as my mom opened a gift from my dad that he had wrapped himself.   She pulled away the tissue paper and pulled out a sweater.  It was the most beautiful sweater I had ever seen!

This sweater was unlike any sweater before it.  This sweater was a Christmas sweater.  Covered with red dots and Christmas wreaths, it gathered at the waist and had the puffiest sleeves available at that time.   Around the neckline was a red and white checkered bandana with a cream colored lace border that tied in a bow at the front.  All I could think was, ‘Someday, I hope that I will wear that beautiful sweater!’

A few years later, my mom was going through her clothes, cleaning out her closet, and I saw the beautiful Christmas sweater in the give-away pile. My mom and I had both worn the sweater several times and she was now ready to pass it on.  I didn’t want to let it go, so I took sweater from the pile and stored it in my closet.  As the years passed, folks were not wearing beautiful Christmas sweaters anymore, so eventually it was pushed out of the way, out of sight, to the back of my closet.

Fast forward 30 years later.  My teenage daughter’s school was having a Christmas party and they were all told to wear ugly Christmas sweaters.   Continue reading “The Ugly Christmas Sweater”

She Serves

She went to the river that Sabbath morning.  It was the place where she connected, the place where she prayed, it was the place where she worshiped.  Those who worshiped at the river were usually women, but this morning by the river, she noticed some men.

You see, while Lydia was making her way to the river, God was orchestrating the steps of the apostle Paul to do the same.  Their paths would cross in this place of worship and her life from here on out would never be the same.

God’s Word tells us that Lydia was a God worshiper.  Continue reading “She Serves”

Be that Tree!

The mangrove tree makes its home on the shoreline of numerous countries in southeast Asia, particularly those closest to the equator.   No one on a mission to landscape a home or beautify a city would request a gardener highlight this particular tree as part of his plan. An obscure tree that is not particularly attractive, the mangrove tree is not known for its beauty, the mangrove tree is known for its roots.

The mangrove tree is not planted by the water on the shore, the mangrove tree is actually planted in the water by the shore.  Between each tree, seen resting on top of the water’s surface is a tangled mess of what appears to be sticks and debris, twisted and entwined to the place where it’s difficult to decipher exactly where the mess begins or where it ends.  This unattractive compilation of sticks and debris looks messy, neglected and unpurposed, but when you look a little deeper, you see the truth.  Continue reading “Be that Tree!”