August 23, 2019 by Discerning Dad
We left everything to become missionaries for 5 months with Youth With a Mission. I left a career of 19 yrs. and an income that supported our family. My wife left her beloved dog, cat & her pet sitting business. We left our oldest daughter. We left our home. We left our family and friends. My older son left university. My younger daughter left her friends who loved her so. My younger son left 7 years of playing travel Ice Hockey. We left our culture. We left it all to follow Jesus.
We are back now and I want to share the 7 things I learned from leaving everything to follow Jesus.
1. Just because God guides you into something, does not mean it will be easy (Judges3:1) It surprised me how hard it was. I expected to experience an unusual grace that made all the hard stuff, easy. There was abundant grace to do what we did, but it did not remove the difficulty of the experience. I was confronted by my own sin, failings and its affect on those I loved. That was a part of the plan, I did not expect. God’s grace got us through the hard experiences vs. avoiding them altogether.
2. God does not need our talent, ability, or strength. (Matt 28:52) I felt more weak and like a failure these last 6 months that I had in years. Yet, in my weaknesses I would give God my yes, my willingness. That was all he needed to produce fruit in others lives. Our family saw over 120 salvations in the midst of our personal weaknesses. My son who is 14 and never preached in his life preached 3 times and say 55 teenagers come to salvation.
3. I learned God guides as you Go (Proverbs 3:6). Before this experience, I did nothing until I hear God speak. I was so afraid to get it wrong. In YWAM, I gained confidence that God can show me as I go. I don’t have to wait months in silence for the “voice” before I step out in faith. We saw many discouraged missionaries because they did not hear the voice. If your 51% sure, go for it.
4. God breaks fear off your life by leading you into adventure. (Judges 7:2)I had terrible fears of nature and of tragic things happening to my family. I was 22, when I saw my friend plunge to his death from a rock climbing accident right before me. Ever since, I had trepidation around risky adventures. I confronted those fears with God’s help. We did things that were dangerous or potentially dangerous… We jumped off cliffs, hiked up mountain cliffs, drove down life-threatening single path roads, snorkeled in open oceans, rode dangerous waves, rode planks of wood welded to a motorcycle into head on traffic & up mountains, ate strange things and lived to tell about it.
5. God is faithful to provide (Phil 4:19). I was weak and unsure of how to move forward the last week of our mission assignment. I had no direction and was not prepared to “got at it” to find work. In that state, I was approached about a job the Wednesday before we came home. 1 week after we came home, I did a 20 minute interview for the job. Less than a week after, they offered me the job with same salary I made before we left for our mission. All the weeks and months, I worried were a waste of time.
6. We need so little to be happy in life (Proverbs 17:1). The kids we played with in the slums are proof of this. Living out of a suitcase in small quarters or my entire family in 1 tiny room was hard but not impossible. It was nice to see my kids vs. them be sequestered away in their rooms all the time, living separate lives. We grew closer together by being physically closer together. We came back to the mainland overwhelmed with a sense of we don’t need all this stuff. Why do we have all this? Sometimes our luxuries (compared the rest of the world) can lead us further apart and into isolation
7. Jesus is worth it. (Rev 7:9) Going into this I focused a lot on what I was giving up or walking away from. Would we be ok, would God be faithful to us and take care of our concerns? After I crossed the line of no return, I was overwhelmed by Jesus’ worthiness. It was my honor to give these things up for His glory. It was my privilege to have my life’s sacrifice be my praise to Him. I got such a greater revelation of what I was gaining by giving all to Jesus. I was not losing a thing. I gained more of Jesus. I gained more of his heart, his perspective, & his desires for everyone to know and experience His love. I did not lose, I gained everything. Reminds me of the old praise song “when all things to surround become shadows in the light of His glory and grace”
I pray you get to experience what I’ve experienced, Jesus is worth it! Taste and See that the Lord is good. Take your own steps to taste and see for yourself.
The Kindling fire
This week my guest is Troy from The Kindling Fire, this is an article he shared with me that I thought would be inspiring for you. Check out his website at http://www.thekindlingfire.com and follow him on Instagram @thekindlingfire